Part II Gender _ Sexual Orientation

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Part II Gender _ Sexual Orientation Powered By Docstoc
					          And to begin…
A few photos and blurbs by and about
  lesbians of color.
They‟re women,
They‟re lesbians,
And they‟re African-American, Korean,
  and Latina. So far!
                                                 Audre Lorde
                                                 1934 - 1992
                                          “As I have said elsewhere, it is not the destiny of
                                          black America to repeat white America's
                                          mistakes. But we will, if we mistake the
                                          trappings of success in a sick society for the
                                          signs of a meaningful life. If black men continue
                                          to do so, defining "femininity" in its archaic
                                          European terms, this augurs ill for our survival
                                          as a people, let alone our survival as
                                          individuals. Freedom and future for blacks do
                                          not mean absorbing the dominant white male
                                          disease. . . As black people, we cannot begin
                                          our dialogue by denying the oppressive nature
                                          of male privilege. And if black males choose to
                                          assume that privilege, for whatever reason,
                                          raping, brutalizing, and killing women, then we
                                          cannot ignore black male oppression.
                                          One oppression does not justify another.”
                                                       --Black Women Writers at Work

From the “Voices from the Gaps (VG)” website:
                                                Walker, Alice
                                                  b. 1944
                                         In her explorations of the
                                         damage done to the
                                         individual by racism and
                                         sexism, Alice Walker
                                         depicts lesbianism as
                                         natural and freeing, an
                                         aid to self-knowledge and
From “GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay Lesbian Bi Transgender & Queer Culture”:
                                                          Margaret Cho
                                                                               b. 1968

Mathew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under) and Margaret were honorees at the National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force "Honoring Our Allies" fundraiser.
                              I am a filthy pig or as my people say I am a Cochina. Some of you
                              studying Spanish think I am a kitchen but that is pronounced
                              cocina. Cochina is filthy pig. Cocina is kitchen. Unless you're in a
                              Cochina's apt then what's the difference. Because our Latina
                              mothers taught us world is a dirty place. Don't touch anything don't
                              put anything in your mouth. For instance if I found a brand new
                              soccer ball rolling on the sidewalk and I wanted to pick it up and
                              taste it. Non-Latina mothers would say "Sweetie we don't know
                              where that's been. Let's have a time out in a healing yoga posture. "
                              But Latina mothers would say "Put it down Cochina! Don't touch
                              that it's ca-ca!!" Everything we saw, touched, or wanted was ca-ca. I
                              didn't know where ca-ca began or ended. That's how I was raised.
                              And I was taught to respect my elders. Every Christmas my Tity
                              came to stay with us for the holidays. For those of you just learning
                              Spanish, Tity doesn't mean titties. Those are tetas. Tity means aunt.
                              Teta is tittie. Unless they are your Tity's tetas. But why go there? I
                              remem- ber her visits. I can still hear her calling me. "Cochina!
                              Come here. I have a Christmas present for you. Come and see what
                              your Tity got you all the way from the old country. I said come
                              inside the house! You are going to catch pneumonia. Didn't your
                              mother, my sister, tell you never to play outside? If you were mine
                              you would         stay inside and pray. Only cochinas play outside. If
                              you were mine I would make you kneel on uncooked rice. You are
                              killing your mother, my sister, soon she'll be dead and then you will
                              be mine!!! And I will sell you to a factory. Now come get your
                              present. Don't touch that snow it's ca-ca! Merry Christmas Cochina.

Marga Gomez                   Open it. See, it's your first black dress. Just like mine. Nice and
                              long to protect your hymenia. There is nothing like a heavy black
                              dress to say DEATH TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE."

