Gay and under attack: Biased representations of LGBTQ supporters
10 Dec 2015
Fresh shape up. Good swag. Pearly whites. White supremacist sycophant, heh?
Oh Reggie I thought you were the perfect man and then this happened.
If you have not seen Reggie Yates’ most recent documentary series on BBC 3 I implore you to watch it at some point, be it before or after reading this article.
The new series started with a documentary about how it is hard to be gay in the UK amongst certain groups. The BBC had decided to so uniquely (note the sarcasm) make it a documentary about homophobia within the black and Muslim communities. Easy targets in my eyes.
I was taking notes throughout and was shocked, saddened but also not surprised to realise that not once in the whole documentary was a white person interviewed to speak about their homophobic standpoint. The only times white people were mentioned or appeared were when participants said how much more tolerant white people are of the gay community than the black or Muslim community.
But this is surely because homophobia is a black and Muslim only problem right?
Of course not. Are we forgetting that is wasn’t until very recently on Friday June 26th 2015 that a predominately white and Christian nation legalised same sex marriage. Yes, I’m talking about the United States of America! And this decision did not face little opposition. Also let us please look to St Petersburg, Russia, to give us some evidence of publicly promoted homophobia.
So with that being said, do people really believe that homophobia is a myth amongst the white population?
Homophobia is a part of many communities and it is not dependent on one’s class or race. How about we take a step back into 2014 when the always-entertaining leader of the UKIP party Nigel Farage spoke about gay marriage. Of course, he never explicitly said he disagreed with it, vagueness being a frequently deployed political tactic. He wouldn’t want to lose his band of over-65 conservative voters, right? But he did say he opposed it because it could cause some very big risks. What does that even mean?!
Now, I am not denying that there is an issue of homophobia amongst the black and Muslim community. But it is foolish to imply that Christianity, is any more accepting. With such scriptures as “God kills everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah. This was because, so say the Christian Right, some homosexuals lived there”(See 19:4-5). 19:24-25.
So why did the documentary fail to highlight this?
Christianity in relation to whiteness was never once spoken about. What is even worse is that when black Christians were spoken to in this documentary it was their race and nationalities that were brought up and focused on as the reasoning for their homophobia, not their religion.
But can we just please take a even further step back in time and ask ourselves where these men and women of African descent got their homophobic views? Christianity. And how did Christianity come to the Caribbean and Africa? Oh yeah, the glorious period that was colonialism. (Note again more sarcasm). So not only did Europeans steal from the land and rape our women but they also indoctrinated us with their methods of thinking which included homophobia that was encouraged by European Christians. There is ethnographic evidence of same-sex relationships in pre-colonial Africa. But again, why did the documentary not highlight that these homophobic views were because of Europeans? If this information is new to you then I encourage you to explore this topic.
Then I thought for a moment there was a glimmer of hope. Reggie interviews a black man who is not just tolerant but beautifully accepting to his son’s recent transition to becoming a female. But oh no wait… when asked how he had such forward thinking views he gave thanks to his open mindedness being due to the fact he was brought up around mostly white people. He further goes on to say he went to boarding school where there were only two black people, so not enough to taint your pure white influenced mind I see?
This documentary was a racial and religious attack on two minority groups only.
Blacks and Muslims.
And heaven forbid you be a combination of the two. Like my father perhaps, who is an accepting and tolerant man. But the BBC do not want you to know that and my main question is why?
Now I’m not asking for an attack on Christianity or whiteness. That would be fighting fire with fire. What I’m asking for is a fair depiction of LGBT issues and oppositions. These are issues that require a movement that desires equality and should then thrive on the truth. The truth being that homophobia resonates in every community. And because of that we should all take an active responsibility in its decline. Finger pointing and denial will get us nowhere.
I’m tired of people creating divides, when in fact if we looked for similarities amongst each other rather than differences, together our support for the queer movement would be so much stronger.
Reggie Yates has been used as a puppet to propagate white supremacy that leaves the white man blameless for his actions that contribute towards homophobia. Not only has that damage been done but also this kind of misinformation marks Muslims and the black community as intolerant and further continues to vilify ‘the other’.