But when the backbone, the structure of the community has been so associated with the church, it’s even doubly more imprinted on your being and on your psyche.
It seems to me that this is the major difference between the African American Civil Rights movement in the 1950's-60's, where the Black Church was usually behind the fight for equality, and the current LGBT Civil Rights movement. And it's a gigantic difference.
Now, the Black Church is usually against the fight for equal rights for equality by LGBT people; even resent the comparison between the two Civil Rights movements.
Hence, the lack of church and community support for LGBT people and this struggle, which leads to low self-esteem and lack of organization counted on in the Black Civil Rights movement in the 1950's and 1960's.
African Americans had role models right in their own families, churches, and neighborhoods; people who would affirm them as people of worth. Most of their churches saw their struggle for equality as they did Moses leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land.
In the LGBT Civil Rights movement, it is rare for a young Gay person to have role models in his/her nuclear family and what LGBT people exist in his/her church and neighborhood are usually closeted.
This is one of the reasons why the fight for equality for LGBT people is much more difficult than it was for African Americans, as self-esteem among the former is far less than it was among the latter; consciousness of kind was far greater among the latter than it is the former.
Therefore, we can't count on the Black churches to help lead the way toward the Promised Land of equality for LGBT people, just as we can't count on predominantly White churches to help lead the way for LGBT people to reach that Promised Land of equality.
Unlike the Black Civil Rights movement, it will have to be secular forces within society, both at the organizational and grass roots levels, that will have to lead the way among LGBT people whose identity is neither affirmed nor respected within those institutions with which they are most intimately involved and familiar.
And it is this reality that will make the fight for LGBT equality even more difficult than it was for our African American brothers and sisters!