Rolling Out

Kerry Washington asks Black and LGBT communities to band together


Being powerful and evocative seems to come easy for Kerry Washington, and during this past weekend’s GLAAD media awards, the “Scandal” actress gave the most noteworthy speech of the night when she shared her pride over being nan LGBT ally and challenged homophobia in the Black community.

While receiving her Vanguard Award, which is given to a celebrity who has been an ally to the LGBT community, Washington spoke about the discrimination minorities like the LGBT community face in America.

“There are people in this world who have the full rights of citizenship in our communities, our countries, and around the world, and then there are those of us who, to varying degrees, do not. We don’t have equal access to education, to health care, and some other basic liberties like marriage, a fair voting process, fair hiring practices. Now, you would think that those of us who are kept from our full rights of citizenship would ban together and fight the good fight, but history tells us that, no, often we don’t,” Washington said.

She then explained how systemic oppression and discrimination have influenced communities across the board and pushed minority groups to fight against each other instead of fighting the systems of oppression.

“Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people — we have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of ‘other.’ As a result, we have become afraid of one another. We compete with one another. We judge one another. Sometimes, we betray one another. Sometimes, even within our own communities, we designate who among us is best suited to represent us, and who really shouldn’t even be invited to the party. As ‘others,’ we are taught that to be successful, we must reject those other ‘others,’ or we will never belong,” Washington said.

But that’s not all that Washington had to say in her highly regarded speech. Read what she had to say about diversity in the gay community as well as homophobic in the Black community after the cut.

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