Gay Isn't the New Black

Yesha Callahan wonders at Clutch magazine whether the differences in the two groups' collective histories are too great to assume a natural alliance. 

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A rally on the steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento, Calif. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images News)

Yesha Callahan wonders at Clutch magazine whether the differences in the two groups' collective histories are too great to assume a natural alliance.

I remember watching a gay rights activist on a television interview discussing the importance of "natural alliances" in the struggle for equality. He stated that "African-Americans" were a "natural ally" for gay people as a result of the similarities in our shared experiences. I also remember thinking to myself, "Good luck with that one."

While Blacks and homosexuals have clearly endured similar injustices and encountered innumerable expressions of hatred and disregard, there is a human tendency, in my opinion, to place one's own plight and the plight of one's own people above that of any other group, particularly when the plight has been particularly horrible.

Of course, things get complicated when speaking of people who belong to more than one historically oppressed group (i.e. Black women, gay Blacks, Sammy Davis, Jr., and so forth); however, even under those circumstances one group tends to insist that the individual choose a side, as it were. And what about those sides? Why must we assume that gay people aren't racist? There are non-black gay people who could care less or want to be bothered by the same struggles their black "counterparts" go through.

Read Yesha Callahan's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

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