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LGBTs must defeat stigma, create dialogue to gain black acceptance

By | 2018-01-16T07:20:45-05:00 July 30th, 2009|Opinions|

In reading “On the Same Side,” I had a reaction (BTL July 23). I’m familiar with arguments typically used by black Americans to express opposition to gay civil rights. I identify as an African-American same gender attracted woman and have taught LGBT Studies at the University of Michigan. In class, I used comparisons to appreciate both struggles, as well as the intersecting struggles/stressors of being black and SGA simultaneously.
To me, part of the choice versus non-choice controversy stems from not realizing the distinction between behavior and identity. I believe that we have not done enough to de-stigmatize same gender attraction and we continue to sexualize and behavior-ize it by using terms like homosexuality and sexuality. Lastly, I concur with Dr. Angela Dillard’s highlight of studies showing increased compassion for SGA persons by heterattractional people with increased personal interface. With this being said, there will be a citywide group dialogue for African Americans across attractionality on October 24-25. This will create safe space for needed conversations that haven’t been happening within black communities. It’s being sponsored in part by the Arcus Foundation and organized by myself, J. Frederick Bland and Crystallee Crain. For more information, visit

{ITAL Dr. Kofi Adoma
Detroit, Mich.}

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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.