In Todd Clayton’s article “Gay Will Never be the New Black,” two things grabbed my attention: first, the title, simply because it is so jarring, and second, the short synopsis included James Baldwin. After reading the article, I was saddened by the final statements, that, according to Clayton, "gay will never be the new black, and that the fight for racial equality is far from over." There are many conflicts to being gay in today's society. Often times, gays, particularly if white, are cheated because they are in a society in which they are supposedly protected, however their sexuality offsets them and subjects them to danger, according to Baldwin.
We live in the 21st century. I cannot get past the fact that while we can grasp the advances in technology and social media, we have a difficult time accepting people for who they are. This is the same fight we have been battling for centuries. Ignoring civil rights has come to ignoring basic human rights. People are treated like dirt simply because they are different. Clayton’s realization that being white and gay is completely different from being black and gay, merely due to the color of a person’s skin. The most difficult part to swallow of the entire piece was Baldwin’s statement that “they gay world is no more prepared to accept black people than anywhere else in society.” Shouldn’t they gay community, as somewhat of a minority, be accepting to another minority group?
The problem whites have with being gay is the issue that had they been straight, their lives would have been drastically different. Their lives would have been void of hatred and fear, and they would have been entitled to more privileges. Unfortunatley, these privileges are basic civil and human rights.
What is the root of this conflict? Does the conflict within minority groups fuel the actions of others outside those groups? If the fight against racism is intertwined with the fight against homophobia, as Baldwin suggests, shouldn’t these groups network with outsiders willing to help in order to overcome this discrimination?