When discussing this issue with my friend, Emma (who is a white lesbian), I came to realize how black people are viewed in regards to pride participation. She argued that black people simply don’t want to be included in the pride festivities. If black people wanted to come to the events, they are more than welcome. The problem, according to Emma, is that they don’t want to attend.
In many ways, I agree. We do not want to attend because too often we are made to feel unwelcome or to feel that we should feel honored just to be there. I, for one, refuse to spend my good gay dollar in support of anything that runs contrary to my interests and I feel that due to White Gay Pride’s lack of diversity and failed efforts at inclusion, it runs contrary.
This is Atlanta. While exceedingly liberal and increasingly diverse, Atlanta is still the south and the majority of the city’s wealth is unduly saturated within the hands of the majority (i.e. White people). The racially underlined mentality that black people should simply be happy to be able to sit at the table is prevalent within the white gay community.
If the White Gay Pride committee really wanted inclusion and truly served a diverse population, actual events and activities would have been marketed to Atlanta’s diverse black and Latino populations. Of the twenty seven people on the 2007 Gay Pride festival committee, three of them were people of color. Of the three people listed, none were recognizable by either myself or my friend James, who is an active member of the Black Atlanta club scene.
White gay pride in Atlanta is a wonderful time for many people. Celebrations of rainbow flags, drunken dances in the park, and enough shirtless white guys to fill several bars abound, but I am thankful that black gay pride (labor-day in the ATL) is right around the corner. Vanilla is tasty, but I, for one, love my chocolate cakes.