And privilege?

I am a middle class white male who happens to be gay. Since coming to terms with my sexuality, I’ve always felt very grateful to live outside the world of oblivious privilege arbitrarily afforded my straight counterparts. This class, however, has helped me realize that I am just ever-so-barely not the epitome of ultimate privilege, but rather am only damn near the epitome of ultimate privilege. Since our reading on Heteronormativity and the L word, it has been easy to recognize the conservative depictions of queer people in the media (now I’m seeing them everywhere)! While white (heteronormatively designed) LGBT members receive lots media attention, people of color continue to suffer from marginality. Hill Collins outlines the struggle that black gay men still endure for their sexuality, whose “sissy” representation in the media, she argues, only reinforces their alienation. There are very few visible queer people of color in popular culture, and fewer of their stories being told. Even now though, I feel as though I can’t truly know the experience of being a queer person of color, I do feel that I am at least conscious of the oppression that confronts them. Ignorance is a symptom of privilege. Privilege is inequality. Once we recognize this inequality, we can begin to affect change. I am fortunate to lie in the overlap of the Venn diagram. My position affords me a position at the intersection, a channel between the white male middle class and my queer brothers and sisters. This class has helped me more fully realize my duty to help narrow the gap of understanding between these two identities imposed by an oblivious, privileged majority.

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