Say No to Noteps and Straight Black Pride

This evening, at the National Black Theatre in Harlem, a group of fools who have convened themselves as the Straight Black Pride Movement will be hosting a press conference to shame and antagonize Black queer people under the guise of defending the Black community.

 

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Several weeks ago they enlisted the NBT to host a Straight Black Pride Rally, but the the NBT declined to host the event after a call from the community not to do so. They are to be saluted for taking that stance. Since that time the Hotep Homophobes who have convened this foolishness have harassed the staff of the NBT and physically threatened people.

In their latest act of harassment, this evening they are planning a press conference at the theatre “in response” in their words “to a direct attack by the LGBTQ community on the heterosexual Black community’s right to gather for peaceful assembly.” They go on to say that “we will not allow the National Black Theatre to back down because of pressure from the LGBTQ community and throw the heterosexual Black community under the bus. …The Black heterosexual community is here to stay and we will not back down to the LGBTQ Pink Mafia.”

They invite “Straight, Black, and Proud” people to spread the word.

I got a word for y’all. Fuck.Outta.Here. I’m Black and straight. And what I am most proud of is the visionary thinking from largely queer Black people that have theorized, galvanized and mobilized our current #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The ridiculous idea that the presence and visibility and meager social gains that LGBTQ people have experienced because the gubment now says they can get married legally everywhere constitutes an attack on “the heterosexual Black community” is pure absurdist sophistry.

And what the fuck is “the heterosexual Black community” anyway? Y’all niggas are not my community.

The fear and anxiety that these Hotep Negroes are trying to whip up is homophobia personified.

So let me be clear. The male-centered, (patriarchal), straight-centered (heterosexist) version of Black community that these folks are trying to promote is neither Revolutionary nor liberatory. As a straight person, my prospects for love and family are not under attack. Not because I’m straight anyway. If folks really wanted to have a revolutionary conversation about Black love, family, and community, we would start by talking about all the structural impediments that exist to make Black people hate each other, that make us unable to provide for each other, and that make us turn inward and resent each other because of structurally induced feelings of inadequacy.

Heterosexism is a structural impediment. Patriarchy is a structural impediment. Cissexism is a structural impediment.

And since these impediments prevent us all from loving and being loved, these are the kinds of structural issues that straight Black folks should be seeking to be in coalition with gay Black people around. Instead, in some misguided show of straight privilege fuckery, these Hoteps whose social analysis is about as deep as a kiddie pool, have decided that gay and trans* Black people are the enemy. And in the kind of social narcissism only available to the privileged, they suggest that they are under attack.

They sound like those evangelical Christians who be out here proclaiming that inability to tell everyone “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter” is an attack. Negroes need to get up on some dictionaries.

They sound like those white folk that love that damn Confederate Flag who think that taking it down is an “attack on our way of life.”

So as a straight person, let me make things clear. If we don’t check, confront, and dismantle, our desire for “tradition,” for nuclearity, for Huxtabledom, then we are the enemy.

It is our narrow conceptions of family, love, and relationship that have done and continue to do countless forms of harm to gay youth. More than 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ youth, and nearly 68% of those youth cite family push out as the reason they are on the streets. Straight people put their queer children out on the street! Think about that shit. In a world where Black children are likely to be shot by cops just for breathing, homophobia and unaddressed heterosexism has some misguided parents putting their children out on the street!

When is the last time you heard a story about a gay Black man physically attacking and murdering a group of straight Black women because they are straight and therefore not into him? See how utterly unreasonable and ridiculous that story sounds?

But check it. In 2003, Sakia Gunn, a masculine-of-center lesbian, got stabbed while she was hanging with her friends because the dude that hollered at her was mad that she was gay. What about the New Jersey 4, four young Black lesbians who were attacked, and then arrested and forced to serve jail time, because they defended themselves against a man named Dewayne Buckle who assaulted them and yelled, “I’ll fuck you straight!”? What about CeCe McDonald, a trans* sister who spent 19 months in prison after defending herself against a transphobic attack in which she was forced to stab her attacker? What about Islan Nettles, and Eyricka Morgan, and Penny Proud, and the 6 other trans* women of color who were murdered in the first two months of calendar year 2015?

Somebody’s out here steady mobbin’ but it ain’t “the gays.” And no straight person should be proud of that.

Patriarchy, heterosexism, and cissexism (a structural desire for everyone to be cisgender as opposed to transgender) won’t help any of us get free.

