‘Gay Pride Is For White People’


“Pride” season is upon us, and it’s no secret, except perhaps to white people, that gay pride parades are very white, hollow things. They usually take place in “gayborhoods,” which are usually affluent communities predominated by white gay men. Communities that usually contain bars that mostly white gay men frequent, and if you choose to be black and attend these establishments, it is not long before you feel sexualized, objectified, or ignored altogether if not outright discriminated against. And if these neighborhoods are anything like Boystown in Chicago, you might find yourself policed. Therefore, these neighborhoods are usually clear about their message: be gay but don’t be black, or trans*, or disabled, or Other. The living proof of this phenomenon is that mainstream pride parades are often accompanied by smaller prides that create space for other salient marginalized identities. Other prides like “Black pride,” or “trans* pride,” for instance.

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised by the reality that pride festivities are curated by white gay men for white gay men. Accepting this fact, I’m more than happy to just attend black gay prides with my friends. But part of me must realize, that as queerness becomes more mainstream, it is incumbent upon queer communities of color to make sure that we put pressure on the national narrative to keep queerness from being synonymous with white, skinny, able-bodied, cisgender maleness.

Take for instance, the marriage equality movement, that great red herring of equality. It is essentially meat with no bone. Yes, it allows for queer folks all around the nation to start getting married. But for most queer folks, marriage is not high on the priority list. For queer folks of color, who are subject to disproportionate levels of poverty, homelessness, violence, and health disparity—marriage provides us with very little resolve. And so, the movement that is the defining LGBTQ issue of our time is an issue that largely benefits upper middle class queer whites.

Personally, I fear a world where if I announce that “I am gay,” one’s mind will be flooded with a sea of sex shops, rainbows, and skinny dancing white men. Because when I think about what it means to be gay, I have to think about what it means to be black too. And my being black and gay against the master narrative of white queerness is something to be celebrated.

As we continue into the summer, we have to remember that rainbows really are just refracted white light, and I charge us to continue to reclaim the narratives around our lives. We must do the work of reframing the narratives around our love in our own communities. Under no circumstances should a really small, circumspect, and deeply problematic idea of gayness swallow our richness whole. What we must do as a community is continue to fight back against the “myth of pride.” Whiteness and white supremacy is still a thing to contend with, even in gay communities. And the danger of marriage equality, of pride, of these gayborhoods is that they continually swallow the complexities of being black and queer in this country into their narratives of restrictively safe whiteness. We cannot let whiteness co-opt and dilute the beauty and complicatedness of our own black queerness.  This work must be done because despite illusion of the “happy free gay man” that pride creates, many of us are not free. But we can certainly be freer, and to attain that freedom is to make sure that we have control over the narratives about us, and we have to make sure people get the story straight.

Aaron Talley is an activist, educator, and writer based in Chicago. He is a member of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a youth led organization that organizes and develops leadership of Black 18-35 year-olds across the country.

  • Isaac Colver

    Such a great article…I agree with this so much! I’ve never been to pride, but examining gay white men and they’re behavior they can be quite disgusting. I prefer not to interact with them. Not all, of course, but the vast majority are this way.

    • St Martyr

      How racist!?? Sheez.

      • Isaac Colver

        No…I can’t be racist…I have no power.

    • John Donaldson

      You never been to pride. That is the main part of the problem. Gay pride parades are not all white skinny half naked men dancing on a float. Why don’t you actually attend a parade and then make a judgement.

    • bob

      You are an idiot. Please stop posting.

  • martin

    I get what this article is trying to say but i don’t fully agree. Yes, these pride festivities are mostly white – but given that whites far outnumber blacks in overall population, this will always be the case. As far as gay culture goes, to me blacks have contributed (and continue to) so much to gay culture that is no questions that we are included in what it means to be gay. Gay is not a racial thing, it’s about sexual preferences.
    If we want more blacks to be featured in mainstream gay cultures then we need to stop having these separate events and push to be part of the main ones. I often feel that we segregate ourselves on top of the segregation that others might impose on us.

    • St Martyr

      Exactly. I LOVE discourse but this armchair persecution complex is wearing thin, especially as these black gay folk don’t even have the balls to call out the homophobia within the sacred community.

    • Marcus

      The problem with having monolithic events when participants are mostly white is that the issues and concerns of minorities will get drowned out. This is why issues like poverty among trans folks, higher arrest rates for black gay and lesbian people, the immigration issues of queer latino/asian communities have grown to be so rampant. By trying to lump everyone of all colors into one group, these issues get swept under the rug in a sea of whiteness that obscures them and rules that somehow, someway, those issues aren’t as important or pertinent as marriage equality.

      • Guest

        “poverty , higher arrest rates for black gay and lesbian people, the immigration issues of queer latino/asian communities have grown to be so rampant.”

        Those issues are not gay issues as they have nothing to do with the person’s sexual orientation. Yes, black youth are more likely to be incarcerated for being black not for being gay. That is a racial issue that definitely needs to be dealt with, but it is not a gay issue per se.

  • martin

    *sexual orientation

  • Danny

    If black people put half as much time into inclusion as they do into segregating themselves saying “others” are out to segregate them. This might not be an issue.

    • DFS1906

      if white gays spent half the time examing their own privilege they wouldn’t make stupid statements like that

      • St Martyr

        How do you know he is white? I am black and agree with him.

      • Jason

        This is so fucking absurd…white guys don’t have fucking privilage…the only ones that do are from wealthy families.

  • IndyHomo6969

    Such a great article…I agree with this so much! I’ve never been to pride, but examining gay black men and their behavior they can be quite disgusting. I prefer not to interact with them. Not all, of course, but the vast majority are this way.

  • Whatev

    It really depends on the city and the event. While these celebrations do take place in affluent, white neighborhoods [Dupont Circle, Cathedral St]…it varies. For instance, Capital Pride in DC is predominately white. Absolutely. Take an hour trip up to Baltimore and it’s almost completely black. But then that evening in DC, most events are for black people. In Baltimore, that nights events cater to caucasians. It really just depends. I enjoy them both. And as a black lesbian, I’ve never been uncomfortable. I’ve always been welcomed.

  • Kevin Griffin

    “They usually take place in “gayborhoods,” which are usually affluent communities predominated by white gay men”

    You mean the horrible neighborhoods that discriminated against mainly out white gay men fled to in the 70s and 80s when they had no place else to go that they then invested all of their time and effort into turning into nice neighborhoods for their community? How is that a bad thing exactly?

    The Chicago Pride Parade is open to any group and issues permits annually to the first 250 applicants. Any minority group is free to submit and application on time and march in the parade, so how is it parade organizer’s fault if minority groups fail to fill out an application?

    Marriage Equality is important. It is the final domino. Once it is law nationally no other anti-gay law will ever have standing in the courts. Sure, ENDA is far far far more important than gay marriage, but once the Supreme Court says gays are equal and have the right to marry that will in essence destroy any other anti-gay argument. You seem to wish to assign responsibility to the gay community for the general problems all segments of society are facing.

    • Jason

      Here in Columbus, OH, nobody who fills out an application on time is refused to march in the parade (as long as they aren’t anti lgbt of course)….if someone doesn’t feel included here, it’s their own fault…and agreed, here in Columbus, both German Village and Victorian Village were crime infested ramshackle ghettos on the edges of downtown…the 70s and 80s saw a lot of time and money invested into these neighborhoods and now they are 2 of the best neighborhoods in the capital city…and with that comes a hefty price to live…that’s a good thing.

      • Kevin

        Jason– I too live in Columbus. Although you must be on another planet. Columbus is a segregated city that has experienced siginificant gentrification. Those “new” communities not only rooted out bad elements such as crime and prostitution, they also moved out older, law abiding citizens who could no longer afford to live there. As a result the community is less diverse. The same is now happening in Old Towne East, where crime levels are down but also where elderly residents are being displaced.

        Pride is usually diverse in membership. The REAL question is how diverse Pride is in leadership.

  • kcklein

    Last year I had the pleasure of volunteering for Springfield, MA’s Pride. I am proud of the fact that diversity was a core value of our planning committee. Northampton Pride, the largest one in the region, is the typical, upper-class, privileged, white shindig that you described and I often felt myself marginalized. We strived very hard to the antithesis to that. All our official events were free and we made sure all venues were accessible by public transit and for those with disabilities.

  • https://twitter.com/CanyonBosler Canyon Bosler

    “But for most queer folks, marriage is not high on the priority list.” While I am inclined to agree that marriage should not be the highest priority, you cannot simply project that claim on the entire community. Pew has actually asked this question in their massive survey of BGLT Americans, and found that 58 percent of respondents believe that marriage equality should be the top priority right now. You are more than welcome to disagree with that prioritization and you can (and should) make the case that marriage as a priority privileges the concerns of well off, white, cis men, but you cannot declare that it is not a high priority for queer folks just because it is not for you or the queer folk in your community.


