I was very fortunate to be apart of the annual MLK Day Parade here in South Central. To see the faces of this great community was something I will never forget. It was like being at a huge family gathering. Friendly smiles, kids and diversity covered the streets yesterday.
But my real reason for being there was to participate in the first Black and Gay march. The organizations: Here To Stay Coalition, National Black Justice Coalition and The Jordan/Rustin Coalition got together and decided it was time to put a face to the LGBT community of color. In lieu of Prop 8, the finger pointing and blaming, these groups made decision that would make history.
They knew it would be risky, but it had to happen. I walked several blocks before I saw the group march down the street. Immediately, I walked up and joined them. I have to say that I was very nervous. I've marched in NYC Gay Pride Parade, but this was totally different. Knowing how some blacks feel about the LGBT community, I was worried that something could go wrong. But I was worried for nothing. I experienced nothing but love from the Black community. Yeah, there were some haters, but they were quickly drowned out by the folks in the crowd...I was moved.
My spirit in my people was renewed. I can't explain it, but I felt so liberated. We were not only marching in an important event, but we were telling people that we are Black and Gay and we are here to stay. We put a face to the mystery and hopefully inspired others to either accept the LGBT community or come out themselves.
We made history yesterday. That's weird to say, but it's true. I thank the organizers who put a lot on the line to inform people that we're real. They really had the LGBT community of color's best interest at heart. My only complaint was the lack of gay men. There was just 5 of us, but hopefully there will be more opportunities to express our pride.