Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Misconception of Homophobia in the Black Community

According to a frustrated reporter Maya Francis, there seems to be a high consensus among many reporters that the black community in particular is highly homophobic. However, this term is only announced when an african american male identifies as gay/homosexual. With the recent coming out process for Jason Collins and even the accusations of DJ Mr. Cee  the community has had various opinions and statements on both situations. 

On Grantland, Charles P. Pierce also discussed Collins’ coming out, and found a nuanced way to bring the Civil Rights Movement into it:

Homophobia in the black community—indeed, even among the leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1960s—was some of the most virulent and stubborn of all, and there are still some who resent the equation of the gay rights movement with their struggle.
"Again, it appears that the notion that blacks are somehow more homophobic (and how exactly does one measure the degree to which one is homophobic?) than other groups appears to go unchecked, even in the historical context. Bayard Rustin, an openly gay man, was the activist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. But that’s neither here nor there, I suppose, " according to Maya Francis and I totally agree. However, I completely am aware that there is truly homophobia in the black community. 
With the notion of the church within black homes and the inhumane beliefs they have for these human beings once they are acknowledged as gay is not completely true of the entire black community, but it is highly announced within the community. This is not to say that it is difficult for all males within this community, but it doesn't exist in this community as well as every community, in groups of all races, genders and identities. This notion of it being a black community as a whole is ridiculous and blatantly disrespectful for those who are supportive. Some people see stories and believe it represents the entire race. For example, When CNN’s Don Lemon came out in 2011, he said that being gay is “about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” Francis states, "I'm sure it was true for him that it may have been a horrible experience and his family may have taken it hard. However, we do not know how closely he’s affiliated with a faith community. But his comments seemingly ignore the presence of the sexist and homophobic white evangelical set and reveal the frequent conflation of the black church with the larger black community." Francis states a lot of important things that should be taken into consideration before labeling. 
According to Jason, "No one wants to live in fear. I've always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don't sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back." What an amazing experience he had thus far and was able to have positive reinforcement by his peers and family however, I am also aware that it was most likely different for him because he is famous and well known and had proper prepping to announce his sexuality. All males, females, blacks, hispanics, etc., may not have those preparation stages or access to such empowering people.
However, when you read stories like those in the Mr. Cee case he has been facing difficulties for years with being involved with prostitutes and other lewd activities. In the recent story where he was busted by an undercover female cop, then another print out stated it was a male transexual who caught DJ's eyes the community lashed out on him. The way they responded to this was absurd and extremely pressuring and homophobic. Everyone tried to tell him he was gay and made extremely disrespectful comments about him all throughout the disc jockey and radio entertainment industry. Forcing someone to come out is not the answer nor is disrespecting their wishes. Other entertainers like host on the 105.1 radio show stated that he should've just came out and took all the fame and glory he would get as a gay male, like Jason Collins got. He stated, if I was gay and I wanted to stay silent that is my choice, if I wanted to tell people that is my choice but whatever I decide it should't matter to others. But the community as far as his family at the radio felt they should have known first. It is such a different story for Jason Collins who has been the comparison story for Mr. Cee's alleged coming out. I had such a conflict with this topic and wanted to bring it to light. Hope you enjoyed the read. 

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