    • Lamont

      Thank you for sharing that research. I think the author is writing from personal experiences, but he makes sweeping claims with no data to support them.

  • Brock Heubusch

    Straight white cisgender male etc etc blah blah blah here.

    I suppose it gives me some measure of comfort to know that the gay community(ies) are just as racist as anyone else.

    Glad to know we’re all human.

    PS, good luck with the marriage thing, I wouldn’t be too eager to tie the knot once it actually becomes legal nationwide. BTW, it will, it’s just a matter of time. You can tell because every talking head and their brother on major media is trying to cache in on the hollow moral victory points.

  • Zoe Nicholson

    respectfully, you might have a wider lens if you look at the history of pride. We all would be better off if we continued its original purpose. White male marti gras was never its purpose. It is just what corporations and money did to it. It is informative to look at how it is done in the 77 countries where homosexuality is illegal. No beer and drag, just bravery and high risk.

    • Caitlin Fairchild

      Actually Zoe, if you take a wider lens to the history of pride, you can’t ignore drag and trans folk. We started the movement. Sylvia Rivera (bisexual trans woman of color) was the one to throw the first molotov. All of the drag queens were out in the street in a conga line dancing and singing “we are the girls of Stonewall.”

      I instead would respectfully state that instead of just looking for inclusion for people of color, look for inclusion for all. Pride here in the states is supposed to be a recreating of the Stonewall Riots. Hence the beer and drag. However, it’s moved away from that and become Cis White Male Mardi Gras, as you said.

      • Zoe Nicholson

        thank you. I would support entirely inclusion without exception. I am only pointing to the fact that Pride began as a political action. I do know the mother of Pride is Brenda Howard. I am only grieving the appropriation of Pride to corporate mayhem.
        There is a lot to learn from “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride 2009” documentary.

        • http://www.google.com/profiles/pcfrank73 NiteStar

          Zoe, there were many heroes of Stonewall, one of whom passed away recently and was not even mentioned in the media. She was a lesbian, and bi-racial. She was a mother to the community. But she saw herself only as a person who cared for others.

          I couldn’t stand idly by and see her death not be commemorated, so I wrote an article, which became the basis for a news story that wound up on the AP global news wire. I’m talking, of course, about Stormé DeLarverie.

          So I can see how people feel excluded and left out, when we don’t even pay tribute an homage to one of our own. Only by coming together can we ensure that we survive as a community, and that’s what pride is really all about, isn’t it?

  • John Donaldson

    You’re a black bigot. You never even mentioned the latin and asian communities except to lump then together as “other”. Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is by contributing to groups like The South Shore Drill Team http://www.southshoredrillteam.org/ like I do so more black community members can appear at Pride and other city expositions. Don’t blame me because you just sit on your ass and write disparaging remarks about white people without getting actually taking action to get involved in the change your looking for.

    • Wyatt Andrews

      So I’m going to call you in here: know that what I say is with the utmost respect for you as an individual, but I cannot stand by and watch you use oppressive techniques to silence his voice.

      – You have no right to assume you know what his experiences are: They are his own, they are valid.

      -He doesn’t need to speak to experiences of latinos and asians because he does not represent all PoC. He speaks for himself.

      – You have no right to assume he is NOT actively involved in affecting the change he is looking for. Furthermore: it is not his job as a gay black man to make pride events inclusive to white people. It is our job as whites to make sure that we are being inclusive. That job is on us.

      -Instead of just assuming the author is an angry ass hole, try and really consider what he says the next time you attend a pride event: who has organized it? Were they white? Of the attendees, how many were white? How does it feel to NOT think about your race when attending a pride event?

      Let the anger pass, reread this article and try and see this as a learning and growth opportunity.

    • antjphotog

      Here in lies the problem…attacking each other to cover the real problem. EQUAL representation of ALL people of color/ethnic origin. Society has conditioned us to look for excuses to attack each other rather than to work on solutions COLLABORATIVELY to address all issues. WE need to stop looking for scapegoats in what people see as in issue that they deal with themselves and look towards how we can overcome the issues that are presented AND work with each other to provide solutions to all common problems. Name calling and pointing fingers was something we did in elementary school. We are young and grown adults; we need to leave our immaturities in the past and move towards a more progressive future that WE ALL can live in.

  • John Donaldson

    You’re a black bigot. You didn’t even name the latin and asain communities except to describe them as other. And you don’t have enough insight to look past your own experience to to describe the HIV/AIDS community as anything but disabled. Let alone totally ignoring communites of religion and children and families. You should put your money where your mouth is and contribute to groups like The South Chicago Drill Team http://www.southshoredrillteam.org/ so they can afford get the kids to the Pride Parade and the other parades and expositions around the city like I do. They’re my favorite parade entry. Not because they’re black, but because they are kids and families from what are really and truly adverse and marginalized communities that actually got up and took action to make a change instead of focusing on conspiracy theories about white gay men.

  • John Donaldson

    You know, it’s about being a player, not complaining from the sidelines. Instead of focusing your eyes on white guys on bar floats why don’t you check out the other groups that participate and support them and get your black gay/lesbian/trans bothers and sisters to march. Dozens of religious communities march in the parade….. all kinds of churches from all over Chicago, and I agree, I think black churches from the South side are grossly under-represented. Why? Because you’re writing articles about white guys on bar floats, instead of writing letters to try to get south side churches to participate. All sorts of family groups and youth groups march and campus groups. Did you try to get your gay/lesbian/trans black brothers and sisters to march with your high school or college campus? Did write your parents or family members asking them to march with PFLG? Probably not. The HIV/AIDS and medical communities march. Did you write your HIV positive brothers and sisters to march with TPAN or volunteer to help BUS (Brothers united in support) to make them more visable in the parade? No, you just sat on your ass writing complaints focusing on white skin with rainbow colors. You could even put your money where your mouth is and do what I do. Write a check to my favorite parade entry – The South Side Drill Team http://www.southshoredrillteam.org/. There my favorite not because they’re black, but because they are kids that get out there in the city parades, like Pride and work hard, using their talent and their minds and spirits to overcome the real devastations of living in truly desparate and marginalized communities…… not like yours or mine.

    • New Berkeley Voter

      Wow! Great job blaming the victim .

      • loder74

        You obviously don’t know what a victim is.

        • New Berkeley Voter

          I’m glad you think you know what is a victim and what is not

    • William Gerald-Michael Kilburn

      I really think you owe this guy a reconsideration and hopefully a heartfelt apology.

      His experience is his experience.

      The guy is doing his part to ending the problem by making all of us, you know, the “traditional” people aware.

      Please be patient with the imperfect.

  • Jason

    I whole heartedly reject this notion…Columbus Pride was this Saturday and there were plenty of Blacks, plenty of mixed races, plenty of Gays, Lesbians, and Transgenders and all in between….all manner of churches and synagogues and local businesses also were marching in the parade with all manner of people.

  • Twan Twansome Claiborne

    As I read the comments, I am not surprised, but rather annoyed at the defensiveness of the white people. Once again, this is a piece pointing out how white privilege extends in to the gay community. Dear white people, no one is saying you are all bad because you benefit from white privilege. It is a fact. Talley simply points out what many of us grew up knowing for a while: gay culture, and any culture really, is defined by those in power. In the United States guess who has the power: cisgender white males.

    • cinderellashtray

      i thought it was the financial elite who had all the power.

    • James

      The defensiveness is real. I’m a gay, cisgender, white male. I experienced a range of emotions as I read this article. First, it made me sad that Aaron felt marginalized by pride celebrations. Second, it made me feel angry that I would be lumped in as part of some white cabal intent on pushing some white agenda. My mind started spitting out retorts like: I don’t like those skinny white boys either (as If something were wrong with being a skinny white boy); What’s wrong with sexualization?; We are sexual creatures, right?; Who is this queen telling me how I should act as a gay person?; I’ve experienced enough from people telling me how I should act, what I should look like, how I should stop acting like a pussy…. I stopped. This really isn’t about me is it? I realize that my emotional response to Aaron’s article was way off point and had more to do with my misinterpretation of Aaron’s language than anything. In the end it’s about not letting others define us as individuals. It’s about preserving and reasserting our identities and values while participating in the community, voicing our concerns and actively living out the legacy we wish to leave behind us. It’s about not letting the narrative of the one group “swallow” the narrative of the other. I’m sure it’s annoying to see white defensiveness, especially after its highlighted again and again… and again. However, I hope it doesn’t discourage you or anyone else from dealing with it head on. Who knows. You might be on the defensive some day in the future, and your experience will help you deal with it appropriately.

