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Racism within the GLBT community

I saw this topic posted in another section and I thought it belonged here because this area seems more appropriate and it may get better responses (who knows). Anyway, has anyone ever been discriminated against in the GLBT community? Many people say that it is alive within the community, yet I think it's like the blind hating the blind. Ladies, what do you think?

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Okay, I had to pose this question/issue to the womyn of color because I want to know what you all think about this. A black male interjected himself into a conversation I was having with a friend re: her girlfriend and said "The amount of black lesbians is sickening, no wonder it's so hard to find a stright black woman." We let him have it verbally, but what I want to know is what is your perception of the number of womyn of color who are lesbians? Do you think the number is high, low, average? In my area alone I know the number is high, but that's just my area.

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well, lise....i've gotta say that, unfortunately, i've experienced racism from my fellow dykes.....

i mean in the black community, we still got the shade thang to deal with....i'm not even gonna go there with dykes of other ethnicities....

basically, i think that brutha was a bit jealous.....i remember hearing the "old folks" say, "don't let a bulldagger get near your woman....she'll be ruint.." LOL :lol:

men wanna believe that they're the only ones who are capable of having/practicing sexual freedom....when women explore their sexuality, it's a big problem.....

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"shade thang"? I'm going to assume you're refering to colorism. Yeah, I can't believe that colorism is still going on. I first learned about it from my constant repeat of Spike Lee's School Daze, but I do know what you're talking about. There are people out there who will not date darker skin womyn. I've been told that I'm what you consider passing (you can see my blue/green veins with no problem) when it comes to issues of colorism, but I don't discriminate based on complexion because if a woman is attractive she's attractive. Period.

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racism can look so many different ways. it can be blatant or it can be subtle. i find the racism that i've witnessed and experienced to mostly be subtle -- like tokenizing people of color by getting one gay black men to diversify a board of some organization and then thinking that his one perspective is everyobody's perspective or people who plan events for the GLBT community not making an effort to include people of color on their boards, planning committees or even in their audience much. or founding organizations that could benefit so many but only make them accessible to (through culture, class, language barriers) a select few.

and everyone's affected by this. i belonged to an org for trans folks (i am not trans) and in the beginning it was great -- their were transmen, transwomen, latinos, blacks, asians and whites. young folk, older folk. they had spanish-language interpreters. and i believe this was because a puerto rican lesbian was the one who helped to found it -- she was mindful of these things. but since then it has increasingly become more white and more for transwomen than for transmen. and the thing is: they don't care, because it serves their (majority in the org) population just fine. they don't care that the spanish-speaking transwoman prostitute doesn't feel welcome anymore.

i see racism in this community all the time. racism isn't just about what people do, but what people don't do. who isn't included in the conversation, in the decision-making, in the planning. and i won't even get into the ridiculous things i've heard white people say when they think people of color aren't around (cuz i can pass for white). so, yeah, it's definitely alive.

i'll agree that there is a lot of internalized racism in the community -- colorism being a part of that. and being a part of the latino community, i can also say there's a lot of discrimination amongst latinos of different nationalities -- we don't all get along. *smile* but, i think i've said enough for now. i should get back to work.

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:mrgreen:

lise441 - i feel ya!!! i can see my blue veins too....er, sometimes, that is.....LOL....that is, when they ain't hiding...with my anemic ass.... *snork*

lady k - anyone ever tell u that u look like joan osborne (the singer)?? just don't dye your hair dark blond....i'll be after ya!!! LOL

u know, i can't stand orgs that "vote" one person of color/gender and attempt to have them speak for everyone of that particular ethnicity or gender....there are many, many points of view to be taken into account....

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Welcome to the iron deficiancy anemia club :!: When I was growing up my black family could not stand me. They were dark like Shug Avery and I was light. They used to call me names, put me down, and my own grandmother used to call me an albino coon. But on the other hand I had family members telling me to stay out of the sun because if I got dark I would get no where in life and no one wanted a dark woman. Talk about confusion :(

Ladyk, I think it's wrong when people use one person to define a group of people. This is one of the reasons why I won't join our citys GLBT community center (William Way) theres no diversity there in terms of members or leadership roles and I'm the type of person who likes to be in diverse situations, but for some damn reason that is hard to find in this city and I don't understand why because this is a major city. Oh well :roll: I think we all must work hard to promote and encourage diversity among ourselves because no one else is going to stand up and do it.

