Lots of gay folk question that need and some even resent the idea of a separate pride event. I used to feel that way generally about group-specific events and organizations. Sometimes we
do separate too much, we "murder to dissect" in Wordsworth's words.
However the first time I heard Robert and his incredible colleagues speak about their feelings of separation from both the African American community because they are gay and the gay community because they are African American, when I heard them patiently explain that this is about bridging those rifts and healing deep wounds, I was moved and became very enthusiastic about Black Pride.
I challenge anyone who is skeptical to sit down with Robert or Jasmine or Antwonne or any of the Black Pride board, or a friend who is gay and Black, and ask them about it. Listen to them speak about being subjected to racism and homophobia from the majority culture, and homophobia and shame from their own culture. Listen to their stories about being excluded by the white gay community, too. I think you'll get it.
I hope that Black Pride is the vehicle to end separation in the GLBT community and build a new sense of unified passion against the onslaught of hate and discrimination we all face in the times in which we live.
We need one another. We white gays can learn a lot from our African American brothers and sisters about facing prejudice and overcoming it. The Christian Right doesn't give a damn about our skin color. In that aspect they are free of prejudice. It's equal-opportunity bigotry. We should counter that with equal-opportunity effectiveness.
As a white male, I don't know what it's like to be a second-class citizen. If the religious bigots have their way, I will. But Black gay men and women do know. They have fought this fight before on a different playing field. They did it without the weapons we possess: position, power, and money. They fought it before they could vote. Again, we can learn a lot and have so much more power and a much louder voice if we can speak as one voice, not in monotone, but in a beautiful polyphony, a harmony so strong and tight and loud that it can shatter the fragile glass of hate and fear.
Black Pride will grow if for no other reason than the diligence and passion of the Black GLBT community and their leaders. I hope it will also grow because it will provide a forum for the rest of us to understand how badly we need African Americans in our family and participating in and even leading our struggle. I hope it grows with the help of enlightened gays who will see it as a vital aspect of our Pride celebration. I'm proud that I have a connection to the great people who organized Black Pride and all those who celebrate being Black and gay.
Great job, ladies and gentlemen. It will just get better and better!!