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Short bio: sociology grad student. photgrapher. graphic designer. occasional artist & writer. persistent thorn in side.

Can You Not, Homophobic Hoodrats?

Can You Not, Homophobic Hoodrats?

Based on this Twitter thread.

[Moonlight, 2016. Property of A24 Films.]

[Moonlight, 2016. Property of A24 Films.]

There are a lot of pervasive myths about the hood. We’re uneducated, we’re unkempt, we’re poorly groomed, we’re aggressive, we don’t value anything, we have no work ethic. Most of these myths are perpetuated by outsiders — usually white — that look down their noses and scorn, scoff, and otherwise judge our apparently foreign ways. But there’s one myth in particular that really…grinds my gears. It gets my hackles up, sets off every warning bell, and drives me absolutely batty.

“Y’all still surprised when ghetto people are homophobic/transphobic? Lol[.] Only suburban people are internet-trained to not be offensive.”

First of all, how dare you. How dare you imply that my upbringing, my origins are somehow synonymous with bigotry. At no point during my childhood or adolescence was I taught to devalue the humanity of another person because of their sexual orientation or genital arrangement. The absolute audacity of you ashy bums to try to absolve your obviously guilty consciences by lumping me in with you and your narrow-minded, poorly thought out, illogical assumptions about people you don’t understand. It’s offensive. It’s appalling. It fucking reeks.

Making these broad, sweeping generalizations erases every queer person that ever existed in the hood. We have been here, always. And we will continue to be here, always. From the very beginning, we have been here – sometimes doing your hair, helping your plan your outfits, watching your children, attending your church, buying lip-gloss at the beauty supply, bringing something to the cookout or block party. Sometimes we serve as the punchline of your jokes, we bear the brunt of your stares, we experience violence at the hands of people we grew up with, we answer uncomfortable and invasive questions about who we are (and aren’t) having sex with and what’s between our legs. But we’re here…and we always have been. And we’re not going anywhere. Queerness wasn’t introduced into the inner city to destabilise the black family by the CIA. There’s no gay agenda beyond being treated like a fully actualised, autonomous human being.

Yet and still, y’all continue to parrot this ridiculous assertion that basic human decency is solely the realm of the middle and upper-middle classes. Is there no understanding of how this wilful ignorance is just white supremacy rearing its ugly head? Or does the colonizer conditioning really hit that hard? Do y’all genuinely believe that poor, ghetto black folk are so incapable of behaving in a civilised manner or have you just internalised and re-packaged the same bullshit that’s been passed down from generation to generation? I want better for us, truly. I want us to stop holding such low expectations for ourselves. We’re capable of so much – including independent thought and an infinite capacity for empathy. Let’s start acting like it.

Or don’t. Be a bigot if that’s your heart’s truest desire. But by doing so, you relinquish your right to be surprised when you’re called out and roundly denounced as the bigot you are by your peers – your queer and/or ghetto peers. Because we’re here. And we’re real fucking tired.

Can You Not, Terry Crews?

Can You Not, Terry Crews?

Can You Not, Michelle Rodriguez?

Can You Not, Michelle Rodriguez?