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Jun 02 2012

Stop Christian Fascist Homophobes

By Sikivu Hutchinson

A video clip featuring a little white boy singing “I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong…ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven” in an Indiana church has gone viral.  The boy finishes his joyful noise to a thunderous standing ovation, macho high fives, and raucous laughter from the cornfed Americana congregation.  The video concludes with verses from First Corinthians citing how idolators, fornicators, and the “effeminate” will not inherit God’s kingdom. Homophobe Christian fascist culture terrorists pollute the minds of little children and call it the love of Jesus.  They slaughter human rights, spawn a new generation of jack boots and call it morality, God, country, and liberty all wrapped up in putrid red, white and blue.

On another tip, President Obama’s recent endorsement of same sex marriage signals a small transition in mainstream black perceptions about homosexuality but no one should get too happy. It is still a drop in the bucket vis-à-vis substantive policy change that would dismantle economic and social discrimination against LGBT people and their families; reverse the cycle of homelessness amongst queer black youth and protect their lives in classrooms and schoolyards.  The fact that there are virtually no prominent out black LGBT celebs or national public figures underscores how toxically politicized homophobia and heterosexism are in African American communities.  In the black Bible Belts that spawned rumored closeted gay man Tyler Perry, no black LGBT celeb dare rear his or her head in neighborhoods where economic blight and capitalism contribute to there being a quota of five churches to every block.

As Son of Baldwin says about the closeting of actress/rapper Queen Latifah:

“Queen Latifah’s reticence to say publicly that she is a lesbian tells me a great deal about the complicated beast that is homophobia. It tells me that it doesn’t matter that everyone in the world already knows that she’s a lesbian. It doesn’t matter that she be all up in the hottest lesbian clubs in the nation. It doesn’t matter that there are pictures and video of her cuddled up on vacation with the on-again-off-again, same gender love of her life. It doesn’t matter that she headlines shows at gay-themed events. It doesn’t matter that heterosexual, cisgender people rarely have to worry about navigating the invisibilizing, perverting, and shaming of their love lives. Heterosexual, cisgender people never have to use the sham word “privacy” as a euphemism for complicity, cowardice, fear, inauthenticity, and loss.

The key is that as long as Latifah doesn’t SAY IT OUT LOUD and confirm it for her largely homophobic audience (whether the homophobia be casual or formal, benign or deadly), she will continue to earn millions of dollars in revenue and the adoration of the public. And that is, primarily, with few exceptions, the contract between the queer person and the homophobic society (ESPECIALLY for the queer of color): You will be rewarded for as long as you remain as small, loveless, and sexless as they imagine you.”

America the Beautiful.

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  1. 1
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Right the heck on. I’ve been saying something similar about Queen Latifah/Dana Owens for years. Choosing between being as successful professionally as you can be and being as loving as you can be or as honest as you can be? Those are some freakishly bad choices.

  2. 2
    Alyson Miers

    I’m disturbed at how small and young that little boy is in the video. He’s going to grow into one of those schoolyard bullies that make life hell for any child that fails to toe the gender line, and his parents are going to beat their fists on the floor and scream about “religious freedom” if/when the school administration disciplines him for bullying.

    Thoughts on Wanda Sykes?

    1. 2.1
      blackskeptics

      WS appears to be the only out black lesbian entertainer with something of a national profile but she’s not megawatt/mainstream like Latifah.

      1. Alyson Miers

        Is it significant that she’s a stand-up comedian, rather than a film actor? Does that make a difference in the audience she serves?

        On a completely different note, what should we make of Tracy Morgan?

        1. Steven Bollinger

          “Is it significant that she’s a stand-up comedian, rather than a film actor?”

          Wanda is a film and TV actor as well as a stand-up comedian, and if she’s like most comedians she’d rather be a movie star full time.

          Movies cost millions of dollars and generally are financed by people who are afraid of controversy. By comparison the financing for stand-up comedy is tiny, and there’s much less pressure on a comedian to conform to that nice bland empty phony mainstream approach behind those big Hollywood bucks.

  3. 3
    kennypo65

    Teaching a child to hate is the second worst thing one can do to him.

  4. 4
    Christoph Burschka

    The key is that as long as Latifah doesn’t SAY IT OUT LOUD and confirm it for her largely homophobic audience (whether the homophobia be casual or formal, benign or deadly), she will continue to earn millions of dollars in revenue and the adoration of the public. And that is, primarily, with few exceptions, the contract between the queer person and the homophobic society (ESPECIALLY for the queer of color): You will be rewarded for as long as you remain as small, loveless, and sexless as they imagine you.

    A civilian version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

  5. 5
    jesse

    This made me think of Ricky Martin.

    At first when he came out I was like “No shit, Sherlock. Like the nice young man you went to every single club in New York with wasn’t a clue. Hello?” His gayness was a ridiculous open secret.

    But the thing about silencing Queen Latifah made me think of it again. Martin (being Latino) is in a community that also has a pretty fraught relationship with queer/transgender/insert your term here people that don’t toe the gender roles line, at least explicitly. And he got some flack for it, tho IIRC it wasn’t too terrible. And he’s a big enough star to weather it.

    I don’t know whether it wold be worse in black communities, tho, or what might happen to Latifah.

    Another thing: while many black communities have a heterosexist streak in a big way, it’s worth noting that in the prop 8 voting, to give one example, education mattered more than race, and I suspect if you checked the SES of the counties that voted for it, class would show up as well. I did the race/education analysis, and I can tell you that a better predictor of voting against prop 8 was the number of people in a county with a college education rather than the “color.”

    It would be really interesting to see if this pattern holds elsewhere. I suspect it might.

    I also think — from the experience of a friend of mine who worked on LGBT rights for the ACLU (and specifically reaching out to minorities, and yes, he’s African-American) he suggested that a good approach might be emphasizing fairness rather than acceptance.

    That is, as he put it, many religious black folks will never “accept” LGBT people. But they do get fairness, and they get that marriage laws and such aren’t fair. And that might prove an avenue that resonates with the community better than telling them their religion is wrong about gay people, which is to my mind guaranteed to get a stony stare at best.

    No, this isn’t a perfect solution, or a complete one, but it’s a step, maybe. And it might be a darn sight better strategy than the one the LGBT groups took at the time which plainly did not work.

    But I’d be curious to know what the bloggers here think (for all I know they said the same thing a long time ago, and if so my apologies). Because honestly, I’m just thinking we all need a little hope here, you know? I can’t accept that the situation for LGBT in communities of color is ever and always going to be terrible.

    (My own experience is with Jews and Asians, the people I am related to, and they have their own kind of weird relationships with LGBT-ness too as marginalized communities, though Jews have their own sort-of-convoluted strategies depending on how religious they are. But both are very different from black and latino experiences, since they are “successful” minorities).

  6. 6
    Didgya

    Good article except that you had to point out that the little boy singing was white. He’s a little boy and that’s the problem. Now I am mixed so in the responses please only call me half-racist.

    1. 6.1
      blackskeptics

      He is white so his race is a relevant part of his cultural/ethnic identity, particularly when it comes to the culture of white Christian evangelical homophobia that is largely responsible for spearheading anti-gay laws and policies. White people always act as though they have no race, are universal/rational and that the backwardness of those bigoted racial others (i.e. Afr-Ams who supported Prop 8) is an alien racial trait not shared by civilized tolerant whites.

  1. 7
    Freethought Blogs | 0penwide

    [...] Stop Christian Fascist Homophobes By Sikivu Hutchinson A video clip featuring a little white boy singing I know the…. [...]

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