During Netroots Nation I learned some interesting info. About 36% of Twitter is comprised of black people and many of them are LGBT; and many popular Youtube partners are also black LGBT people.
That's some great news to hear about our community. However, there is a kink in this chain. While many black LGBT people are utilizing the social media quite often, the subject matter is a little... well, lackluster. The majority of the topics covered are entertainment and gossip. I have seen so many videos, tweets and posts from the Atlanta Housewives to Nicki Minaj's wigs, and a small amount on voter disenfranchisement or stop and frisk. If we can get overly passionate about Tami Roman and Chris Brown, we can also get serious about Cece McDonald and passing ENDA in 2012.
Now, please don't get me wrong, I love pop culture and gossip, but when there's so much happening within the black and gay communities it would be nice for our voices to be heard. So often, we complain that we are not present at the table. Well, if we are not showing any interest, we won't get invited.
So, I'm challenging black LGBT bloggers, vloggers and twitterers to add a little more meat in their daily dish. Besides talking about Beyonce or Basketball wives, please try to do this:
- Give us your views on the high numbers of violence towards LGBT people of color.
- Tweet about the anti-gay bullying in schools.
- Speak out on the LGBT achievements in your communities.
- Share your views on President Obama's support of LGBT rights or NAACP's endorsement of marriage equality.
- Respond to the resistance of some black leaders within the community.
- Tell everyone that black is beautiful and it's also gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
I would love to see more of our voices telling our stories and providing the truth to the public. Instead of the media wondering, "What the Black Gay Folks Think," and running to the three or four gay black spokespeople, they will see and hear strong messages from many within the community.
Also, visibility is key. The more of us talking about major social issues, the more we become a solid resource. With more of us talking about things like: religion, politics, health and coming out, our community will have somewhere to go to feel safe and supported.
We have a responsibility to our communities. We need to make sure we are informing everyone about these social issues. With the tremendous influence we have in social media, we can truly make a powerful difference as engaged LGBT people of color.
(Social media clipart via Bigstock)