“Gay Is The New Black”: Youth Poets Tackle Intersectionality Between Black & LGBTQ Communities

March 5, 2013  |  

The audio can get a little muffled at times, so there’s a transcript of the poem below.

(B- represents both women speaking, L- woman on the left, R-woman on the right) 

B: I am a prime example of American unacceptablility.

R: I’ve always been too

L: Gay

R: Black

L: Liberated

R: Uppity

B: And America has a time-honored tradition of keeping us in our place

L: Like November 27, 1978 when Harvey Milk was assassinated

R: More like April 4th, 1968 when MLK was shot down

B: Hold the Hell up

R: I hope you don’t think some dead gay guy is equivalent to Dr. King. Milk was a martyr, but King is an icon and that is not the same thing

L: I think you forgot the definition of Civil Rights; you’re not the only one struggling around here.

R: How could I forget anything when I look outside my window everyday and see the statistically correct neighborhood I was predicted to live in

L: At least they can see you. All they have to do is look at you to see where you come from, what you’ve been through. I am still fighting for the right to exist. They’re telling my children we should be kept in pens so we can die out like you quarantine disease.

B: How many times do I have to hear people say you f***in fa**ot/ni**er

R: At least you know your last name. Our skin gives away our homeland but not our home. You aren’t owned or traded based on how hot you are as a commodity. We stood stark unclothed on a platform with the sun heating the skin beneath our shackles, watching our life value drain with every increasing bid. Bent backs, broken Bones and tear stained cotton is not something you could just forget.

B: My bones are genetically thickened due to the brutality my ancestors bore

L: My legacy has been swept under rugs. No one has ever sung me a closet spiritual to lead me to the promised land or made me rainbow cake to remind me of where I come from. We are history’s middle children who have to wear glitter to get attention. We are your siblings. We’re not looking to replace you on our family tree, we just want a hug at Christmas time.

B: They’re hanging us by our own ropes.

L: And for us, it’s déjà vu and I know for you it’s more PTSD, so

B: Why are you letting this happen to us?

R: Changing subjects is the same thing as giving up, which is basically saying black oppression is no longer an issue. But would the  K1an still run rampant internationally, waving their rebel flags and cowering beneath their white hoodies if this sh!t were no longer an issue. We were plagued with the elements of prejudice, doused by the stream of insults that drown our dignity. When was the last time someone spat on you and called you a flea bitten savage, a worthless monkey, told your ni**er a$$ to go back to Africa when we were dragged here by force.

L: Do you know why they call us faggots? The only history I have to cling to is that once I was a fire starter that wasn’t even worth the price of a match. Witches were burned on my ashes like I was never good enough to be anything but kindling anyways. You think your roots run deeper, but just because you couldn’t hear me screaming doesn’t mean they weren’t

B: Raping and beating me, starving, and shocking, and anything to fix me.

R: I know you are not talking to me about burning. Those crosses in Carolina blazed, those bombs in Birmingham incinerated, compare a sprinkle of holy water to skin shredding fire hoses.

L: I was at  Woolworth’s  and Stonewall while you were too busy turning the other cheek to ask me if I’d walk with you. If it was possible that we could share roots. Didn’t want to see me at your rallies because it would complicate things. They tell me it was a different time, but you made sure times were changing, you just never looked back for your aunt Rosie and her roommate of 50 years.

R: Our voices were only heard because we screamed.

L: You didn’t give us a chance to open our mouths.

B: Can’t you see they’re trying to kill me. Trying to kill us.

R: So why are we waging a war between ourselves when

L: It’s them who put us on their hit list,

B: We’ve been burned mercilessly, lynched ceremoniously, ostracized inhumanely, beaten brutally,  lacerated, mutilated, segregated, bluntly hated

R: By many

L: By all

B: By you


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  • chanela

    wait WHAT?!?! how do gay people have ancestors?? the video isn’t working so im reading the transcript

  • Of course it’s not the same but to get into the petty argument of who has it worst is pointless. Discrimination against something you can’t change whether it be your skin color or sexual orientation is still wrong. No matter who is on the receiving end.

  • Nyame Adom

    African American civil rights and gay rights are not synonymous … I figured that at some point they’d start likening the struggle. Gtfoh. It’s not the same & never will be. I agree with the poster who provided the info about using blacks as pawns…. Oh here we go again.

