This is a piece I wrote a few years ago during college that I often like to bring back around this time to highlight the “oppression by the oppressed” dynamic that’s unfortunately still very prevalent in the black community.
I’ve often wondered, what if Martin Luther King had been gay?
What if after “Protestants and Catholics” he’d added “gay men and straight men?”
What if during that meeting with Johnson he’d mentioned Bayard Rustin?
What if he’d ever mentioned Bayard Rustin?
Told the world one of his best friends was gay?
And that he’d known all along?
And this gay man planned that famous march?
The march that broke the camel’s back?
A march that led to the beginning of our social freedom?
The march that led to Obama?
What if one of MLK’s adulterous affairs had been with a man?
What if they all had been?
What if Coretta had been Carl?
Would the black world still look on us with disdain?
Would the black church still “rebuke them demons?”
Would black leaders still show contempt when the gay rights movement is compared to the Civil Rights Movement?
Would they be “different?”
What makes the gay rights movement “different,” “less than,” “intolerable,” “disgusting,” “unnecessary?”
Is it because we choose?
Choose a lifestyle that attracts discrimination, bigotry, hate?
Are black rights better then the rights of Mexicans, Asians, the disabled?
Does slavery make our movement better?
Souldn’t it make it worse?
Do the many years of gay persecution not matter?
Stoning during Biblical times?
Beheading during the Middle Ages?
Imprisonment during the Renaissance?
Cop bashings since the ’20s?
Civilian bashings since forever?
Does everyone have to go through 300 years of persecution to deserve simple freedoms?
Aren’t we supposed to learn from history, instead of repeat it?
Aren’t we all heading towards the same goal?