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Est. April 5, 2002
January 10, 2019 - Issue 771

Ellen, Black LGBTQ Lives Matter, Too!

"There are very few safe places for GBTQ brothers
of African descent to safely acknowledging their sexuality
as well as to openly engage the subject of their sexualities.
Black GBTQ sexualities within African American culture are
perceived to further threaten not only black male heterosexuality,
but also the ontology of blackness itself."

Nothing exacerbates a problem more than good intentions.

And, Ellen DeGeneres’s had no idea the Pandora Box hers opened trying to revive talks for comedian Kevin Hart to host the Oscars.

When Ellen invited Kevin Hart to her show, she provided a broader platform for Hart to explain his non-apology for previous public homophobic statements as an aggrieved victim. DeGeneres, however, didn’t take into account the outcome of her good intentions: she cannot speak for the entire LGBTQ community, and she cannot fully understand the ongoing struggle the black LGBTQ community has with self-proclaimed evolved brothers like Kevin Hart.

We need to speak up for the young black kids in the LGBTQ community,” Don Lemon stated on CNN in response to the Hart controversy. "I'm saying these issues need to be addressed. Because [LGBTQ youth] need to know that they have value and it’s OK to be who they are. We have to stop low-key co-signing homophobia. It’s not cool. We won’t tolerate jokes that do otherwise.”

In 2011 CNN’s Don Lemon penned a memoir, titled “Transparent” and came out of the closet. Lemon knows first hand the sting, embarrassment, debasement and violence that comes from the Kevin Harts in our communities.

Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’” Hart shared as parenting advice during a stand-up routine how he had advised his 3-year-old son having a “gay moment”:

It’s quite different for an African-American male,” Lemon told Joy Behar on her then HLN show. “It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine.”

There are very few safe places for GBTQ brothers of African descent to safely acknowledging their sexuality as well as to openly engage the subject of their sexualities. Black GBTQ sexualities within African American culture are perceived to further threaten not only black male heterosexuality, but also the ontology of blackness itself.

And, the community’s expression of its intolerance of LGBTQ people is easily seen along gender lines. For example, sisters mouth off about us while brothers get both — verbally and physically -- violent with us.

My son “better talk to me like a man and not in a gay voice or I’ll pull out a knife and stab that little n-word to death,” Morgan told his audience at the Ryman Auditorium in 2011.

Ellen, however, is standing her ground in supporting Hart’s heartless apology. Hart is, too.

On the Wednesday morning segment of “Good Morning America,” Michael Strahan, however, interviewed Hart concerning the controversy.

"I’ve addressed it and said all I can possibly say. I’ve done all I can do. Don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m over it. Shouldn’t have to prove who I am.”

Although Hart’s now a crossover phenom, he still plays mostly to a black audience. And, I hope the young LGBTQ sisters and brothers who fell in love with Hart in the blockbuster hit “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” witnessed Hart’s defensiveness.

Stayhan pushed Hart further on his response by asking, “How have you evolved?”

"I’m over it!! I’ve said it many times. If you don’t see it. It’s you. I have nothing else to do or prove.”

While I will continue to argue that the African American community doesn’t have a patent on homophobia, it does, however, have a problem with it. As one who has purportedly evolved on LGBTQ issues, Hart squandered his elevated profile to educate the public how his evolution came about. Instead, Hart has become a cause c�l�bre by flipping the switch as an aggrieved victim of attacks on his career rather than confronting the homophobe he purports not to be.

I’m glad Hart has a friend in Ellen. And, I know Ellen wants to save her friend and save the Oscars. But, Black LGBTQ Lives Matter, too! Perhaps over time, both will look back at this moment anew. At present, both, are co-actors to an ongoing problem in black communities - a problem we are still unevolved about and not completely woke to the deleterious effects of homophobia on its LGBTQ residents.

Ellen not only defends Hart’s stance, she also absolves him.

"You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You've done it. Don’t let those people win — host the Oscars."

Ellen also sees herself as a peacemaker rather than an interloper. And, Ellen doesn’t realize she unleashed a monster -that have but for a minute publicly been dormant -in the simple gesture of reviving resumption of Oscar host talk. And, the monster, is not Kevin Hart. It’s black homophobia. Editorial Board member and Columnist, The Reverend Monroe is an ordained minister, motivational speaker and she speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. Rev. Monroe does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” on WGBH (89.7 FM), on Boston Public Radio and a weekly Friday segment “The Take” on New England Channel NEWS (NECN). She’s a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated religion columnist. Her columns appear in cities across the country and in the U.K, and Canada. Also she writes a  column in the Boston home LGBTQ newspaper Baywindows and Cambridge Chronicle. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Rev. Monroe graduated from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African-American church in New Jersey before coming to Harvard Divinity School to do her doctorate. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while being the head teaching fellow of the Rev. Peter Gomes, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard who is the author of the best seller, THE GOOD BOOK. She appears in the film For the Bible Tells Me So and was profiled in the Gay Pride episode of In the Life, an Emmy-nominated segment. Monroe’s  coming out story is  profiled in “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America" and in "Youth in Crisis." In 1997 Boston Magazine cited her as one of Boston's 50 Most Intriguing Women, and was profiled twice in the Boston Globe, In the Living Arts and The Spiritual Life sections for her LGBT activism. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College's research library on the history of women in America. Her website is  Contact the Rev. Monroe and BC. 




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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