Bil Browning

Today is the Day but I'm angry instead

Filed By Bil Browning | November 05, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: anti-gay legislation, Arizona, Arkansas, Barack Obama, California, Florida, gay marriage, marriage amendment, Rosie O'Donnell, same-sex marriage

I've sat here today flipping aimlessly from one blog to news sites to e-mail to Twitter and back again. grilled-cheese-invitatational-oakland.gifI've watched 30 second bits of CNN until my eyes flit back to the computer screen. I've been restless and unsettled all morning; it's as if the monster from Alien needs to burst out of my chest so I can be comfortable.

After an hour and a half of "writing," I have the above paragraph. That's it. I've found a million other things to occupy myself, but I haven't found the words yet. I take a grilled cheese and potato chips break. Sweet tea. Comfort food.

Today is supposed to be the day. Yesterday we changed the world. After all our hard work, Barack Obama was elected our next President.

I went to the DNCC where my partner was a delegate. I put up signs at our house, talked to our neighbors, installed the iPhone app so I could phonebank from my own phone, and blogged like crazy on Bilerico Project, Huffington Post and the LGBT for Obama blog.

The LGBT community supported the Democratic ticket. We supported change and hope and equality. We supported our fellow Americans as we reached for the stars. And we won. Today is the day.

But I'm not joyful; I feel robbed. Americans didn't support the LGBT community. Instead, we've been slapped back into place with marriage amendments in Florida and Arizona and an anti-gay adoption law in Arkansas. The ultimate insult, the California marriage amendment to strip LGBT couples of their right to marry, looks poised to pass even though opponents rattle lawsuit sabers and refuse to concede until all absentee and provisional ballots are counted.

I don't feel hope; I feel despair.

I'm Angry

I'm angry with Americans for transcending race, but not sexual orientation.

I'm angry with Barack Obama and Joe Biden for allowing their words to be used for anti-gay robocalls with their waffling on our relationships. While they corrected the record, it was too little too late.

2007-11-05Rosie.jpgI'm angry that Rosie O'Donnell and her partner, Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell, didn't donate any money to fight amendments in California, Arizona, or even Florida - the state they supposedly loved so much. They take gay money with their cruise ships, but I guess it's too much to expect them to give back to the community that's always backed them.

I'm angry that Democrats paid for anti-gay campaign mailers in Indiana and refused to even comment about it. No apologies. No explanation.

I'm angry with Hollywood celebrities, producers, directors and other insiders who are as gay as the day is long, but didn't give to protect the community. I'm angry with liberal straight celebrities who kept quiet on this one while screaming their damned heads off about fur, the environment or whatever disease they've decided to champion only to drop after the cameras have gone.

I'm angry that some in our community stooped to gay baiting in an attempt to defeat closeted California Congressman David Drier. I'm angry that Democrats did the same thing to closeted Senator Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

I'm angry that our community put so much energy and cash into California's marriage amendment while giving the other states short shrift. Arizona was the darling of state and national groups as the first to defeat an amendment, but this time they struggled to get noticed.

villian.pngI'm angry that amendment supporters cheated to pass their discriminatory legislation. From Arizona's state legislature trickery to Florida's illegal television ads - from California's Obama robocalls and fliers to the Mormon millions sent to Arizona and California so the church could impose their will.

I'm angry that the first substantive post fellow contributor Pam Spaulding put up on her own blog, Pam's House Blend, was a "Don't blame the blacks" post to deflect the fact that African-Americans in California overwhelmingly supported Prop 8. I'm angry that some in our community will still blame African-Americans.

I'm angry at being taken for granted by the Democrats. I'm angry I have to say, "But they're better than the Republicans!" to excuse homophobia in the Party. I'm tired of being expected to support the Party's agenda at the expense of my community's.

I'm angry.

Yet, I'm resigned to continue beating my head against the wall. I will fight on. I believe in change and hope and equality and if my fellow citizens don't want to share them with me and mine, I'll keep fighting until they do.

I will not give up. I will not quit. I will not stop or pause or waver.

I will keep hope. Barack Obama won the election. Change will come.

obamamichellebidenjill_nov5.jpg

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Reformed Ascetic | November 5, 2008 4:35 PM

I will not give up. I will not quit. I will not stop or pause or waver.

They do not own my hope. They do not own the future.

Thanks Bil.

