Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts has come out of the closet. Hooray for her! So few African-American women, specifically those in the public eye, feel safe enough to do it. There is such a backlash from it. You can be a rapist or even a child killer, which is a choice, and those crimes are often more forgivable than being gay, which is no more a choice than your skin color. I never understood why so many have such disgust and hatred for a stranger. How does their life affect you in any way? How does what two consenting adults do in their own household disturb you? Does Robin pay your bills? Is she forcing you to watch her news program?
The African-American community preaches unity and one love -- except if you're gay. It's almost like we lose our black card when we are LGBT. We are the lepers of the movement even though we have always been an integral part of it. Think Angela Davis. Think Bayard Rustin. Think all the nameless, faceless among us who face the same discrimination and more. Do you think when we are being profiled for being black, they will make the distinction and give us a pass because of our sexuality?
So when I read about Robin's coming out, I just knew how our community would respond. I swear I feel like Celie in The Color Purple: "I just stand back and I wait to see what the wall gonna look like." Except I've seen this wall before. It's always the same. Reactions on social media by homophobic heterosexuals are predictable.
"So what? Who cares if she's gay?"
I care, and so does most of the LGBT community. We are no longer hiding in the closet. We are proud. We want that little girl living in South Africa under the constant threat of corrective rape, or that boy about to commit suicide in Los Angeles,* to know that we are everywhere. We are your daughters, mothers and grandmothers, teachers, police officers, nurses, pastors, armed forces, and athletes, and yes, in some instances, we are your wives and husbands because we don't have the courage to come out yet.
"We don't care about what happens in her bedroom."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but she never mentioned her bedroom. She simply thanked her longtime girlfriend for helping her. What is wrong with that? Wouldn't you acknowledge your partner or spouse?
"The Bible says homosexuality is not just a sin but an abomination."
It is also an abomination for a woman to wear pants: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment for all that do so are an abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deuteronomy 22:5). Funny, I don't see very many of you strictly adhering to that Bible verse.
"What a waste."
A waste for whom? You? What makes you think she would want you if she weren't gay?
"I just don't want it around my kids."
Not a problem. Don't schedule any playdates at her house or bring your children to any gay clubs and you will be safe.
Don't like gay people? No problem! That is your absolute right. What I do have a problem with is the hateful propaganda and misinformation that encourages assaults and murders. That is the issue I have with the rampant ignorance of homophobic black folks all under the guise of the Bible and Christianity, which ironically promote the ideals of loving your neighbor and leaving the judging up to God. Not you. Not your friends. Not your pastor. GOD. But I will make a deal with you: The day you can walk on water and/or raise the dead, I'll make sure to let you judge me then!