Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where Is The face of The LGBT of Color?

This is something that has been a source of discussion between my partner and myself for many years. Unfortunately there is a huge disconnect when it comes to Black and Latinos being represented in the media. Most of the time when we see a person of color it is on an advertisement for HIV medication. Those of us who go out to social clubs often pick up an HX or Next magazine only to see a Caucasian gracing the cover. The same is often true of Magazines like The Advocate. I’ve seen many a site that has pages upon pages without any pictures of persons of color.

The perception of beauty is one that as the saying goes “ Is in the eye of the beholder”. It comes in many forms. To me it comes in all forms and all colors. It comes in any ethnicity. Rupual’s Drag Race, which airs on The LOGO station shouldn’t be the only place where one can find some sort of representation that resembles our own selves. I don’t know about others, but I would hazzard to guess that most do not want to see someone we can identify with only when looking at an HIV ad on a bus or Subway station. HIV is a serious disease and it deserves as much attention as can be given to it. However I don’t believe should be the primary representation, since there is more to the LGBT lifestyle than HIV or any STD.

There are some magazines that do indeed showcase The LGBT community of color. Sadly most of them are pornographic in nature. Such as Latin Inches, Boyz in da Crib and Black inches. Even online there are sites such as Adam4Adam, or Black Gay Chat.. But hardly ever have I seen much on mainstream magazines. Offline I have seen a few. Online I have seen a few. Perhaps as the face of gay persons of color become more mainstream, those of us who can relate, will feel more at ease coming to terms with being or coming out. I especially hope so , for the sake of the youth who like all youth, need to see themselves reflected in a more positive light. I believe this will go a long way as a segue way to more self acceptance as someone of value. Self value is something that we all, especially the young, have a need of. Who in the World to one degree or another doesn’t want to be recognized and accepted? Not many. Although the movie for which Comedian Monique recently won an Oscar wasn’t a Gay/LGBT themed, did show that young people do indeed, need something to aspire to. Porn, while I do not knock it, nor those in the industry, can’t be the medium by which young LGBT fashion themselves.

Realizing that all change takes time, I patiently await the day when there are more Black and Latino faces that will adorn the LGBT media and even mainstream media alongside our other brothers and sisters.


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