I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us!
When I think of the bicentennial celebrations laid out for Columbus this year, the festivities aren’t what immediately capture my attention. I think of this as period of reflection. How far has this city come and how far it still needs to go.
In December’s issue, Orie Givens wrote about the invisibility faced by LGBT people of color and how LGBT racial minorities are often left out of the mainstream LGBT conversation. As a black, gay, male writer growing up, and now living in this city I often think of all the stories that aren’t being told, especially among the LGBT people of color population.
As Givens mentioned, we’ve seen some success with shows like Noah’s Arc. But when I think back on the last few years and the LGBT stories that gripped the nation (i.e. Prop 8, Constance McMillen, gay bullying and the It Gets Better Project, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell), I mostly remember seeing white-washed coverage by the mainstream media.
Columbus is doubly guilty of this oversight. The Short North is an amazing, nationally recognized area that prominently features the LGBT community, but it’s also probably one of the least racially diverse areas of the city. And the number of times I’ve seen an openly gay person of color featured on a local news station, be it television, radio or newspaper, can be counted on my two hands.
Givens did a great job of detailing the issues faced by LGBT minorities and the disparities that exist within both the multicultural and LGBT community. Now that the conversation has been started, it’s time to hash out a solution. It’s time we started featuring other sides of the story…