The Bigotry of Fashion: and the colored community

Andre Leon Talley

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kele Okereke
      Now if anyone actually knows me they would know that I am not one to be active in the Afro-Latin community nor will I be wearing their pride colors.  If any part I would identify most with the gay side of myself before the African-American, Irish, Puerto Rican, or even the male parts. However, many recent events have turned me to address the issue of hostility, which began with my Meggings Revolution, that I receive as a gay fashionisto of color.

Patrick Kelly
      Growing up in predominantly Caucasian suburb I have always felt detached and misunderstood by my large predominately Afro-Latin family with its roots deeply immersed in religion, the deep south, to even parts of Jamaica where one can be killed for being gay. From language barriers, Christianity, and an overall culture clash I have always been the black sheep. In comes puberty and my time of leaving the church, my love for alternative rock and pop icons influencing the way I dressed, straightening and coloring my hair, my piercings, liberal views, and not to mention my questioning sexuality were instantly criticized and ridiculed by bloods support system. My alliance was instantly connected to my best friends and against the homophobia and misdirected comments made at family gatherings or weekly in my own house.

Billie Holiday
Angela Davis
      Bring on 2011 and I am strongly secure with my status as an open gay man with an exhibitionist wardrobe. However these walls and my tongue can only hold for so long. Insults, laughter, disgust, to comments of pure homophobia shared by heterosexual Black Canadian men on a weekly basis. If not on the state of my amazing attire than due to their discomfort with me holding hands with a male counterpart on St.Laurent. It is appalling that the empathy is lost and that 64% of African Americans condemn homosexuality as immoral. In case we all forgot, two hundred years ago Africans were imported, yes imported, like a piece of furniture to the Americas for the purpose of enslavement and it was not until six decades later that Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery for good in the United States. Followed by every law one could think of to limit the rights and to discriminate fully against anyone of color. It was not until sixty years ago that racial segregation,marriage laws, and other discriminatory statutes were outlawed but that did not stop the amount of hatred, racial tension, discrimination, and every day persecution to any human being of color.  We were forced to change our names, our religion, our rights. We were not even considered a full human being, only 3\5.

Wanda Sykes
      It is now the year 2011 and every right afforded to Caucasians is given to any citizen of any background except to anyone identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual?, transgender, transsexual, or female. Common sense would argue that African Americans would embrace the LGBTQ community as a brother or sister in the fight against hatred and prejudice. It is the complete opposite. A community stigmatized by propaganda, slander, torture, public hangings, rape, police brutality, religious persecution could forget their struggle and sublimate it back onto another oppressed minority and even ignore it as if it does not exist. Women's rights, civil rights, and gay rights are suppose to be as one in the fights towards the same goal, against discrimination and towards full equality.

Willi Smith
       Why is it that the black community has so much hatred towards the LGBTQ community? Why is sexuality a discourse unable to be discussed outside a heterosexual framework?  Is it that the community is afraid of admitting that more than 2% of black men are in fact gay? Maybe it is the higher levels of HIV in gay men, black gay men, and black women that have them afraid of being discovered as a down-low brother? Maybe it is the due to the extreme closeness to Christianity and the black church which tells them cross dressing, bisexuality, and homosexuality is a sin, a plague of unnatural creation. Have we forgotten the church once left us out of the books, not allowing us to play with God? Wasn't this the same bible used to justify slavery and segregation? If I actually believed in the bible or a god, I would like to believe that he had created gays 'in his image' and as a large part in natural population control, and just an exploration and adaptation of love and sexuality which we can equate as evolution of man.
Miss Jay Alexander

      Now I may have been off topic to the scope of Montreal Street Fashion but it is what I wear daily that exposes me as 'different' from the Afro-Latin community and culture that tends to reject me. After all it is the leggings, the sequins, the boots, the spikes, the tiny shorts, the sheer, the lace, the bows, the life I live each day between a British aristocrat, euro trash, and a gay punk that has heterosexual especially black heterosexual men up in arms. I will declare it as jealousy, their homophobisexuality, and natural insecurities that cause their hatred. I feel no empathy for them and their bigoted ideals. I WILL NOT stand for HATRED, but my shiny leggings and short shorts stand for LOVE.

Married Lesbians

Kevin Aviance
Rev. Reynolds

Join us July 30th to stand up against hatred and show your support for the NOH8 Campaign!