Many black men are killed because the way they dress is perceived as “hyper masculine” and the queer community needs to become “defenders” of gender presentation, Young Gifted and Black organizer M. Adams said in a conversation on campus Tuesday.
Police violence against black people is the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community’s problem too, Adams said.
Karma Chavez, a University of Wisconsin communication arts professor, hosted a conversation with Adams to discuss the intersection of police violence against black people in the LGBT community.
Despite what people may believe the queer community is as racist as any other community, Adams said. If the queer community wants to say they are fighting for justice and human rights then they must include all minorities in their efforts, she said.
“If in fact you are fighting for human rights you have to fight for black people because black people are humans too,” Adams said. “Human rights [are] non-exclusive.”
Police killings are not only racist but patriarchal, Adams said. The history of privileging men is conveyed through the patriarchy and the hetero-patriarchy privileges only straight men, she said.
This system is responsible for police violence in the way that the masculine forms of violence are the ones being talked about, Adams said.
Less masculine forms, such as sexual assault, which devalues the violence against the queer community, are not being talked about, she said.
“There is a whole lot of people whose names we don’t even know who are victims of police violence because of patriarchy, because of cisgender and a whole host of other things,” Adams said.
This idea directly correlates to the queer community as clothes represent a variety of genders, which is a person’s presentation, Adams said. The queer community needs to be the “defenders” of gender presentation, she said.
The queer community has been adamant about standing up against those who say ‘you can’t dress this or that way,’ and this directly correlates to those being killed due to hyper masculinity, Adams said. These hyper masculine black men are being viewed as violent and dangerous based on their gender presentation, she said.
“They are being killed because of their racialized gender presentation,” Adams said. “Not only as queer people do we need to defend drag, we need to defend the sag.”
The entire queer community should care about the Black Lives Matter movement and it is important to recognize that black people can be queer too, Adams said. In order to take the entire queer liberation movement seriously one must be fighting for all queer people, including those of color, she said.
Adams said this is a society with a strong history of racism and the only way to have a community where everyone is accepted is if black liberation is taken into consideration. All queer people have both race and class factors and in order to be free, and all factors must be liberated, she said.
“To be free as a queer person, my black must also be free,” Adams said.