Ireyon commented on the blog post Perhaps the most dangerous black gay man…Cleo Manago
While I understand where he’s coming from and can even applaud his courage to some degree, I do not think that his organization and ideals will help black gay men and women or LGBTQs in general in the long run. That us versus them mentality has always been damaging, especially when the ones it is aimed at aren’t even the ones we should be fighting against.
What really rubs me the wrong way is that some stuff he writes more specifically how he words it, sounds borderline racist. My hopefully soon-to-be husband was accused of racism once (yeah, a white gay racist dating a black guy, imagine that) for something much more tame in comparison. Am I supposed to feel ashamed now that I date a white guy and support his “white constructed gay-identity political agenda” and his activism? Did I somehow betray my people by moving in with my boyfriend of then 5 years and leaving the “brotherhood” behind me? No matter how good his intentions may be, his general behavior always reminds me of that tired alpha-male stereotype of a brave, strong man going against the flow because that’s what men do, being contrary for the sake of being contrary. Who cares who funds the reelection of the politicians that preserve and broaden our civil rights (both black and LGBTQ), who cares about THEIR skin color so long as they are on our side? Both gay people and black people are a minority, we can’t exactly afford to be picky about our allies and step on toes left, right and center. There were white people in the crowd and marching when Martin Luther King spoke, white people fought in the civil war. While we’ve gone a long way in ending discrimination against black people we still have miles to go, support of white people was necessary back then (no matter how grudgingly given) and we’re going to need it in the future. Likewise for LGBTQ issues. The conservatives of today are already trying to divide and conquer with their white gay vs. black gay rhetoric, Mr. Manago is just handing them ammunition. America has always been a melting pot of cultures, not a patchwork. Try as he might, that unique “blackness” that he is trying to protect will change. All walls have holes, even cultural ones.
I’ve learned that I can be happy without living up to everyone’s expectations of how I should act. My father accepted me because he knew that he would lose me if he tried to make me into something I’m not. He realized that he was alienating me and made amends before the damage was irreversible.
Let’s hope that Mr. Manago has a similar moment of enlightenment. I can respect him as a person, but I can’t accept what he stands for.
Ireyon became a registered member