Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer
people of African descent have no public voice in media. With
major black publications staying away from the subject of homosexuality,
and white media sensationalizing it, Black Commentator saw the
need for my voice - an African American lesbian ordained Christian
In this era of the Christian Right, religion continues to play
a profound role in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and queer people. And when the only voices the American
public hear on the issue of marriage equality concerning gays
and lesbians in the African-American community are those of fire
and brimstone, bible-thumping ministers, espousing ownership
of civil rights, Black Commentator provides the space to hear
the other side of the debate.
Why is Black Commentator so vital to the African American gay
and lesbian population?
What the American public knows of this population is largely
distorted. And what the American public see of this population
is seldom seen through the lenses of how both white straight
and gay racism and black compulsory heterosexism exact a toll
on our lives.
As a fractured group both politically and socially, African-American
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people reside
as resident aliens who too often live bifurcated existences in
African American and white gay communities. While our black skin
ostensibly gives us residence in our black communities, our sexual
orientation, most times, evicts us from them. And while our sexual
orientation gives us residence in the larger gay community, racism
constantly thwarts any efforts for coalition building, which
weakens the larger movement for sexual equality.
To be tangentially aligned to these communities dangles our
lives precariously on a thin thread with the nagging feeling
of marginalization, if not complete dispossession. and the American
public needs to know of our daily experience. And I try to inform
the public about our daily lives, especially of the role religion
plays in discrimination against us.
Why is this important ? For two reasons.
First, because homophobia is both a hatred
of the "other" and
it's usually acted upon "in the name of religion.” And
by reporting religion in the news I aim to highlight how religious
intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of
American democracy, but also aids in perpetuating other forms
of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti- Semitism.
Second, because much that is written about lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and queer people is by heterosexuals. And much of
who we are is seen and written through a complicated prism of
homophobia that projects and condones lies, fears and violence
perpetrated upon us for the holy sake of moral virtue and family
values, ignoring the distinctive epistemology that shapes not
only our identity, but also shapes our distinctive interpretative
lens we zoom onto the world about politics, race, class, gender,
sexual orientation, arts, music, and ostensibly religion.
Black Commentator provides a venue for engaging in healthy conversations
on the issue by including the voices and stories of those left
out of the public discourse.
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Rev. Irene Monroe
here to contact the Rev. Monroe and BlackCommentator.