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Thursday, February 11, 2016

WHAT DO LGBTQ RIGHTS HAVE TO DO WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER?

I cannot honestly consider the fruits of political or social progress in the LGBTQ community without a lens for the past and future. Furthermore, advances in LGBTQ progress can only be considered progress if it creates a new track, not forcing acceptance on a current track. Therefore, nothing can be honestly praised without a larger scope of the culture we are building and buying into. No presidential candidate (sorry, evolvers) no policy, no law, no celebrity or corporate support can treat an inherited wound without an understanding of what caused the wound.

The past would give us perspective into generations of violence toward the LGBTQ community from policing forces (literal law enforcement and power figures such as clergy and community leadership). These policing forces also had a target before we LGBTs organized -- people of color, immigrants, people outside the predominant religious faith. The "others." The future would provide forethought in considering whose toes we can avoid stepping on to get to where we need to go, and who we can bring along with us on the ride up.

The force of social media engagement regarding racism (and often, unavoidably, classism) particularly concerned with Oscar boycott buzz, the Flint water scandal and tremors still felt from Baltimore is, in its own way, a tiny achievement simply for the depth and breadth of black people communicating to us non-blacks as authorities on this topic. This has sparked something in me, not in the same way where I demand to be heard, this is not my story. But this is the point, isn't it? I cannot speak for the black community, in the U.S. or around the world, that have suffered due to racism and embedded systemic classism. White people cannot speak to a black person's response to racism or classism or integrated hate. However, white people can consider the racism in themselves. What can also occur is acknowledging the unhealed trauma of black v. white in America and a partnering among disenfranchised groups in recognizing the "otherness" that is often designated to us by a status quo of white, hetero-normative thought structures.

There are differences between the LGBTQ community struggle and the struggle people of color face. Each movement is on different paths, but are catalyze by similar forces asking them to rise into their respective representations of grace and transcend their challenges. We converge on the course not only because our paths are often intertwined (e.g. black-LGBTQs), and not because our path to freedom is the same, but because we are disillusioned by a common oppressor. The same body of thought that is holding one community under it's boot asks the other to assimilate quietly, and vice versa. The work isn't about equality, but equity. There are differences, which is precisely the point. We don't need a system that offers the same opportunities, but a system that offers the fullest opportunities to the diversity of its culture.

So what? The point in discussing root cause is not for an academic volley, but to begin the work to treat the issue at the root. The root cause is separation from each other in a way that even when it appears that a minority is making progress, they are often being asked to separate from the qualities of their culture that distinguish them. Plainly put: patriachal-normative, white assimilation. So we will often see minorities internally fracture and quarrel as progress begins to look different. Specifically, in the the United States founded on a spiritual principle of unity, we must consider what the fullest version of unity looks like. Does it look like a white-washed canvas or a rainbow of colors coalescing together through gradual elevating vibrations? Unity holds no value if there aren't unique pieces coming together. Intersectionality is essential for unity because sameness is absence of unity. LGBTQ people have a unique opportunity to open the doors for other minority groups because we are uniquely dispersed in all cultures, states, economic levels, ethnicities and religions. In our ability to not only open the door, but hold space for other minorities to rise in an authentic way, meaning not assimilating to white culture, does our capacity to experience freedom expand not from being different, but for being different.

SOURCE: HUFFPOST GAY VOICES

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