November 1997

Well, to start things off, I'll give you a short bio of myself. My name is James and I am a 19 year-old gay sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. I am also African American. I am actually from Brookfield, CT, a town I'm sure some of you have heard of. Brookfield is a town where a gay-friendly teacher was actually sued for 'recruiting' students into homosexuality. It is also the town where the safe zones that caused the problem have been eliminated, and a gay-straight alliance formed in their wake. But enough about me, what I really wanted to talk about in this column is community.

Everyone at some point wants a community where they can feel truly at home. It helps make you feel secure that you are not alone and that at least someone else understands you. It is fortunate that just about everyone has formed their own community to call home. A major problem arises when these communities collide. For example, in my case as an African American I am a member of that community. Being gay should also make me a part of the homosexual community. The crises is that in many cases these two DO NOT GET ALONG! One glaring example is when the niece of a prominent deceased civil rights leader claims that homosexuals do not deserve the same rights and protections as blacks. When I heard this statement it made me very angry. I mean, how could this woman, who watched her uncle die for the rights of an oppressed race, turn around and be willing to deny these same rights to another group. What also angered me is that I cannot simply be black and gay in the eyes of many people. I have to do some kind of demented choosing game, one that I am not willing to play. So I am left in a quandary, one made up of absolutes and injustices.

I mean it seems simple to anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size that if two oppressed minorities seeking the same things combine their strength and work together, their influence will only grow. If this were to happen, maybe we could actually accomplish more of what we want to happen. And we can get to a place where blacks aren't pulled over by the police for no reason by the police, and two men could show their love for each other in public without fear of physical assault.

Well that's all I have for this month, so any comments, requests, or inquiries about dairy products can be sent to this address- jmarti9073@aol.com


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