Homophobia in the African American community

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Homophobia in the African American community is any negative prejudice or form of discrimination within the Black community towards homosexuals.

Homophobia is considered to be quite prevalent and pervasive in the African American community.[1][2] Many social commentators attribute this due to the teaching of black churches.[3] Also attributed as one the causes of homophobia is the image particularly young black males are supposed to convey in the public sphere.[4] Being homophobic has also been blamed on high incidence of HIV as many African Americans associate the disease almost exclusively with homosexuals.[5] Barack Obama made a statement to the African American community "If we are honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community...We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them."[6]

Homosexuality is often seen as antithetical to being black in the African American community.[7][8][9][10] One of the main reasons for this is because of the black communities' associations with the church in the United States.[11][12][13][14][15][16] Many black advocacy groups have disputed that homophobia is more prevalent in the African American community than other groups as surveys have shown that their attitude towards homosexuality are similar to the rest of the population.[17]

Many black advocacy groups have disputed that homophobia is more prevalent in the African American community than other groups as surveys have shown that their attitude towards homosexuality are similar to the rest of the population.[18][19][20][21][22]

In a 2012 survey of 120,000 adults, African Americans were more likely to self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) than other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. According to the data, 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT, significantly higher than 3.4% of the population overall.[23]

In recent years many African American celebrities have come out of the closet to become role models for LGBT African-American youth, such as Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and Robin Roberts.[24]

Barack Obama made a statement to the African American community ""If we are honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community," and then went on to say "We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them." [25]

Some in the African American community still see AIDS as a gay disease and homophobia is one of the main barriers preventing better treatment for people in AIDS in the black community. The Article "AIDS still thought of as a gay disease in black America" stated "But the truth is this: while nearly 600,000 African Americans are living with HIV, and as many 30,000 newly infected each year, there is still within the black community one in five living with HIV and unaware of their infection; and, they are disproportionately heterosexuals. As long as we continue to think of HIV/AIDS as a gay disease, we'll not protect ourselves from this epidemic.[26]

The perceived bias against homosexuality in the African-American community has led to the subculture phenomenon known as "on the down-low", in which black men who publicly and even self-consciously identify as heterosexual will secretly have sex with men.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pariah: A New Film Challenging Homophobia in the Black Community". Chicago Now. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Don Lemon: Yes, the Black Community Is Homophobic". Root. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ "My Take: Overcoming the black church’s tradition of homophobia". CNN. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  4. ^ "TRAYVON, SHARPTON, AND HOMOPHOBIA". Spectator. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  5. ^ "Homophobia in Black Communities Means More Young Men Get AIDS". Atlantic. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  6. ^ "Obama Takes on the black communities homophobia". Huffington Post. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  7. ^ Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1983. ISBN 9780813527536. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  8. ^ African American Religious Thought: An Anthology - Cornel West, Eddie S. Glaude - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 2003. ISBN 9780664224592. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  9. ^ Queer in Black and White: Interraciality, Same Sex Desire, and Contemporary ... - Stefanie K. Dunning - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 2009-04-21. ISBN 0253221099. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  10. ^ Black Men on Race, Gender, and Sexuality: A Critical Reader - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1999. ISBN 9780814715536. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  11. ^ Boykin, Keith (2012-06-05). "Why Blacks Evolved So 'Quickly' on Gay Marriage". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  12. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (2012-06-01). "Gospel Music Book Challenges Black Homophobia". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-29 (login required). 
  13. ^ "Aaron Anson: Resistant Homophobia in the Black Community". Huffingtonpost.com. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  14. ^ February 11, 2009, 2:01 PM (2009-02-11). "Column: Homophobia In The Black Community". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  15. ^ Bill Maxwell. "Homophobia: It's a black thing - Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  16. ^ Haque, Fahima (2011-02-22). "Black Men: Dandyism, masculinity and homophobia - The Root DC Live". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  17. ^ "The NAACP's gay marriage endorsement: Is black homophobia overstated?". The Week. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  18. ^ "Jason Collins: Black — and gay — like me". Salon. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  19. ^ "Don't Use Jason Collins As an Excuse to Blame Homophobia on Black People". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  20. ^ "The New Black and Other Docs Ask, "Why Has Black Been Made the Face of Homophobia?"". Voice. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  21. ^ "Crunching The Numbers On Blacks' Views On Gays". NPR. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  22. ^ "Myths About Homophobia and the Black Community". Philadelphia. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  23. ^ Gary J. Gates; Frank Newport (October 2012). "Gallup Special Report: The U.S. Adult LGBT Population". The Williams Institute, Gallup. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Robin Roberts Loosens the Grip of Black Homophobia". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  25. ^ "Obama Takes on the black communities homophobia". Huffington Post. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  26. ^ Monroe, Irene (2010-12-02). "AIDS still thought of as a gay disease in black America". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-28.