I feel the same way today Bil. I should be thrilled, Obama WON, we turned Indiana BLUE. But yet it's bitter. It's like we're not allowed into the victory party. I was one of those couples who got married in California. I haven't even gotten my official certificate yet and it's already tainted. On a day when I should be bursting with happiness, I'm instead depressed and sad. I had started to believe and started to hope. Heart broken on election day once again.

Anthony in Nashville | November 5, 2008 4:43 PM

I understand the frustration, but the fact that so many people are shocked by the results of the marriage initiatives makes me wonder if perhaps we assumed we were more "accepted" than has proven to be true.

Media representation has done a great job of making us feel like we have "arrived," but political gains are made through sacrifice and struggle, and in my opinion the LGBT community didn't use enough grass roots tactics and was relying on Hollywood support. It's almost as if we just assumed we would win.

I'm angry too.

I'm a college student in a straight relationship.
By college student, I mean "busy studying all the time, 2 cats and myself to feed, saving quarters so I can do laundry every so often, paying tuition through scholarships" college student, not "daddy is paying for my apartment and tuition so I can party" college student.

I gave money to fight prop 8. Not much, but more than a months worth of groceries and gas and electric bills.
I gave my time putting up signs, passing out flyers, putting stickers on people and walls, going door to door campaigning in a conservative part of the county, etc.

Money and time are things I definitely do not have in excess. I'm angry that others that believed that this prop was wrong on so many levels didn't bother to help out.

I'm mostly angry that people would still be so bigoted in 2008 to want to institutionalize discrimination against a portion of our population. In true blue California. That saddens me to no end.

Has Ellen talked about this development on her show?

I second this. All of this. I *do* have some happy coming out of Obama's election but I am so. so. PISSED about all this anti-gay bullshit that I can't even articulate it.

I'm kind peed off that I haven't heard one word on the News about Prop 8, sure there must be some, but I have to "Search!" online to find any.

I guess maybe in my paper tomorrow I might find a little story about it on page......oh I don't know....page 25?

No on 8 hasn't conceded yet. The Sec of State hasn't certified the race. There are still 3 or 4 million absentee/provisional ballots not counted.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights just announced that they would be suing to urge "the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group - lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first."

"According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first." "

Ah, shouldn't this have been litigated *before* the campaign? (I'm not asking you to speak for these groups, Bil) I was wondering why it didn't take a super-majority to amend a constitution.

Frankly, I don't believe in an initiative process at all. If it were possible, and I could think of an answer for the incongruity, I'd have a ballot initiative to eliminate initiatives.

It's disgraceful to vote on rights.

I'd imagine they were saving it for this point. Ace in the hole and whatnot...

This morning my photography professor was going on and on and on about how wonderful it was. I piped up and said unless you live in California, Arizona, Arkansas, or Florida it's just great. Nobody had a clue, what's worse was that nobody was even interested in finding out what I was talking about.

We're all hurt and angry. We need to guard against letting this anger paralyze and eat us up.

Bil,

Thanks for this. I do feel like we've been thrown under the bus today.

It's so much worse to lose like this in the context of an otherwise progressive victory. At least when the Republicans win big and we lose, we can say that the overall context was bad.

Here, all we're left with is an inverted Sally Field quote:

"They hate us, they really hate us!"

Thanks Cindy. It sure feels like they hate us, doesn't it?

What is it with California that they have so many propositions and amendments for EVERY SINGLE PERSON to vote on? Aren't we a republic that elects senators and congress to make such decisions? Since when does the majority vote on minority rights? We can't win.. if we go thru the courts.. then they are activist judges, if we go thru the legislature... then Arnold vetos.. so let's let every yahoo vote. I don't seem to remember casting a vote on whether he and Maria could marry, why can people vote on mine?

Let's hope those absentees ballots make a difference.

Pam's apologist post was definitely disappointing. Had that 69-70% been reduced to at least 50%, the numbers would have been MUCH closer.

Most of all, though, I feel betrayed how Los Angeles came primarily in favor of the proposition. Los Angeles. Milk the queers dry of their contribution to the development of that city so that all the heterosexuals can stab them in the back and remain with the goods. Filth, all of them.

The African American community's hypocrisy disgusts me. Years of having their own raped and sentenced to death because they defended themselves from rape, and what do they learn? NOTHING. And of course, nobody calls them on it because if you're not black, you just don't understand the issue, right? Oh, wait, black gays like Luther Vandross continue to be repugnant cowards. They complain about the gay community neglecting them, and yet many of them come up with terms like "same-gender loving" because they don't want to be associated to the community out of their deeply ingrained misogynistic notions. God forbid a black man be thought of as an effeminate white devil. The Democratic party stands indifferent to the African American section's balking at the inclusion of sexual orientation under quotas, so they give us a separate, weaker section, called "goals". No sanctions, as opposed to the other categories should they not be met.

