Over the past year we have seen a nationwide evolution on the acceptance of LGBT rights in our country. More and more politicians, musicians and others that support equality are being more vocal after President Obama announced his own evolution. Afterwards we saw the widely held belief of the African American community being anti-gay diminish. Now more business owners in other influential positions are speaking out.
The publisher of the popular African American magazines Jet and Ebony, Linda Johnson Rice, wanted to voice her opinion on gay rights and fully show support for same sex marriage. She had learned from her mother how hard equality is to attain and what that meant to the LGBT community today:
“I have always drawn strength from my late mother’s life. When Eunice Johnson set up the first major fashion show for African-American audiences more than 50 years ago, she did so at a time when black Americans, especially black women, were still fighting for a seat at the table, any table”
Rice reflected on this even more when she featured the first same sex couple on Jet in 2011 and was prepared to address any fallout:
“When the December magazine hit newsstands, I received dozens of calls wondering whether our readers or advertisers protested. You know what? Not one did. They celebrated right along with us because they were celebrating fairness and equality,”
“Yet if the couples we featured walked into an Illinois courthouse and tried to get a marriage license, they’d be turned away. The same goes for couples in dozens of states. For millions of committed and loving same-sex couples, including African American couples, fair and equal access to marriage is still a dream. For these couples, they can’t show their true colors in the way my mother believed was absolutely essential.”
It is always necessary to show when gestures are made in support between two communities that have faced many disparities and obstacles. It is how we reach equality together.