Marginalized Groups Supporting Each Other

We live in a very scary world right now.  Many groups of people are finding themselves marginalized and discriminated against around the world and with the current White House administration things are escalating severely here on the home front.  Though our experiences are different, there is a power in numbers and a strength that comes from having voices outside of your group stick up for you.  It’s that very issue I’d like to talk about today.

Uniting with different, sometimes disconnected, and often conflicting groups is not going to be easy.  Just today I was told I was not allowed to be part of the queer community and sport the rainbow flag because I’m against Islamophobia.  Here’s how it went down:

 

And this continued for a long time, like so:

Yes, there are many places around the globe where Muslims are incredibly cruel towards their LGBTQ+ communities.  There’s the consistent abuse in Aceh and the prisons in Chechnya, for example.  But these do not stop me from speaking out against Islamophobia.  Most Muslims are not mistreating queer people and many have spoken out against these atrocities.  Hell, I’ve met several queer Muslims (which, like in Christianity, is debated within various sects of the religion).  Speaking out against these atrocities is good, but using it as an excuse to hurl abuse at all Muslims is terrible.

These types of conflicts will certainly come come up, as will more nuanced issues between our groups such as the differences in the type of discrimination that we face.  As a white person, I won’t know what a POC experience is like and may say or do something insensitive.  Likewise, a heterosexual POC man doesn’t know what it’s like to be a queer woman and likewise might make missteps in his attempt to support me.  We may debate about these nuances, but if we’re real allies with each other we’ll listen to what each other have to say and move forward together.  The willingness to listen to each other as we stand up for each other is incredibly important to me.  Our alliances won’t always be perfect, but our willingness to learn, grow, and unite against oppression will be incredibly strong.

Not everyone will agree with that, but that’s fine.  Unfortunately for you, you can’t kick me out of the queer club. I am queer. I am proud. And I will stand up for other marginalized groups even if other people within those groups do things I find pretty terrible.  There’s power in numbers and right now all of us need to rely on each other for strength as we push back against this increasingly scary and continuously intolerant world.

For a movie recommendation that highlights the concept of forming a united front to push back against oppression, I recommend Pride.

Realizing that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gays and lesbians lend their support to striking coal miners in 1984 Wales.

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