Faggots, the only minority that really isn't a minority and is acceptable to bash.

Forgive me if I don't cheer for a president responsible in part for the passage of Prop 8. Better than McCain? Yes. A Bill Clinton repeat? Yes.

"Give him a chance". I'm emigrating; you can stay here and be disappointed. When the time comes, I will make sure to slap you to wake you up to the reality of the gay rights movement. This Hell has been created thanks to all of you complacent partisan queers. I don't know who I hate more, the bigots who passed the initiatives, or these soulless gay Democrats who sold their community short. Get a fucking spine and demand standards.

Anthony in Nashville | November 5, 2008 9:57 PM

Maybe I'm reading your comments wrong, but it sounds to me that you expect automatic black support for gay issues.

Have you done any anti-racist work or organizing? Support is a two way street.

Lots of gay people are pointing the finger at black folks for Prop 8, but my experience is that the white gay community holds on to white privilege as tightly as straights. Look at the major LGBT organizations, media, or your local club/bar scene.

Can you say black LGBTs have really been integrated into the larger gay community? I think Noah's Arc had the highest ratings on Logo, and it got cancelled after two seasons!

I'm not giving closeted black gays a pass for staying in the closet or living "on the DL." But if you don't actively work to build bonds with a community, you should not expect them to have your back. The gay "leadership" needs to take a look in the mirror to see what they could have done better.

Why do you assume that nothing has been done. Is it the same as with white evangelicals and baptists?

Maybe, just maybe, things have been done; they just have not changed a thing, like Soulforce's attempts to reason with the AFA/Dobson ilk.

You will face little success when dealing with religious zealotry. Sadly, black culture is heavily straddled by it. That's where I'll join on your parade of crucifying white men as the root of all evil; of all things, why did we have to infect them with Christianity?

wow, that is one of the most offensive posts that i've ever read. how are your bigoted comments any different from the racists that complain dangerous black men who commit nothing but murders.

are african-americans suddenly not a part of the gay community? does my work against prop 8 suddenly not count?

i get that you're angry, but that is no excuse for hatred.

Anthony in Nashville | November 6, 2008 12:15 AM

I'm not angry, nor am I saying that all white gays are racist.

I am saying that the mainstream gay community often fails to implement diversity when it comes to media portrayals and leadership positions.

I will give you an example of what I'm talking about. Here in Nashville, we just opened a LGBT cultural center. I went to the opening festivities and did not see any people of color on their board. The gay news program here has had maybe five non white guests in the two years I've been watching.

Some of that is due to a lack of willingness of black gays (in this case) to "stand up and be counted." But I know of instances where African-Americans have tried to be more involved but were not made to feel welcome.

Expected and promptly dismissed. I don't give a damn about what comes off as offensive to you. Apparently, criticism of a cultural malaise translates into racism. I'll quote Inigo Montoya: "You keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

i get it. it's everyone, but you. nobody understands, and the world has gone mad. black people, once again, are the source of all society's ills.

I'm noticing a pattern from your comments here, Lucrece...

If someone disagrees with you and makes a reasonable point, you dismiss them out of hand. You use the same "critical thinking skills" that George W uses - you're either with me or you're against me.

Sometimes, instead of dismissing out of hand those who challenge and disagree with you, you could learn something by simply engaging in a civil conversation.

You can do that, can't you? George can't, but I have higher expectations for you as a Projector.

Read my comment again, Bil. I dismissed him because the substance--or lack thereof-- of his comment was "OMG, racist". If you're so presumptuous about who I am as a person, without even knowing me, so as to sentence me a racist, I won't bother. That's not a point; that's ad hominem.

My point wasn't that African Americans are the end-all, be-all of Prop 8's passage. That comment was about my frustration with communities' utter inability to learn from history. I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the statistics on Hispanics, but I still felt sad that they still supported the measure as a majority, even with such blatant prejudiced sentiments being handed out in this day and age. Lou Dobbs, anyone?

If someone opens a comment on my post with "you're a racist" and "you're offensive", what do you expect me to answer, Bil? I do not have power over what people consider "offensive". All I could possibly say would be "I disagree", but that would change nothing. This person didn't like something in my post, so they had to put labels on me. It's not going to change unless I tell them "You know what? You're right, I'm wrong; forgive me for my sins!" In order for that to happen, however, I need to feel genuinely that I'm wrong. So far, the person hasn't convinced me.

