Diaspora Week at Richland CollegeApril 21, 2009
I participated today on a LGBT panel called “Ethnic Communities.” There was a gay Latino professor, a straight black female artist and me.
- How do definitions or stereotypes of GLBT within the Black, Asian, and Latino communities differ from the mainstream GLBT in the US?
- How does migration to the U.S. for a GLBT person impact their identity relative to their ethnic community?
- What is the relationship between the GLBT community and ethnic communities regarding civil rights, social activism, and issues such as gay marriage, equality, etc.?
- What is the role of religion, family, gender roles and class regarding perceptions and treatment of GLBTs?
- What cultural representations of GLBT within their ethnic community exist and how are they changing?
I thought this brought up a lot of interesting discussion between the three of us and several members of the audience. I think that if we had one ethnicity with a gay man, a lesbian and a transgender person with the same questions, we could have had an even better panel. I appreciate the Humanities Department for what they’re trying to do at Richland College, especially considering they didn’t have to try to include the LGBT community in their week-long celebration of cultures.
A young lady approached me afterward who especially touched me. She said she is 20 years old, is bi-sexual, is Indian and was ostracized by her friends and family. She told me that she took off work to come to the panel and now, after meeting me and listening to me speak, she doesn’t feel so alone. I’m never going to quit politics, am I?
Someone asked if it’s getting better for young people. The panelists all agreed that yes, it is getting better. My thought is there is a backlash to so many young people coming out at a younger age. Bullying is severe and teachers don’t always do much to counteract the violence in schools. Just in the last few weeks, two 11 year-olds committed suicide because of the bullying they encountered at school. This video is by Equality Texas.
HB 1323 by TX Rep. Mark Strama is going to the House floor for a vote. Please click here to help schools get better.