Is there really a gay agenda? Are queer folks conspiring to present the world with media and propaganda centered around their experiences in order hypnotize us until we forget that we like the opposite sex? Is the LGBTQIA community holding secret meetings with Missy Armitage where she teaches the latest tea cup stirring techniques? Are all straight people subject to losing their sexual preference simply because they’ve been exposed to images of people who don’t fit on a linear heteronormative binary?
The answer to these questions is, of course, an emphatic HELL NAW.
So why do some of our ain’t shit cousins — who still owe us gas money from when Amoco was a one stop shop for petroleum and gut bubbling gas station snacks — believe this trash to be true? Because they’re dedicated to a toxic straight agenda that mirrors the hateful rhetoric of white supremacy.
The truth is, there is no gay agenda except for the desire to be free. But there are fellow straight folks in the black delegation (and commissions of other hues) who believe they’re at risk of losing their straightness through queer conversion. As if the gay community is coming for our sexual preference like the three million illegal immigrants who came for our ballots on election day and our jobs thereafter. That’s not how any of this works, because none of those things are true, but say that to a toxic straight person or a racist person and they’ll disagree with facts by brandishing lies with a violent commitment to stupidity.
Stalwarts of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric bare a striking resemblance to bigots who want to make America great again at the expense of black and brown lives. Both are hell-bent on denying the humanity of queer people and people of color on the basis of their natural dispositions. When homophobes try to “pray the gay away,” or when transphobes block transpeople from accessing public bathrooms, or when racists criminalize a dead black child after a state sanctioned murder, they manage to do the work of the oppressor in unison.
These illogical views are usually packaged with a misguided commitment to patriarchy as a badge of social honor.
It’s foolish to parrot the will of the oppressor when their motive is entirely dedicated to our collective demise. People threatened by an increase of queer visibility are as daft as racists who refuse to acknowledge black and brown folks as normal human beings who simply wish to live on this planet. Whether one is queer, trans, gender-nonconforming, or straight, we all struggle in the midst of a specific form of oppression. Oppressed straight folks who marginalize queer folks are stuck in a trance provided by the white supremacist gaze, but that doesn’t stop us from being oppressed, no matter how high up we may feel on the social totem pole. A queer agenda to proselytize straight people is, in-effect, nonexistent, but the straight agenda to persecute queer people on the basis of their inherent nature needs to be stopped by us posthaste.
The way we take white folks to task for ordering us to cure racism, we should be relying on straight folks to unlearn hatred and push back against the persecution of the LGQTQIA community. If all black lives truly do matter, this should come as no problem at all. Right?
Dante Clark is a Bronx-raised southpaw scribe who will gladly write for a Chopped Cheese Sandwich and a monthly unlimited MetroCard.