So-cute-you-could-eat-her Irene Monroe, a woman who knows what she's talking about, is a key voice in the Proposition 8 debate - particularly on the subject of its descent into racial blame-mongering. "The same-sex marriage debate [has been] hijacked by a white upper class queer universality that not only renders these marginalized queer communities invisible, but - as it is presently framed - also renders them speechless," she says in her latest article. I largely agree with that; there's a yawning chasm between them and us. But just who is us and them? Even enlightened souls like Ms Monroe insist on casually using the term "white" to generalise Caucasians. Well - newsflash! - not all white people are the same. I assume Ms. Monroe is referring to financially comfortable WASPS (the Bad Guys) and not "minority" Caucasians (Irish, Poles et cetera). Minority, or ethnic, Caucasians have historically been victimised by WASPS just as much as other ethnic minorities. In fact, my own immediate family suffered violence and discrimination at the hands of WASPS in Northern Ireland over the last several decades; I personally suffered the indignity of racial abuse as an immigrant in Australia. So it's particularly galling to hear "white this, white that" as if the suffering of Afro-Caribbean’s is so unique and acute that license is granted to lump all Caucasians together and denigrate them wholesale. Two wrongs make a right in the world these people inhabit. Now don't get me wrong, I don't count Ms. Monroe as one of those people; the woman needs to be heard by us all. I'm just calling her on the use of the term white. (As an aside, it's definitely worth looking at the devastatingly beautiful Qaadir Howard's incisive, razor sharp argument, below, against the use of the term black in reference to people of Afro-Caribbean descent).
Ultimately, the gay community is dominated and controlled by exactly the same people as the mainstream: monied, White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. The difference is, in our community, they're gay. But let's allow Ms Monroe the last word - she's smarter than me and much, much cuter: "[It's] not surprising because the larger queer movement has distorted, if not erased, its own history when it come to the Stonewall Riot of June 27-29, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City, which started on the backs of working-class African-American and Latino transgender patrons of the bar. Those brown and black queer people are not only absent from the photos of that historic night, but they are also bleached from the annals of queer history and gay pride events."