|Yes, it DOES happen.
||[May. 13th, 2005|06:21 pm]
Guest Column: Gay Racism in the Castro by Keith Boykin
In his classic poem "Tongues Untied," black gay poet Marlon Riggs reflects on his experience of moving to San Francisco decades ago. "In this great gay mecca," he writes, "I was an invisible man, still. I had no shadow, no substance. No history, no place. No reflection."
Marlon Riggs is not alone. Black gay men have complained for years about racism in the gay community, but many of these complaints have been dismissed by the larger gay community as the rantings of a few. Now comes a new report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission that confirms what many of us have known all along: racism is alive and well, even in the legendary Castro district of San Francisco.
The report, issued last week, came after months of protests by people of color and their allies, who complained about the owner of a bar called Badlands in the Castro. I first learned about this incident back in March, when I visited San Francisco and took part in a book signing across the street from Badlands. I asked Calvin Gipson, the former president of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, Inc. and a member of a group called And Castro For All, to tell me more about the incidents at Badlands. He responded in this interview.
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