keshaperry

“I’ve Done My Job”

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 at 1:38 am

“Dear Friends,

Every year over 1 million people commit SUICIDE. Some were BULLIED because of their SEXUALITY. I lost a friend to SUICIDE, and I’m asking all of you to support alternative lifestyles. Don’t put up with or join in with BULLYING. It’s time we become more aware in this WORLD. Take responsibility to make a difference. So if my MUSIC can save one life, I’ve done my job…”

Those are the concluding remarks to singer Marsha Ambrosius’ Far Away video. In the video, we follow the trials and challenges of two same loving men. These men, for all intents and purposes, are handsome, and would fit the bill of strong, hopefully eligible African American men. Stewart Shaw, manager of the African American center at the San Francisco public library says that “internal homophobia is still pretty large in the black gay community.”

In Schenectady, NY, a nonprofit organization wanted to promote a sense of pride in African American homosexual couples. “The Albany-based group In our Own Voices says it sponsored the ad campaign to combat the stigma and homophobia of being a black, gay man. There are now 18 of the billboards in the capital region, plus many smaller ads on bus shelters.”

According to Census data, the South–in particularly, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas– “are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.” Bob Witeck, Chief Executive of Witeck-Combs Communications stated that “We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse. We’re not all rich white guys.” UCLA demographer Gary Gates notes that African Americans and Latinos homosexual couples are two times as likely to raise children as whites.

And so, for those who remain invisible, bullied, or even contemplated suicide, we cannot ignore it any longer. As Ambrosius so bodly challenged: “Take responsibility to make a difference.” We are different, and I dare to say by design…it is through these differences that we all dare to dream and learn from the other. I learned from my neighbors, I learned from my friends, I learned from my family, and so I continue to learn from those who do not necessarily look like me or even lead a life that is far different than what I was told was “right.” I thank you neighbors, I thank you friends, and hopefully, I’ve too done my job–and continually will do my job.

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