I have a confession to make. As much as I wail about the societal injustices that have been mandated to brutalize Black and Brown people with systematic authority — I’ve woefully failed to highlight the epidemic that is currently crippling the LQBTQ community.
It’s definitely not out of nonchalance, but mostly attributed to the inadequacy of not being able to efficiently or adequately convey the pending items that are exacting fear and death, on those who are considered readily expendable.
You don’t have to do much digging to stumble upon the damning evidence of how Black members of the LGBTQ community are the most vulnerable to the rising incidences of hate crimes.
For me, it’s always fascinating to witness the flush of hate that flashes through the halo of so-called Christians, who are weighed down by their own personal hang ups, that make it impossible to shower off the fairy dust that supposedly makes them “holier than thou.”
What gives anyone the right to righteously condemn what they prefer to demonize without a clue as to why “those people” deserve to be prosecuted for wanting the exact same things we were born to demand.
We all want to be loved but above all else, we want to feel comfortable within ourselves in ways that link body and spirit cohesively — without the spurts of doubt.
Perhaps my own internalized battle that began with the touch that violated, when I was too young to receive it, shattered my ability to be dutifully wedded to the criminalized functions of Christianity.
When you’re forced outside yourself without permission, the only thing to do is navigate, with the openness that could maybe save you from the horrors of being abandoned to the fate of loneliness.
Everyone has to be an ally, and bring some measure of tolerance that doesn’t label or judge with the murkiness of perfection, as if the leaders of mega- churches, and the pompous pope overseeing a bedazzled brothel, can possibly break bread with Christ without choking.
The GOP is currently embroiled in a cultish shit show that features a yellow-haired oaf, who looks like he’s been burned to hell and back. And still they receive him with hymns of praises and the endurance of lost sheep.
The evangelicals both at home and in shithole territories, are convinced that this anointed eyesore is the answer to the prayers about cleansing the streets clean from vile acts that threaten to become the norm.
When the bloody massacre ravaged Pulse nightclub, in Orlando, Florida, President Obama didn’t hesitate to aptly describe the tragic event as “an act of terror and an act of hate.”
But Republicans were wary of approaching the situation with such empathy and grace, and preferred to dodge the responsibility of giving the victims the dignity of their untimely demise.
Many of them, including Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to taint their saintly template with the stain of controversy, by opting to avoid mentioning the key component that led to the violent murders of innocent club goers.
This attitude by leaders to minimize the seriousness of these crimes by neglecting to validate why the injured and deceased were targeted, and how this form of bloodshed can’t be endorsed or normalized, is the main reason why radicals feel empowered to do “the Lord’s work.”
There’s also the ironic discovery that proves how a more flexible temperature, that allows for increased acceptance of the LGBTQ community, can also be responsible for the rise in hate crimes, as haters rebel against the traitorous climate.
When it was reported that Matthew Shephard was going to be interred at the Washington National Cathedral, twenty years after his brutal killing at the hands of young men who targeted him due to his sexual orientation— I was once again transported to 1998.
That was the year Shephard died, and it was terrifying to internalize the notion that his death was brought on by the fact that his preference for a loving mate wasn’t appetizing to those who were strongly offended by his palette.
It wasn’t until a decade after his brutal slaying — in 2009 — under the Obama administration, that “Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, expanding hate crime laws to include sexual orientation.”
And now a decade later, the statistics are a dire reminder of how very little has changed in the realm of outright violence against a community that’s struggling to exist within the social mores, that have been carved out for their disarray and dismemberment.
It’s particularly tough for African-Americans, who despite their invaluable presence and influence as early pioneers via intellectuals like James Baldwin and notable activists like Marsha P. Johnson — are still more likely to be victims of dangerous encounters with police or bigoted individuals.
The mantle of the Civil Rights Movement is under duress from the ongoing race war that shows no signs of a truce as the body counts under the regime of a White supremacist, serve as the platter of systematic chaos at the expense of those who presumed guilty without the court of law.
African-Americans, who also fall under the umbrella of the LGBTQ community have it worse because of the bullet points that add up to a very precarious disposition.
Racism, homophobia, transphobia all combine to boost the unsightly reality of dwelling in environments that have been formulated against the mental and physical health of law-abiding citizens.
Here are some sobering facts:
Black survivors of hate violence are 1.3 times more likely to experience police violence than their non-Black counterparts. Black survivors are also twice as likely to experience any physical violence, twice as likely to experience discrimination and 1.4 times more likely to experience threats and intimidation during acts of hate violence. Additionally, Black transgender women face the highest levels of fatal violence within the LGBTQ community.
