“We can achieve more with acceptance and respect.”
Although the world today seems small due to the technological connections we have made, there are still plenty of barriers between contrasting communities and sectors. Technological advancements can not break down these barriers. At Rainbow Fellowship, we believe that these barriers can be broken down by the people and their level of empathy and love for each other.
Barriers within the Communities
Building a strong campaign for social justice demands collaboration among groups, their supporters, and their concerns. But a set of active barriers often obstructs such action. People find it hard to relate to the problems faced by other communities, and the matters might not initially seem important to them. These barriers can also be because of a lack of strategic clarity or inadequate funding and material resources for projects and collaborations.
Reasons for Community Division
Many of the LGBT community members state that there is a lack of support from the communities they represent, which caused them to not engage in LGBT work as much. Most of them describe organizations as heteronormative, and their anxiety about introducing what some described as “a wedge issue” into the organization.
A similar dynamic occurs inside multiracial groups trying to figure out how to balance the varying experiences and needs of different constituencies of colour. Certain racial groups within the LGBT community explicitly engage in LGBT issues more than others. The lack of support and controversy is the cause of them not doing so.
Religion is not that much of a prohibitive barrier. It is shown that groups do engage in LGBT work despite uneasiness among some staff members and conflicts with religious institutions. But religious views as a whole often pose to be not as accepting of LGBT identity and values.
Build more Bridges
Future work will be most effective if the political aspect is changed in two ways. First, there must be a large, active, and politically involved support of LGBT people of colour, with strong leaders who can influence both racial groups and mainstream LGBT groups. That support needs to have the resources to reveal and direct a broad range of policy issues at crossing race and sexuality. Activists can take several specific steps to increase the engagement of the racial justice infrastructure in LGBT issues.
Increase Support for Groups of Colour
People should increase their support of LGBT organizations of colour and collaborations between LGBT and racial justice groups.
At Rainbow Fellowship, we advise that people fund and support LGBT people of colour organizations. The most important starting point is to help the many small, local LGBT organizations established to meet the particular needs of the LGBT community.
Increase the visibility of LGBT organizations in philanthropic and media places. Foundations that support community organizing should continue to do.
Rainbow Fellowship believes that groups need to support opportunities to educate and engage each other at the level of values and beliefs to build a basic understanding of the relations among racism, patriarchy, and homophobia. Connect with people that face similar forms of oppression and injustice.
The LGBT community can relate to reproductive health funders who face similar issues regarding the right to abortion. The shared need for more rights makes a strong bond between the people.
Mutual Respect and Acceptance is Key
At RFGN, we believe that empathy is the root that branches understanding between various communities. People who can understand the struggles of being of a different gender, race, or sexuality can better help each other.
After all, we are all human. When other parts of society join the celebrations and feel the love and support of our community, it creates awareness. It offers a change in the social acceptance of our community.