PRIDE! Kent discusses issues in black, queer culture

Nick Garisto



PRIDE! Kent honored Black History Month by holding a discussion about stereotypes and issues of being Black and LGBTQ Feb. 4.

Director of Diversity Initiatives Gabrielle Cooper asked a panel of black LGBTQ members, “What can the African community do to for the LGBTQ, black community?” at the LGBTQ meeting discussing black queer culture Thursday.

Voices of all peoples and identities spoke out on the many prevalent and stereotypical ideas that plague both cultures. Voices that tell of the profound disconnect between groups and subgroups within both cultures that incite separateness and discourage togetherness.

These stereotypes often create individuals who are on the “Down Low”. These people will have a heterosexual relationship as a cover for another relationship that is not commonly accepted by community members. Many LGBTQ members said how sexuality is often suppressed in African-American culture as a way to save face with their community.

“Masculinity is a fragile institution,” commented Brandon , PRIDE’s President, while members discussed the effects a patriarchal society has on its men. This suppression of parts of the self lead to the overcompensation of other parts. Attendees spoke of how aggressive and dominant behavior are valued highly in patriarchal societies in place of other feminine qualities.  

All of these examples tell of that disconnect between cultural groups. A panel of Black LGBTQ The question posed by Cooper was met with panelists urging others to be more inclusive and open in the face of both cultures facing adversity and terror in society.