When he leaves the ad hominems behind, I will be inclined to discussion. until then, I'm not gonna play the game of absolving myself from personal attacks.

How am I not supposed to view your comments about african-americans as offensive? How are the comments below not an indictment of African-American gays?

"Oh, wait, black gays like Luther Vandross continue to be repugnant cowards. They complain about the gay community neglecting them, and yet many of them come up with terms like "same-gender loving" because they don't want to be associated to the community out of their deeply ingrained misogynistic notions."

The African-American community is just like any other. It's members have a variety of interests and beliefs, many of them conflicting. Why are you so quick to stereotype a race based upon a segment's actions. It's as if your comments, along with those of Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan, want to evolve the old stereotype of the dangerous black thug into dangerous black homophobe.

Again, I ask you, are African-American gays suddenly not a part of the wider gay community?

I never implied such. I simply laugh at the claim that all the issues plaguing the black community concerning its deep-seated homophobia are caused by some mean ol' white gay establishment. The black community is more homophobic because white gays don't reach to it. Prop 8 lost because we gays did nothing; we failed. All false, if you were to ask the Prop 8 volunteers. They all worked incredibly hard, and for people to go around telling them that they were ineffectual, in a campaign that raised the most money and outreach than any other gay cause in history, is "dickish", to borrow from Alex's indignant vocabulary.

The black community has issues that need to be resolved if progress is to be made, or at least to address the rivaling AIDS rates in African Americans with their African counterparts. If you take criticism as an indictment, and you find it offensive, I don't know what to do for you. I won't cushion your feelings.

Black gays are very much a part of the gay community. That is why we need you to stand with the rest. Ebony magazine and its counterparts? They haven't covered a SINGLE article concerning homosexuality in the black community. Morehouse College is still a bastion of homophobia. And yet, we've yet to see any significant standing up of black gays on the issues. Instead, the few who muster the will to come out, place the blame of their oppression from within the community on the other gays who do not help them. Newsflash, this community sadly works in factions. I've yet to see many organizations that cooperate with each other. If you expect success based on assistance from others, you are in for disappointment.

Anthony in Nashville | November 6, 2008 8:54 AM

Lucrece, I think you are being overly dramatic in your responses to my posts and not even trying to have a discussion.

I probably won't continue to post on this thread but your comment "I don't give a damn about what comes off as offensive to you" is a good illustration of the kind of attitude that keeps the gay community from being able to build bridges.

It would have been closer, but it still wouldn't have been under 50%.

I'm wondering why Mormons, charismatics, and evangelicals escape your criticism that Black people receive. The exit polling didn't ask religious affiliation, but something tells me that some of those numbers would have been worse.

Here's another take. In Arkansas, exit polling indicates that whites were more likely to have voted for their absurd ban on gay foster parenting and adoption than black people were.

It's a parallel of the data from CA, but using the CA data you conclude that there is an inherent problem with American Black culture/people that is so deep outreach can't overcome it. Why doesn't the AR data lead you to believe that there is an inherent problem with white culture/people that can't be solved with outreach?

AZ didn't even have enough black voters to get polling data on their voters - it was passed mostly by white and "latino" voters. Again, why doesn't that lead you to the same conclusions the other data led you to about black people?

I mean, if you want to give up, then fine. But most queers in the US are stuck here and are stuck working with the communities and cultures that exist and have to work to make the best of it. Saying that outreach won't work is the equivalent of giving up.

In the end, though, comparing not being able to get married and having to get DP'd instead to getting raped? Or maybe rape was a metaphor for racism, slavery, and Jim Crow? That's a joke. There are horrors in LGBT history as well, but prop 8 passing isn't on that level.

Just because I didn't include them in that particular post does not mean I do not blame them. Did you read the post that followed after it? I stated that the problem was how enslaved black culture was by the church. Read my comment history if you can. You'll see the bitter takes on religion that make quite a portion of my posts.

As for outreach, my conditions were that the community would be hard to reach as long as The Church maintained hegemony. Once you start spreading a more secular viewpoint-- and they embrace it-- you will have some chance at building bridges.

