NOTE: All pages are meant to be read in the order in which they appear at the top of the site.

Ultimately, the culmination of all the information I have presented thus far leads to one main point, which can be summed up beautifully by a quote by Jonathan Capehart for the Washington Post:

It’s an issue of civil rights, as you said. It’s an issue of equality. It’s an issue of equal treatment under the law,” I said. “No one is asking for special rights. No one is asking for any kind of special favors. We’re just looking for the same rights and responsibilities that come with marriage and also the protections that are provided under marriage. In that regard overall we’re talking about a civil rights issue and what African Americans continue to struggle with is exactly what lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are struggling with today” (emphasis my own).

Here, it is important to note that I do not mean to suggest that the LGBT movement can be equated with the civil rights movement- the history of oppression and institutionalized sub-human status that Africans-Americans once suffered can not be reasonably equated with the current LGBT movement. Quoted in Odeana R. Neal’s article “The Limits of Legal Discourse: Learning from the Civil Rights Movement in the Quest for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights,” Vernon Jarrett is noted to have said, “I have [never] seen a newspaper advertisement of centuries past that announced ‘homosexual for sale.’ … While certain restrictions against gay men have been inhumane, gay men were never declared ‘three-fifths’ human by the U.S. Constitution” (emphasis my own). However, one can not discount the connection between these two movements, either. The civil rights movement had- just as the gay rights movement currently has- the huge potential to make a change in society… and it did. However, not enough has been done, as I have shown through highlighting how racism and homophobia are pervasive even today.

The fact that the civil rights and gay rights movements both have similar goals of equality, and the fact that the evils that necessitated both movements are still around today are precisely why blacks and gays, who I refer to as third-world groups due to their disadvantaged status in comparison to the “norm” of the white, middle-class citizen, should unite in solidarity with each other. The civil rights movement holds many lessons for today’s gay rights movement, and while Neal suggests that the LGBT movement has utilized many strategies used in the past in the civil rights movement, she also notes that such methods haven’t always turned out for the better in the long run, and there is still a ways to go before our society has eradicated racism and homophobia. If these two large, disadvantaged groups could put aside their differences- the black community it’s homophobia and the LGBT community it’s racism- and come together to share their experiences and work on collectively bettering conditions for individuals in each group as well as individuals in both groups, larger society would have no choice but to heed the voices of so many individuals fed up with being treated like third-class citizens in a first-world nation.

The implications of solidarity between blacks and the LGBT community are especially huge for queer persons of color, who struggle under the weight of two oppressions (and perhaps three, for the females). What the queer persons of color especially stand to gain from solidarity between the black and gay communities is this:

Validation. Respect. Security.

As marginalized persons within their own marginalized societies, queer persons of color are in a tenuous position, where one can easily feel unwanted and forgotten. Rather than facing discrimination from those who look like them and discrimination from those who love like them- both groups who claim to want equal status with others but ironically are fine with casting off their own undesirables- these people should be supported by both of their communities and championed as examples of how humans can thrive in even the most adverse of situations.

Of course, I do not mean to suggest that all black persons of color are living in fear, as that would be a disservice to the many who live openly and proudly. For example, one of Youtube’s “celebrities,” with over a million subscribers, is the profane, flamboyant, humorous Kingsley. While he isn’t representative of the queer persons of color community as a whole, having people like him more visible and accepted by the community, even if it is just the internet community, is an excellent step toward increasing the visibility of a historically invisible minority.