      • marcos

        Just because one segment of a group has a narrow focus does not mean that everyone else is being swallowed by it. It is not so much defensiveness as it is tiring of the endless storytelling that never seems to get to the part where we begin to do what it takes, the heavy lifting, to offer a path forward to dismantling the structures of oppression. The storytelling has been going on for 30 years that I’ve been keeping up with it. It is time to shit or get off of the pot on emancipation.

  • anon

    It is not the responsibility of a single black individual to represent themselves in such a movement or “get all their brothers and sisters” to represent. Why assume this person even knows a bunch of black LGBTQ people who want to be involved/have the luxury of being involved without receiving discrimination and have the time? Especially given the difficult nature of even attending a gay pride parade the first time or coming out. It helps dramatically if someone is already there to identify with. The pride movement is something that should include all persons and when one person says they feel misrepresented or unwelcome, everybody else needs to listen up. For white people who identify as LGBTQ, it should be actually more doable to identify with the feeling of not being represented and feeling excluded even though there is no explicit and outright oppression.

  • Janell

    wow, if this is what Chicago Pride is like, I will definitely not be attending (assumption made due to location if author stated in this article). This sounds like a terrible experience. Come to Seattle Pride Fest, everyone from every letter of LGTBQA and more and from every nationality and color comes out and celebrates.

  • Nick P

    Theis may be a Chicago Pride problem, which I can’t comment on as I have never attended, but it certainly isn’t an accurate depiction of New York City Pride which is as far from “very white, and hollow!”, and to decree all Pride like this is unfair. Most of the boroughs of NYC have their own Pride celebrations which are an ethnically diverse as the community itself , the main NYC Parade as far as I see it is a culmination of the whole city, and is truly diverse both in race and economic situation. Maybe Chicago Pride needs to look at other cities and how they celebrate their unique communities, as it sounds like they are not currently being represented, but not all cities are the same, so praise where it is due and less sweeping generalizations would be helpful for everyone I think.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/pcfrank73 NiteStar

      Nick, ALL of the boroughs of NYC have their own pride celebrations: Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and Manhattan actually has two: NYC Pride, which is either the largest or one of the largest pride celebrations in the nation and includes the largest protest march in NYC on an annual basis, and Harlem Pride. There’s also NYC Black Pride. I’ve been to more than 33 pride events in the past week — the number, genre, and type of events held throughout our region is dizzying, and while I was not specifically looking for it at the time, looking back on photos I’ve taken, I’ve seen people from ALL walks of life at each of these events.

      Is the author of this article aware of InterPride? If not, perhaps he should contact them with his observations. I know from personal experience that InterPride works very hard to ensure that ALL pride celebrations are as open, inviting, and welcoming to EVERYONE in our community, and that there is a place for everyone at the table.

  • loder74

    An article written by a simple-minded person.

  • loder74

    The author of this article has the same mentality as a member of the KKK, but simply chose a different target. Vile and disgusting trash writing.

    • yves

      The writer of this article is absolutely NOT calling upon atrocities to happen to any other race that the KKK has a long history of perpetrating. Your comment is despicable and abhorrent.

    • Keone Rivers

      your ignorant ass comment is vile and disgusting trash writing.

  • Sigurd

    That is not how it is in Birmingham AL, Wilmington DE, Philly, NYC, Milwaukee. To be fair, I didn’t notice how many non-whites there were, I was only concerned about how many people were there.

  • http://www.petermmarino.com Peter Michael Marino

    Come to NYC for Harlem Pride this Saturday and NYC Pride on Sunday. You’ll see all colors at both parades and I guarantee you’ll have a great time!

  • Isaac Colver

    It is NOT white privilege, it is white supremacy. Which is the construct that the gay community is based off of. I love how many of these white gays came here defend yourselves by bashing the writer of this article. These dynamics are prevalent in the gay community, who can’t stand to take any criticism whatsoever. Saying the gay community is not a racially biased group is like saying black people are not homophobic for the most part. The gay community is largely controlled by white, marketed to white, which is why I will not be a part of it. Why involve in something that isn’t for you.

  • Blu Mood

    There is an invisible line that a black gay man crosses when he either enters a gentrified Christopher Street or Stonewall Bar. The line is crossed, and the evaluation of our blackness is taken and then the levels of our queerness; the token black gay man, the gypsy: the safe black Abercrombie gay. What is preferred is the fear that keeps me at least, a way from gay pride events. That it is my blackness and queerness that is up for question and approval. Now, I have some friends who are in interracial relationships, and they fit the mold that is catered to, liked, and envied (and I do not have a problem with that) but for some, and most of the black gay men that I know, we don’t fit into that mold. We are either too cultural or too invested in blackness, that we create an outlier realm for ourselves, purposely at times, but then at times, because that is who we are. Like in the article, he mentioned that in order to question my queerness I must now, question my blackness, for white gays, they do not have to do that and corporations will back that direct and concise knowledge; it is easier to control the masses who can directly identify to a specific group. So yes, the pink dollar is a pricy pill that I do not want to take, so I do not participate in these festivals. I love my black gay pride events, its simple, we go to the beach and call it a day, or we make our own pajama house parties, we have intellectual functions, and enjoy each other’s company. That is what gay pride is about, my gay pride at least.

    • https://twitter.com/CanyonBosler Canyon Bosler

      This! And I particularly appreciate that it is written from personal experience, instead of trying to universalize.

  • Matt

    I find this whole article to be extremely narrow minded. Please stop feeding into this “whiteness/white supremacy” BS. I’ve been out and proud for the last 10 yrs of my life, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I go to NYC, Brooklyn and Queens pride every year and there is every walk of life there, LGBTQ and Straight people. Black, White, Latin, European etc… I’m not sure what happens in other cities but to further this racist BS is truly deplorable.

    • Trebor Neroht

      chicago, like buffalo is very segregated and racist. You absolutely cannot apply your experiences in nyc to what hes saying. What he writes about is real and happening in cities like ours. (I know I’m white, but i do see it, i don’t mean to try to silence you.)

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/pcfrank73 NiteStar

      Matt, why aren’t you coming to pride in The Bronx? o_O 😉

    • Yvette Smith

      I am a black straight woman who supports LGBTQ. I don’t think the author of this article is being narrow minded. He is strictly speaking from his personal experience, which you have a limited view of, mainly due to the fact that his experience is not your experience. You can’t step into my shoes and tell me what kinds of hard-knocks I have encountered based on my race and gender anymore than I can step into your shoes and speak on any harrowing experiences that you may have persevered through as a_____________ (fill in your race) gay man.

      The bottom line here is that racism is not “BS,” racism is real. Racism is alive and kicking. It rears its ugly head at the most unexpected moments in the most unexpected places. Instead of marginalizing the experiences of others, we should come together and have a dialogue about what can be done to erase the inequalties that are inculcated into the fabric of our country’s culture, so that racism and all other forms of exclusion truly becomes BS to us all.

  • Lamont

    I respect the author’s personal experience, but my personal experience as a gay African American man in Philadelphia could not be more different. Our Pride events are very diverse — Caucasians, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, etc. Nor are all these people “skinny” or “able-bodied.” I don’t think “bears” have boycotted Pride.

    Again, I realize the author is relaying what he is experienced, but I tend to be wary of articles that make sweeping claims with no data. Furthermore, to say marriage doesn’t have a real impact on poverty or health is wrong; marital status can alleviate many tax burdens, entitles you to Social Security benefits, health insurance from some employers, etc. Poverty and health disparity are not specific to the LGBT community; they are still incredibly important issues but I expect LGBT organizations to focus on LGBT-specific issues.

    The author also contends that queerness has become synonymous with whiteness. Perhaps for him. But when I think of the LGBT community, I think of people like Bayard Rustin, Wanda Sykes, Janet Mock, and Langston Hughes. I think this article would be better written as a personal experience that perhaps many other LGBT people of color share, rather than a sweeping generalization about an entire group.

    • Steven Austin

      I agree with what you are saying, but I definitely think you missed the forest for the trees here. Acknowledgment is not agreement just as the exception to the rule does not negate it. The author is not saying that every single Pride is exclusive, but the great majority of them are…thus the need for the “extra/other Prides” at other times of the year. If Philly is the exception, good for them…but that’s how they got to BE the exception…by not doing what everyone else continues to do. I’m here in Atlanta, and that’s EXACTLY what happens here. “Gay Pride” is a very White thing here, and for us to have more Black gays (per capita) than any other US city, that’s a disgrace.

      Lastly, you can get a more whole idea of what the author is discussing when you look at TV in accompaniment to the Gay Rights Movement. They put gay folks on TV, but they are almost always White. So these people you named are great, but we need someone as widely known as those Real Housewives for REAL visibility…but in the meantime, it’s the illusion of inclusion.