I'm not saying outreach is impossible; I'm saying that on the conditions it is being built on, it will fail. The underlying issue of religious zealotry and misogyny need to be addressed before some "white gay male" that is often seen as talking without knowing what he's saying can have successful dialogue. Dialogue with a generalized audience. I know there are some receptive audiences, like the NAACP. The organization doesn't seem to have much sway, though. All the endorsements and declarations you saw them making on papers in California, and what was the result? The pastors were listened to, not them. As for outreach to white evangelicals and baptists, read further posts down here. I'm of the same opinion with overtly religious people regardless of race. When religion has such a grasp over your decision-making and thought process, discussion won't work.

As for the supposed comparison: There was none. That was not a comparison. Those were actual events. Female slaves being executed for defending themselves against rapists. These are vivid legacies of discrimination that black people hold. And yet, with all the abhorrent history on the treatment of their ancestors-- and it being still so close in time to them-- they could not reach to it to make a decision? Religious dogma overrode such abominable memories? Again, my feelings may at first appear to be anger, but that's more of a reaction to the disappointment with so many minorities' failure to learn from their situation.

I will admit to the point on Arkansas's ban exit polling. I'm wondering, though, was there a sufficient sample of black voters? The figures in California held weight because they were highly representative of the population due to high voter turn-out. I'm also hesitant on accepting the parallel. Voting to eliminate marriage, and voting to ban adoption aren't very related in concept. Perhaps the higher number of black people experiencing broken homes due to financial stability, along with the drug trade wreaking havoc on family life, provided black voters with far more empathy for children seeking a home.

Thanks Lucrece, for proving my point. I actually had you in mind when I wrote those sentences about some folks still blaming the African-American community and Pam having to put up a post about it.

*shakes head and walks away*

Chad Hastings | November 6, 2008 5:24 PM

First of all the CNN report of which you speak reported no more than 10% of actual black votes on 11/4. If that 70% is correct only 7% voted YES on the measure. It is statistically impossible for that 7% to have had any impact on the 52/47 divide in the vote as they barely register as a percentage of the vote.

I am so sick and tired of reading these RACIST headlines suggesting blacks are to blame for this bigotry. First of all it was a white measure brought on by white people. White people that pushed the issue in black churches and on the uneducated.

Look at the whole "Exit poll" before you start calling blacks out and saying you are "disgusted" with us. That IS RACIST.

What does race have to do with sexual orientation though? That may sound naive, but they are exclusive things.

Congratulations on electing a president who believes on religious grounds that marriage is between a man and a woman.

As do 70% of his core supporters.

That's real change.

And in Hamtramck, it was the Black and Religious votes that overturned existing GLBT rights, so it's now quite OK to discriminate against GLBTs once more.

RE: Propositions that affirm institutionalization of discrimination against LGBT

(I'm cross-posting this piece to a few LGBT blogs)

I'm elated by the election results.

But I'm bummed out by the results of the various propositions -- Amendment 2 in Florida, 102 in Arizona, h8te in California, and Arkansas' Measure 1 Gay Adoption Ban.

Disclaimer: I'm MtF and heterosexual, and all my paperwork is changed, so the marriage bans don't really affect me, and if I were lesbian, I could just leave the legal stuff undone. But I gave over $300 to defeat Prop 8 because I believe in basic principles of fairness and equality, even though the Barney-Franks-John-Aravosis-Chris-Crains-Janice-Raymonds-Julie-Bindels feel that I and my trans-brothers and -sisters don't count in equality.

The haters often talk about resenting having LGBT-anything 'shoved down their throats.'

I think that is the key. It WILL take shoving equality for all down their throats. It will take an LGBT Selma-Montgomery-Mississippi-burning before LGBT equality is 'shoved down their throats.' It will take the spilling of blood, or, at least, the thorough documentation and reporting of every drop of LGBT blood spilled in hatred.

May I illustrate? In grade school and junior high, I was a bully-magnet due to my inherent and ultimately un-hide-able femininity. Until 6th grade, I ran from confrontations, but I was caught and teased-tortured-terrorized-beaten anyway.

One rainy day, I couldn't avoid the bully clique as they walked by me in the crowded hall during recess. As each passed, they would sneak-punch me -hard-. The clique's low man on the ladder got 'brave', and began wailing on me openly. I lost it and, in a focused rage, turned him from aggressor to aggressed. It took two teachers to pull me of him.

For two years, I did not back down from fights. I avoided them if possible, but if the opponent 'insited', I obliged. I won at least two thirds of the fights. Those I lost, the 'winner' paid for wit some sort of mark. "The pussy gave you a fat lip!" "But I gave him a black eye..." "But the pussy GAVE YOU A FAT LIP!!!! (ha ha ha...)"

