The Gatekeeper's Collective (TGC)

IGNITING THE POWER OF BLACK SAME GENDER LOVE

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HAS GAY LIBERATION LIBERATED US?


Calling All Same Gender Loving (SGL), Lesbian, Gay, and Bi  Sisters:

In the wake of the Marriage Equality Amendment, and other sweeping changes wrought by the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, it is clear that the relationship between the larger black community and the SGL/LGBT community has not shifted discernibly.  

That is, by-and-large, our black hetero family still hold us at the same distance, or with the same reservations, and consternation (if not, out-and-out disrespect) as they did before.  Which leads us to ask:

Has Gay Liberation liberated us?

To what extent do we, or don’t we, SGL Brothers and Sisters work, play, or engage with other on a regular, on-going basis?

To what extent do we engage each other as family, friends, intimates, allies, etcetera?

While there is no law that says we must embrace each other thusly, to the extent that we are not already doing so, how might our lives be better respectively and collectively if we did? 

Does our lack of desire for the opposite sex incapacitate us from collaboration?

What might happen if we came together to dialogue about such differences and commonalities as we observe respectively and collectively, on the way to building our own liberation movement?

Let’s find out, shall we?

SGL, Lesbian, and Bisexual Sisters,
please join
The Gatekeepers Collective onFriday, November 6 at 8 PM
@ JMG’s Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E
(ent. on 150th St.)


Brothers, please invite all your SGL female friends and allies.

WHICH BLACK LIVES MATTER?
We Started the Movement, but When the Lives are SGL, Do They? - Dialogue between Hetero and Same Gender Loving Family Members

In their community-building quest, The Gatekeepers Collective kicked off the fall with a spirited dialogue about the Black Lives Matter Movement between same gender loving, and heterosexual community members.

Among questions the group considered included:

How would you characterize the circumstances of your life?

“My circumstance…I have been kind of privileged to have never faced a lot of direct racism, and to go through the whole school system and feel like I had a particular path…A false sense of security…In a class doing improv, someone asked what NWA was…Someone answered with the ‘N’ word…I realized I was one of two blacks among the group…[I had to let them know,] I can say that [but you can’t]…[I had always thought, if] I pull up my pants [I’d be safe from racism]…I [used to] buy into that mentality that, if you follow the rules, [you will be treated like anyone else]…”

“I never faced much racism growing up in Huston…I went to a mixed-race school… joined a mixed-race fraternity…dated white girls…In Huston, if you have money, you can live where you want to live…I came to New York…I lived in Bay Ridge [Brooklyn] because the place where I worked had a complex there…The apartment is taken [away] when they see that it’s me…Three times, Russian guys [on my job] got a loan…[When I applied, I was told] ‘You guys are lazy’…[I said,] ‘Dude, you know me, How can you say that?...[That changed my point of view]…”

“I consider my circumstances as doing very well…Everybody wants to be us…”

“…Being in perpetual bondage…[This is] my fourth year in New York…[I’ve] been organizing in the Black Lives Matter Movement for the last four years…Working to unshackle myself from my own internalized racism…”

“I grew up on the West Side of Cincinnati in a family of theologians and pastors…I’m an artist and theologian…My experience of being a black man in this country…[I always believed that] if I do the things that make me better…that lift me…that will make room for me…[Once] a girl said she was pregnant [by me]…I never saw the child…I sat in jail for what should have been a week, for six months [for non payment of child support]…There’ve been guys who’ve gone to prison for child support for years…My life didn’t say, this is a guy who creates a child and walks away form it…And, [fortunately] the judge saw that…[But, it took six months]…Sure people have called me nigger, but it doesn’t mean anything…I don’t own it…”

“The circumstances of my life, as dictated my white supremacy, and tempered by the love and wisdom of a family I chose beyond my own…I’m starting to see that the system that we’re a part of is dictated by white supremacy…”

“As a woman, I agree with that, but oftentimes, when I’m combating white supremacy, I have to look at how my brothers and sisters are internalizing it…People don’t see you as someone who still needs…Even though you have accomplished some things, you still suffer economically and other hardships…[You don’t stop needing each other]…”

“I consider myself a black racist…I don’t have anything against whites, yellow, or any one else…I just love blacks…I’m so frustrated…Sometimes, because we [live in] this country, we are indoctrinated [to not trust each other]…So, we’re not together…”

What is freedom?

"Freedom is the feeling of going out of your house and not being shot…I consider myself as very lucky…I’m from Brazil…I didn’t know what racism was until I came to America…My siblings and I were oppressed victims of racism, but we didn’t realize it…I wouldn’t have been able to go to college like I am now [had I not come here]…Despite all the troubles we face…[at least here, we can see what the problems we have to challenge are]…”

“A falsely accused man on death row was released and developed dementia, and still thinks he’s on death row…Freedom [is freedom] from trauma…”

“Freedom from interruption…Stop interrupting my life…”

“Being able to pass freedom down [to our progeny]…inclusion…Not just for one kind of person…To be able to have any kind of healing you need…”

“Freedom comes from power…It’s the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March…Integration is the worst thing we ever did…”

“Growing up before the Civil Rights Movement, as a kid, my parents said, prepare for the future as if things are going to open up…I felt constrained…I think things have opened up to an extent…Before Stokely articulated Black Power [I didn’t have a clear sense of what freedom might look like]…I feel free now…Part of the freedom is that I reject anyone’s saying I’m not free…”

“It’s very difficult to define freedom without defining what freedom isn’t…Who you truly are as an individual…To be able to say that is important…You need to look at racism very much as a business…Who does it serve?...What does it [produce?]…We have to go after their money…We can’t be romantic about the race thing…We have to be very strategic…”

What, if any, perspective have you regarding the new marriage equality law?

