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Gay Racism

One thing has never been clearer to me: it’s time for us to get real about racism in the GBTQ+ community.

We all of us are complex mixtures of privilege and adversity. But white men living in the US, have more privilege than most. So today I beseech us to pause and reflect. Consider what we might do to better utilize our privilege on behalf of our brothers. 🔥🔥🔥

In the eyes of society, gay white men are often deemed to be white men first. That means we have undue access to proximal power. And those of us who benefit from the lie of whiteness have the power to do more than simply not be racist. We can be explicitly anti-racist. Push back with our love and might against all racial bias and bigotry. ❤️❤️❤️

It does not fall on the shoulders of people of color (POC) to fight this fight. That’s our work as white people. Just like it’s the responsibility of straight people to lead the charge against homophobia. That’s their work.

Sometimes the legacy of systemic, inter-generational racial bigotry seems insurmountable. It’s tempting to hope someone else will magically fix everything for us.

But here’s what we white people can do: Acknowledgement: acknowledge that racism exists, and that no part of it is the fault of POC. Acknowledge that we as white people will probably never have any clue what it feels like to live in the US as a POC. Acknowledge that the effects of racism are real and often devastating. Acknowledge that we white people benefit from structural racism in ways we likely don’t even understand.

Willingness: cultivate a continual willingness to have scary conversations with other white people. Create space to fully listen to the stories of POC. Risk our privilege and discomfort to challenge racial bias and bigotry wherever and whenever we confront it, even in our own homes or places of employment.

Advocacy: explicitly advocate for POC in all walks of life. Vote for POC. Shop at minority-owned businesses. Engage with minority-driven art, theater, and music. Hire POC. Date POC. Not just because they are POC, but because that is the natural consequence of seeing people as who they are, in their wholeness and individuality. And of learning about other cultures. And because diversity = beauty and strength.

Humility: meditate on and search the various ways you have fetishized or rejected POC, based solely on their race (and often under the guise of preference). Commit to celebrating diversity while seeing people as unique individuals. Get to know the person behind the race. And allow them to get to know you. This is emotional intimacy.

If you struggle to find a date, partner, or a friend, I encourage you to consider any conscious or unconscious biases (“preferences”) that might be influencing your choices. Maybe you're missing out on some wonderful experiences, and the man of your dreams doesn’t look exactly like you thought! 😍

The bottom line is that unless and until we white people dismantle systemic racism, many of our GBTQ brothers (and others) will not truly be free. And that means none of us will be free.

We can do this. We must this. For ourselves and each other. It’s time to get real, and get to work! 🔥

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