How do I deal with racist LGBT members? I feel like its not talked about enough, but there are a lot of racist undertones in gay movies, clubs/parties, and more. It becomes a little too much when you see a group of white gays try to “channel” sassy black women. I’ve even been cast out of groups because of my skin color. Marginalized groups discriminating against other people is an example of pure hypocrisy.
- Question submitted by youdefineyourownbeauty and answered by Kai Davis as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions
Firstly I feel that it is necessary to discard the idea that white gay people are that much different than white people in general. Racism is going to manifest amongst a dominant culture and being marginalized in one aspect of one’s life does not negate his or her privilege in another. The only difference with racism in the queer community is how it reveals itself, which I think you touched on in your question.
Dealing with and confronting racists is an extremely difficult task for a person of color. It is often nearly impossible to affect change because their racism is both a weapon and a shield. They will refuse to listen to you because of your color. You will automatically be seen as militant, combative, or even plain stupid. Because of this shield, there is no introspection, there is no dialogue, and there is no change. I still haven’t found a way to deal with that issue. It can become extremely frustrating to know that your feelings and the feelings of all people of color are valid and you still have that validity denied.
As people of color, we often try to make our opinions palatable for white people. I don’t think you should do that. Oppression has subdued us enough and I don’t think our liberation will come from that same silence. Almost all of the knowledge and information that is readily accessible has been filtered through the white worldview. Yes, that means that even much of the race theory we study in high school and college is watered down so that it can be easily digested. And based on what you’ve mentioned in your question, it hasn’t helped race relations much, even amongst marginalized groups.
Confrontation, aggressiveness, and assertiveness might chip away at the iceberg and it might not. The bigger fight is not allowing yourself to be silenced. People don’t like being called racists, because then they must acknowledge it, and when they acknowledge it they are expected to change their actions, thereby disrupting the status quo. The disruption of the status quo is the last thing a person in power wants to do. Backlash is inevitable when it comes to confronting bigots, but you are not here to make them comfortable. Confront them in a way that placates your soul. Confront them in a way that liberates your heart because even if they haven’t changed for the better, you have.
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