Helping reduce energy costs improve profitability with environmental responsibility...
You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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Fighting Discrimination within the LGBT Community
Does the LGBT community have a diversity problem? Even as we move toward equality, LGBT minorities are experiencing issues related to their status as a “double-minority,” feeling excluded from the LGBT community due to their race. According to some, the LGBT community is dominated by white gay men and lesbians, resulting in minority voices being marginalized in conversations and activism. This is a huge issue in a community built on fighting for equality and representation, and presents a number of questions without easy answers.
Conversations around racism and discrimination within the LGBT community can be difficult, since there are multiple issues that tie to the race divide, from class and wealth disparities to questions of portrayal of non-white LGBT people within the media. Even knowing where to begin working toward equality within the LGBT community can be an issue: how do we ensure that the movement is truly inclusive, and how can we ensure that minority voices are heard?
Conversations around racism and discrimination within the #LGBTQ community are needed. Click To Tweet
Unconscious Racism in the LGBT Community
While many members of the LGBT community would deny that progress toward equality excludes minorities, the prevailing sentiment within the black LGBT community is that the spaces and organizations concerned with LGBT rights tend to be ignorant of the unique issues of minorities within the community. Even groups that are viewed positively within the greater LGBT community, such as GLAAD, are perceived to only address the needs and concerns of white LGBT people. This puts LGBT minorities in a tenuous position, dealing with homophobia from one community while trying to navigate systemic racism in another:
- Stereotypes – Many of the portrayals of gay black men and lesbians draw on both racial and sexual stereotypes, from the image of the butch black lesbian to the presentation of black gay men as promiscuous and hypersexual.
- Representation – The lack of representation within mainstream LGBT organizations has spawned a number of minority-focused LGBT organizations and campaigns. While it’s great to have groups concerned with LGBT minorities, they also underscore division and exclusion.
- Support – In some cases, LGBT organizations have been absent when minority LGBT people needed support: during protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, while other human rights groups expressed support and provided resources, leading LGBT groups were silent.
In many of these cases, discrimination within the LGBT community isn’t easy to see, but that’s the problem with systemic issues and white privilege: it’s very easy to ignore issues that don’t directly affect the issues you’re currently struggling with. To make progress, we need to call out unconscious racism and discrimination within the community, and take steps to ensure that we don’t get so focused on a few issues that we ignore the bigger picture.
Folks concerned with #LGBTQrights tend to be ignorant of the unique issues of minorities. Click To Tweet
How Can the LGBT Community Embrace Minority Voices?
The first step to eliminating discrimination within the LGBT community may be the most difficult: admitting that racism exists, and is a problem that we need to address. A recent survey indicated that 80 percent of gay black men have experienced overt racism within the community, whether it’s at a gay bar or at LGBT events, while Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Latino members of the LGBT community are often forced to deal with assumptions and stereotypes while making a space for themselves within the community.
- Embrace Intersectionality – One of the biggest steps the LGBT community can take to eliminate discrimination is to realize that LGBT issues can’t exist free of other issues. Racism and class division hold back the entire community.
- Call Out Racism – When people say something like “black people are homophobic” or express racial preferences when it comes to dating, speak up. There’s a good chance they don’t know they’re contributing to discrimination within the LGBT community. The goal isn’t to shame anyone, but instead to make them more aware of their words’ impact.
- Eliminate Casual Racism – Whether it’s the idea that LGBT minorities are “exotic” or troubling portrayals of minority LGBT people in the media, casual or unconscious racism can perpetuate harmful stereotypes, the same way cartoonish portrayals of gay men and trans people damaged LGBT progress for decades.
These ideas aren’t a cure-all, but they do shift perceptions and move the conversation forward.
80% of gay black men have experienced overt racism within LGBTQ community. #EqualityForAll Click To Tweet
Ending Discrimination within the LGBT Community
Awareness of minority issues within the greater LGBT community is finally starting to spread, and it’s becoming easier to find information on the issues. Education can go a long way: many members of the LGBT community aren’t aware, for example, of the disproportionate violence and discrimination that trans people of color face every day, or informed about how minorities within the LGBT community feel excluded from the gains of equality activists.
How can the LGBT community ensure that equality is for everyone? We’d love to hear your ideas for making sure diverse voices have a place within the LGBT community.