Voices from an Urban Bush Sista! Flipping the script on Oprah

By |2018-01-15T23:03:31-05:00September 21st, 2006|Opinions|

By Imani Williams

As I continue to do my self work, on the road to what I hope is self-improvement, I find myself shaking my head at life and some of its findings.
Let me share something that happened last week. I responded to a query from the “Oprah” show stating they were looking for lesbians who fit the following profile: “Lesbians wanted who: 1) Came out later in life, age range of (20s, 30s and 40s), 2) who had previously been married to men and 3) Have found their own truths to be more satisfying and who wanted to share their stories.”
I fit the profile and was down with sharing my story, especially if it helps someone else out.
I responded through the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), pretty reputable folk, and the following morning I was contacted by one of Oprah’s writers who asked a battery of questions about my coming out experience, what I had gone through and where I am now in my process.
Somewhere along the line, the producers and writers flipped the script.
It seems that now, they were not so much interested in stories from same-gender loving womyn who had made peace with themselves in their quest of self discovery but instead Oprah wanted women who were just recently out of heterosexual relationships or still battling within them.
I admit I was baffled. Cuz to me, there is quite a long road between acknowledging that you have different feelings than your heterosexual sisters and actually accepting and owning those feelings as your right. I actually felt a bit cheated, like the caller on the other end of the phone had tricked me.
You propose one thing then ask me 57 questions and after I answer only then do you share that the intended purpose for the questions has changed. What the hell? Just as I was hoping that Oprah was going to redeem herself for having the self-proclaimed “done wrong” Terry McMillan and “Let me scare the masses and reap the financial benefits” “Down Low” author J.D. King boost her ratings.
Oprah let me down once again.
Seems the Oprah show would rather sensationalize our stories and our truths by bringing in folk who are probably still in the throes of confusion cautiously stepping an unsure toe out of the closet as opposed to those who have made peace and done some work on the journey to claim and our same-gender loving selves just as we are.
After making it through hurtful divorces and child custody battles, and wondering all along if Big Mama and em’ still gonna invite is the spirit of Agape love to the holiday table. Not to mention finding your spiritual ground after being ousted from your childhood faith based haven.
Now I’m not saying nor suggesting that the stories of those new to the coming out process are not valid, because everyone’s story is in fact valid and worthy of being heard. I am arguing that this is not what Madame Media Mogul proposed with the query and that if you are still in a straight relationship yet feeling LGBT or Q you have a lot to work through in regards to yourself, your family and if you’re still married, to your spouse as well.
To the Oprah folk if you get wind of this, know that we’re not new kids on the block, we’ve been here and will continue to bring our vibrancy and splendor to the world. Know that you can choose to add some authenticity and integrity to what you do by showing our positive light… I dare you!
In peace and love,

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.