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Pet Sins September 2007

Marginalizing by the Marginalized - who decides what gets said in the gay 'community'?

I was reading the ColorQ article Racism in Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender America and the quote from the Asian lesbian struck a cord with me:

I said that people of color were under-represented at glbt meetings and that my purpose was to be provide the presence of someone of color. The residence life officer, a butch white lesbian, gave me what could only be described as a hatred look. Later she started talking about presenting a united front to the straight community.

Although this comment was made in the 1990s, I wonder how much things have changed since then in the queer community. Chong-suk Han eloquently describes the general phenomenon of which this one individual's experience is a part in his 2006 article A Different Shade of Queer: Race, Sexuality, and Marginalizing by the Marginalized:

On too many occasions, gay men and women of color have been told not to muddy the waters of the "primary" goal by bringing in concerns that might be addressed elsewhere. When mainstream "gay" organizations actually address issues of race, gay white men and women continue to set the agenda for what is and is not "appropriate" for discussion.

More articles about gay racism

Racism in Gay Culture by Hao Tat

Gay shame, gay pride - Why 'gay pride' doesn't work for me. by Inga Muscio

W.