Bil Browning

Comment of the Week: Claude Wynne on Queer Riff Raff

Filed By Bil Browning | July 24, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Claude Wynne, internalized racism

Thumbnail image for comment-of-week.jpgGuest blogger Erica Chus's post, "Standing with Queer 'Riff Raff'," she compares the outcast queens of Stonewall with modern day's poor urban youth. Some contributors, like Claude Wynne, disagree:

This is one barely middle class black man who is having none of this. This is why many people vote against their interests because they associate liberals with defense of bad behavior. Poverty is no excuse for this kind of behavior. My mother's generation was a lot worse off but they did not behave like that. I ran away from home at 15 to the Village in NY, 2 years after Stonewall, but I did not behave like that. I joined the Gay Activists Alliance and became a gay activist in NY and SF.

If some people no longer have "Stonewall values" maybe its because so much has changed since then. "Assimilation" wasn't possible back then because we were so universally despised by almost everyone so people adopted a defiant attitude like a kid who has something taken away who says "I didn't want that anyway."

Everyone, regardless of race or economic circumstances, has a right to a safe neighborhood. If people are going to come to a neighborhood to party they need to show some respect for the people who live there. Just because the LGBT community hasn't solved all the nation's problems doesn't mean that we have to put up with barbaric behavior. So what if the particular instance in the video is black on black violence. Do you really think they would have treated a white person any better? White people are criticized for not caring about black on black crime, now they are told it doesn't concern them. And the vast majority of middle class gay men are not availing themselves of under age hustlers.

Incidents like these and the wimpy responses by some "progressives" only serve to fuel racism. Part of the problem is the acceptance of a part of Hip-Hop culture which glamorizes thuggish and criminal behavior. I am not a thug. I don't want to be a thug. I hate thugs. Thuggish behavior is antithetical to the LGBT community and everything we stand for. I can't believe I have to argue the point on an LGBT website.

What do you think? What are the differences between the "sexual perverts" of the 50s and today's "thugs?"

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I already commented on the original thread. I don't condone or excuse criminal behavior, but some ppl need help getting their lives together, and the LGBT community is doing lousy job putting those resources into place. Unfortunately, the only sector that *IS* making such programs available on large scale are the fundamentalist evangelicals, and that is their mechanism of choice for perpetrating their corrupted form of Jesus-brainwashing. If we want to counter their brainwashing then we need to provide alternatives to their tactics. Now, that's what I think and I'm outta here.

Paige Listerud | July 30, 2011 6:22 PM

I couldn't have said it better.