I received a spanking from the principal for each fight. It taught me that the principal was a hypocrite. I also learned that I could not trust the other adults to protect me, or even take my side in the altercations. I believe some secretly felt that an effeminate boy 'deserved' the attention, and were secretly hoping it would 'beat the gay out' of me.

After two years, the fights and challenges finally ended. So did the name-calling, and a majority of people actually showed me respect. Those that thought otherwise knew to keep it to themselves.

When we advanced from junior high to high school, I appeared instantly on the radars of the bullies from the other junior high schools, and experienced three weeks of probing from them.

But the probing fell off and disappeared during the fourth week. A friend told me years later the bullies from my school had told the new bullies about my performance in junior high, and the new bullies decided I wasn't worth it.

But my family moved. I had to fight for 3 months at the new high school. But it stopped. (We moved one more time, but by then I could make friends by waving a pack of Zig-Zag rolling papers. It was a relief not to have to fight...)

-----

I wish we lived in a world where LGBT folk were accepted by a majority, but the results of this election show that a clear majority of heterosexual, cisgendered believe that they have the right to exclude LGBT from privileges they take for granted.

To many, we LGBT are the 'devil' that they have successfully shouted at. They have used 'LGBT' to define the 'bad' things they believe they are not. By way of illustration, I know an acquaintance who, although he is poor, has a substance abuse problem, and has been in jail for his anti-social problems, thanks God he's not black or female (or, god forbid, both.) He sees himself as somehow automatically much better off than me, although I make 4 times what he makes per annum.

Like the civil rights movements of the early 60’s, the public will need to see the violence and discrimination wrought by the hatred and bigotry directed at LGBT. One thing we must do is become exceptional at documenting, cataloging and disseminating incidents of discrimination and attacks on LGBT persons. Look at what the video camera and YouTube did for the election, by showing McCain supporters wallowing in their bigotry at McCain rallies. Imagine what the images of, say, yahoos vandalizing a lesbian couple’s house would do for passage of the hate-crimes bill.

We have to take our rightful place in society.

Asking nicely for it will not work.

They are keeping it from us.

It is ours.

Hazumu

Thank you for explaining how I've been feeling all day.

i am angry, but even more so, i am extremely sad.

i suppose i under estimated bigotry and prejudice.

how could americans support laws that deny equality? i mean, i know about in the past, but this is 2008. everytime i think about it, i want to vomit. literally.

soooooo....you are not alone.....

Pam Spaulding | November 6, 2008 12:22 AM

I'm pretty offended at being labeled an apologist for those homophobic black voters. After all 1) Last time I checked, I'm still black and gay and would have lost my rights in CA as well.

2) Regular readers of my blog can attest that I have been extremely hard on the black homobigots who work to take my rights away since I began the Blend, and have expressed my frustration with closeted blacks who enable the homophobia to continue from the closet as the pastor damns them from the pulpit. Welcome to the party of being a dual minority (or triple if you count being female).

People are seeing what you they to see in my essay - "blame whitey." That's absurd. though I understand the human desire to find a scapegoat for what is a horrible outcome. What we saw yesterday is a result of an issue that has gone unaddressed for a long time -- and the LGBT community was well aware of it.

As far as outreach is concerned, the LGBT community seems to have no problem doing outreach to other groups initially resistant to our civil equality message -- take seniors, for instance. They were instrumental in turning back the first AZ amendment, and were targeted as crucial, even though many certainly had negative views on equality at the outset. Doing door-to-door outreach and engaging at many levels was not a problem.

Why is the religious black community, which is in general political alignment with many LGBTs, written off as monolithic community that is wholly intransigent on our issues? Not all blacks are homophobes, not all of them are religious, and not all religious blacks are homophobes.

The fact is, I'm addressing the treatment of the demographic is problematic. It's a vicious cycle if our movement doesn't think any can be moved, doesn't try, and then is angry when there is a result like this.

It's a thorny issue, no doubt, but running away from it isn't the answer, any more than saying all white evangelicals cannot be reached. We know that isn't true either, particularly with younger ones.

People are seeing what you they to see in my essay - "blame whitey." That's absurd. though I understand the human desire to find a scapegoat for what is a horrible outcome. What we saw yesterday is a result of an issue that has gone unaddressed for a long time -- and the LGBT community was well aware of it.

The desire to find a scapegoat is what got our community into this mess to start with. To continue to propagate the lunacy is beyond my grasp. Where does the circle end?

