STUDY: GAY BLACK MEN ARE FEARED LESS BY CORPORATE AMERICA, OFFERED STRONG SALARIES
Reported by April Taylor
A recently published study completed by Princeton sociologist David Pedulla reveals that men who are dual minorities by being both black and gay may actually have it easier than other black men. There has long been controversy over whether or not the civil rights struggles of African Americans and the LGBT community are one and the same; however, this study’s findings may finally end what has often been referred to as the “suffering Olympics” between the two historically oppressed groups.
Although there are many studies about the disadvantages black men face when seeking employment and the disproportionate number of gay black teens who are homeless, Pedulla’s study chose to look at something different. Using a resume test, Pedulla was able to find that resumes with names that appeared black who also listed affiliations with an LGBT organization, were more likely to be offered the same starting salary of straight white men.
Pedulla’s findings have caused many to question exactly what makes gay black men be considered more equal to straight white men. While some may point to society’s evolution in the acceptance of people who identify as LGBT, others believe that it may be for a more sinister reason. Pedulla says, “There is some evidence that gay black men are perceived as less threatening than straight black men and that this difference accounts for apiece of the salary-recommendation difference between these two groups.”
Pedulla has a valid point, considering some of the most horrific acts of racial violence in American history have stemmed from the fear and stigma associated with the physical strength and attractive looks of black men. The murder of Emmett Till in 1955 is just one example.
While the accomplishments of gay black men are to be celebrated, The Root’s Keli Goff states that, “I’ll be even more glad when more straight men of color find themselves welcomed at America’s table, too, without being feared.”