So to extend this a bit beyond immediate friends and family, as a writer and storyteller, I have a modestly large readership among LGBTQ people, to include a lot of gay white men who can often be racist in that white, upper-middle-class, clueless sort of way.
You know, the kind who say “all lives matter” as a reflexive response to “Black Lives Matter.” The kind who say, “I’m not privileged, I had to work my ass off for everything I have.”
So I sometimes write stories that in my own mind are directed at them, written in ways I think will inspire them and work on their hearts.
For example, knowing gay men of a certain age are particularly inspired by the Stonewall Riots, I recently wrote about how cops beat and brutalized queer BLM protesters outside the Stonewall Inn.
I hoped some of my readers who might not be all in with BLM protests could click with that, understand the parallels and internalize the need to fight to end systemic racism.
My intent was not to un-center Black people, but to speak directly to the hearts of white people I believe could be ready to reevaluate what they believe.
Yet a couple people I know have reached out to me to suggest I should do better centering Black people.
So, I dunno. I guess it’s a delicate balancing act. I think I did the right thing, but I’m not sure.