As a straight, cisgender Black woman what I know for sure is that a patriarchal, Black nationalist vision of Black liberation is a threat to my well-being and livelihood. I don’t want a man to head my household. I head my household. I don’t want to be told to have children for the revolution. I decide what I do with my uterus and my vagina, and more often than not I’m interested in using these facets of myself for pleasure rather than procreation. Real talk.

Men who have a need to dominate women are a threat to Black women and children and to Black communities in general. These men are frequently not above violence, and even if they are not physically violent, the ideologies to which they subscribe (religious or otherwise) which tell them that they are superior, more thoughtful, and naturally created to lead are not only dishonest and factually untrue, but also emotionally violent and culturally unsafe.

My notion of Black community is expansively, unapologetically and profoundly queer.

Fifty years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan told us that our failure to have male-headed nuclear households was a mark of racial pathology. Half a century later and we still battle the shame of that pronouncement. But we ought to recognize that Black people’s creative and resilient notions of kinship have been the only thing that has saved us. (Read Crunkadelic’s excellent book Close Kin and Distant Relatives  for a more scholarly take on this point.) Our ability to see love and pursue it and embrace it fiercely even when it doesn’t conform to what structures say is acceptable has been some of our most revolutionary praxis. The choice to love in a system that says we are unworthy of it is a choice to recognize the humanity in ourselves and in the other person, in a system that says we are less than human. This is a profoundly queer act. It ain’t normal for Black folks to love themselves or each other in a world that hates us.

It makes total sense to me that two queer women (Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza together with Opal Tometi) would be the ones to proudly proclaim that Black Lives Matter. America has made it perfectly clear that we don’t matter – that our lives have no value. It ain’t nothing normal about looking into the face of these facts and snatching another truth from them. Nothing. But Black lives do matter. We know this.  That kind of moxie– to know some shit that you are told is not knowable– issues from the inherent queerness of Black life, the inherent audacity of those of us with Black lives to show up and live, despite a world that wants to kill us.

Straight Black liberation ain’t liberation. And until we –straight folk—get clear on that, queer folk shouldn’t trust us. But the thing is – they love us in spite of how much we hate them, and they keep working to help us all get free.

So it would be exceedingly foolish for straight Black people to bite the hand that feeds us. It would be exceedingly foolish for straight Black people not to recognize the inherent queerness that makes our very Black lives and love possible. It would be exceedingly foolish for straight Black people to make any other Black people the enemy.

ALL our Black ass lives matter. Ashy Noteps included.

One more time: All of our Black lives matter.

45 thoughts on “Say No to Noteps and Straight Black Pride

  1. Thank you for today’s installment! This collective is such a TREASURE! I’ve used your blog on many occasions, most recently in my African American literature class, examining past writings and theorizations of Black Women’s Studies and issues NOTEP both emulate and perpetuate. We also have educational and mental health professionals and practitioners refusing treatment and educational access to queer Black youth because they think queer is wrong, which sends these kids more often than not once again to the streets; a majority of those homeless kids are also black and brown. It’s occurrences like this respectibility bull-ish that makes folks believe that Black ppl are more homophobic than anybody on the planet, when the reality is, and yet another emulation of past idiocy, ALL people learn this hatred from those who know it and do it well with the power to cause deep institutional effects felt decades later. I’m with CRUNK. NOTEP, get thee to a library with the quickness then, in the immortal wisdom of elders everywhere including my grandmother, gon’ set down somewhere and hush.

  2. I support the CFC Blog and will not in any way support Straight Black …I am a straight & Black woman…..that is like supporting white privelege because other get rights…SMDH

  3. Our country has been taking down a divisive symbol of hatred and supremacy (not heritage) the last few weeks. Why is this group trying to undo that idea at the same time.

    By the way, the rainbow flag is a symbol of unity… it says everyone from the spectrum should be welcome and valued in our society.

  4. Though I respect your opinion, & passion let me say this, responsible journalism is important, even in op-ed style pieces. It is important to get the facts straight especially when including names of business because what you write has the ability to effect people’s jobs & livelyhood. Things written online remain, long after opinions & situations fade.
    The Facts:
    The National Black Theatre was never hosting this event. There was only a verbal agreement to hold the date for a rental for a family friendly event.

    The National Black Theatre found out the same time the public found out what the event actually was.

    The National Black Theatre did not cave to pressure on either side, but made a decision based on it’s mission & charter.

    I think we need to be very carful how we characterize NBT – a 47 year old, black owned, female run business since 1968, that is longest operating black theatre in NYC.

    Respectfully, I would request a retraction or at least an adjustment in your article that would be reflective of the facts. I think NBT has been through enough in this last week.

