Sunday, April 10, 2016

#RealTalk: NO, La’Porsha Renae Being LGBT Is NOT A Lifestyle

Let me start by saying that, NO the Black community at large is not homophobic and often our language as a collective makes us come off that way. I wanted to ignore this incident, but then realized that this is the moment to teach folks about who we are as the LGBT community.  When I got around to finally reading about all the ruckus about La'Porsha's statement, I almost choked on my tea at Starbucks. Before I go any further with what I need to say, here are the statements that were made:

This is how I feel about the LGBT community: They are people just like us. They’re not animals as someone stated before. They’re people with feelings. Although all of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons, whatever the reason is, you still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another...I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way. It wasn’t how I was raised. But I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual and they’re such sweet, nice people. We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on.

First La'Porsha, being LGBT is not a lifestyle, calling who we ARE a lifestyle infers we made a choice, that we chose to be who we are in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. Whether you know it or not, the main part of your uneducated statement where you state that ".I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way. It wasn’t how I was raised," indicates that your beliefs are a lifestyle choice. Merriam-Webster defines lifestyle as "a particular way of living" or "the way a person lives or a group of people live." Lifestyles are based on choices that are both voluntary and involuntary because of options and environmental factors than can or cannot be changed. My being LGBT, specifically "G" or gay is not a choice as I have ALWAYS known who I was and am from an early age. Lifestyle is taught, who we are comes naturally for us, you on the other hand, being "brought up that way" and  how you "was raised" indicates you were taught archaic religious principles that teaches hetero-patriarchal gibberish.

Second, you made things worse when you decided to do the thing that White people do when they get check on their White privilege, you decided to invoke your heterosexual privilege. Saying you "do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that" you "love dearly who are gay and homosexual and they’re such sweet, nice people," is using heterosexual privilege and tokenism all at the same time. Saying what you said is just as bad as a White person saying "I am not racist, I have Black friends." You still dehumanized your LGBT "friends" and the rest of the LGBT community with this statement; take note that you need to learn more about being culturally competent with regard to our community. What you said was homophobic, transphobic and paints the Black community in a bad light, as homophobic. What you said in your tweet did not make things better:

Third, you said that “It’s okay. I can understand when I read it back why people were offended and for that I deeply apologize because I wasn’t trying to offend anyone by what I said, I was just trying to honestly answer a question that actually caught me off-guard. It was supposed to be about singing and it becomes political and I’m not a political person at all.” Let me help you out, when trying repair a mistake or address a previous statement don't use not being political as an excuse. It was a candid question and you answered as the real you, which proves what I stated earlier. Don't take this as an attack, take it more as public relations lesson, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything about it.

Let me help you or anyone else reading this out with some definitions for the future:

Heterosexual privilege - Benefits derived automatically by being (or being perceived as) heterosexual that are denied to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers and all other non-heterosexual sexual orientations.

White privilege -  (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries.

Tokenism - the practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.

Gay - a homosexual man

Lesbian - a homosexual woman.

Homosexuality - sexually attracted to people of one's own sex.

Homophobia - The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are homosexual or of homosexual feelings within one's self. This assumes that heterosexuality is superior.

Bisexual - a person capable of attraction to people of more than one gender.

Biphobia - The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are bisexual.

Cisgender - is a term for someone who has a gender identity that aligns with what they were assigned at birth. The term was created for referring to "non-transgender" people without alienating transgender people.

Transgender - is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression is different from those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate). Not all people who consider themselves (or who may be considered by others as) transgender will undergo a gender transition.

Transsexual - Transsexual refers to a person who experiences a mismatch of the sex they were born as and the sex they identify as. A transsexual sometimes undergoes medical treatment to change his/her physical sex to match his/her sex identity through hormone treatments and/or surgically. Not all transsexuals can have or desire surgery.

Transphobia - Fear or hatred of transgender people; transphobia is manifested in a number of ways, including violence, harassment and discrimination.

Gender identity - is a person's private sense and subjective experience of their own gender. This is generally described as one's private sense of being a man or a woman, consisting primarily of the acceptance of membership into a category of people: male or female.

Sexual Orientation - The deep-seated direction of one's sexual (erotic) attraction. It is on a continuum and not a set of absolute categories. Sometimes referred to as affection, orientation or sexuality. Sexual orientation evolves through a multistage developmental process, and may change over time.  Asexuality is also a sexual orientation.

Sex - refers to biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs.
Gender - describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine.

Gender expression - refers to all of the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions. Social or cultural norms can vary widely and some characteristics that may be accepted as masculine, feminine or neutral in one culture may not be assessed similarly in another.

Gender transition - Transitioning is the process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. This may or may not include hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery and other medical procedures.

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