      • Lamont

        I’m interested why you think places like Philadelphia are the exception? You and the author contend that “the great majority” of Pride events are exclusive…but where is the evidence? Are there demographic surveys of the crowds at these events? I understand that this has been the author and your’s personal experience, but perhaps it is just that: Your personal experience, not necessarily the reality about most Pride events. What makes my different experience as a gay black man any less valid? I’m not even saying I’m right; I’m just saying we should all be open to the idea we might be wrong, especially before making sweeping generalizations.

        There is certainly a lack of diversity in TV’s representation of the LGBT community, and we NEED to change that. No disagreement there. But TV appearances do not equate to universal perception. You mention Real Housewives…I doubt all married women in New Jersey or Atlanta are perceived the same way as the women on those shows.

        Again, we all have different experiences and perceptions…BUT none are less valid than others. When you say your particular perception is the truth, you suppress diversity.

    • Honeybrown1976

      Lamont, come visit West Hollywood and you will see it for yourself.

      • DelcoProgressive

        I think you’re ignoring his points. Just because you feel Pride events in Chicago or West Hollywood aren’t diverse enough, doesn’t mean that’s true there or across the country. As Lamont says in his next comment, where are the demographic surveys? You make huge assumptions based on personal experiences. What about others’ experiences?

        • Honeybrown1976

          I’m not ignoring them at all. Location is key to experience. If you are in a more diverse area, e.g. Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, of course you will see and feel the diversity around you. That’s fairly expected. But, if you live in an area, like W. Hollywood, where the climate is really homogeneous, i.e., white, affluent, a gay man or woman of color no doubt feels the ostracizing far easier, and even as a straight woman/ally, I felt the unease there.

  • http://facebook.com/keithtasteedupree Keith Tastee Dupree


  • student

    Interesting that this article did not touch on the male-centric reality of the mainstream queer community. Our community not only excludes trans* or gender-non conforming people, but also queer cis women.

  • Not Impressed

    Literally, who cares? It’s not enough that we care about minority rights, we now have to care about the minorities within minorities rights? If you get specific enough, anyone can feel discriminated against.

  • Mark Melton

    Hi Aaron – this is the first time I’ve read you work and I’m impressed. I live in Chicago and I have been thinking about this issue for quite some time. Without going into all of the various elements that make this issue complicated, I take from your premise that we are losing the true meaning of “pride” in our celebrations. I walked in my first pride parade when I was 28 years old in Washington, DC (circa 1987). I was scared. I didn’t know who in the crowd might see me, I was concerned about protesters or violent elements, etc. It turned out to be one of the best days of my life – for the first time I was “truly out” and openly proud of who I am. I’m sure there are young people in our community who still feel this way the first time they attend a pride event, but I fear that we are losing our focus on progressing the totality of our causes for justice that are central to many folks’ lives. “Student” (in the comments section) makes an excellent point about the marginalization of women. I have many good friends who are lesbian, so I simply miss the obvious point that white, male dominance is STILL an issue. I appreciate Lamont’s comments that his experience at pride events in Philadelphia have been very affirming. I’ve been to pride events in many places and they all have their own unique character and foci, so I’m not surprised that his experiences are good ones. To me, this is not a good/bad or right/wrong debate. It’s merely a reminder that there is much more work to do to ensure social justice for all within our community. It is incumbent on us to reflect this in our pride events and to make visible our support for our disenfranchised brothers and sister. Happy Pride!

  • Riley

    I agree there is still a lot of discrimination even within the gay community, but I have to disagree with this article. Gay pride isn’t just for white people. I am very clearly asian, and while I could feel down about how I don’t fit the image of an able-bodied pride sex symbol, I don’t need my own pride to make me feel a sense of worth.

    I take comfort and happiness in knowing that pride is simply pride. Not white pride, not black pride, not asian pride. The author has forgotten every other colour between black and white, and quite frankly I think it reeks discrimination to label pride as white pride to push a personal agenda of self worth. Don’t victimize yourself by vilifying a good cause, something that generations have fought for.

    I’m sorry if pride doesn’t cater to your specific ego, but using a positive thing to spearhead your negative insecurities only makes you look like a perpetual victim. If this is how you genuinely feel – will anything ever be enough? I’m not trying to negate anyones struggle for equality, and I believe that the author has genuine reason to feel the way he does – but does it need to be done at the cost of someone else’s pride?

    The authors generalization that this is a common ‘issue’ at most pride events is hollow at best. The statement, if made from personal opinion and experience, is limited. Otherwise I’d like to see the research. I’ve traveled to 49 countries, and I’ve seen pride events in over a hundred cities. I’m sorry if pride in your home town doesn’t give you the all inclusive vibe, but to the contrary of what the article states – most pride events I’ve been to have been more than inclusive and certainly don’t draw a line between white, latino, asian, mixed, pacific islander, middle eastern, or black.

    • Isaac Colver

      Exactly, you are Asian. This is from a black male’s perspective. We have separate issues from you all, and are even in greater numbers. So that is why black gays need our own pride, for those who do pride parades. Asians are also generally more accepted by whites than blacks are.

      • Riley

        Exactly, I am asian? Separate issues? Asians are ‘generally’ more accepted by ‘whites’ than ‘blacks’ are?

        Here in lies the problem: You dismissed me because of the colour of my skin. Then you point out the struggles that ‘your’ people have to conclude that your own separate pride is necessary. Then without any actual factual standing you make a statement about someone (who by your logic, you possibly could not understand) and how they feel about Asians (another group of people you possibly could not understand).

        The last time I checked we were all simply people. The segregation starts within ourselves as much as it does in others. We are all capable of understanding each other. But before we get the opportunity we have already dismissed each other.

        I’m not saying to not have your own pride. if you feel like it is necessary and want to celebrate your diversity than by all means. I’d love to celebrate with you! I think it’s great that we can do that. But why do it at the cost of someone else? That’s my question that you didn’t answer.

        • Isaac Colver

          No…my point is, you are way out of place Sir. This is from a black perspective, and you are coming giving you ill-informed analysis on a black perspective when you have the experience of an Asian. Just like how white people try to speak on black experience as well.

        • Riley

          I see any chance of a proper conversation has come to a halt.

          The difference between you and me is that I see myself as a person who is capable of understanding and learning. You see yourself as a black person that no one understands. The fact that this conversation would have gone completely different if my skin was darker speaks volumes. I can’t and won’t participate in willing segregation. This is what we progressive thinkers have been fighting to overcome. I hope you have a great pride, in whichever fashion you choose to celebrate.

        • Jayson Carter


        • Isaac Colver

          YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. Which is why you disagreed with the article. MANY gay black men including myself have had the experience that this author speaks of, and you are an ASIAN coming on here trying to give your ill-informed opinion on a black man’s experience. From your comment, no, you DON’T know what the fuck you’re talking about! Segregation isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes people should just stay with the like-minded.

        • overmage

          >segregation isn’t always a bad thing

          then don’t complain when white men do it to you

        • Isaac Colver

          Honey, that’s the point. I don’t complain. I don’t want shit to do with the mainstream gay community, which is really the point of this article. I only deal those I can relate to.

        • CJ

          You, a PoC, belittling the experiences of an Asian? Your claim that Asians have it easier is your “ill-informed” analysis on a perspective you clearly will clearly never experience as a black person. You are a hypocrite. As a white person in the bible belt, people feel more comfortable relaying their beliefs to me, and I would say that there are more negative views on Asians in my experience. However, I’m not about to speak for an entire community let alone two like you did. But racists do tend to mention Asians right away. Ex: “Wasism! LOLOLOlolOLolololll!!! EngRrish!!!!11”

          You are clearly incapable of intelligent discussion. Don’t tell others not to speak for you when you are clearly attempting to speak for others. Kthx.

        • Isaac Colver

          I never belittled his experiences…he came here trying to speak on the experiences of a black gay man as if he has experienced being a black gay man. That’s the issue. Whenever a black person talks about race, whites (and sometimes Asians) try to come in and go against it when you can’t do that unless you’ve actually lived something. He brought up the fact that he was Asian, not me. Dismissing me as “unintelligent” really does nothing but show your white supremacist way of thinking, as that is what many of them do when they disagree with a black person. MORE THAN FEW black gays have experienced racial animosity in the gay community, which is why this piece is a good one.

        • Riley

          Isaac – You’re wrong again. I never tried to speak on behalf of anyones experiences. I actually wrote “I believe that the author has genuine reason to feel the way he does” and I understand all too well what discrimination looks like.

          Your retort insinuating your suffering has been greater than mine, and your quick dismissal of my opinions because of the colour of my skin is racism at its finest – that sense of superiority and unfound entitlement. You even included profanity just to add some icing to the cake. No one is dismissing you as unintelligent. You are doing that fine on your own.

