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Behind the Aegis

(54,083 posts)
Sun Jul 30, 2017, 04:06 AM Jul 2017

Is the Queer Community Eating Its Own (Again)?

In my almost 50 years of LGBT activism, there has never been a time that worried me more about our struggle for equality than the current state of our movement. It shocks me to have to say that, since I was a member of New York’s Gay Liberation Front, the organization born from the ashes of Stonewall. We were the most dysfunctional organization to ever exist in the LGBT community. We fought among ourselves at every turn, and while we disagreed on almost everything, we managed to create a community that didn’t exist before. We nurtured it and celebrated it; we didn’t tear it apart.

In a time when corporate America and society in general are beginning to embrace diversity and inclusion, our community, which was born with those issues in our body politic, has reverted to words and actions that seem to turn us against ourselves.

There is no better way in illustrate this separation of insanity than Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag. That flag, which was meant from its inception to represent unity of all peoples in our community, is now becoming a symbol of hate within our community. We’ve managed to weaponize against ourselves a flag that was meant to bring unity. It is splitting us apart on two major issues: race and anti-Semitism. It pains me to say those are issues we are still fighting in our community. Gilbert’s flag has become the punching bag for racist and anti-Semitic views.

Earlier this year the issue of racism in the community was raised in Philadelphia. It started with an age-old tradition of LGBT bars discriminately carding people at the door, along with a “dress code” that happened to exclude apparel that was most culturally relevant to the black and brown community. This is not a new act. It has gone on for years across the country.That action led to a citywide effort to examine and attempt to bring the community together. To boost that effort and show inclusion, a black and brown stripe were added to the city’s official rainbow flag. This caused a backlash. The line most heard from those opposed was “then there should be a white stripe.” The most diplomatic thing I can say about that is that it’s silly. It’s as silly as homophobes proclaiming after seeing a Gay Pride parade, “Why don’t we have a straight pride parade?" I’d actually call those who opposed the brown- and black-inclusionary flag the right wing of this community.

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Answer: Without a doubt. No need to worry about homophobes when so many in our community are intent on destroying the community from within.

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Is the Queer Community Eating Its Own (Again)? (Original Post) Behind the Aegis Jul 2017 OP
Discouraging on many fronts Boomer Jul 2017 #1
Sadly, there has always been discrimination in the gay community left-of-center2012 Jul 2017 #2

Boomer

(4,170 posts)
1. Discouraging on many fronts
Sun Jul 30, 2017, 06:36 AM
Jul 2017

There has to be a better way of fighting racism than tacking on yet more color bars to the rainbow flag. There has to be a better way of including gender-queer variations than tacking on yet more letters of the alphabet to our acronym. From a sheer branding perspective, we look ridiculous and that itself detracts from the message.

But that is fluff compared to the misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism that are part of any random selection of individuals in the U.S. The hard truth is that gay people have absolutely nothing in common other than being gay. We are literally created at random within the wide range of American life. No one faction of the political spectrum owns the gay community, no matter how much the liberal progress wing would like to lay claim to gay politics.

You would think that the experience of discrimination would open people's eyes and broaden their allegiance to minorities, but nope. Doesn't happen that way nearly often enough. If it did, there would be no such organization as Log Cabin Republicans.

left-of-center2012

(34,195 posts)
2. Sadly, there has always been discrimination in the gay community
Sun Jul 30, 2017, 10:51 AM
Jul 2017

Based on age,
weight,
looks,
and more.

It wasn't right 'back in the day',
and it's not right today.

I was once turned away from a gay bar in Hartford, CT because I had a straight lady friend with me.
The 'door guy' asked her if she was a lesbian, and when she said 'No",
he said:
"NO STRAIGHTS!"

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