The gay community has an expected level of empathy based purely on a shared sense of discrimination. The vast majority of young gay Americans, however, deal with struggle and survival on a daily basis, from both outside and within the LGBTQ community. Whether it's an archaic blood ban or learning to rebuild from the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the way forward can be difficult to comprehend. Especially now that we're entering a Donald Trump presidency.
The internal racism isn't the sort of insane hatred being spread by Trump supporters. It's not Nazis hiding under the guise of the term, alt-right. The sort of discrimination that exists within the gay community is much more casual, but surely that doesn't make it okay.
The truth is that many in the gay community feel that because they share discrimination for their sexual orientation that they have a free pass on being generally shitty in other aspects. It informs a certain lack of empathy disguised as being brutally honest. This lack of empathy is vastly slanted toward men of color. Surprise, surprise. It's an issue of representation as much as sexual "preference" and it's not about about physical attraction.
Matthew J. Dempsey recently hosted and filmed an informative roundtable discussion about confronting racism in the gay community. The spirited discussion touches on everything from discrimination, to representation in media, to possible solutions.
The honesty on display in the video provides a landscape of togetherness that can easily inspire the way forward. It's necessary viewing that provides more than a few solutions on how we can proceed and fight casual (and overt) racism in the gay community, and beyond.