THE REVOLUTION IS NOW and there is no other choice but to take charge of our own lives as same gender loving people. There is growing proof that the lives of Black people all over the world are being devalued and excluded by the mainstream systems that we have for too long relied upon. This reality holds true for game gender loving people multiplied by ten as we consider the realities that exist for us within our own communities, churches, and places of employment. The change must begin at the individual level with each one of us standing in our own truth and making a decision to educate and dispel societal stereotypes. We must become as visible as possible as we stand as educators, doctors, lawyers, researchers, clergy, and workers among workers.
The challenge becomes to develop, build, maintain, and define the safe spaces where our people can heal and be empowered. A shift will occur when we step forward to create a new paradigm that is clearly defined by us. We must strategize and build according to our collective needs and desires for liberty and the pursuit of happiness as only we can define. We must stand up to a call to trust each other and to be committed to never giving up on our people. This might appear to be challenging at time but this action is paramount to our success. We might begin the practice of accentuating the positive lights in our community. Oh too often we are willing to call out what we see as wrong about our people and community assuming that other races of people know more and are more cohesive. Let us study more in-depth to find out that people all over the world are plagued with many of the same issues that might not include exclusion and overt racism. We do ourselves a greater in justice when we focus our energies on what is wrong about us as Black SGL people while offering no solution to the concerns that we face. Our issues are complex and thus we are the key to any solution that is to be effective.
For gay, SGL, and bi-sexual men we have know for sometime now that HIV has been building to become the Tsunami that could destroy the lives of young black men in their late teens and early twenties. For Lesbian women we have known that exclusion and sexism is raging like a vengeful tornado. For our youth we have known that suicide has always been a viable solution faced the alternatives. These and much more have for far too long been truth for Black SGL people.
The course might be lonely as it might call for you to remove yourself from systems like the traditional dogmatic church to seek other spaces that affirm black LGBTQ people. This is not to say that the internal work of those who choose to stay to impact change from with in is not as important. In fact it is important to identify that part of the shift that is needed will occur as a result of the combination of both forces from within and outside of such institutions. The course might require of you to stand out in front exposing yourself for the sake of the bigger picture. The cause might call for you to provide financial support to black SGL business, publications, and other wise intuitions that provide visibility and over all health and wellness options for our people. The course might call for you to write letters to public elected officials demanding that they be more accountable to our concerns/ issues. The course might call for black SGL people to straighten allies with other communities who are sensitive to our plight. We must see a brighter future for our selves affirming the best that life could possible offer. We must see a world that understands and accepts us in our life time. We must be willing to strategize and rethink when necessary the best possible avenues to take when developing strategies. We must be willing to move beyond our own cynicism and drought about our own liberation. How can others believe when we doubt ourselves? Let us begin to dive deeply into the positive truth of our hoped for outcomes. We are making strides and we have come along way from where we have been. We will achieve the deserved liberation that is ours to claim. We must KNOW NOW.
Development must include the education, the affirmation and the understanding of our youth to see and to make sure that they understand their history, present and the future. We must take responsibility for what we have done to them, forgive ourselves and move beyond this place to a greater realization of true purpose for our youth and the impact that their vision will have on the goals that are set forth today.
Where are we going and how do we get there? How do we develop a collective voice?
As we step out on the ultimate faith we should see the brilliant light at the end of the tunnel. Our future gets brighter even when we are in the midst looking through foggy lenses that have become mudded as a result of our hard work as activist. Take a moment to cleanse the lenses of you lives perception to see and to know that we are on task.
I see black LGBTQ people rising up and taking to the streets to fight for what is right as they define RIGHT. Our success is contingent on our faith and belief in us. We must begin to know more of who we really are: We are tenacious as a people as we have done much more than to survive. We have excelled through time to be able to call this day a day of REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS NOW AND THE MEDIA MAY NEVER COVER IT. We must see ourselves as resources for each other. We are collectively as powerful as the media and any other stonewalled institution. If the Revolution is not to be televised them we are responsible that the good news is shared. As we avail ourselves as resources for each other we must not over burden each other. We must support black business and ventures that reflect and support us. The impact of the revolution will be felt no matter what the media does or does not do.
Through our faith in the divine and our willingness to work together and to share our gifts with each other we can become the change that we have always DREAMED about.
It is a dream deeply rooted in American’s dream. It is the dream that supersedes that dream of hope and the imagination of the slave.
Jeffrey C. King is the Founder and Director of In The Meantime Men’s Group Inc., Los Angeles’ only Black SGL community based organization with a specific focus on the mental , physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing of Black SGL, gay and bi-sexual men. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org