Black Enterprise Examines Being Black And Gay In Corporate America

Via Living Out Loud With Darian:

In a bold move, Black Enterprise is taking a look at what it means to be black and gay in the corporate world. Writer Sonia Alleyne says finding black LGBT professionals that were willing to talk was not an easy task.

"Editor-at-Large Carolyn M. Brown and I spent months producing this feature," Alleyne writes. "Due to the topic’s controversial nature, we had some difficulty finding subjects. Even some of those who agreed to participate in our cover story,  "Black and Gay in Corporate America," felt some trepidation about how revealing their sexual orientation would affect relationships with family, friends, and associates outside the workplace."

In a short excerpt, the common stereotypes and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" environment many LGBT employees work in are discussed.

Who is the gay Black professional? If you were to rely on media images, they are overtly flamboyant and dramatic male hairstylists and fashion designers. Depictions are often skewed comedic renderings of members of a community who in real life too often lead separate lives to buffer themselves—and their families—from ridicule. “Many professionals are out in their community but private in the world,” says Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization that seeks to empower the African American LGBT population. “There’s a healthy Black, educated professional class of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community in this country. But there’s no recognition of their existence. There’s no protection for their rights—for silent or overt discrimination. Black people in general treat the existence of gays and lesbians and transgender people in the African American community like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” the former U.S. policy governing homosexuality in the military.

It looks like this could be a very interesting conversation piece. Read the rest of the excerpt HERE.