This is unacceptable and terrifying when you consider how levels of our existence have been manipulated to consistently render this community powerless and handicapped, by the statutes that obstinately deny the privilege of human rights to those who have been deemed unworthy.
This is why the fucked up apology tour of comedian and movie star Kevin Hart, is even more infuriating when you consider how it is motivated by upcoming film projects that can’t be thwarted, and the selfish desire to claim victimhood — when his disingenuous pursuits are transparent enough to condemn.
Hart isn’t the only funnyman to use the LGBTQ community as comedic fodder, but his initial response to the dug up “tweets of old” that coincided with his newly-minted gig as Oscar host — definitely revealed his lack of empathy for the group he has helped to ceremoniously assault.
His bonding session with Ellen DeGeneres also exposed the revolting privilege that permits a White woman to publicly embrace a Black man with a million dollar bank account at the expense of Black gay men and Black transgender women who don’t have access to that method of protection.
These two individuals are playing a vital role in the crisis that’s claiming more souls than we would like to imagine, and while we’re at it, we can also thank the media for being recklessly ignorant when reporting the stories that have to be doused in salaciousness.
Back in 2017, I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t hear about the young Black man who was found dead in the West Hollywood home of a wealthy social butterfly named Ed Buck.
Buck is a well-connected Democrat, who has used his resources and influence to evade the law, thanks to affiliations with the mighty and powerful in the form of financial gifts to the likes of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, when she was the presidential nominee of his party.
Twenty-six-year-old Gemmel Moore was the Black man who died at the home of Ed Buck, in the summer of 2017. The scene of the crime fit the standard set up of heavy drug use — that contributed to the “accidental methamphetamine overdose” that was recorded by law enforcement, despite the protests of Moore’s family members.
Again when the news broke, I missed the headlines, but almost two years later, the banner of the story by The Root began to re-circulate — and the view broke my heart.
The emphasis on “prostitute” when describing the dead Black man who was most likely drugged to death by the “wealthy Democratic donor” with a documented fetish for Black gay men was the absolute worst editorial decision.
There seems to be the irresistible need to exploit the station of gay victims of violence with the extra toppings of how that lifestyle tends to lead to forces of brutality, that typically devour anyone who’s daring enough to venture.
It’s this method of reportage that helps to propel the narratives that demean the Black LGBTQ community, even in death, while their murderers are able to escape the jaws of the law, with the privilege that’s only enhanced by the high-profile circle of friends, who won’t betray or disown, for obvious reasons.
And now, almost two years later, another Black male has been found dead at the home of Ed Buck. Another lifeless Black body was discovered in similar circumstances, and in the same location as his dearly departed predecessor.
This time the cops are suspicious. This time they are almost certain that Mr. Buck knows more than what he’s sharing. This time, they’re going to hunt for answers.
Lt. Derrick Alfred told KTLA:
“It is suspicious that this has happened twice now.” “So we’re going to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if it is criminal in nature.”
But why wasn’t the slaying of Gemmel Moore in 2017 a big enough red flag to warrant a “thorough investigation,” when it was glaringly clear that his death wasn’t accidental.
Despite how he was depicted by the media and the police, Moore absolutely suffered a fate that he didn’t deserve, at the hands of a murderous maniac who had the law on his side — thanks to his strategically-inclined activism, and conveniently close proximity to powerful people and organizations.
Money talks. It also keeps felons safely secured, outside jail cells.
We can’t allow the lives of Black LGBTQ members to continue to operate under the lawlessness of law makers, and gross negligence of those who swore to serve and protect — ALL LIVES.
And here’s why:
The time has come to rally round the forgotten lives of a cause that most definitely includes them now more than ever.
If Ellen DeGeneres really wanted to be the shining example of how to do the right thing when it matters the most — she should’ve invited a group of Black LGBTQ members to her show; to help break down what she and Kevin Hart have difficulty comprehending.
That’s how to be an ally as a White person who never has to be subjected to the infamy of being fetishized to death by a sadistic millionaire, who won’t be convicted based on his privilege and supremacy.
When we say Black lives matter, it has to encompass all those who apply, and I’m convinced that we’re not doing nearly enough to enforce that messaging.
We tend to bypass the issues that aren’t quite familiar or prove too layered for comfort, until it starts trending or we suddenly have a brief moment of online activism.
But we can’t claim to seek justice for all, and in the same breath reject the duty of covering all the bases. That’s the anthem of White feminism and faux-allies.
That’s not us.
Black Lives Matter, and that’s a non-negotiable deal — across the board.