It’s never been easy to be black in this country, but I never had to “come out” black. I never had to sit down with my family and tell them. My race has never conflicted with my religious beliefs. I never had the option to hide it.
I am a lesbian. When I told my mother, she said, “Don’t tell the rest of the family. It’ll kill your grandparents. They’ll disown you.” She told me she didn’t want me to have to go through that. I obeyed her wishes.
I went through a time when I questioned how God saw me. Did he see me as a sinner? Was I an abomination? When I came to realize that my God loved me just the way I am, I was able to fling the closet door open.
I’m out of the closet, but I don’t force my sexuality on anyone. I have family who will happily listen to me discuss my relationships, meet girlfriends, and let us stay at their home as a couple. I can share all aspects of my life with them. As a result, they know me better than the family who gets the censored version of me.
I have ministers in my family. I have had to sit and listen to them utter homophobic words. I have had to sit while those surrounding me clapped their approval. I had to sit. It felt like overhearing a group of white people using racial slurs when they didn’t know you were around.
It is common knowledge for those within the black community, that black people are extremely homophobic. Black people see homosexuality as something white people do, often turning a blind eye to reality.
Homosexuality is seen as a threat to the black community. Homosexuality is what’s infecting the black community with HIV/AIDs? Homosexuality is destroying the black family?
The black community needs to wake up. They are leaning on closet doors by keeping us in constant fear of being disowned and ridiculed. When it becomes ok for us to stop leading dual lives, the condition of our community will improve.
I felt motivated to write something with everything that is happening with Proposition 8. It has been said that the increase of black voters helped Proposition 8 pass.
I’m not shocked, but I am ashamed and disappointed. The same people that are associating this election with everything MLK stood for, are the same people that are denying me the right to marry. Why can’t they see that is totally against MLK’s beliefs?