I was scrolling through my feed on Facebook when I came across a picture of a T- Shirt that said “Gay is the new Black, unless your ACTUALLY Black because you’re still just a N***er”.”

Honestly, I was taken back by the harsh quote that made me think about two ongoing issues that we as humans face on a daily basis. It was a harsh reminder that there IS racism within the gay community that usually goes unaddressed or even acknowledged. Not to mention, the homophobia within the Black community that leaves the Black LGBTQ in the middle, with limited support.

If you are a victim of a hate crime because of your non-heterosexuality, the Black community may feel this issue should be addressed by the LGBTQ community. But if you are a victim of a hate crime because of your race, the LGBTQ community may feel this is an issue meant to be addressed by the Black community.

You find in Chicago that the gay community usually partake their festivities, organizations and other activities on the North Side. This small section is known as “Boys Town.” But the North Side is predominantly White with POCs (people of color) traveling up north to find a place that welcomes their sexuality. Elsewhere is scarce if at all known.

Imagine being a part of movement that you may fully support, but the issues that plague either community you’re apart of is not reciprocated with the same report. I find the LGBTQ community is segmented as well. As the movement for gay rights progress, Blacks are still left behind in the race, continuously being targets because they are born THIS way but not THAT way.

When I hear people point out the two communities’ similar struggles, claiming without full acknowledgement of what it REALLY means to Black, that “Gay IS the “New Black,” I wish I could stand on a podium, with a national public announcement and say:

“You can hide your sexuality. You can’t hide your skin color. That is all.”

Is the shirt offensive? Depends on where you stand and what you choose to acknowledge or ignore. Do we see the issues with racism in the gay community or do we see them as separate issues? Probably if you’re gay and not Black or Black and not gay, but let’s understand rather than speak for a group of people with a lack of knowledge and/or experience. And honestly if gay IS the “new Black”, then is straight the new White??

Sounds silly right?

Check out this trailer for the documentary “The New Black” documenting the struggle the Black LGBTQ community face for acceptance and equality. Also visit THE NEW BLACK website to purchase your tickets for screenings that may be in your area.