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A shared future?

I’m anxious about the place and future of minority LGBT people

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As a gay man, I no longer worry as much about the place and future of lesbians and gays in American society.

As more people get to know us — their sisters, brothers, parents, neighbors and coworkers — and learn that we are not that different, I am confident that it will be a matter of years, not generations, before we gain rights and protections other citizens take for granted.

As an immigrant and person of color, however, I am not as optimistic. There is such raw animus and unabashed prejudice against newcomers and their American families simply because they don’t look, sound, dress, act or worship like most of us.

Laws and policies that institutionalize racial profiling have become the de facto solution to the complex problem of immigration. Amending the Constitution has also been embraced as a palliative, now palatable to those who would otherwise have held the document as static and sacrosanct.

The idea of a community center a couple of blocks away from the former World Trade Center is causing such a furor. The president’s defense of our fundamental right to practice religion has led a White House spokeperson to say:

“…the president is obviously a — is Christian. He prays every day. He communicates with his religious advisor every single day. There’s a group of pastors that he takes counsel from on a regular basis. And his faith is very important to him.”

The gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen. The income disparity between the wealthiest people and the rest of us has more than tripled during the last three decades. American women overall earn less than men, but African American women and Latinas make far less. More African Americans and Latinos are unemployed than White Americans. One in every four black Americans is underemployed.

As a queer person of color, I am anxious about the place and future of minority LGBT people. I worry about those of us do not look, sound, dress, act or live like everybody else. These are members of our community who do not have the resources, voice or power some of us enjoy due to the accident of birth and circumstance. These are Americans who remain in the margins.

It will be up to those of us who are joining the mainstream and are looking forward to better days not to forget those who are left behind.

You can follow Erwin on Twitter at @ErwindeLeon.

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National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Certifies Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc

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Washington, D.C. — Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc, the parent company of the Washington Blade and Azer Creative, announced today it has been certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as an LGBT Business Enterprise. The NGLCC supports and advocates for diversity and inclusion for LGBT-owned businesses. With this certification the Blade’s parent company joins more than 510 business and 134 corporate partners of the NGLCC.

Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. owns and operates the Washington Blade, the oldest and most acclaimed LGBT newspaper in the country. In 2012, the company launched Azer Creative, a full-service design firm. The company employs more than a dozen full-time LGBT staff.

“We are excited to become one of the 500 LGBT businesses across the country certified by NGLCC,” said Lynne Brown, the Blade’s publisher and a co-owner of the company. “The LGBT community has been part of our company from the beginning and we look forward to continue that for many years to come.”

The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 and is known as the “newspaper of record” for the LGBT community both locally and nationally. Visit washingtonblade.com for more information. Azer Creative is a full-service graphic design firm based in Washington, D.C. Visit azercreative.com for more information. 

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Blade Blog

Vote now for the 2013 Best of Gay DC!

Choose in dozens of categories among hundreds of nominees, and make your voice heard!

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Best of Gay D.C., Gay news, Washington Blade
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Blade Blog

Nominate the ‘Best of Gay D.C.’ now!

Dozens of categories cover all the best for LGBT Washington. Who deserves the prize this year?

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Best of Gay D.C., Gay news, Washington Blade
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