Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Rainbow and Race

Next Tuesday, April 7, 2009, the Healing Racism series which takes place on the campus of Phoenix College, will be presenting The Rainbow and Race: Understanding How Race and Culture Impact our Understanding of Sexual Orientation. I'm really looking forward to this forum where we will have more of an opportunity to discuss the interesting intersection of race and sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Being a member of any cultural group brings expectations -- expectations from family, community, and in some cases, church, to follow a certain code of conduct as established for generations. How, then, does someone who is gay live up to these set expectations? From the pressure to produce grandchildren in cultures who value large families, to the religious omnipresent, there are many challenges faced by the LGBT community. The Rainbow and Race forum will explore the topic of being gay in today's society and will address topics such as civil rights vs. human rights, the notion of choice, hate crimes, and health issues.

If you're available, please put some time aside and attend. But I will tell you - you may want to go ahead and RSVP now. Space is limited and I've heard that it is already starting to fill up. Please use the link below for registration:

I think this is a terrific time for this conversation to happen. We are still in the eve Tavis Smiley's State of Black America 2009 where there was no mention whatsoever of HIV/AIDS or the LGBT community. Seriously Tavis, how can you talk about Black America and not discuss HIV or AIDS? Also Tavis, am I not Black? Couldn't the concerns, questions, and fears of the Black LGBT community have some coverage in a dialogue about being black in America.

This omission was another effort to keep us invisible. But I refuse stay silent and I refuse to be passive. I also refuse to be divided. I am both gay and black and I can't separate the two. I can't go to my family reunion and not bring my partner of twelve years just so others are comfortable. I am as proud of my relationship as anyone else. I also can't go to gay pride and hide my race. My black just don't wash off. So if you are to accept me then you have to accept all of me. And if you can't bring yourself to do that then it's your issue not mine.

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