Pam is now on her site telling the gay community to find it's own movement...we are not a civil rights movement. I think the black community has made it perfectly clear, we're not a civil rights movement. We're perverts who have made a choice to go against God's teachings and nature. Unlike the black community, we have a choice...I guess.

I'm over Pam.

And to all the apologists in this thread that keep harping about the gay community reaching out to the black community...can you please tell me what the black community has done to even begin to reach out to us? We may not always be perfect, but we've certainly reached out to the black community more than they have reached out to us.

The NAACP has helped with many legal and policy battles important to the LGBT community, many leaders of our movement are African American, many straight African Americans speak out on our behalf, etc. Each side has done a pretty poor job reaching out to one another, but that doesn't mean that absolutely no work has been done.

But I don't see how you're reading Pam's post. She's worked tirelessly for this movement and did not say anything about giving up on the gay rights movement.

I'm with Bil, I'm more mad that she had to put it up than what she said in it. But there are so many white racists in the LGBT community that we all knew that the queers were going to look for someone to blame and we knew who it was going to be.

Because, on the facts, blaming black people for all or even a majority of this loss is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. And saying that we should stop "reaching out" (i.e. "trying") isn't going to help anything.

Pam Spaulding | November 6, 2008 7:30 AM

Thanks, Alex. I don't know how he's reading my post either; perhaps he is referring to another diary that I didn't pen.

I'm calling for a re-examination of the strategies (and elements of human nature) that led us to this place. I have no interest in destroying any institutions, only raising awareness that we ignore any group of people wholesale at our peril. There are some who could be persuaded in our direction if the effort was expended to educate.

In fact, the NAACP officially opposes amendments and supports marriage equality; I spoke directly with the new head Ben Jealous about this recently. That does not mean, however, at the grassroots, that there isn't a hell of a hill to climb to educate the average religious social conservative black voter.

Based on the vitriol and content of some of the comments floating around out there, the reactions are visceral and only confirm to me the level of resistance to engage on the topic of race and the LGBT community in a productive manner in the heat of this moment. I'm going to be the optimist that some of these angry voices will choose to redirect those energies to this gauntlet just thrown down by the right.

Pam is now on her site telling the gay community to find it's own movement...we are not a civil rights movement.

Say whaaaaaaat? Link me, 'cuz I sure as hell don't see that over there myself!

You p.c Queers need to get your head out of the sand. Yes Black people played a large part in passage of Prop8....are they some delicate wall flower that cannot take any criticism? I am mad as hell and don't feel very chipper about Obama winning. We will get nothing from him. He is weak and has shown in the past his readiness to throw those he doesn't need anymore under the bus..i.e Rev. Wright. Saying these things is disappointing to me because I stood in line 2 hrs. yesterday to cast my vote for this man.

Welcome to minority status, people. Sucks to be hated for who you are, have people strip civil rights coverage from you, cut you out of legislation you need or use you as a political football doesn't it?

Think about this day the next time someone in the GLB community suggests cutting transgender people out of ENDA.

Blaming Black people for the Prop 8 loss isn't going to do anything except piss off your African-American GLBT allies who have stood shoulder to shoulder with you calling out the bigotry of African-American hate preachers.

If you want to blame someone for the loss, you can start with the people responsible for putting it on the ballot in the first place: The Catholic Church, Focus on the Family, the Traditional Values Coalition and the Mormon Church.

If you want to blame someone for the loss, you can start with the people responsible for putting it on the ballot in the first place: The Catholic Church, Focus on the Family, the Traditional Values Coalition and the Mormon Church.

Best sentence in this entire thread. I couldn't agree more.

AMEN!!! You go girl.

And I have to add that at this time when monumental history is unfolding, to see this hate erupt within the LGBT community is breaking my heart.

As an African American who has worked tirelessly to keep our Prides from splintering into seperate Prides [Jersey City Pride, produced by JCLGO.org, is still a multi-ethnic effort -- for now] I never wanted to believe that the racial division inside the LGBT community was as deep as many claimed it was.

However on many boards today, the comments are truly saddening. I won't let any of this vitriol get me down. I won't let these divide and conquer tactics cause me to look at my gay brethen who happen to be white as the enemy.

This is nonsense. We're better than this. Obama gave a speech that the entire world listened to and it included us in it. No President has ever EVER called for a place at the table for GAYS. Yes, we took a lose, but got a helluva consolation prize which I believe will soon bear fruit.

