Equality; Black or Gay – Does it Matter?
A recent discussion regarding marriage by same sex couples highlighted an important issue for me. Gays are somehow considered less beholden to civil rights based on the ignorant notion that we have a choice on whether to be gay or not. By saying that the plight of the Black person somehow eclipses that of the gay person simply because the Black person can’t change the color of their skin, is saying that gays can somehow change their sexual orientation. For the record, my misguided straight brethren, my being gay is as embedded in my DNA as your IQ falling in the single digit range is to yours. Which brings us to the next issue – who has suffered more? I guess my question is, “Who cares?” Suffering is suffering. The fact that the struggle for equality by the Black race is a much documented one doesn’t negate the devastating trials the gay community has suffered. Add to this the struggle of being a person of color AND gay. One of the key differences between the Black and gay struggle is that when you’re a person of color, you can call HOME the safe haven from the injustices of your day. For a gay person this isn’t necessarily true. Some gay youngsters (as Norris pointed out in a recent blog post) are banished from their homes simply for admitting to the very people that brought them to this world that they are gay. I haven’t come across a Black or Latino child that claimed to be put out of their home because their parents realized what their race was. All to say that regardless of what the injustice is the ONE FACTOR that should guide our judgment is justice and equality. It lacks common sense to deny folks their rights simply because we don’t agree or take part in their struggle. Human rights and civil rights are a privilege we should insure is shared by all Americans – Black, White, Latino, Gay, Straight, Handicapped – and ANYTHING short of EQUAL rights for all is wrong. We’ve tried the separate, but equal thing in the past and as many can attest, it does not work. There is no need for a separate set of rules when we’re all EQUAL. America is beautiful for its rich diversity – religious differences, racial differences, etc. – but we’re also one of the most judgmental countries in the world. We insist on forcing others to live their lives as WE see fit or in a manner that makes us comfortable. That is not what America is built on. Let’s stop the hatred and ignorance. Let’s stop meddling in other people’s household and take care of our own. Let’s insure that everyone has EQUAL rights to live their lives as they see fit and the RIGHT to make the same choices and mistakes as their fellow man/woman.
Do you believe that astronauts landing on the moon should be required to wear briefs rather than boxer shorts? Since you’re not an astronaut, why should your opinion matter? Why do you care?
Keep passin’ the open windows…