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Pride, family values shine in Hub's gay black culture

Talia Whyte | 6/18/2008, 5:25 a.m.
In addition to the governor, other allies like state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and state Reps. Linda Dorcena Forry and...
State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson waves to the crowd as she takes part in Boston’s annual gay pride parade and celebration, held last Saturday. Wilkerson is one of several straight legislators considered “allies” by members of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Talia Whyte

“After we got married, these hospital visitation problems simply went away,” Wilson said. “Now I don’t have to worry about whether Rob is getting the proper care.”

Around the time Wilson took up his new position, MassEquality also rolled out a brochure specifically targeting the black community. Entitled “Jumping the Broom,” the brochure provides stories of real black gay couples and their allies, intending to illustrate why marriage equality is also a family values issue.

Wilson and Compton were both previously married to women, and have a combined family of five adult children and six grandchildren. The couple lives in Jamaica Plain, and Wilson says that his marriage has only made the family stronger.

Wilson also stressed that when he goes to community meetings to discuss gay marriage, he discusses it in relation to other problems affecting the larger black community, such as health care, unemployment and poverty. He is particularly focused on the black community providing support for gay youth, like Katherine Patrick, so that vulnerable young people are better equipped to deal with both homophobia and racism as adults.

“More time is needed on our youth,” he said. “The more we can give them, the better they will be. They are the next generation.”