Audio Essay Pitch
This story will be about my experiences living in a close minded African American family and how that has affected me and my beliefs as I enter the world on my own. I come from an old fashioned, heavily religious, African American family and due to being raised in this environment I have been surrounded by multiple unhealthy ideals that without educating myself, I could have brought about into the world. Some unhealthy views that my family holds are mainly geared towards people of the lgbtq community and things that involve people of other races. Until recently my family has been extremely against interracial relationships and often times hold stereotypes of people who are not black. My grandparents grew up during and were involved in the civil rights movement and therefore faced many issues with white people so their negative views of people who are white makes sense. However, they also hold old fashioned views of people of other races as well. These views have been passed down to their children who have passed down these views upon most of their children as well. The main issue that I will be discussing has to do with my family and their opinions on the lgbtq community.
Due to my family’s religious beliefs, they do not agree with those who have any sexuality and or gender identity than what they perceive to be normal. My grandparents always told me that it was wrong for people to be gay and that anyone who is is meant to go to hell. Not only do they hold these ideals, they also choose to inform people of their disagreement with their lifestyles. Often times I have been in public with my family only to witness two men walk past us and for a nasty comment to be made; “ew”, or a funny glance. From a young age, I thought that this behavior was ok.
On Sundays after church, our family would either go visit my grandmother or my aunt’s house. Sometimes we would go out to eat or sometimes we would go to the mall or something etc. This was our way of bonding. One Sunday I remember the pastor preaching about the verse Matthew 7:5 which states, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”(cite). This lesson really stuck with me because it mainly told us that you have no place to judge someone when you are not perfect yourself. When we went to the mall, I remember going into a women’s clothing store and walking around with my cousins and talking about random things, laughing at each other. All of a sudden I felt one of them rush over to me and yank my arm whispering in my ear “Do you see that guy over there?”. Initially, I was assuming that he was attractive or something as my cousins often point out guys who they think are cute. But as I looked over, this guy was looking through the women’s clothes and trying them on. I quickly looked away and pretended that I hadn’t heard what she said. Because I had no reaction, she attempted to get my attention a second time and speak louder and so I chose to get away from her as quickly as possible. My cousin decided to leave me alone, yet, she chose to approach the others of my family who were present and began having a conversation about this guy who was in a women’s store buying women’s clothing.
Because I did not want to seem as if I was apart of this conversation I decided to leave the store and go in to one that was next to it. After a while my family followed. Surprisingly, after a while the young man appeared in the store as well, again looking through the women’s clothing. One of my family member’s shouted as she gestured to the sections of the store, “This is the women’s side and that is the men’s side!”.