          No one lives the same two lives or suffers the same identical two circumstances. So by your own wise logic you have no idea what another gay black man goes through, so we’d all ask that you stop speaking on behalf of anyone – regardless of the colour of their skin.

          I’ve posed a question more than once which you seem to have conveniently ignored. Or rather, you’ve told me I wouldn’t understand because I’m Asian and then used profanity. The words of an intelligent man.

        • Isaac Colver

          Black suffering is greater than Asian. Asians are shuffled into a prison system day by day based off of minor drug charges. Asians are not being targeted in stop and frisk…Asians are not being racially profiled day in and night out (I’m sure it happens, but not nearly as much as black). My suffering has been greater than yours. We live in a system of white supremacy, in which black males are the main target (Frances Cress Welsing does the best elaboration as to why this is). You do understand black experience unless you have experienced it. I have been hated by blacks for being too light, whites and Asians for being black, homophobes for being gay. Gay black men all have a similar experience given the fact that we share a race and a sexuality…you just don’t get it. You are looking at black issues from an Asian scope. I really don’t want to go further with you, we are not going to agree…peace.

        • Riley

          I think I will just copy and paste to save myself the trouble:

          “I’m not trying to negate anyones struggle for equality, and I believe that the author has genuine reason to feel the way he does – but does it need to be done at the cost of someone else’s pride?”

          I’m not here, Mr. Isaac, to compare who has bigger balls. We’ve all struggled. You don’t know my story. Period. While I feel bad that you’ve have challenges in your life, I’ve had just as many. You don’t know. Just as I don’t know. Yet here you are, making very strong assumptions. Your generalization of experiences do actually cross racial profiles. To think otherwise is naive.

          Of course you don’t want to go further, we are not going to agree because we are not even having the same conversation. I am telling you to be proud and celebrate your pride in whichever way you see fit. What I’m asking is why does your pride have to be a result of hating my pride? Why can’t you (and the author) simply have pride and celebrate it?

        • Isaac Colver

          Balls? Why make references to my no-no place? I am REALLY done with you.

        • Jayson Carter

          “Black suffering is greater than Asian”? Ever heard of Nanking or a little guy named Mao Zedong? Get off your high horse.

        • realist

          Then quit your bitching and go form your own group.

        • reality_check

          white men aren’t segregating, if you haven’t noticed either they are coming to where we are (Africa) or bringing us with them (North & South America) or soliciting us to come help rebuild their war-torn country (Europe)

        • Joseph Pineda

          “Segregation isn’t always a bad thing”

          Are these your words or are you speaking on behalf of an entire community?

        • Andrew Serrin

          Frances Cress Welsing, who Isaac namedropped, has some interesting views.

          “In The Isis Papers she postulates the melanin theory, a hypothesis that has been called racist, pseudoscientific and black supremacist, that white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants. She posits that because of this “defective” mutation, they may have been forcibly expelled from Africa, among other possibilities.[Welsing proposes that, because it is so easy for pure whiteness to be genetically lost during interracial breeding, light-skinned peoples developed an aggressive colonial urge and their societies dominated others militarily in order to preserve this light-skinned purity. Welsing ascribes certain inherent and behavioral differences between black and white people to a “melanin deficiency” in white people.”

          Some really terrific theories that totally contradict basic anthropology. That’s some real credibility there.

        • Ammar Naseer

          Excuse me for perhaps seeming racist but just because you’re black doesn’t automatically give you the right to spout racist drivel against other races (whether they be Jewish, Chinese, Indian, Arab, Israeli, Iraqi or Afghani). Stop this line of argument, now. It is highly offensive to other races and belittles them out of the conversation completely. The term “black experience” is bullshit and reeks of American imperialism, what about the other races in the world that have been historically marginalized for much much longer such as the Ainu, the Romany or the Untouchables?

        • Isaac Colver

          I wasn’t talking to you. And I am black dumb ass, I can’t experience anything other than being black. I’m not Chinese, Arab, all that other stuff the only thing I can do with that is empathize. You saying the black experience is bullshit is a racially bigoted thing to say.

  • Meow Mix

    NYC is the ONLY highly diverse gay pride I have EVER seen.

    Every other one is highly segregated.

    • Keone Rivers

      hit one in Hawai’i, its as diverse as it gets.

  • Kate

    Next year please come and spend some time attending “pride” events in NYC… especially “Queens Pride” and “Brooklyn Pride”, but also the “Trans Day of Action” and the “Dyke March” in Manhattan. These are all great events that are very diverse! And very beautiful!!

  • Jayson Carter

    why isn’t the solution here just to find a way to increase the presence of LGBTQIA people of color at the larger Pride events? the only way to change something is to work from within, not by seceding.

    • Isaac Colver

      Been there, done that, doesn’t work. Assimilating to whiteness is not a solution, and that is what most black gays who identify with mainstream gay culture (i.e. Don Lemon, Shaun T) do. We are torn from two different cloths, and there is little to no compatibility between white men and black men anyway.

      • C_No_Evil™

        Great Answer @isaaccolver:disqus
        @jayson_carter:disqus to better understand why you must have your own read: The Combahee River Collective Statement

      • Jayson Carter

        you’ve been there? you’ve done that? where and when? clearly, your personal experience has lead to you believe that only a segregation of these identities will suffice. i truly hope that not many people share this mentality, as it will only divide us further.

        i’m sorry, but my mother taught me that if i wasn’t happy with the system, i have to change it. if that’s not the same school of thought you’re from, how are you going to improve the condition of this world at all? gay pride is gay pride, and to sequester oneself off is not only counterproductive but counter intuitive to the radically evolving society in which we’re all trying to fit.

        bottom line: if you’re not happy with PoC presence at queer events, attend them! rally for more PoC to attend. make apparent the importance of a celebration of true diversity for all people of all identities. you are as responsible for this world as i am, so put some effort into shaping it. otherwise, who are you to complain?

        • Isaac Colver

          Our point is, the group doesn’t market to us. I personally want nothing to do with it. My orientation isn’t my life. I don’t base pride off of sexual orientation or race, I base it off of lifetime accomplishments. I don’t identify with people based off of orientation.

        • Jayson Carter

          the group doesn’t market to you? then make it market to you. enter it and alter it. otherwise, you’re just being complacent, and complacency changes nothing. when i see a problem in my community, i move to fix it. be the change.

        • reality_check

          you sound like a fool. Exclusion from mainstream (read: white) pride events is the very reason why black gay pride events were started in the first place. You can never force someone to accept nor tolerate you. Sorry but your mom was half right. If you don’t like the system, sure you can work to change it, or you can create your own system. Blacks were smart to chose the latter. Forcing someone to include you? How pathetic is that?

      • Tony L

        Rather an assimilation, why not a cooperation? It’s hard to say that there is “little to no compatibility” between the two by the way. With this topic, they are both in the LGBTQIA community. I personally think that people try to work things out with events such as Pride. It’s an open invite, not exclusive to anyone. The ratio racial demographics might be based on a particular area, that may be a majority white to begin with.

        It’s hard to support LGBTQIA issues if we can’t support racial issues with all of the intersectionalities. I think that this article may be touching more on a hook up culture, or people’s preference. Just because someone is black, it does not make them any less gay.

        Lastly, maybe some of this has to do with what media portrays beautiful. Whether it is the straight or gay community, media has influenced these ideals and continues to do so. We just have to challenge those ideas and push for change.

      • Krystjan Jensen

        How is being not white and attending pride somehow “assimilating”? And FYI thanks for your black-white analysis of the world which ignores everyone hispanic and asian and middle eastern and what not. Where do we fit in your bizarre vision of the world? We clearly don’t exist because we don’t validate your racial arguments

  • Rainbows & Irony

    Isn’t the very action of going to a gay bar going to “sexualize” you? I mean, think before you write. The very nature of the gay bar is sexualized. Everyone who enters that space is sexualized.

    I am queer and some pieces of this article are very disappointing to read. Others, however, raise VERY VALID issues.

    One should note that this same author writes, “for me, the club is one of the most liberating spaces I exist within” in a different piece. This adds to the absurdity of feeling sexualized in a gay club. I do not know Talley’s experience as the black gay male, but no gay experiences are the same. No straight experiences the same. No alien experiences are the same.

    Articles like this are dividing the gay community. They are not uniting us and it just makes me sad.

    • Isaac Colver

      Yes, pointing out the gay community’s race issues is “dividing” the gay community, as if that isn’t all ready done. Give me a break. White people hate talking about race because it makes them uncomfortable and it challenges white supremacy, what the gay community is based off of. There gay community probably has more racial issues than the straight one. To say someone’s experience is absurd is just fucking condescending and dismissive. Black people, especially black men, have been fetishized in this society and this is very prevalent in the so-called gay community.

