the latest mess started after tyler perry appeared on oprah. apparently, he's the new poster man for how/why homosexuality is a "problem" amongst our folk, how the white man messed us up, and so forth.
as calmly and clearly as i can, i'm gonna try to break down at least part of what i think is wrong with the pictures i see folks painting.
1. while i admire mr. perry's willingness to talk about his abuse, i fully resent his and others' juxtaposition of abuse and dysfunction with queerness. full stop. anyone who shares his experience has a lifetime of healing to do. that's ok. within the context of that healing journey, what he does (or doesn't do) in his intimate life will likely depend on where he is in his healing. and that's ok. but to try to equate that process with ALL gay folks? nah, son.
2. along that same line, there are plenty of bgltqi folks who were NEVER molested as children, and are, therefore, no more confused or conflicted about being themselves as other folks are about being straight. i've seen no evidence outside of fundamentalist religious contexts that says the majority of people who identify as other-than-heterosexual have been abused or otherwise "warped". behavior is not orientation, and the effects of abuse vary across people and cultures. people are complicated, and so is human sexuality.
(2a.) plenty of hetero folks have been abused in this same fashion.
3.when are we going to deal with the fact that SEXUAL ABUSE is the problem, and stop lauding the "victory" that at least some/most folks emerge from it "straight"?
4. apparently we still need to shout this from the rooftops: pedophilia is a psychological dysfunction involving a sexual attraction to children. the majority of pedophiles--regardless of the gender of the child(ren) they target--identify as heterosexual in their adult relationships.
(4a.) most children are assaulted by people they know, as was the case with mr. perry. you probably need to expose that "dirty uncle" in your family before you start worrying about the lesbian couple down the street.
5. this "population control" panic is nonsense. we're not going anywhere. just about everyone's birth rates are going down in the u.s., for various reasons. however, people of color are still the majority in the world. you know who gets paranoid about cultural/physical annihilation? you guessed it! whitefolks. and now they've got us up in arms about their fear. who's still talking about losing fam to the military and prison industrial complexes, gang life, and HIV/AIDS? where's the mobilization around government corruption, healthy food, or better education?
(5a.) this stance makes a LOT of assumptions, including that gay/lesbian and other queer folks don't have biological children. they do.
and, again, if you don't know any queer folks in the "movement", it's because you've shut them out of your view. several of the folks you love/quote ad nauseum self-identify as same gender loving or otherwise not-straight. don't believe me? look it up.
if you wanna toss out their contributions to our people's greatness, be my guest. i prefer to stay great.
i could be shouting at the walls on this one. i really don't care. but i would love to see folks stop spouting--verbatim--the same hyper-masculine b.s. we latched on to in the 60s and 70s. there is necessary work there, and it carried us to a particular point. but now we know better, and we can do better. much better.
*all of these labels, imo, involve avoiding the same white supremacist traps that have been laid for us for centuries. we cannot continue to allow our need for esteem and self-worth to eclipse good sense.
being radically conscious is about radical inclusion and a broad understanding of the range of human experience, identity, and loving--yes, even within african culture. radicals should seek to understand the intersections of oppression and desire to stamp out a variety of -isms / -archies: heterosexism, sexism, ableism, patriarchy, kyriarchy, etc.
chancellor williams' the destruction of black civilization does a great job of de-romanticizing historical africa, and can be studied alongside diop's cultural unity of black africa for a better view of the ways in which african societies were both similar and markedly different.