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philly has an U-G-L-Y racial past....i currently live near one of the (formerly) racial hotbeds in the city....grays ferry avenue.

grams used to tell me there was a time where if you were black (or anything other than irish-catholic), you couldn't live on or "cross" grays ferry. now, it's an up & coming spot for the hipsters!!

i'm with ya about WW...i've applied for positions there, but you're only selected if you're male and white....and yet, they bellyache about "the community" not utilizing the center....ya gotta give to get, i say

i recently helped out with the NOLOSE fat girl flea market/queer bodies conference, this past may...it went well...however, i could tell that the men were none too pleased that les/bi/queer/trans womyn...and mostly fat womyn to boot, were in the house!!

.... also, the center has gotten a black eye as of late, due to their lack of womyn's programming....i know someone on the committee...and she was pissed!!!

and, no....i am not the eyes, ears, nose & throat of gay philly...LOL :mrgreen:

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I went the WW center once, took a tour, asked them about diversity and programs specific to women and the guy looked at me like I asked him for a million dollars. I see why people aren't utilizing the center, if you're not white then there really are no thrills at the center. I was thinking of applying for a position there but the place is dead and I doubt they would like what i wanted to bring to the center i.e. programs and groups for young women of color, diversity social events, etc etc. For now my focus is on domestic violence. I have a new project idea in mind for the city and I'll be happy to run some of the details by you if you're interested. Maybe we shoudl start a social group for lesbian women and hopefully bring about some diversity and change within this seemingly dead city.

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:mrgreen:

lady k - anyone ever tell u that u look like joan osborne (the singer)?? just don't dye your hair dark blond....i'll be after ya!!! LOL

*laughing* um, no, no one has ever told me that. in person, most people tell me i look like gloria estefan, but i don't see the resemblence.

you need not worry about me dying my hair any shade of blond...i like my hair natural.

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As a Black-American, I know that race is an issue on every path I walk. As a Lesbian I have had those whom the personal matchmaker picked who, based on their profile, where 'obviously' compatible until you got to the the ethnic preference which was 'white/caucasian. So I asked the person if this designation was strictly adhered. Two days later she, politely, said that she was looking for someone who was at home and did not work, but thanks for the inquiry. Was I offended by her? NOPE. Was I disappointed with the matchmaker? You bet.

Racial preference is not necessarily racism. The need for social commonality is an important issue when dating. As American's we really need to examine the institutionality of racism. You practically have to take deprogramming classes to rise above the subtlties of racist consciousnous because we somehow believe that all the negative things are true, at least somewhere on the lower level of consciousness. It is interesting that as Lesbian's within our community we have to deal with racism.

The discrimination within the Black lesbian community is saddest of all. Wish we could have a conference to address these matters. What else can be done?

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A couple of my friends and I were having this same discussion a few days ago, and I was wondering if any of you ladies believe that classism is a problem in the GLBT community as well. For example, I've always had a hard time meeting women because many of them think that I'm acting "stuck up" because of the way I speak, dress, etc. This issue has only come up with women in and around my age bracket (21-25).

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HIKOO

This isn't classest in the pure sense. You are experiencing the old house and field mentality. Those slaves who worked in the field spoke differently (ebonics today) than those in the master's house, (proper English) People will often say, especially those who belong to the dominant culture, that that was hundreds of years ago and we should realize that things are different. There is some truth to that. However, there is also the intense psychological remnants of those hundreds of years ago. Speaking 'proper' English implies that you are trying to be white to those who can't speak english. It is easier to denigrate you than to improve theselves. You have a right to be you, to dress the way you wish and to communicate at the level of your own intellectual ability.

Pay attention to this: ANY ONE WHO DOESN'T GET IT DOESN'T GET YOU!!

Peace and Blessings

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Hello to my fellow womyn of color :-) Am I the only Asian in here?

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I saw this topic posted in another section and I thought it belonged here because this area seems more appropriate and it may get better responses (who knows). Anyway, has anyone ever been discriminated against in the GLBT community? Many people say that it is alive within the community, yet I think it's like the blind hating the blind. Ladies, what do you think?

