Monday, July 18, 2011

Dan Choi: "Tell HRC To Abandon White Privilege"

Dan Choi and I got really angry yesterday and decided to make some noise about it.

This week, on the 20th, Congress will be holding hearings to get testimony on the possible repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.  While this is a great occasion and the beginning of the process to bring marriage equality to every LGBT American, Dan noted on his Twitter that all the folks providing testimony (to include Joe Solmonese) are uniformly white.

We felt that the exclusion of gay people of color and binational couples was an outrage, and we feel that the fact that HRC's leadership is racially homogeneous (rich white gay men) tends to promote that image and give white members of our community an advantage.  The fact that binational couples (who are hugely impacted by the lack of marriage equality in our country) are not present in testimony is insane.  If Joe Solmonese, for instance, were to give up his spot to a binational couple that had a powerful story to tell, the case for marriage equality would be made in simple terms of an appeal to common sense and decency.

Instead, he's going to join Maggie Gallagher in his photo op.

So we started a Facebook page and a petition telling HRC to abandon white privilege and promote the true image of our community: a rich, diverse group of people from all ethnicities and nations.

I've already gotten some flack for my small efforts.  Some detractors (who are also friends) argue that HRC doesn't deserve our ire-- after all, they don't schedule who speaks at congressional hearings, congresspeople do!  However, consider this: is the leadership in our community really doing the best they can to include every facet of our various backgrounds?

HRC is very much responsible for how much of Congress and the straight world view us.  Like it or not, they are the most visible organization to everyone else, and I for one will urge them to use that visibility positively and abandon racism to include all Americans in this discussion.

Will you join me?  Like our Facebook page and sign this petition.  Tell HRC that our rainbow includes every color possible, and we would like people to know and understand that.


  1. The HRC doesn't seem to have been about actual gay rights for about a decade now; their major efforts all seem to revolve around fundraising and getting jobs for staffers when democrats take office. For us the final straw was their being completely asleep at the switch for Prop8; we've stopped giving them any money and have diverted those donations to Freedom to Marry and Lambda Legal.

    Given their focus on being part of the political machine first and progress second it doesn't surprise me at all that their makeup is as white and rich as most of congress.

  2. Monica, it won't take luck, it just takes determination and a finely tuned sense of injustice.