Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Grey Areas: Does Sexuality Trump Race?

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Say it ain’t so!  No, no, no, no, no!

I log in this morning and check out Jasmine Cannick’s latest blog that Isaiah Washginton has been kicked off Grey’s Anatomy.  I check around on the net to find that its official: Washington won’t be back for the fourth season which makes me really sad because he was the reason I began watching the show in the first place.  I watched the very first episode just because I saw him and Sandra Oh in the commercials.  I have loved them in various movies and I figured if the show could secure both of these excellent actors then it I can at least watch the first episode to see if its worth their acting calibre.  I saw that Patrick Dempsey was in it, too, but before this his career highlight for me was the African Anteater Ritual Dance.  After that his movie selection has been iffy for me.  But Oh and Washington are great actors and Washington had been slept on in Hollywood for many years. 

After the verbal altercation with Dempsey and the alleged outing of TR Knight I figured Washington was on his way out.  Suddenly, a man who hardly registered on the Hollywood radar was having a gossip field day.  Accounts have been given that he has been in several arguments on the sets of movies and television shows where he has thrown tantrums and made quite a few people (from fellow actors to the the wardrobe girl) feel uncomfortable.  Then came the news that a few have still been yet to be re-signed for the upcoming season.  When Knight got a big pay raise to return the odds were Washington wouldn’t be.

In an article for, Cannick writes that a lot of ” black gays didn’t support Washington being fired”.  Back in January on Terrence’s blog he also supported keeping Washington and wrote about the schism of race in Gay America while Keith Boykin ponders why homophobia is questioned in the black community but not the white community at large.

It seems that even among subgroups race is still the dividing and defining line in America.  GLAAD’s white members might be wondering why black gays and lesbians are sitting on the other side of lunchroom on this issue when they should all be at the same table, but race is still a major factor in America.  Perhaps white gays and lesbians haven’t noticed that some black homsexuals prefer to label themselves as “Same Gender Loving“, as a show of solidarity among themselves but also a nod to the black race.  For many it would seem as if black same gender loving people are going against their own interests by showing an alliance with heterosexual blacks instead of aligning themselves with white gays, but as with everything in America everything comes down to race.   For many the black community is home and you take the good with the bad. 

I do wonder what if the roles were changed, not comparing the issue with the n-word (which everyone likes to do) but changing the race of the person.  How would thing have gone down if the person uttering the sexual epithet was white against a person of color?  Would GLAAD have still come out in full force against it or would things have been brushed off?

And although black gays and lesbians seem to have come out in support of Washington I am certain, if roles were reversed as in the scenario above, straight black organizations would not come out in support of the black gay/lesbian individual.  If African Americans are anything we are consistant.  Many of us have issues with homosexuality,  but we have instituted a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule in the community.  A lot of black gays and lesbians have decided to put race in front of sexuality; being African American is who they are and who they love or who they sex doesn’t define them in the world at large even if it does confine them inside the community.

Now that Washington is off the show I don’t think it will affect the new season at all.  Some might stop watching but other people might start to tune in (those who like real-life drama, those who hate gays but dislike blacks more, those who want to show allegiance to their cause).  A show that some criticized for not discussing isses about race and sexuality on the screen seems to have been battling it in the background for some time now.  Shonda Rhimes might be able to write and produce a good drama, but it doesn’t compare to what people can come up with on their own.


Written by rentec

8 June, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Posted in homosexuality, race

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