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June 2013

I cheer about the SCOTUS decision to strike down a key part of DOMA, though my own views on the institution of marriage itself are nuanced.

Meanwhile, as I read articles on the decision, most of the couples (or groups) shown in celebration are White. Media framing around LGBTQ experiences is usually White.

Media framing around any marginalized group tends to lean towards whomever is deemed “preferred” (has the most intragroup power) spokesperson. For example, for Black people that is often cis heterosexual middle class/educated Black men, for women (especially feminists) that is cis, heterosexual, thin, middle class White women, for LGBTQ community that is cis, middle class, gay White men and occasionally cis White lesbians.

I regularly listen to LGBTQ Black people (i.e. @janetmock, @sonofbaldwin, @amaditalks) on this topic and their views are more complex. It’s not blanket cheers today. Heterosexual Black people (i.e. me) and other heterosexual PoC need to listen to LGBTQ Black/PoC because their story = not the “mainstream” story. Their identities as Black do not evaporate because of their identities as LGBTQ no matter how the media or public wants to frame it. What often occurs is double marginalization, in some PoC spaces for sexual orientation and in some LGBTQ spaces for race, on top of the institutional, structural and systemic racism that they face just like we do.

"I cannot rejoice in full when rights are only granted in part." - Son of Baldwin

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