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My Life

Oct 3, 2001 #3

Oct 3, #3 [Kenny Logins, "The Real Thing"]

Black lesbians just don’t belong in the Boy Scouts

I am a black lesbian. You may not guess from looking at me, but I am. At

least according to some backwater logic I’m not completely privy to.

For example, after a column ran this summer about the Boy Scouts discriminating

against gays, a number of comments popped up on our Web site bashing the

columnist. (It was not my column, and online feedback no longer exists,

for reasons such as this)

Obviously, the columnist writing about the Boy Scouts’ policy on admitting

homosexual members was his sneaky way of saying he wanted to steal away

into the woods at night and molest small boys.

Tricky! Posing as an open-minded heterosexual man when he was obviously

another of those pedophilic homosexuals that often try to tiptoe their way

into the Boy Scouts.

Silly columnist — Boy Scouts are for straight people.

Similarly, when people question why I am in a women’s literature course,

I am offered only two feasible routes of justification: 1) I am in it to

“get some action” by tricking a classroom full of women that I

am both sensitive and literate, or 2) I am, in actuality, a woman myself.

For what man would be silly enough to take an interest in women’s writing,

save perhaps a cookbook or two?

First, rarely do we burst into orgies in women’s lit — the females

so overcome with passion by the men’s ability to read. Second, why

is it a shock that a man would opt to take this course?

Women do not have to explain their interest in this “feminist”

course; they are born with this ability to grasp men and women as equals.

But a man must have a very special reason to support women’s studies

or feminism. Perhaps he is wooing an unsuspecting lesbian under the guise

of being an open-minded individual.

The situation is worse when supporting gay rights. It’s sad that being

honest even about supporting equality for gays is a daring prospect, requiring

more than a little bravery.

The social assumption is not only that everyone is heterosexual, but that

everyone is homophobic. The terms “gay,” “fag,” and

“homo” are tossed about as ways of reassuring those around us

that we are just as straight as the next person. So being straight and not

enjoying a good round of gay bashing (be it verbal or physical) comes across

as queer.

This method of stereotyping pervades into issues of race. I’m half-Taiwanese,

and should an off-color remark about Asians be said in my presence, there

is sometimes a fumbled, awkward apology. Because I am Asian, I am permitted

this offense.

However, I am offended by all racist remarks. But because I cannot be clumped

into other groups — blacks, Latinos, Arabs, for example — I have

no license to take offense. In these situations, I’m told to lighten

up.

And herein lies the key rule in this game of clumping and stereotyping:

If I’m not part of the group, why defend them?

It’s possible to be open-minded enough to support a group without

necessarily having to be a part of that group.

There are male members of the FMLA and there are straight members of the

LGBTAA. The “A” in LGBTAA does stand for “Ally,” which

indicates the person is not necessarily a part of the LGBT community.

The current president of the LGBTAA is straight. And yet her link to the

Alliance no doubt causes the misconception that because she supports gay

rights, she is undoubtedly a lesbian. For why would a straight person attempt

to lead the group? Why would they stand up for gay people when they don’t

have to?

It shouldn’t be assumed that I am gay solely because I believe in

equality and not intolerance. But nothing gets attention like asking someone

not to use the word “gay” when what they really mean is “stupid.”

Those that can’t use the two words interchangeably are “gay.”

And that’s “stupid.”

Thus, I am a black lesbian. I am not racist. I am not sexist. I am not

homophobic. It only makes sense that if I am gay for supporting gay rights,

I must also be of another ethnic group for standing against racism, and

I am also a woman for not being so adamant against feminism.

Now I’ll never get into the Boy Scouts.

-Cavan Reagan

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