July 30, 2013 Tuesday / Up-Dated Version.....
To: The It Gets Better Project and the Human Rights Campaign….
From: Brother Tracy Gibson, Founder, President and CEO OF The Black Millionaire’s Network and Brother Tracy Gibson and Associates, Inc.
Building Better Tomorrows for Our Black Families and Our Black Youth.
I have been a community activist for about 35 years. I am now 56. I have advocated for many things including more health benefits and quality health benefits for poor people; Civil Rights and voting rights for Blacks and other People of Colour; more professionals, more Progressives, more people of colour and more Black females on the Supreme Court; Against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policies in the U.S. military; Against war, militarism, hate groups, racism and elitism among any group of people, be they White or Black or whatever; and for a woman right to choose a safe and legal abortion and other rights for women such as equal pay. From time to time I have also developed positions on and advocated for the rights of Black people and other People of Colour who are Gay, and Lesbian. I have attended literary meetings, workshops and worship services at Gay Book Stores and or Gay friendly churches such as my church, The Unity Fellowship Christ Church of Philadelphia which is a Gay affirming church and, as I said, I myself am a Gay person.
What I want to talk with you about today is not easy to talk about, but that is what activists like me do best—discuss things that people don’t like to discuss and help people of every stripe see a new idea or a new angle in a different, hopefully better light and a better Way….
I know that in our culture in the U.S., it is certainly true that Gay-identified youth do get bullied. It is also true that the creation and development of Positive information about bullying and what to do about it are important and needed. You are to be commended for developing such information in the face of the fact that some youths have tragically killed themselves or hurt themselves in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. I know for sure some families have benefited greatly from the existence of such information about bullying and how to survive it and stop it. This is good and important. However, at the same time, it would have been a wonderfully inclusive thing if you had included a section in your materials for—believe it or not—straight youth who get bullied as Well. I can’t understand exactly why such All-embracing information that includes straight youth and people of ALL ages who get bullied was not at least mentioned. I think to have forgotten such information was a lost or missed opportunity.
I have some thoughts and theories about why such information is not mentioned in your materials and these thoughts and theories are NOT too easy to talk about. I sometimes think that the focus of Gay culture in the U.S. on being young, staying young and young sexuality is part of the reason why you don’t seem to embrace and include information about straight people, of all races and classes who are being bullied as Well. Also: If you had done so I think some of the criticism that you are ``enticing, enlisting, encouraging and converting’’ youth to be Gay would not be so strong and so substantiated in the minds of much of the general public and in the minds of more conservative elements of the general public as it is right now…. The criticism that you are ``just out to get young people to `join the Gay ranks’’’ would not be so accepted by straight people or accepted by the general population in our country. As I have said, I am a Gay American myself. A Black Gay American, but I think we as activists should try very hard to reach out to the general population and make sure ALL anti-bullying information includes information about and for people who are straight, but also find themselves bullied as Well. We should also try very hard to make ALL information sensitive to racial ethnicity, class and gender. That is just my opinion. I clearly think, even with this criticism, that the work you are doing is very important and needed. I just think we have to watch that our outreach to help young people isn’t being misconstrued and utilized by us to promote our homosexual culture—or should I say White American homosexual culture—but doing so in an undercover or covert way. If we ARE advocating and recruiting for more youth to feel more comfortable in their homosexual skin, I’m not sure that is a bad thing, just be honest about doing that. I would also make sure you talk about some of the more gruesome sides of being a homosexual such as discrimination and other negativities such as the excessive bar scene; the over and sometimes overt and inappropriate sexualization of man and woman kind and the media over emphasis on cross-dressing and ``extreme and campy behavior’’. I think sometimes Gay media and prominent Gay individuals then to paint the lifestyle as ``care-free, exciting, and that there is some community out there that is honest and embracing’’ because that has not totally been my own personal experience as a Black Gay man in my experiences with White Gay culture. [I have had to help create alternative Black Gay culture which is more embracing, sane and loving—but that is for another letter, article or writing opportunity]. If we are promoting homosexuality, let’s let our hair down and create something separate and be honest about it and do that. When one looks at the way population is exploding, homosexuality may in fact be a gift GOD has given us to keep this planet’s balances in check. Have you ever thought about that? I have. I think the right wing and the more conservative elements of our society and culture have allowed the arguments to be swept up into bitter moral and ethical attacks when in fact a person’s sexual identity may in fact and is in fact NOT up for moral debate at all. It is just a life style that is more comfortable and natural for a certain segment of our population. As some of your own materials say, homosexuality is found in other cultures, almost every culture in the world. AND, I have even read that it is found in several segments of the Animal Kingdom. So if we are promoting homosexuality, we may, in fact, be doing GOD’s work—again considering that there are one billion Africans on the planet and One Billion Chinese—GOD may be saying ``WOW!! It is time to cut back a bit on all these folks, but let’s do it in a Way that is natural and in keeping with nature and doesn’t cause too much disruption, anguish and pain.’’ If that is what we are doing let’s be open about it and honest about it and say so. I think to say this—to advocate our lifestyle—this is completely cool to do, but it is not cool to do so on the slide in a dishonest way. [Of course most Black parents balk at such ideas because they want their children to grow up straight. I also want the vast majority of Black children to grow up straight as well, but that is part of the understandable fear and anxiety we have as concerned Black people and Black parents and has to do with historical oppression of our people and especially the undermining of our Black men, Black boys and Black males in general. Again that is a topic for another letter.] I think parents will feel more comfortable if they know for sure what exactly you are doing in your various campaigns on this important issue…..
Peace and Blessings,
I AM, Brother Tracy Gibson,
Visionary / Businessman / Philanthropist / Fund Raiser / Journalist…
Reach me at: The Black Millionaire’s Network
Post Office Box 42878
Philadelphia, Pa 19101-2878