But what we should know from the situation of gay people of all colours and black people of all sexual preferences is that simply being a victim does not radicalize your consciousness. If that was the case, we would all be fighting the revolution right now together and he fact is we’re not because people want their particular form of victimhood to end with caring about what the implications of that are for other people…We have to move past the idea that our sexual preferences will radicalize our consciousness. Essentialized identity, whether it is race or sex, sexuality, etc. and the notion that just being the victim of something will enlighten you is also the big lie now.
There are three aspects of my identity that really can’t be untangled from each other: I am a queer woman. I am a feminist. And I believe that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’…
The previous model for social change has been revolution, everyone has sat around for a really long time and said, “when the revolution comes dadadadada…” It ends up being a very disempowering model because revolution isn’t coming. The message that it really sends is that unless total social transformation comes, you can’t act. But you can do one act of resistance every day. Everyday step out of your role, do something you wouldn’t normally do to try and have an effect.
[T]he politics I advocate—a frank embrace of queer sex in all its apparent indignity, together with a frank challenge to the damaging hierarchies of respectability—can result in neither assimilation nor separatism if carried through consistently. Against assimilation, one could insist that the dominant culture assimilate to queer culture, not the other way around. Straight culture has already learned much from queers, and it shouldn’t stop now. In particular, it needs to learn a new standard of dignity, and it won’t do this as long as gay people think that their “acceptance” needs to be won on the terms of straight culture’s politics of shame.
Does this position result in separatism? Quite the contrary. Were we to recognize the diversity of what we call sexuality with the kind of empathic realism in which many queers are unsurpassed, the result would not be separatism, and could not be, because it would give us no view of who “we” are apart from the fact that there are a lot of nonnormative sexualities in the world. This possibility has been voiced by queer writers of the past, from Walt Whitman through Jean Genet, and by contemporary critics as different as Pat[rick] Califia and Eve Sedgwick—who are neither separatists nor assimilationists. The frank refusal to repudiate sex or the undignified people who have it, which I see as the tacit or explicit ethos in countless scenes of queer culture, is the antithesis of identity politics.”
"All of our identities are politicized in one way or another; it is what we choose to do with them that matters."
How homonationalism works:
1) The Inclusion Argument: Sexual minorities should call for inclusion in the state through liberal rights of the individual (e.g. gay marriage). The struggle for individual rights replaces the struggle for collective rights, collective resistance, or the transformation of asymmetrical power formations.
2) Good vs. Bad Queers: The call for inclusion is predicated on making the distinction between good queers and bad queers. These appeals argue that most sexual minorities are no different than members of dominant society, and thus that these queers deserve to be recognized as part of the mainstream. Here, bad queers are offered as the undesirable other to help sell the good queers to Canadian society, since bad queers are dangers to society or drains on state resources. They include racialized queers, people who are HIV-positive, poor and homeless queers, drug users, non-status queer migrants, etc.
3) Reinforcing the Social Order: Once the right kind of queers are welcomed into the state, these institutions can use the newly admitted ‘good queers’ as evidence that symmetry has been achieved, effectively dismissing larger concerns over the rights of those who remain marginalized and subjugated. Further, the inclusion of sexual minorities under the terms of individual rights is then used in propaganda by the state to demonstrate how civilized, modern, liberal, and democratic the West is, particularly in opposition to backward, pre-modern, and non-democratic states (such as in the Middle East) – a tactic rooted in Orientalism.
Please join our crowd-sourced campaign to collect brief videos or photographs that spread the word about inspirational books, poems, graphic novels, or other life-changing pieces of literature with the world. Contributions will become part of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards celebration and help build up our social media efforts to increase the visibility of queer writing both within and outside our community.
I’d love to see some bi visibility in this campaign! As a bisexual person, how did books save you? Or what bi books saved your life?
TW: suicide, abuse
Pictured above is (my best friend and room mate) Tashia’s fourteen year old niece. Her name is Marley. She is one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And she is in dire need of help.
On March 24th, Marley tried to commit suicide. None of us knew her situation was this bad until now. This was not a cry for help, but a final desperate attempt to get out of an emotionally and physically abusive household. Other family members and I have tried to help her before, but have been shut down every time by Marley’s mother. With the understanding of what is going on and how much Marley is suffering and has suffered, this is the final straw.
Tashia and I are trying to fight for custody of Marley and move her to a better, loving, stable, and safe environment so she can thrive, be at peace, and actually start enjoying her life. However, this may prove difficult, because Tashia and I are both queer and have a very limited income. We also live across state lines. Please help us through this complicated and stressful situation.
Please take the time to read our story here.
If you can, please donate. Every single bit helps.
If you cannot donate, please spread the word.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask either of us.
If you have suggestions for related blogs to submit this to and help us further spread the word, please feel free to share. All help is greatly appreciated.
This week’s topic: How, as COLAGErs, can we be better allies to folks within the LGBTQ community who hold different identities than us?
As COLAGErs (children with queer and/or trans* parents), I don’t believe we hold any special ally role, or that our expectations of ourselves and each other…