Tuesday, January 02, 2007
What will 2007 bring? MLK weekend is coming up and once again thousands of Black gay men will honor Martin Luther King's Dream when they converge on the city of Atlanta bringing with them millions of dollars in disposable incomes ear marked for Lenox Mall, Bull Dogs, and Christian Brothers. Delta Airlines, Hertz Rent-A-Car, the Hiltons and dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs are licking there chomps at the prospect of record breaking sales margins at the expense of Black queers.
While club owner get, and remain rich, from our labors, another “For Us by Us” AIDS service organization, like Renaissance III, will likely close its doors or lay off staff for lack of funding. While we, Black Gay Men, demonstrate our ability to piss out thousands of dollars into the sewer systems of Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, DC and other party centers all over the country the Sexual Minority Alliance of Alameda County remains committed to serving Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people even in the face of tough financial times and staff and programmatic cut backs. While ZAMI and The House of Manolo Blahnik struggle to raise the money to give away thousands of dollars worth of scholarships to young Black Queers, Black gay men will buy plain tickets, hotel rooms, party passes, drugs and alcohol worth many dozens times the amount that it cost for these organizations to send Young Black queers to school.
While we dance, sweating our liquid investment away into the thousands of dollars worth of designer digs bought special for MLK, Fourth of July, MemorialDay etc., the Black Justice Coalition, The Black AIDS Institute, People of Color in Crisis, Us Helping Us, People Into Living and the New York State Black Gay Network will all look for money from the FORD Foundation, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, State and Local governments and community foundations and other non-black funding sources so that they can keep their doors open and continue doing the work that they do on our behalf.
What is your New Year's resolution?
Will it be once again the weight loss plan that includes costly health club memberships or workout equipment that begin gathering dust on the 14th day of the year? Or will you help to make sure that young Black LGBT kids in Oakland have a place to go to get away from the violence and harassment that their schools, homes and neighborhoods often reserve for them? Is your commitment for 2007 to find a man, to which end you will spend thousands on a new wardrobe that shows off your figure? Or will you make a commitment to ensure that organizations driving our issues forward into policy and legislation have the dollars that they need to effectively lobby on our behalf? Will you resolve to finally take that trip that you’ve been promising yourself? Or will you take responsibility for the thousands of Black Gay men receiving HIV care services from Black AIDS Service Organizations.
Another year means another opportunity. We have the opportunity to make 2007 a legendary year, a revolutionary year, a year of liberation. Make your New Year's resolution to ensure that non-profit organizations working on our behalf and on behalf of our children don’t have to look outside of our communities for the dollars they need to continue to exist.