So relax people. Do whatever it is you do to calm yourself. Deep breathes. Lets not turn on each other and act like the partisan bigots we loath, because that's what they want us to do.

Have no doubt. If we remain calm and unflappable like the man we elected -- WE WILL WIN.

Pam Spaulding | November 6, 2008 7:45 AM
Think about this day the next time someone in the GLB community suggests cutting transgender people out of ENDA.

...Blaming Black people for the Prop 8 loss isn't going to do anything except piss off your African-American GLBT allies who have stood shoulder to shoulder with you calling out the bigotry of African-American hate preachers.

100% there with you, Monica. I'm perplexed that my "gay card" is suddenly revoked because I raise the issue of race, communication and effective advocacy. I certainly wasn't thinking about race when I personally gave to No on 8 and did fundraising to defeat it as well.

As you said, it's incredible that the finger-pointing so easily goes where it has when the fundamentalists, flush with cash and help from the Church of LDS made this happen.

Let me get this straight blaming Blacks=wrong, blaming ourselves (victims)=is correct. That is some messed up reasoning there folks. If you guys want, go ahead and blame yourselves...that is why we lose and will continue to lose because we have weak, wussy mentalities such as many displayed here. To damn weak to stand up for yourself.

So what's your angle? It seems like you're advocating complacency, telling us to blame black people, whine and bitch and moan because that's not the wussy thing to do.

Well, there are those of us who are going to work against this. "Blame black people" isn't a strategy for success, so you can leave that mentality at the door if you want to help.

I think all of you are insane.

Do ANY of you have a serious problem with taxation without representation? Or do you really think you DESERVE this legal inequity?

After MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of hours, dollars, signs, and street protests - HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU? Not angry enough yet?

One TOWLEROAD reader recently refered to me a "One Note Protest" (OK - points for cleverness), but at least I am able to control the power I DO have, my tax money, and keep it out of the hands of a society whose laws officially hate me. This is not to "amass a great resistance" (but it COULD happen); it is to live as a free man and not be a slave to unconstitutional taxation. You have every right to WAIT 20-30 years for the civil rights you deserve NOW, but don't expect every gay person to wait with you OR be tax compliant.

Steve, London, UK | November 6, 2008 6:50 PM

I know it's of little consolation, but I feel for you. The thought of so many thousands of marriages being dissolved because fundamentalist Christians disapprove is infuriating, yet heart-breaking. The people who cannot evolve their moral understanding of the world because of a book are living in the age of dinosaurs, although obviously dinosaurs never existed.

Just remember that every battle we fight from a positive moral stance, win or lose, makes us stronger and takes us a step closer towards the eventual victory. We all know that eventually every loving relationship will be accepted; lets just hope it doesn't take a hundred years to get there.

No I am not telling you to blame anyone..Just open your eyes! "The truth is rarely pure and never simple"-Oscar Wilde. As long as we bury our heads in the collective sand, and do not know who voted against us and why then this will happen again. I agree that many African Americans fought, worked and voted against prop. 8. What irkes me is the way many prominent African American bloggers were quick to make excuses, and try to shift blame onto the entire GLBT as a whole. We did not do enough was the mantra. You know when you just get sucker punched one tends not to be very understanding. This should have been a joyous celebration for all of us, but it wasn't for millions of us.

Sad for America | November 6, 2008 7:59 PM

People please stop playing the blame game, we do not need to fight among ourselves, that only helps the other side to divide and weaken us.

My partner and I lived in San Francisco for 20+ years and sadly we moved to red state Kansas where we have had first hand experiance in dealing with the unwinable marriage amendment battle.

Stop wasting time on blame, no one is able to stop a majority from discrimination against a minority except the USA supreme court.

We have to hope Obama appoints well and we need to stop wasting money fighting these amendments at the ballot box and take the money to fight them in court.

No one person or group is to blame for this unfortunate loss, we are fighting against a life time of misinformation about our community and we must keep demanding our rights to be heard loud and clear.

Keep faith in yourselves and remain supportive of each other and as one great leader once said " We shall overcome"

The marriage battle is a new struggle and we need to focus on the Government passing ENDA, Mathew Shepard Hate crime bill and repeal Dont Ask Dont Tell. Once we can be seen as a protected class of citizens the other things will fall into place.

I have done my last for the African American community, they have lost my trust.


African-American voters receive mailers with Barack Obama supposedly supporting Prop 8

http://laist.com/2008/11/04/despite_obama_saying_no_yes_on_8_co.php