Discrimination in the GLBT community? Surely you jest! Of course there's racism and every other kind of ism in our communities because after all is said and done, we are only a representative sampling of the larger world. As a lesbian who is part African-American/Catawba/white, and probably a few other racial/ethnic mixes I don't know about, I have experienced massive amounts of racism and intolerance from other lesbians. I have historically dated white women (don't ask me why since they're the ones doing the discriminating) but anyway, I prefer to date white women. However, I have come across a strange phenomena on electronic dating sites. If I sign on and say nothing at all about my ethnic/racial/cultural background, most people go ahead and assume that I'm white and I get loads of responses. However, the moment I send my pic or show up for a date in all my beautiful woman of color glory, I get the cold shoulder and never ever hear from those so-called "enlightened" women again. Now, I know you're probably saying it's a fluke and the cold shoulder thing only happened a couple of times, but that's simply not the case. It's happened over and over and over again in the last six or seven years, so it's quite real. White women want to date their own kind and the ones who date women of color often do so for what they hope is that "Jungle Fever" experience. So yes, racism is alive and healthier than ever in our communities, be those communities located in London (where I currently live) or New York (where I'm originally from ) or Alaska (where I've also lived) or Seattle (yes, I've lived there too), etc.

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Wow, you have lived all over, I'm jealous :) ...I can relate to what you're saying about not revealing your racial/ethnic identity to women befoe you meet them then when you do reveal yourself to them they give you the cold shoulder. It's happened to me a time or two, and like you I've always had relationships with White women. In fact the woman I'm currently with and engaged to is White. We met via the internet and she knew my racial/ethnic background up front and never had or has any issues regarding it. She's the kind of person who doesn't see race or color, she sees the personality and gets to know the person inside. If more people took that approach instead of the sufericial one this problem would not be as prominent. It's the closed minded women, who refuse to step outside their box, who are the ones constantly complaining about not finding their soul mates. Free your minds and the rest will follow...

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Don't really know why I prefer to date white women except maybe because they are my opposite and they say that opposites attract. I think it's also because I've had horrible experiences with black women, and I am just drawn to asians/latinas/whites, anyone who is different from me and from whom I can learn something. I mean, there are women out there who experience sexism from men but they still date them, yes? It's simply a preference, nothing more, nothing less and it especially has nothing to do with the fact of white skin. That's nuts! I mean, I have dated black women, too and it's been okay, but not my first choice. It's also about a wider cultural issue in that I've always refused to be pigeon-holed because of my race. And, as sad and unfair as it may sound, I find that most white women (not all, mind you) are into many of the same things I'm into: arts, literature, travelling, writing, etc. This is not to say that black women aren't also into these things, but it doesn't seem to be in as great a number. I'm also one of those women of color who's never gotten into the staying stuck in my black identity thing and I don't know many black women who don't spend almost all of their time talking about the black experience, as if there are no other legitimate experiences out there. And being mixed race, well, I guess that feeds the contradiction too, in that I'm Catawba Indian, African American, and rumor has it in the family, I also have a great great great grandfather who was white.

Not sure if any of what I've said makes sense because it does sound stupid that I would be drawn to women who reject me on the basis of my race, doesn't it? But I have gotten rejections from black women who don't think I'm "black enough" so perhaps it's as simple as me looking for women with whom I identify more closely on a social level.

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Interesting points, SaySun!

I had an eye opening experience today and in terms of the whole racial classification I think the world would be a better place if we stopped using race to define people, ethnic classification/identification makes more sense, but race is just another box to put people in...

...I went to see my doctor today to basically say goodbye (I'm California bound!!!!!!!!!!) and review my medical records that are going to be released to my new doc, I also wanted to see the results from my genetic counseling labs. My doctor knows I'm multiracial/multiethnic yet my classification says I'm Black only. I freaked a little (I thought the misclassification of who I am ended years ago but it's back), continued to go through my chart and finally asked her why she classified me as being Black. She explained for medical report purposes blah blah blah. So I asked her to then explain how someone who is supposedly 100% Black can carry the traits for sickle cell, tay sachs disease, and cystic fibrosis when two of the disease only effect people of Jewish and European decent? So much for medical statistics being accurate. Of course she didn't have an answer (go figure) :roll: but it just proves how irrelevant race is. The more we distance ourselves from those classifications the closer we'll get to seeing people for who they are internally, not who they are out of 5 categories. Boxes are for objects, not people.

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I mostly work with and for white people. One day last summer the client walked up to my supervisor and said about me, “She’s very well spoken, she must be educated.” He had no idea what to do with the comment. He later told me and I’ve told a few other people at work. Everyone was surprised and there were a few people I had to explain the comment to. They were surprised that someone would make a comment like that about a black woman in 2006 and that it would come from a gay guy because they’re somehow supposed to be more accepting. My response was he’s white.

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