    • Krystjan Jensen

      {Articles like this are dividing the gay community} couldn’t agree more.

  • Duncan Roy

    Thanks so much for writing this. Don’t expect dumb entitled white gay men to understand.

    • DelcoProgressive

      Yes, “dumb entitled white gay men”. Name-calling is the crutch of a crippled argument. You ignore the people of color in these comments who disagree with you.

      • fuck you delcoprogressive

        yet you delco cling onto the white people who pose as queer people of colour who post the messages you like to see. you want to believe that being white and gay that you are a niche, that you are endangered because its all that defines you. you have nothing else that makes you unique therefore you exclude queer people of colour from the lgbt community. go home.

        • marcos

          I was not aware that one could determine politics or economics based on ethnicity. Nor was I aware that there was an apartheid imposed upon queerdom where we kept to our own exclusive ethnic homelands. Did you run for election from your ethnic/queer group to get standing to make such assertions in behalf of others? That is one of the features of queerdom, that we white queers get to connect sexually with people of color in ways that hets never could or would and often times that leads to cultural connection. In the big cities there is plenty of mixing of queers of all ethnicities, oppression and privilege theory notwithstanding.

        • DelcoProgressive

          Why do you assume that some commentators (including myself) are white people posing as people of color? My father is from Ghana and my mother is half black and half white. You invent these conspiracy theories because you have little else to back up your claims. You are terrified of people of color who have a differing viewpoint. I AM HOME.

  • Calinnyc

    Despite any truths this article holds, it was wrapped in such a condescending, negative way I can’t help but shrug and move on. Differences will be differences, and I’m not sure you’re asking for common ground rather a pat on your back for objecting. Imagine you life if you were born 70 years earlier.

    • Spaz

      I could not agree more with you.

    • Rene

      “Imagine you life if you were born 70 years earlier.”

      he doesn’t have to imagine life 70 years ago, racism is everywhere in this country. white people commit most of the crimes, do most of the drugs, and are on most of the welfare and public aid in this country, yet Black and Latino people make up an overwhelming majority of the prison population, are ~8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, and carry entirely the stereotype of draining the system and being “welfare queens,” etc.

      • marcos

        Stop this right now. To say that conditions in the US today are the same for most black people as they were during Jim Crow willfully disregards history. To say that conditions for LGBT today are the same as when I was growing up gay in Texas in the 1970s belies credulity.

  • Ceemo

    Perhaps this is true in Chicago. It is not true of the Pride events I’ve attended in North Carolina, which are quite diverse. I wonder how many Pride events outside of Chicago this author has visited, or is he basing his opinion on one or two events and unfairly applying his little actual knowledge as a stereotype on all events?

  • poor you

    The author sadly assumes that these experiences are unique to themselves. They are not. They are felt by people of all races and genders. If you had a vagina this is what you would face walking into any bar. Stop whining and learn the that world does not revolve around yourself. Open up to the idea that feeling sexualized and obejectified while feeling simultaniosly ignored is not solely a gay black experience.

    • marcos

      Do you really think that anything but a very small number of women are afraid to walk into bars or believe that we live in a rape culture?

  • Angry Radical

    I am greatly disturbed by many of the comments here. It has become too focused on pride events and what pride events are like in this city or that city. It seems to me that the greater issue is racism in the LGBT community and the lack of inclusion. As a white queer person, I experience tremendous and innumerable privileges each and every day because of my white skin. My queer identity does not cancel that out. I long ago stopped attending pride events because of the lack of inclusion of many groups: PoC, women, bi/pan folks, trans* people, people with disabilities, fat people, poor folks and more. I also despise the corporatism, the rampant alcohol and drug usage, the inaccessibility of many of the events, and the predatory sexualization by some, and “hook-up” culture that doesn’t work for many folks. If you are Black or Brown, or disabled, or trans*, or fat, or in recovery, or asexual, or have social anxiety, and many more things, Pride can be more alienating and marginalizing than empowering. If you have radical politics, you will find little to feed your interests. With so much emphasis on inclusion in conservative institutions like marriage and the military, radicals and progressives often feel disrespected. Pride has become a big white-dominated corporate party, and very much unrooted from its revolutionary roots in the actual Stonewall Riot. The points the author makes here are completely on point, and it saddens me to be in a community where so many are intent on overriding a person’s experiences and painting a picture of “Pride” that is totally not true for many different marginalized communities.

    • marcos

      It is not like the anti-oppression and privilege fetishists would have held up for long in the not-very-safe-space of Stonewall or Compton’s. There were no trigger warnings. A committee elected by the SF Pride committee that is open to all sets the tone for our event. We had to state a coup d’etat to wrest the board from the neoliberal Democrats who denied Bradley Manning the grand marshal spot he won last year. This year, Chelsea Manning will assume her rightful spot as grand marshal. I generally hang in bacchanalian debauchery with my tribe at the commercial-free Faerie Freedom Village. If you want a different version of pride, then make a different version of pride. We staged an electoral coup. Don’t go begging at others to do your work for you.

    • DelcoProgressive

      And that’s your experience, which is totally valid. Other LGBT people of color, like myself, have had different experiences. I live in Baltimore and Pride here has always been diverse and inclusive. Where the author goes awry is claiming his experience is the norm. Where is the data to back up his claims?

      • Krystjan Jensen

        Thank you!!

      • realist

        This so much, 2014 was my first pride and i seen more diverse people than white men.

  • Angry Radical

    Also, the way people keep pretending like white, young, cisgender, muscular men is not a thing at Prides are being so disingenuous. It is hugely featured on floats, and showcases how these images are centered and celebrated. Even if there is more diversity, if this is the standard, I’m so out. These men need to realize that they are a small component of the community and they are not superior, even though they like to think that they are. The obsession with appearance, weight, and being “hot” or “sexy” is tired and cliched. But it mirrors dominant society and how some bodies are accorded worth and values while others are treated like disposable trash.

  • Jon

    Yup, all my fault, my damn white privilege. Shame on me.

    • Isaac Colver

      To me, it is not privilege…it is white supremacy, which is what the gay community is based off of.

      • Jon

        I knew that spoon would get in my way.

      • DelcoProgressive

        That is a sadly ignorant statement. Racism pervades every part of society, but to say the LGBT community is based off it? You sound like the right-wingers.

        • Isaac Colver

          Oh please, and no, racism is a very specific thing. It is systematic oppression. The gay community markets itself to a white audience, is controlled by white gays, with a few “gays of color” sprinkled in there. Racism and white supremacy are two different things. Funny you should mention right wingers, the so-called “racists” when gays are just as racially biased as they are. Here’s some definitions for you.

          Someone who has the power to systematically disenfranchise another race of
          people. It is strictly systematic. (Calling someone a racial pejorative, not
          preferring interracial dating, and not wanting to live around other races of
          people are examples of what is NOT racist).

          White Supremacist: Someone who believes that whites and whiteness are
          culturally and biologically superior to all other groups. Not all white
          supremacists are white. While most white supremacists don’t have the power to
          be a racist, the vast majority of racism is loosely based off of white
          supremacy (i.e. the education system, the prison system, mainstream media).
          While there is nothing wrong with having pride in one’s race, almost all white
          supremacists find it amusing to denigrate other races of people.

          Prejudice: Less than flattering pre-conceived notions.

          Bigot: Some who has irrational hatred for another group.

        • Jayson Carter

          Where did you get these definitions? This is worse than a WBC pamphlet.

        • DelcoProgressive

          I would LOVE to see where you’re getting these definitions. Racism is the opinion or view that one race is superior or inferior to another. Discrimination is putting that view into action through violence, laws, and other social constructs.

          Anybody of any race can be a racist. But a racial minority cannot really be guilty of institutional discrimination, since they do not possess the necessary power to enact these laws or enforce these constructs.

    • G. James

      You’re not really very bright, are you? It is amazing how you are trying to hijack this article and make it about you. All I see the author attempting to do is discuss how it feels to be on the margins of the gay movement, that gayness is not only about white gay pride. He is discussing that gay pride is much richer and deeper, and darker, than it appears. This is another perspective. Apparently, you have no space for other people’s relativism?

  • Ammar Naseer

    I don’t get it…..why is this an issue? If you’re poor, work harder and educate yourself instead of complaining about the imaginary “white supremacy that’s keeping you down.” Newsflash: the supremacy that’s keeping you down isn’t white anymore, it’s multiethnic and equally likely to be White, Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Black or German. And is it really keeping you down or are you just neglecting to claim opportunities available to you and Other-ing yourself? Don’t Other yourself, it’s not a colour that looks good on you, instead better yourself and the world around you. Be a change agent not a “the system doesn’t work for me so I’m going to complain on the internet”, be the change you want to see in the world.