    Thank you.

    1. It’s unclear how you took this to be an attack on the NBT when it is clearly not meant to be a diss to them at all. Moreover, there was a campaign to get them not to host this event. Several activists and community folks called to express displeasure about this event occurring at NBT, and this precipitated the change. I am glad they rescinded whatever agreement was in place.

      Moreover, my piece is very much a critique of the event organizers who have harassed NBT staff and are seeking to antagonize the larger community and I hope it is received in that spirit.

      No retraction will be printed as no facts have been misrepresented. Thanks for reading.

    2. I agree. Attacking an established Black owned is business is worthy of being called Black Nazism because it is. Plain & Simple. Read what I think about all this @ thesonshinechronicle.blogspot.com

    3. Thanks for your info. I did not think NBT would be guilty of the said charges. That being said, the writer raises some very important issues, most importantly, all #Blacklivesmatter period.

  5. Thank you SOOO MUCH. I’m heck of tired of all these so called revolutionaries trying to push this stupid divide and conquer BULLCRAP. I’m straight and an ally and the most thoughtful and original revolutionary work I’ve seen is coming from LGBTQ Black folks.

  6. I’m a straight black man. I never really considered jumping on board of either side of this straight vs gay controversy (or whatever u wanna call it). I don’t care what two consenting adults do in their homes or anywhere else adults spend time for that matter. What I don’t want to see is two people of the same sex making out in public while I’m with my 9 yr old son and my 10 yr old daughter (and yes they r by the same woman, my wife). The thought of my 2 little ones seeing that not only would bother me, it would anger me. Does that make me homophobic? Just sharing my thoughts.

    1. Yes. If only same sex displays of affection make you uncomfortable, then yes. Are you fine with your children seeing hetero couples be publicly affectionate?

      1. I do have children – two little girls – and I do not distinguish between the appropriateness of same-sex vs. opposite sex public displays of affection. I’d rather my girls not see too much of either but it makes no difference who’s doing the making out. I want them to see the tremendous diversity that makes up this world. I love that they’re coming of age in a time where it’s becoming more and more acceptable for people to be who they are and love who they love.

    2. Yes that makes you homophobic! Your children will only see two people who love each other kissing. it is your homophobia that is making you biased to seeing a same sex couple together. You will be teaching your kids to hate. They are not born with that view. If your true feeling is to live and let live then be about it and don’t continuing the cycle of ignorance. Explain to your kids that we are all different and live and love differently. Stop the cycle of hate.

      1. I think Mr. Eric brings up a widespread and honest fear in the Black community, and Mr. Lamont beautifully and informatively responds, demonstrating why the fear is actually unfounded and instead demonstrative of homophobia; both without anger, chastisement or disrespect and just want to give you both props for that and say thank you.

    3. I have to say you don’t care if a hetero couple making out in public but you care about a gay couple you need to realize it is you not them it’s you with the issue. Your the one with the issue and I have a Grown daughter who is getting straight A’s in college.

      You’re more then a bit of a homophobic if your going to use your children as the excuse of you being around people showing affection

      I am a hetero Black man and I don’t care about anyone kissing. or lightly petting. hetero or homo. I despise sucking face in public of any sexual orientation or gender identification. Heavy petting dry humping each other Sucking tongues I don’t want or need to see. I have that issue. I think it is tacky, yes it is my opinion.

      1. Hey. I wish u and ur daughter the best. I hope she finds a female to marry, spend the rest of her life with and be happy. And if u have a son, I hope he finds an accomplished man to marry and live happily ever after. I also hope that ur work and legacies last longer than ur bloodline.

  7. Thanks for this article, I was totally wondering where this HOTEP thing was coming from, I’m getting dudes coming at me with this crazy conservative philosophy . . . and I’m like WHAAAAAT! I didn’t realize this a movement. This explains alot. Thank you for this article.

  8. I never once said you were attacking NBT why would you jump to that conclusion?
    Here’ s the rub, you can’t print internet heresay and hold fast to it being fact. Jumping to conclusions in order to make your point & printing these inaccuracies can & have proven tobe dangerous. Your spirit is absolutely in the right place but your facts are wrong. And standing behind them as if they are truth when you have not spoken to anyone at NBT is wrong.
    I am not speaking in disagreement with you or trying to be aggressive in any way. As a member of NBT who has watched rumors, lies, exaggerations, & enuindos fly all week, I am challenging you to take a breath. Call/email and actually speak to someone before you jump to conclusions based on something you heard, from someone you know, who spoke to someone who read something on the Internet. More than anything I continue to raise this point because along with compromising their business, the truth of the situation is far more powerful than printing these inaccuracies. What NBT did is a brave example of Black liberation at its finest; of the black community in the form of this iconic institution taking a stand (as oppose to bending to pressure) against homophobia. You can’t know the truth unless to are willing to go to the source. It’s a much needed lesson in today’s rampant interet rumor mill. Can you stand by the fact that you spoke to someone at NBT and got your characterization of the situation form any party that is first hand involved? Accountability is the foundation of any & all healing.
    I ask again to reconsider….

