The LGBTQ community is no stranger to fighting for equality in mainstream society; it has been an on-going battle for decades. For those of us who are a part of this continuous march, it can sometimes be easy to forget that there are other minority groups which have struggled, and continued to struggle, simply because of the way they were born. We are not alone in the struggle for fair treatment in this world and should not stand quietly by while other groups suffer unjustly.
It has pained me these past few weeks to see the reactions from some of my LGBTQ peers about the current situation in our country concerning the African-American community and the Black Lives Matter movement. To me, it is the height of hypocrisy to be demanding fair treatment for our community while condemning another for simply asking for the same thing.
For some reason, we are turning our situations into a strange, twisted competition: who has suffered more? the longest? lost the most people? These questions have no place in building a constructive dialogue. We have all suffered for too long and lost too many people.
Even more so, there are problems prevalent in our own LGBTQ community surrounding race. It’s not uncommon to see dating profiles casually listing “No blacks” as part of their dating preferences, and the predominant representation of our community in the past has been that of white males. It’s obvious that we have some work to do within our own population on fair treatment, something which Black Lives Matter is calling for.
I cannot fathom what people of color, especially those who also identify as LGBTQ, are feeling or go through on a daily basis; I think pretending to would be a huge disrespect to them and what they have gone through in their lives.
However, what I can do is to stand with both my LGBTQ community and the Black Lives Matter movement. What I can do is add my voice the growing call, demanding a change for improvement in equality for all communities.
Standing alone and turning on each other is no way for minority communities to succeed. While our experiences may be different and specific goals not exactly the same, by working together we can achieve what we all really want: equality.