ASK JADE: Gay, Toronto, Murder and Racism

Take time to talk to your friends who are people of color or women (and obviously LGBT). Listen to them. Be on the right side of history because the world is changing whether you like it or not.
Ask Jade

Jade,I’m a gay white man in Toronto. Recently, I was watching TV and heard the news that a person had been arrested in the cases of two missing men from the LGBT Community. Then I saw on the news the next day two guys talking outside of the courtroom after Bruce McArthur’s arraignment hearing. One was white and the other was black. The black guy accused the police of neglecting to do anything until Andrew Kinsman went missing (the white guy). This black guy said that there had been other missing men since 2010 and they were all people of Middle Eastern or Asian decent. He accused the police department of being racist and caring more about marching in our parade than about the community itself.Why does everything have to do with race these days? I feel like everyone keeps turning all conversations to racial things instead of getting along and working together. I mean…we are still reeling over the Black Lives Matters moment at the 2016 parade! I still don’t understand why they had to ruin our parade and then demand that cops not be in the parade! I mean…they were invited guests to lead the parade. Why protest on our day to celebrate? And it seems like all white men are the enemy these days. I am not racist. I have black friends. Hell…I have friends of many races. So, am I wrong for feeling like we need to move on from the racial accusations?

~ Tired Of This Conversation

 

Dear Tired Of This Conversation,

First….I’d like to thank you for reaching out. I can’t say that I speak for everyone but I can explain from a black gay man who does drag’s perspective. If you think that you’re “tired of this conversation” just think…people of color are exhausted with having this conversation.

I think that for many people of color they feel invisible. So, to answer one of your questions….there is a need to have the racial conversation. I think that the misconception that a lot of white LGBT people have is that their experience in the community is good so therefore they don’t see a problem. Well, that’s not always the case for people of color. From my understanding, Black Lives Matters was invited to be the grand marshals of the 2016 pride parade but they felt it was just to be politically correct when in reality Pride Toronto did not really represent or give back to the Black Community. That, plus Pride Toronto’s well-documented history of racism is why they protested and made a statement. Often pride committees concentrate on white gay men instead of the people of color, lesbians, trans people and drag queens.

And with what looks like a serial killer targeting Middle Eastern and South Asian men who has been arrested in Toronto, some more conversations need to be had. It is my understanding from what I read that the Toronto Police Department were told in a town hall that the community thought it might be a serial killer and that sex sites and apps like Grindr were involved in these cases. The Police told the community that they found no connection and there was no serial killer. Apparently, the community was right. Now the police are releasing information that connects Bruce McArthur to at least four of the missing men. Looking at how the police department handled this I believe many should be outraged (especially the families and friends of the other men of color who went missing before Andrew Kinsman). And don’t even get me started on their mishandling of the body of murdered trans-woman, Alloura Wells. And then there’s the unsolved deaths of trans-women of color, Sumaya Dalmar or Cassandra “Tula” Do.

There are also stories of the Toronto Police Department shaking down an Egyptian club promoter, Kerolos Saleib to pay them for protection. There seems to be a lot of undercover racism within the community itself as well as many things to talk about when it comes to the relationship between Toronto’s Police Department and the LGBT Community. Now….this is what I have to say about why everything has to be brought back to race. Not sure how it happens this way but white men keep putting their feet in their mouths. They are not doing themselves any favors by asking such questions. From racial issues to sexual harassment to gun control….white men keep proving why we need to have these conversations.

Straight, bisexual or gay….many have not owned the past. Until the past is acknowledged and you truly understand what your ancestors did to others none of these conversations will go away. Look around you…..this serial killer is a 66-year-old white gay man. The Las Vegas shooting was done by a 64-year-old white man. And Harvey Weinstein is 65 years old. So, it looks like old white men are the problem in the world right now. They are trying to hold on to a power and time that has passed. They are not the majority anymore and that is extremely scary for them. And that’s probably why not all but enough are acting out right about now. Look at politics in the United States these days. Old white men showing out because they have the majority. Old white men making decisions for everyone…decisions that are only going to benefit them. And they wonder why they are being attacked socially through media and marches after getting away with it for so long.

Something has to be done about police departments across North America and how they interact and work with the Black and LGBT Communities. And as far as I can see the mass shootings are done mainly by white men and are repeatedly proving why we need gun control laws. And Kevin Spacey shows that sexual misconduct and harassment is not only a woman’s problem. And I even saw a white woman carrying a sign at The Women’s March that read “Trans Women are Men”. We’ve got to stop tearing down others to support our own causes. We aren’t helping our points. We are only creating another problem and spreading hate.

Go on any social media these days and you’ll see ignorant and racist comments on almost every thread because the internet has fueled the “I Can Say Whatever I Want” generation and not suffer any consequences. You can shut your eyes and walk around with blinders if you want. Pretend that there is no problem. But wouldn’t you rather be part of the solution? Until we all take responsibility for what has occurred no one is free or truly has rights.

Take time to talk to your friends who are people of color or women (and obviously LGBT). Listen to them. Be on the right side of history because the world is changing whether you like it or not.

Need help? Have questions? Curious what Jade would suggest? Submit Ask Jade questions here.

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Ask Jade

Jade Elektra came out as a gay man and started performing in 1985. A seasoned Female Impersonator, Recording Artist, Actress, Out HIV+ Activist (positive since 1989) and a DJ. Ask whatever you'd like! DISCLAIMER: All opinions and advice in this column are only represented by Jade Elektra and are no way an endorsement by KINKSTER MAG.

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