    • Isaac Colver

      No one is talking about poverty. Were talking about the gay community. Don’t deflect with your condescending BS. I WORK HARD, GRADUATED SAL OF MY CLASS, AND AM MAJORING IN FINANCE. The gay community is white supremacist construct in the sense that it markets to a white audience, is controlled by white, excludes many minority groups having a handful in there, constantly bashes black people as if black people are the most homophobic, rarely shows black people yet wants to constantly compare themselves to blacks.

      • marcos

        That is because after same sex attraction, there is little that binds gay people together, we’re all over the spectrum.

  • Krystjan Jensen

    This is an article about RACE, thinly veiled in gayness, not about the LGBT community. Sad that he is trying to end racism and exclusion by being racist and writing off an entire segment of the community. This is the kind of attitude we need to collectively reject.

    Also “rainbows are really just refracted white light” is the most forced metaphor I’ve ever heard. Upon entering a gay bar he feels “sexualized and objectified”. Well, no shit. It’s a gay bar. And in his rush to write off gay white men, he totally forgot to even talk about WOMEN, who are 50% of the population. Because they don’t have a penis? The author sounds about as bad as the people he’s trying to demonize.

    • Isaac Colver

      hit dogs will holler.

    • Justin Riggs


      Not all women have a penis,


    • fuck you krystjan

      he’s racist for highlighting the racism in the white lgbt community? but the white people who continually exclude people of colour from the lgbt community arent though right? and the author is a male who would have more priviledge than a woman hence the reason he hasn’t addressed the queer women of colour community because he hasn’t experienced that trifector of hate. ironically you are the prime example of the hatred in the lgbt community we need to stamp out.

      • marcos

        Who is continually excluding people of color above and beyond the background levels of racism in a racist society? It is not like all white people or white queers can flick a light switch and end racism tomorrow. It is not like we get to call a meeting and make a motion to end racism and be done with it. Racism in the US took 400 years to instill, it is going to take time and effort to remove and those efforts will need to consider how they will deal with push back from power that thrives on dividing and conquering. Systemic racism has been named for some time now. The time has come to move from naming what most aware people have known for some time towards the long haul strategy to eradicate racism from a racist society. That will not, can not happen in any of our lifetimes, especially if we never move away from the storytelling portion.

  • realist

    All i hear is a bunch of piss whining. Come to Baltimore Cities Pride. More Black people and White lesbians than Gay White men. Cry some more.

    • marcos

      The theory clearly states who is oppressed, how and why and who has privilege, how and why, no more, no less. Because theory.

  • Spaz

    This article is horrific and a complete insult to the sacrifices made by gay people of all backgrounds. First of all, no apologies should be made if a gayborhood happens to be predominantly white or affluent. This is not because of any racial exclusion. It follows an economic pattern. Let me tell this from the Chicago/Boystown perspective. Small populations of gay men (who yes, happened to be predominantly white) risked their own safety and financial security to establish a gay neighborhood in Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood, which at the time was a gang/drug ridden hole in the ground. Through decades of blood, sweat and tears they built a successful neighborhood that welcomes people of all backgrounds.

    The predominantly white gay population went so much further to establish the Center on Halsted to provide a safe haven for poor gay youth all over the city. The net result? Since the Center’s opening, Boystown has seen an annual spike in violence, stabbings, beatings, shootings, riots in the streets, rapes, burglaries, etc. The list goes on. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have been the victims of random crimes in the last 4 years while walking through Boystown. Who are committing these crimes? Where are they coming from? And what exactly do YOU propose the local residents, shoppers and diners do or say, for fear of being accused of being racist, especially by someone like the author of this article, who obviously has his finger on the racial trigger at every turn in every aspect of his life? Racism certainly exists in our nation, and it is everywhere. But when you self-obsess over racism to the point of insanity, at some point you are only holding yourself back.

    • Rene

      “Small populations of gay men (who yes, happened to be predominantly white) risked their own safety and financial security to establish a gay neighborhood in Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood, which at the time was a gang/drug ridden hole in the ground. ”

      I’ve lived in Chicago for my whole life, and it is one of the most systematically and violently policed and gentrified cities in America. Why do you think that neighborhood was a gang and drug-ridden hole in the ground, or why any of them are now? Do you really think people just like moving to poor neighborhoods without services, grocery stores, and public safety that other neighborhoods in Chicago have??? And gay white people weren’t the only ones fighting for gay rights, and they DEFINITELY weren’t the only ones in events like Stonewall, establishment of boystown, etc. The author LITERALLY writes about how everyone assumes gayness is synonymous with whiteness, and you just proved his point.


      “Who are committing these crimes? Where are they coming from?”

      This is so comment is so racist I can’t even deal with it. White people commit most of the crime in this country, so, sorry not sorry if Black and Latino people (who you ignorantly assume are all from the ghetto and there to commit crimes) want to hang out in the gay neighborhood, too.

      “But when you self-obsess over racism to the point of insanity, at some point you are only holding yourself back.”

      Black and Latino people are regularly harassed, assaulted, discriminated against, and killed by police. Chicago PD are notoriously racist, and just because they’ve never harassed your white ass doesn’t mean it isn’t happening all over the city. People of color have to obsess about race because they don’t have a choice, and if white people are so upset about us talking about it, they probably shouldn’t have invented the concept of it some hundreds of years ago

      • Phogul

        Honestly, your comment has become more about racism than gay rights.

        “This is so (sp) comment is so racist I can’t even deal with it.”

        Look at your own comment.

        • https://twitter.com/CanyonBosler Canyon Bosler

          And this is an article about structural racism, so that is on target.

        • Isaac Colver

          This just goes to show how disconnected white gays are from the black gay experience…race is still a huge issue for many black men, especially in the so-called gay community.

        • DelcoProgressive

          You and your sweeping generalizations. What about the white gays who agree with you? Are they disconnected?

  • Jay Lyons

    Me as a black gay man agrees that it happen in black and white general places. I don’t agree that pride are just for whites. Yes there are more white men and, woman at pride. Most black man and, women are for the most part scared to come out or support the pride celebrations because of what are family and, friends might say. An most of us are to afraid of coming out. Pride is a celebration for all color and, genders. I’m just so blessed that the older people that came before us fought so hard so we can be accepted. A lot of them was beaten and, dyed so we can have the same equal rights as straight people do. We have a long way to go but us it does happen in some neighborhoods in the U.S. I never been into one white gay bar and, have been discriminated against not once. On the other hard I have been to one generally black club and, have been discriminated against because I brought my white boyfriend to the club with me. C’mon its 2014 let’s get over are self’s. Yes discrimination go both ways. Its not fair but it life. I don’t pay it no mind. Every place isn’t the same. But me have to get better as a community.

    • marcos

      Most queers respond to discrimination by persevering over it, that is how we express our pride. But the oppression olympians and privilege fetishists prefer to wallow in their powerlessness. In the big cities, at least, it is not like there is gay sexual apartheid. We mix and match in every combination of ethnicities and that is one of the benefits of being a gay male, promiscuity leads to connecting with people from different walks of life in ways most heteros never would.

  • Lance Desker

    Your attempt to separate, and ultimately divide and conquer is misplaced. First of all, if you had been, even if only once to an lgbt parade, you would have already seen the diversity, not only of genders, but of races as well. Go to Toronto this weekend, you’ll see! I would encourage you to attend one before spouting off at the mouth. You also equate being gay with “a sea of sex shops, rainbows, and skinny dancing white men”. Nice try…Your stereotyping is no better than the most racist of the GOP, who equate black communities with rampant mooching off the government and high crime rates, totally disregarding the hard work of the black communities and their contribution to Canadian and American history. You aren’t very informed if you ignore the contribution of lgbt people in the service industry, in entertainment, in the clothing industry, ie., the very things associated with urban life. Here in Montreal, there are quite a few neighbourhoods where LGBT adults are moving to, that have not been identified with rainbow flags. And, way to stereotype about marriage as being unimportant to the gay and lesbian community. If it hadn’t been, we would not have fought so hard here in Canada to legalise it. As for your trite opinion that “rainbows really are just refracted white light”, I”d really like to know where you heard THAT one from…Allen West?

    • Isaac Colver

      You did nothing but deflect…the issue stands, the gay community has serious race issues that will not be resolved. Separation isn’t a bad thing, as I personally am not interested in white gay culture. The gay community is already divided and doing quite well with the white gays who run it. Allen West? Lol, the condescending nature of the white left.

      • Jayson Carter

        “The gay community has serious race issues that will not be resolved.”

        Correction: the gay community has serious race issues that can be resolved only with patience, openness, and time.

        • Isaac Colver

          If the white supremacy of the community is resolved…which most likely won’t be.

