Actor: Gay Racism Worse Than in 1980

Published on August 11 2009 No Comment
Actor: Gay Racism Worse Than in 1980

After reading, share your thoughts below.

“People tend to believe that racism, on all sides of the color lines, is something that stops at the gates of the LGBT community… It just doesn’t happen that way,” writes actor Doug Spearman in an essay for the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Forward series.

Spearman, best known for his role as Chance on the Logo series Noah’s Arc, observes that when he came out in 1980, he was welcomed as “the kids of the 1960s and early ’70s — those that had created the gay movement — were still on the dance floors of America elbow to elbow with the people who’d marched in Vietnam protests and Black Power parades, and had been active participants in the original civil rights movement.”

Spearman laments that this feeling of acceptance has evaporated with the existence of separate black gay pride and Latin gay pride festivals, which he claims “exist because a great many men and women feel unwelcome in mainstream gay communities.”

In the essay, Spearman also takes issue with gay activists who blamed black voters for not supporting Prop. 8 in last November’s election. They “assumed that since theirs was an issue of equality and civil rights, that they’d have natural allies among a people who’d spent centuries being discriminated against,” he writes.

Spearman was honored this past June by Christopher Street West, Los Angeles’s LGBT Pride organization, for community involvement, including his work for the Human Rights Campaign, the Black AIDS Institute, and LifeWorks Mentoring.

Read Spearman’s entire essay at HRCBackstory.org and come back to share your thoughts.