  • hollyw

    I thought the poem was beautiful, and very appropriate…did anyone else read/listen to it??? Of course being gay isn’t the same as being Black, but it’s time Blacks realize that 1. other groups are discriminated against as well, and 2. some are being discriminated against worse than Black folks NOW. Clearly, Blacks can marry anytime they want, always could. Blacks also aren’t discriminated against in adoption proceedings, called “n*gger” as nearly as much as gays are openly called derogatory terms, and YES, there are also GAY BLACKS.

    I’m a Black woman, so a double minority. I even see more discrimination as a woman on a daily basis that I don’t experience as being Black…from Black men! So I can easily admit, w/o bias, that gays are going through a Civil Rights movement at this time, and just b/c they’re not being lynched does not excuse Blacks downplaying their current plight, which today’s Blacks never had to experience. So basically, get over yourselves, do the right thing, and support gay rights!! Lol I’m done.

    • GUEST

      except, not everyone agrees that is the right thing.

      • hollyw

        That what is the right thing? Equal rights under the law? You don’t have to ‘agree with’ homosexuality in order to not be a hypocrite about civil rights. Civil rights are civil rights, thanks to church and state being separated at the time of our nation’s creation.

  • SheBe

    I wish they would stop comparing the two. It’s not the same. They may have fallen victim to scrutiny, bullying, vilification, malice, etc. but that doesn’t mean that the “struggle” is the same. It’s so much more than getting your a$$ beat because of who you are.

  • Babydoll 70

    No it’s not.

  • get real

    Looks like they are going to use black people as pawns once again to help them in their fight. Yes there is gay black people but they know if they get black people out there with them, they can use “Gay is the new black” slogan without any black backlash. The women’s movement was a white women’s thing, because she had problems with her man, but they tricked black women into helping them fight and once they got their rights, it was “bye black women see ya later”.. Occupy Wall Street was a white person’s fight. They were losing their houses, couldn’t find jobs etc so they started this movement and what do you know? Black people was out there with them. Black people have been screaming for decades that corporations were problem, but no one wanted to listened. Now this. See how they become our friends when they need us?

    • SMHgurl24

      If there are gay black people how would they be pawns in the gay rights fight if it also affects them? I’m not really understanding how the women’s rights movement was a white thing since all women have the same rights and if you are not aware of it, the Occupy movement happened all over the world from the Middle East to China so that’s a fail on your part. Everybody has struggled. No one has struggled more than anyone else so can we please stop with this petty nonsense. I swear some people just want to start fights cause they can!

      • get real

        Black women were out of the house working. Black men wasn’t holding black women back, so there was no need for black women to fight for women’s rights. That was white women problem with her man. She couldn’t work, only good for making babies, was to be seen and not heard etc. White men had their foot up their women’s behind. Black women (black people in general) number 1 thing was fighting Jim Crow, segreagation and racism. But a lot of black women joined white women and started fighting for womens rights and that caused a riff in a lot of black households. Because while black women were out fighting for women rights they said forget about racism and Jim Crow (which was really the problem). Like “why are you fighting for women’s rights with white women when they are killing and lyching us”. The women’s movement piggy backed off of the Civil Rights movement. Black women had no reason to be apart of that feminist movement.

      • get real

        And since you don’t have enough game let me school you. Just peep out the title “gay is the new black”. That alone should show you that they are trying to use black people’s civil right struggle to get gay laws passed. They know gay blacks are going to join them and in return they won’t receive any backlash. Peep out the game lady. And what does China and the Middle east have to with us here in America? Last I checked I didn’t see any white people in China or the Middle East raising cain. As if the USA housing and job crises has a darn thing to do with Middle East. What is wrong with you?

        • SMHgurl24

          Lmfao where to begin! This is just a tactic like ANY group uses to bring people to their side. If you don’t buy it then walk away, nobody holdin a gun to your head boo. And yes the job crises has a lot to do with whats going on overseas, maybe you should educate yourself cause you looking mighty ignorant at the moment and its kindda pathetic on your part.

        • hollyw

          The “civil rights” movement does not belong to Black people! Civil rights are rights for humanity, every marginalized group deserves them! Black people’s own prejudices are what’s getting in the way of them supporting a cause that anyone w/ eyes could see is similar to their in regards to rights violations. Other groups don’t have to have a history of slavery in order to be seen or heard!

    • Carmen

      that was beautiful!

  • Bree

    I don’t care what anyone says, but no one can compare being gay to being African American.

    • Chey

      Damn straight.

      • True

        LMAO! No pun intended.

    • Suchalady

      Came here to say the same thing…not ever.