I see a gay male couple walking hand in hand down the street. They also do not look like me. In fact, they look like they could be in one of the gay cruise ads I see in my favorite magazine. Their relaxed and happy faces turn frightened when they see me, and they immediately cease holding hands and separate. On this late night in an unfamiliar area of the city, I am not seen as a member of the LGBT community. I am black. I am male. I am a threat.
The wary looks and quickened paces of nervous white women on the streets of New York are those I’ve become used to over the years, but the reaction from this gay male couple is different. My first instinct is to smile at them, but I don’t. I dart into the subway station and think about it during every second of the ride back uptown. I feel hurt, sad, lonely, and invisible. I feel bad for this couple who, for whatever reason, think that they could be in danger around me just for being themselves. I wonder what books they read, what shows they watch, what magazines they read. I wonder what gay “looks” like to them.
an excerpt from: Opinion - The bearable whiteness of being gayby Rob Smith
Interesting thoughts on the experience of racism within the gay community…and, well, everywhere else too.