        • reality_check

          jayson, racism will never be resolved; not as long as the authors of racism, white people, are in power. I hope you are not really black, because if you are then you’ve been lied to. probably believing what the white folks tell you

  • Spaz

    The mere title of this article is racist in of itself, not to mention horribly irresponsible and insulting to many. The author lays a blanket assumption of racism on the gay white community based not on factual statistics or empirical data but on his assumptions about what others are thinking and how he feels people may be looking at him. (“If you choose to be black and attend these establishments, it is not long before you feel sexualized, objectified, or ignored altogether if not outright discriminated against.”) This a baseless comment based solely on the author’s own insecurities. Does he provide any factual data about the gay white community engaging in discriminatory behavior? For example, was a black float denied entry in the gay pride parade? Does he have evidence of black people receiving discriminatory treatment in the gay bars/restaurants/shops? Are black home buyers/renters being denied access to real estate in gay neighborhoods?

    Here is perhaps the most infuriating comment made by the author: “The living proof of this phenomenon is that mainstream pride parades are often accompanied by smaller prides that create space for other salient marginalized identities. Other prides like “Black pride,” or “trans* pride,” for instance.” “Black Pride” celebrations did not come about because the gay white community excluded blacks and therefore forced them to have their own marginalized pride celebration. Black Pride was started by the black community because being gay in the black culture is still far more of a taboo than it is in the white culture. Therefore, the gay black community wanted to start something POSITIVE to encourage gay black youth to take pride in who they are both as gay and black individuals. I condemn the author for spinning it into something horrendous!

    What is so damaging about this article is that the author not only places the same generalizations on an entire community, but in doing so belittles the real problem of racism that does occur in America. Blacks are still regarding as second class citizens in many corners of our nation and much progress still needs to made. It’s a serious issue and this author, in his irresponsible and deliberately incendiary writing, makes a mockery of it.

    • Isaac Colver

      Here’s your “factual data” Sir. Fact is, MANY black gay men complain about how they are treated in the white gay community. FACT IS, many black gay men don’t feel welcome in the white gay community. There have been several accounts of of black gays not being allowed into to certain gay groups of clubs. You, like most of the white gays who have come to this article, have tried to dismiss the fact that the gay community has serious issues with race and doesn’t market to black gays. Confronting the white supremacy of the gay community makes you uncomfortable.

      • Spaz

        Can you name these clubs where black people have been denied access? Give some specifics? You just said there are “several accounts” of such occurrences. Name these accounts. I would love to know which gay groups of clubs are denying black people access based on race. You said “several accounts”. Stand by your statements and give us facts, not just generalizing words like “several” and “most”. I can’t wait to hear who these clubs are. You’re claiming that I, like “most of the white people” (again, you can back up with surveys that most white people think this way?) are dismissing the “FACT” that this is happening. Where is it happening? What club? What bar? What restaurant? You said “several accounts”! Your words, not mine. Like I asked in my comments? And here’s the thing. I am AGREEING with you that there are individual instances where discrimination occurs. What I have a problem with is your blanketing generalization that this is how the vast majority of gay white people behave or think.

        Here are my actual accounts. In 2009, I received an award from the Windy City Pride organization (A “Black Pride” organization) for my company’s outreach to gay black youth on the south and west side. They held their award ceremony at Sidetrack, where the white-owned bar gave out free drinks to attendees and donated to the organization. I worked on the committee to raise money for the Center on Halsted, which was opened to provide programs for gay youth, especially those in poor communities who had nowhere else to go. The Center is located in Boystown, a predominantly gay white neighborhood. I can go on and on with the different, positive, cooperative and DIVERSE programs that exist in the gay community. This is a reality.

        There, I just gave you facts, dates, names and places. You gave me “most”, “several”, and every other alarmist, generalizing statement with no factual basis.

      • alex

        name the places?

  • Omelio Alexander

    Sorry I don’t get the point of this article. Can white gay guys be just as rascist as straight white guys? Of course. Are white gay men parading down the street something that many black men can’t stomach or have the courage to do themselves? Yup. Which is why I’ve never heard of a black pride parade. I’ve might have heard of black pride workshops and I’ve certainly been to black pride parties but generally they seem to be quite the opposite of out and proud. Is that because there are no substantial organizations, is that because those organizations can’t raise money or don’t have political pull? I don’t know.

    The rainbow you dismiss so easily represents equality. Just like the American flag does. The fact that equality is not present has no bearing on that underlying ideal. When I go to parades I see people of every type. It is a place and environment to express yourselves freely. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that don’t blame it on the flamboyant white boy, take a look at yourself.

  • Liz

    Can you change the title of this to “Gay Pride is for White (cis)MEN”? I think that’s more to your point.

  • theatregeek

    I cant speak for Chicago, but your experience with Pride doesnt sound like the one Ive had in NYC. I am continually blown away at the sheer diversity on display in the parade. It always puts a smile on my face, and feels like tons of different types of people coming together. I cant deny that there is unfortunately racism within the gay community. Perhaps it is an aspect of the need by many gays to only associate with their specific subculture. But I think discrediting the impact and progress that marriage equality has brought is selling it rather short. Visibility is one of, if not the strongest tool we have in our arsenal in terms of being viewed as equals. Visible couples are important. Visible married couples treated the same by our government are important.

  • Cam

    Hmm… All gay prides are NOT like they are in Chicago! All gay neighborhoods are not like Boystown! The author seems to be writing from their point of view. Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in America!

    There have been efforts in many cities to incorporate lgbt communities of color in the parades and festivals. I know in Maryland where I live, the pride parades in Baltimore & DC had black organizations and performers and events. I am sure other cities are the same. And while many gay white men fetishize black men, there are many more who aware and friendly.

    Lets take some initiative and help diversify lgbt prides by creating black organizations to participate. A great example is Harlem Pride Inc. Unlike many “black prides” they have a festival in the park with entertainment, spoken word and informative booths. They dont just focus on parties or half ass workshops. They’re also visible during NY Pride as well.

  • kayvone

    You know as a black lesbian, I can’t say I understand your struggle,but as a people…..sigh. We as a whole complain and whine, and don’t do nothing to change or grow.If we can’t accept ourselves,how can we move forward? Why do we need validation?Apparently, black people we’re not tired yet. Your article is based off one location.Do you travel ? How about starting a dialogue with the organizations in your area? You might learn somethings.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously the author is expressing what he feels to be his own subjective reality. I feel the same way, when men look at me (soliciting sex) I feel that sexism and otherness comes into it the majority of the time, and it’s real to me and has a bearing on the objective reality of my world, which is a valid one. If he experiences a feeling of being discriminated against for being black while visible as gay, I believe there is validity to it. He would perhaps not have these issues with feeling objectified as a black man if there weren’t real narratives that triggered that experience. I don’t like all the bullying that is going on, it is not okay.

  • TruthSerum

    I am not white, I am not black, I am not brown, I am just another human being happens to be gay. I focus on those who accept me and dont give any attention for those who want to create this race disparities. We have to participate, create visibility and claim our space in the community what is rightfully ours.. There is so much bad blood, mistrust, aggression, racism, misinformation within our communities (There is no single community, it is a bunch of communities), we have to rise above all of these. The blame game needs to stop. Pride is for everyone and Happy pride.

  • mark

    Are you for real? Racist and distasteful. I am so over the cry for attention from those that claim others are racist. The pot calling the kettle black.

  • alex

    this guy is an idiot to think that pride festivals are in white neighborhoods. Where are they supposed to be in Dominican neighborhoods?

    • Jake Stevens

      I’m not sure I quite follow your point, unless you are implying that an LGBT Parade could never take place in a Dominican neighborhood, and is only “safe” in a white neighborhood. In Queens NY the LGBT Pride Parade is held in a predominantly immigrant (South Asian and Central American) neighborhood with great success. If you so reflexively dismiss taking Pride outside its white zone, are you so surprised that the author feels like he and his brothers of color are not welcome in that same white zone?

  • Jake Stevens

    The amount of energy being spent by my fellow white folks to deny the existence of institutional racism in the LGBT community is disappointing. For the purpose of this discussion the author, and many of the posters, are distinguishing between prejudice or bias (which can inhabit the heart of anyone) and the institutional structural manifestation of that bias by those in power. In this country white people have created and benefitted from a systematic disenfranchisement of people of color. It continues to manifest itself in family wealth statistics (bank redlining undermined the equity in predominantly African American communities), education rates and access to social networks which lead to jobs. A white men with a felony records have higher rates of employment than African American men without criminal records. So if you are white you have benefitted from an unequal distribution of wealth, opportunity and freedom. Rather than telling the author (and other people of color) to “get over it” maybe we should “man” up and listen harder (even if the above article isn’t perfectly written).