b. ???
“This is more than unflattering hair...this is a hate crime!”
    How does identity form?
• Most identity theories have a sequence
  of stages that a person goes through in
  developing identity
• The chapter by Janis Bohan uses
  Atkinson, Morten, and Sue‟s Minority
  Identity Development Model
        The Minority Identity
        Development Model
• Five stages:
  – Conformity
     • What was the question again? Something about
  – Dissonance
     • Wait a minute…
  – Resistance and immersion
     • I’m all about my culture! As in, my culture!
  – Introspection
     • How much does my culture fit me as my individual
  – Synergetic Articulation and Awareness
     • I’ll continue to evolve and evaluate on a case-by-case
       basis, now that I’m more comfortable with myself!
       And while I’m at it, I can see how the oppression I
  So Imagine That Times 2…
• LGBT people of color go through this process in two
  ways at the same time, with sexual orientation as well
  as culture/ethnicity/race
• This is super complicated
• There are often conflicts between one‟s
  culture/ethnicity/race and one‟s sexual orientation
   – These conflicts often are inextricably linked to the
     history of one’s culture/ethnicity/race and oppression
   – Conflicts thus vary by group (though there are
     similarities between some groups)
            Multiple Oppression
• This is officially called “Multiple Oppression” (and this is not to
  discount the upside, as José put it, being “doubly blessed”)
• It often makes people feel caught in the middle between
  loyalties and identities
• There is an important difference between racial/ethnic identity
  and LGBT identity:
    – Discredited identity is obvious and immediately elicits prejudice,
      which one has to struggle with…
    – Discreditable identity is hidden unless disclosed, and thus the
      struggle is around disclosing or not…
• Having both types of identity means to struggle between them in
  different groups, but actually being both
    Which is an Impossible Place
•   Bohan quotes Audre Lorde:
    “As a forty-nine-year-old Black lesbian feminist socialist mother of two,
    including one boy, and a member of an interracial couple, I usually find
    myself part of some group defined as other, inferior, or just plain
    wrong… I find I am constantly encouraged to pluck out some aspect of
    myself and present it as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the
    other parts of self. But this is a destructive and fragmenting way to

•   There is racism in the LGBT community
•   There is “homonegativity” in communities of color
•   There is sexism in both, and women in communities of color may find
    the only power accorded them is in being straight (heterosexual
•   Religion plays a big role in many communities of color, and traditional
    Judeo-Christian-Islamic attitudes are heterosexist/homonegative
Being LGBT & African American
• African Americans
  – Are a diverse group (with regional and ethnic, and
    cultural, variations within)
  – Suffered “some of the most virulent” racism in the
    Americas, and this elevates the role of community
  – The real threat of genocide increases the
    importance of the heterosexual family and of
  – There is a “shortage of marriageable men” in the
    community, due to AIDS, homicide, incarceration,
    and other effects of institutionalized racism
Being LGBT & African American
• LGBT identity in the African American community
  may be seen/felt as a threat to these values
• African American people are often stereotyped as
  sexually promiscuous, and so are LGBT people-- and
  LGBT African American people may be perceived by
  the community as holding up the stereotype
• In turn, African American LGBTs may be perceived in
  terms of stereotypes in the queer community
• “The Down Low”: Because it‟s easier, and safer, to
  be unidentified with a LGBT identity in the African
  American community, some men may keep their
  sexual relationships with other men secret, identifying
  as straight or bisexual
But “It‟s Not Just a Black Thing!”
• As Keith Roykin says in Beyond the Down Low:
  Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America (2005),
  after describing many stories of white celebrities “on
  the down low”:
   – “For years, both black and white America convinced each
     other that homosexuality was merely a „white thing‟…Then,
     as white gays and lesbians emerged as public figures, we
     assumed that black openly gay and bisexual public figures
     would never emerge because homophobia was too
     widespread among blacks, as if homophobia did not exist in
     the rest of America…Homosexuality, like homophobia, is
     widespread in the black community and the white
     community. White men do not live in a parallel universe
     where homosexuality is widely accepted…White men are on
     the down low just like black men, and since we live in a
     country with far more white men than black men, it stands to
     reason that there are far more white men on the down low
     than black men. They, too, are secretly sleeping with men
     while they plan their lives with their wives.” (pp. 72-73)
      Being LGBT & Latino/a
• The term “Latino/a” includes a wide variety of
  cultures, languages, regions, and ancestry
  – Family is of central importance
  – Clear gender roles, including machismo (strong,
    masculine, providing) and marianismo
    (submissive, virtuous)
  – To be LGBT is seen as threat to family and
    possibly as selfish
     • At the same time, same-sex behaviors (affection
       between women/anal intercourse when the inserting
       partner) may not be perceived as indicating non-
  – “Don‟t ask don‟t tell”: silence may mean tolerance
       Being LGBT & Asian
• “Asian” is a designation that represents
  many, often widely divergent, ethnicities
  and cultures
• “Don‟t ask don‟t tell”: silence may mean

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