Where does phobia come from? Environmental, psychological, or spiritual? While the rights of LGBTQA individuals are still being bought, fought for, loss, and won I think it is worth looking at a few sources of phobia that rarely get beyond a few whispers from pundits. Homophobia. Is there such a thing? Do we always take hatred, ignorance, or bigotry and chalk it up to rational homophobia? I think the time has come to finally put that crutch aside. In particular I would like to look at what is arguably the most homophobic group of people in our society. Some may think I’m referencing the Aryan hate filled groups that picket gay weddings but in fact I’m thinking of a larger group of people. African Americans.
Any black gay individual with moderate use of their mental faculties can tell you that being gay + black is tough! Yeah it’s easy to blame whites and others but in all honesty most hate comes from within. Am I wrong to suggest that African Americans have based their entire modern day existence on religion? When discussing sources of homophobia in the black community you will undoubtedly hear verses or suras that proclaim the defeat and chastisement of the infidels and the sexually immoral. Many blacks stand by and believe strongly in the Abrahamic texts of our ancestors. Unfortunately many have conceded that life before that was void or chaotic and unruly. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Before the Arabs, before the Spanish, and even before the Europeans descended upon then looted the African continent there was life and a sprawling society. Many spiritual systems that existed then have been transplanted and merged with Abrahamic religions. The slave coasts of West Africa were dominated with a central belief system known as Vodun. As opposed to the religions and traditions of oppressors, the Vodun saw sexuality as complex. Heteros, homos, and even the in between androgynous types weren’t ridiculed and put upon as with Abrahamic religions. God was in everything. From the drags to the fags god lived in everyone, in everything, in every place. Sexuality was just how the gods expressed themselves. Even the famed gods Mawu-Lisa embodied the joining of feminin and masculine properties. But of course all of that was taken. Vodun became Voodoo. A scary eroticized depiction of our ancestor’s beliefs were portrayed on tv as something weird and strange. Better yet, as evil and demonic.
What we are left with today are beliefs that continuously serve their initial purpose. No I wasn’t there and I don’t have first hand written secrets from thousands of years ago. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out how divide and conquer works? I look forward to further engaging everyone with my thoughts and research as I attempt to look at the self-defeating practice of “homophobia” within the black community. This was just a starter.