Last week, one of my articles ("6 Black Icons You Didn't Know Were Queer") gained a bit of traction. In between people positively sharing the article, some came into my mentions on Twitter enraged by the suggestion that Malcolm X was queer and, in his younger days, a sex worker. I was called a faggot a handful of times by complete strangers while others accused me of promoting the gay agenda.
The article I wrote was not a glitzy surprise unveiling of six previously closeted black icons; instead, it, as its titles states, is about six black icons who are queer. The article was my own way of celebrating Black History Month and, as many black men and women do during this time, I chose to recognize and bring attention to those black icons who have a similar identity and history to my own. The six black icons I chose are well-known, influential people who routinely accomplished black excellence, sometimes in relation to their sexual identity and, most of the time, unrelated to their sexual identity.
I was accused of promoting the gay agenda, which, as one person put it, is to aid the "Democrat masters and globalists" in decreasing the black population by "queerifying" blacks since Planned Parenthood is apparently failing to do it. While it was the first time I had been accused of promoting the gay agenda, it was not the first time I had heard of the gay agenda.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I remember my father, and many others like him in our community, routinely expressing disgust and annoyance at members of the LGBTQ+ community, accusing them of promoting a supposed gay agenda that never seems to have the same goals person to person.
Every single LGBTQ+ person in the limelight was accused of promoting this agenda. My father couldn't even watch Ellen and it was, and still is, so awkward because Ellen does not talk about LGBTQ+ issues as much as she could and she is mostly just running a regular family friendly talk show. Yet, for my father, it was just her mere presence that was promoting the gay agenda.
When I came out to my father last summer, a part of me knew what his reaction would be but it did not make his reaction any less hard to take. I wonder now, half-jokingly, if I am gay because I fell into Ellen's sinister grasp. Her love of dancing and children might have made me realize that I am attracted to men just as much as I am to women! Or, maybe, it was Oprah's interview with Thomas Beatie who was labeled as the "first pregnant man" or seeing Wanda Sykes proudly came out in face of Proposition 8 in 2008.
It was challenging hearing my father belittle the very people who identified in the same way I was then scared to admit that I did.
I remember asking him why we, the black community, had to treat the LGBTQ+ community as something subhuman and unworthy of rights when we, as black people, were (and still are) treated in similar manners.
Looking back, I understand that I was really asking: "If I can't be denied rights as a black person because that is who I am, why can't the same apply to me as a gay person? Why can I be black and proud but not gay and proud? Why does queerness scare you?"
My father's answer was that it was just not the same. It wasn't the answer I wanted, but I became certain that the gay agenda was just not a right real thing. I understood that the gay agenda was something used by people who didn't understand and aren't willing to understand LGBTQ+ people and this supposed agenda is meant to provoke fear and support prejudice. It was as silly as saying there is a black agenda and a female agenda. Therefore, I refused to acknowledge or believe in it.
It wasn't until last year that I was convinced otherwise. I had the opportunity to hear a speech from Houston Mayor Annise Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors of a major city, at a fundraising dinner for Equality NC. I had not heard of her before and I hadn't really been all that interested in politics up until that point either, but she was giving a great speech that kept me engaged.
But, then, she said something that caught me off guard. It was something that she has been saying since as early as 2014:
"I've been a lesbian activist for 40 years. I have been saying for 40 years [that] there is no such thing as a gay agenda, but I'm here to tell you that that is not true. There is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda, and I'm going to tell you what it is.
"We want to be able to go to school in safety. We want to be able to serve our country honorably. We want to be able to work at jobs we love so that we can pay taxes to the country that sustains us, and we want to protect the relationships and families that nurture us. That is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda."
It was a stunning stance and one that I found myself agreeing with, despite feeling so certain all of my life that the gay agenda wasn't real.
The gay agenda is not decreasing the population nor is it "queerifying" those who are straight; instead, the gay agenda is about pursuing equality, happiness, acceptance, and inclusion.
So, please, stop being afraid of queerness, especially PoC queerness. The way in which you see my queerness should not make you feel threatened, insecure, or afraid. My queerness demands the same respect that womanhood demands, that blackness demands, and that religions demand.
So, yes, the gay agenda is a real thing and I'll gladly support it.