  9. I am simply blown away!!! I am a jamaican latino woman….your message was SO TRULY ELOQUENT. this is the first i am reading any article by you and i SO wish you could come to jamaica and talk to the homophobes here! You must have heard that jamaica is a very homophobic place? You need to be a public speaker if you aren’t already. What you said about black men is ridiculously true —sadly. I would go as far as to say jamaican men on a whole, regardless of colour. I will share this article with all my friends. Wow. U are amazing!

  10. “If we don’t check, confront, and dismantle, our desire for ‘tradition’, for nuclearity, for Huxtabledom, then we are the enemy.”
    Asking to be respected hardly counts as an “attack on the Black heterosexual community”. Also, “heterosexual Black community?” What? Where they do that at?
    As a straight, cisgendered woman, it is my duty to acknowledge my privilege and get real about the offensiveness of assuming there is only one black experience. “Black homogeneity” is not a thing. “The Black heterosexual community” is a myth created by a group of people so deeply tangled in their thirst trap that they can’t see how ridiculous they sound. If a group of White people met to discuss the “#BlackLivesMatter” movement as an “attack on White America,” shit would go left REAL quick.Goodbye, Noteps. Let’s be real here: Queer black folk don’t owe it to anyone to stay quiet. “Alternative” black folk don’t owe it to anyone to conform.To the Hotep Homophobes who thought it made sense to start a Straight Black Pride Movement: Please have a seat. Or a whole stadium of seats. I can’t with this tomfoolery.
    Thank you for this beautiful article.

  11. This is an outstanding article. United we stand divided we fall and African Americans continue to fall due to the division that has been taught and accepted in our communities. We are making it so easy for other ethnic groups to be productive in the advancement of their culture and traditions, simply because we refuse to unite due to sexual, orientation, religion, gender, and any other factors that we allow to be suggested or implemented within the black community. I commend this sistah for speaking her truth.

    Dr. Joi Mitchell

  12. Thank you for this article. So much personal and cultural pathology, driving wedges and dividing people, setting us apart and against each other. It may not be ‘normal’ (usual), but it’s *healthy* to love, care, support, build each other up – every one – to value and celebrate each one for who s/he is, spirit, beauty, ability, potential, achievements – every one – to speak out, take action, protect, see / unlearn biases, stop violence, end oppression and build new systems for justice.

    I believe these are healthy human traits, not only queer traits. We’re all poisoned by centuries of colonial patriarchy and every variety of bias and hatred and violence. We see and breathe it every day, it surrounds us every waking moment and clouds every experience, every thought. Maybe oppression, so often even by family, church, community, forces queer folk (those it doesn’t kill) to be stronger, to keep their humanity burning brighter.

    Strange steps brought me here – something on FaceBook to Verna Myers, to Alicia Garza, back to her FB page, to here. I’m a mostly ignorant (though college educated) white male, cis, hetero, middle aged, middle class, in middle America, government / human services worker, mostly still stuck in my own little world. But trying to learn, open my mind, see new faces, hear new voices, observe without judgment, find ways to make a better world.

    Glad I found this place, I’ll be back. I need to meet more real people face to face – but if anyone cares to suggest other websites to further my education, thank you, I’ll watch the comments.

  13. I am very concerned about this as they have stolen the name Progressive Black Thinkers and are calling themselves Progressive Black Thinkers Worldwide and have this backwardness up as their logo. I hate to even post this and advertise for them actually but I really need to make this clear to Crunk as I do not want any of you to misconstrue my position on any of this. The guy who did this, Thomas Grayton, was a member of my group, Progressive Black Thinkers, and because he could not continue to spread his misogyny and homophobia agenda in my group, he decided to steal the name I made up, a group I have had since 2008 and utilize it to spread this hate agenda against more than half of the black populace. I am not in any way affiliated with Progressive Black Thinkers Worldwide and they are recruiting people and people are thinking that it has something to do with me and it doesn’t. I just wanted to clarify this since this thread was up and I am hoping that the sistahs of Crunk are clear on this fact.

