Voices stood together in unity after the tragic death of Trayvon Martin on February 26th 2012. The killer of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, is now an accused murderer in the 2nd degree after walking around a free man for nearly two months. The fact that George Zimmerman was not charged with a crime until recently, fueled a tremendous outcry from this nation. People from all walks of life, with hoodies on carrying skittles and iced tea, joined hands in protest against the travesty of justice that happened in Stanford FL.
Most individuals see the main circumstance, of this now identified crime, literally as black and white. Trayvon Martin was suspicious because he was profiled as a black individual in the wrong setting. Though this is a serious crime of racist intent; does this tragedy have anything to do with our gay community in any way? Are we Trayvon Martin too?
The South is synonymous with having all the classic behaviors and symptoms of racism, prejudice and just plain stubbornness to change. Atlanta is the largest metropolis in the South with gay and black communities making up close to half of city’s population. As a gay community, can we relate to the feeling of being profiled and then murdered because someone decided we did not belong in the scenery? If you ask the previous question to any black gay male, the answer would be yes but is that answer motivated from being gay or black? Has many white, Asian or Latino gay males been profiled unfairly by police or by the community they lived in?
Nobody in Atlanta’s gay populous will forget when the infamous Red Dogs, Atlanta Police Department’s special drug task force, raided the Eagle and performed searches upon patrons not suspected of any crime. The Red Dogs were known for having in your face aggressive tactics in performing illegal search and seizures to people just walking the streets of Atlanta. So what does a drug task force unit have to do with a gay nightclub? The anti-gay comments, perjury committed by ten of the officers and the willful destruction of evidence might lead to the conclusion that profiling and conspiracy was involved.
When you compare what happened to the individuals at the Eagle and to what happened to Trayvon Martin, our plight is not that different. A gay person can’t change being gay no more than black person can change being black. All the questions stated previously need answers which means, there must be a bridge of prejudice and pain for all of us to relate. It is just as Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said “What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.” Are we Trayvon Martin too? The answer is yes.