“My initial thought was, it’s about time…In terms of anything you can fight for?...Sharpton said, you cannot legislate human rights… You can’t vote on whether some one can be human...”

“I looked at all the Facebook posts, and all the people who were crowing about marriage equality are not complaining about Transphobia…I went to a big fundraiser in Chicago [for marriage equality] that was peopled [solely] by white men…”

“We also need to look at legacy-building…”

“There’s an aspect [of the American Dream] that they didn’t have access to…[so, they fought for it]…”

“Racism and Capitalism have to be taken together…Power is going to stay in power…They’ll give a bone to you…[But, we have to ask ourselves,] what are we creating?...If we want to dismantle Capitalism…[we need to be clear about what we intend to replace it with]…”

“[I want to know,] how do we bridge the divide?...We were talking about black self-care…It really is [important]…You really do have to hold people’s hands when doing this work…We are living in a state of so much trauma that you have to hold each other’s hands…the need to be free of power [so] that I don’t need power to exist…The Marriage Equality Act registered on a very small level for me…[I thought about] President Obama’s legacy affecting change, and then I went online and saw how many people it affected…and I saw how this is really a great cracking open of people’s right to be human…”

“Yes, great…love it…But what I got from it as an African American person [was that] a certain group of people got together to squeeze Obama’s neck to gain political power…To squeeze somebody’s neck to gain political power…The right to be recognized as a full citizen in ways that we’re not [as African Americans]…”

“We were still dealing with repealing of the Voting Rights Act…I don’t understand the victory in totality…Who does this reality apply to?...”
“I was in Nantucket the day the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [law] was repealed…they struck down Voting Rights…”

“This whole thing about marriage equality…The second word, ‘equality’…Who do we want to be equal to?...They got there because of us…You’ve got to monetize things…Equal to who?...To who?...We want to be all that we can be!...Look at the Jews…They’re not fighting for equality [they’re fighting to be all they can be, and they’re thriving]…”

“Ideas that don’t affirm and preserve life have no place…”

Facilitator mentions that the male and female heterosexual community members present would seem to be among the proverbial choir…progressives…and asks their perspectives about how to engage other hetero family members who still feel threatened by the idea of embracing and collaborating with SGL brothers and sisters in the movement for our collective liberation…As an example, he shares a strategy the group explored a few years ago titled, PDA (Public Displays of Affection) As A Same Gender Loving Liberation Strategy, wherein groups of SGL couples would hang out in perceived homosexist black community strongholds e.g., barbershops, churches, etc.

“Oftentimes, the same gender loving people I see kissing and holding hands in public are young people…”

“The power is lifting the shame…I saw a man kiss another man [on the train, and then get off]…I was concerned about his being safe as he went on his way…”

“Internalized homophobia, just as racism, and internalized racism can be insidious…I heard about Top 5…One of the jokes was that 100 of the guys slept with another guy…”

“A good idea for us about [the] PDA [campaign] is to have SGL couples and hetero couples embracing and expressing affection walking down the street to show how homosexuals and heterosexuals can come together…We still have to see how church hypocrisy [can be eroded]…The Bible speaks against gluttony, but, God knows there are a lot of fat folks in church…”

“If we can get beyond the theology of it…Love is at the center of it…If I love you, I can’t castigate you…”

“[Speaking of black ministers and marriage equality], why would you want someone to marry you [who doesn’t respect your right to marry]?...”

“Your belief system is valid for you…[but shouldn’t impede my rights]…”

“I agree with having different value systems [but, the law is the law]…”

“I don’t need to feel the way you do to respect you…”

“When you value me as the human being that I am, something will change…”

Facilitator asks if the assembled hetero community members would be willing to collaborate with TGC around expanding this dialogue in the larger black community…All agree and determine to reconvene in December…

IS THE MONSTER GONE?
With PrEP, and PEP for Negative Men, Undetectable Viral Loads for Positive Men, and AIDS Fatigue in the Middle, is HIV a Dead Issue?




New advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV are revolutionizing sex.

New smart phone apps like Grinder and Jacked are revolutionizing the availability of sex.

Meanwhile, the new incidence of HIV and AIDS among black men who love men continues to rise, unabated.

Are these advances a license to throw caution to the wind, or something potentially more ominous?

·      What’s our relationship to these trends? 
·      Are we in?
·      Do we want to be? 
·      If so, how can we ensure our safety?

Let’s explore the new sexual landscape together
@
The Gatekeepers Collective
on
Friday, October 2nd
@
JMG’s Safe Space
@
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E (ent. On 150th St.)
@
8 PM

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper's Collective Venue



FIRST FRIDAYS
EVERY MONTH
730 RIVERSIDE DRIVE
(@ 150TH STREET)
SUITE 9E
HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY
8:00 PM

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TAKE THE #1 TRAIN TO
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OR THE
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DISH AND / OR BEVERAGE

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