    1. Hotep is the Egyptological pronunciation of Egyptian ḥtp (Gardiner p 579 and 617 = law). The phrase m hotep has been translated to mean literally from law “peace” (Gardiner p 583 and 620 “to rest” “be satisfied”, “peace”, “become at peace” and “at ease”) as in the Egyptian philosophy of living the life in Maat.

  14. NBT was never “hosting” this group. They misrepresented who they were when they tried to rent their space. NBT would never condone this kind of hateful/harmful rhetoric in their space. They are to be applauded for standing up to this crazy group, despite the enslaught of threats & pressure to keep the event in place. NBT continues to be a true visionary space & an incredible example for what “power to the people” looks like. They are the hero in this sick tale.

  15. Are any of you Christians here? How do Christian moral values fit into this discussion about homo vs. hetero?

    1. I’m a Christian. Not a conservative one tho, so I have no problem with gay relationships. And if you are looking for a conservative, Bible-driven perspective, this probably isn’t the blog community for you. Peace.

    2. I am Christian, born and raised in and current member of a black Baptist church. I am also straight, and 72 years old. And this article so speaks truth! God gave people intelligence which leads to ever evolving science and thus we understand and discover far more than people did 2000 years ago, or even fifty years past. We are the beneficiaries of God bestowed brilliance. If you are truly Christian (and so many folks practicing evil in the name of God, but that is another story) then you will give thanks for His ever evolving revelations. He has not stopped speaking yet. Don’t you stop listening.

      1. Another Catholic here. I think God loves everyone and would agree that BlackLivesMatter — all Black Lives, not just hetero, cis, or Huxtable. Fantastic article. Thank you for your words, CFC!

  16. Doesn’t everyone have the right to their opinions. Doesn’t everyone have the right to free speech. Everyone has the right to feel and say what they want. And as long as they paid their money to the NBT. The NBT should honor that contract. Everyone is so sensitive now. Let them speak you don’t have to listen.

  17. You describe yourself as a “feminist,” so you separated from the Black community to align yourself with a movement who’s purpose us to break down the Black Man and his mission of liberation.

  18. Oh yes. Thank you especially for this:

    “I don’t want a man to head my household. I head my household. I don’t want to be told to have children for the revolution. I decide what I do with my uterus and my vagina, and more often than not I’m interested in using these facets of myself for pleasure rather than procreation. Real talk.”

  19. Nothing about this is brilliant.

    More gay black people will lead to black population depletion.

    More straight black people will lead to more black people.

    More black people will lead to more political and defensive power.

    Plato proclaimed that the greatest love a man can experience is with a little boy. Woman’s suffrage is not a straight-on-gay issue; it’s an attack on LIFE. Euros have historically disliked women and objectified them as only necessary for pro-creation.

    Straight Black Pride Movement = more conscious brothers and sisters on the planet. When the majority of US realize that genocide is REALLY taking place in prisons, planned parenthoods, boardrooms, and gang violence propaganda, we will have the numbers to react accordingly.

    Sexual preference is learned behavior. The more Black children are exposed to something, the more they will emulate and learn the behavior. The ridiculous assertion that “noteps” dont support gay-rights because of a fear of violence towards them is elementary and to be expected from a woman that is still motivated by her lower nature. She proclaims to prefer pleasure of procreation. Good luck when it dries and wrinkles up and you’re replaced by a younger one. Hopefully its not too late and your life box doesnt become useless and lose its MAIN purpose–procreation.

    People will love whatever they have been exposed to that loves them back in a way they desire. For some, that is a person from the same sex. Unfortunately for them, their bloodlines are in more jeopardy from becoming extinct. Everlasting life comes from generational DNA being passed on perpetually.

    Some people have a foot fetish. Some people like to rub their parts against couches because it accidently felt good once. Now they are proud couch humpers or require electric devices to vibrate them to happiness. Some ladies like ladies because men have mistreated them or abused them or simply not loved them enough. Are these the only causes of gayness? No. My point is that unhealthy/non-creation (for the sake of preventing our extermination) behavior will lead to Black genocide.

    I am not a member of any organization. If a flower wants to be the last of its kind and rub against other flowers without pollination, good for them. It wont matter too long because they will cease to exist.

    This is from a straight, Black, and proud man who uses his objectional and critical problem analysis to see the real reason Gay pride is promoted more and more in our communities.

    By the way, it takes an extremely insensitive person to transform a word like “Hotep” into a deragatory term.

    i suggest you look up its etymology. without it or straight Black people, NO ONE WOULD EXIST.

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