Recent battles over the rainbow flag and the Star of David have exposed long-simmering biases.
In my almost 50 years of LGBT activism, there has never been a time that worried me more about our struggle for equality than the current state of our movement. It shocks me to have to say that, since I was a member of New York’s Gay Liberation Front, the organization born from the ashes of Stonewall. We were the most dysfunctional organization to ever exist in the LGBT community. We fought among ourselves at every turn, and while we disagreed on almost everything, we managed to create a community that didn’t exist before. We nurtured it and celebrated it; we didn’t tear it apart.
In a time when corporate America and society in general are beginning to embrace diversity and inclusion, our community, which was born with those issues in our body politic, has reverted to words and actions that seem to turn us against ourselves.
There is no better way in illustrate this separation of insanity than Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag. That flag, which was meant from its inception to represent unity of all peoples in our community, is now becoming a symbol of hate within our community. We’ve managed to weaponize against ourselves a flag that was meant to bring unity. It is splitting us apart on two major issues: race and anti-Semitism. It pains me to say those are issues we are still fighting in our community. Gilbert’s flag has become the punching bag for racist and anti-Semitic views.
Earlier this year the issue of racism in the community was raised in Philadelphia. It started with an age-old tradition of LGBT bars discriminately carding people at the door, along with a “dress code” that happened to exclude apparel that was most culturally relevant to the black and brown community. This is not a new act. Continue reading on the Lavender Magazine