Gay Is Not the New Black


In a blog entry at Madame Noire, Charing Ball challenges the recent claim that gay is the new black. She says that "black is still black" and she's tired of racism being subsumed by other social issues. The two are not comparable, she writes. 


Recently, the Huffington Post Black Voices section published a provocative piece entitled, “It’s Official: Gay is the New Black.” In it, Writer Monique Ruffin writes about the somewhat tenuous relationship between the gay rights community and the black community, particularly the black church and argues that there are parallels between the fight against racial discrimination and equal rights for the LGBT community under the law. She said, “Gay is the new black, sadly, because many blacks haven’t been willing to embrace their own practices, secrets, fear, and shame about homosexuality. Many blacks have not been able to reconcile their real-life experience with their faith, and until they do this, they are oppressed people who are also practicing the oppression of others.”

While I agree partially with the sentiment of this piece, it does kind of remind me of the scene from The Wiz when Dorothy (played by Diana Ross) and the gang enter the Emerald City to an awaiting spectacle of dancers, who looked like they stepped right out of a 1970s Ebony Magazine’s Fashion Fair spread. The dancers in full regale, boogie around the city to a chorus of “I. Want to Seen. Green. I. Wouldn’t be caught. Dead. Red.” That is until an announcement from the great, powerful and unseen OZ blares over the loud speakers and says, “I thought about it and green is dead and I changed my mind and the color is red.” Then the whole Emerald City suddenly transforms to a dazzling spectacular of red sequin and gardenza as the same dancers two-step around the pavilion, saying, “I wouldn’t be seen green. You got to be dead red…"

In other words, in this presumably “post-racial” era it’s easy for some to assume that racism doesn’t matter as much in comparison to other social issues.  However, despite the rather catchiness of the phrase, gay is not the new black because black is still black.

Read Charing Ball's entire blog entry at Madame Noire.