Thursday, August 5, 2010


God help me, I'm going to piss all over everybody's parade.

I wrote that post a couple days ago not realizing that the Prop 8 hearing was going to be yesterday. I thought I was just screaming into the ether, as I do.

I got mildly nauseated at the outpouring of sugary sentiments after the decision to overturn Prop 8. My RSS feed got blown up almost immediately. Same thing with my facebook feed.

Perhaps 'nauseated' is a bit strong. Now's not the time for hyperbole. Just honesty. I was majorly fucking irritated at all that young idealism that flowed like molasses just because one judge had the courage to say that maybe homos are people too and the desire to give them a different legal status than the straight folks is not exactly constitutional.

Like I said before, just because I oppose gay marriage doesn't mean I oppose equal rights. Of course it's good that the straight people are slowly - slowly - chilling out and giving people the rights that should have been theirs all along. I suppose when I say I oppose gay marriage, what I really mean is I oppose the fact that this is our cause. I oppose the fuck out of that. Simply put, I'm looking around at all this excitement and I'm wondering if I'm just not gay enough because it's not hitting me in all the right emotional centers. I am not particularly excited about my people - and god help me, that's what all those freaks and queers and all the rest of you are, I'm right there with you, no matter how many tokens you willingly accept from the straight folks - being political pawns again and again and again and willingly stepping onto that chessboard. Willingly taking to the streets over this shit with big old signs that say EQUALITY and some rainbows and other shit on there too.

There are some very specific people that are benefiting from this particular kind of equality. It is the people who are willing and able to fit into a scripted role, a role that puts them somewhat above the rest of us who cannot or will not fit into that role. The role of property holders, heads of nuclear families. Who willingly take all the rewards you get for staying in character and who can blame you. I certainly can't.

Marriage does solve some problems. A person who has no health coverage can ride on their spouse's policy (if they have one). Jointly-held property is protected in case one person dies and their family members want to pitch a fit. Not to mention the tax breaks married couples get. Living wills and hospital visitation rights and the rest of it.

But people who aren't married or in a long-term monogamous relationship have problems with health insurance. And this certainly won't help the transfolks who get shafted constantly by the medical industry. People are still poor and sick and down and out because they're black or undocumented or mentally ill or or or.

And I guess that's what my point is. Intersectionality. Enjoy your equality, gay people, because the rest of us sure as fuck ain't seeing it. There is a social justice movement that is entirely separate from the gay rights movement, because the gay rights movement is all about these few little things to create nice communities of wealthy gay people. Soon the homos will be happy. Soon they will put away their banners and placards because their work will be done.

From Dorothy Surrenders: We won, finally, we won. After so many defeats, so many bitter rejections, so much heartache and so much needless hate, the simple truth won out. Our love is no different. Our love is not wrong. Our love deserves protection. Our love is just love.

Maybe I'm just not gay enough, because I don't see how adding more leverage to the institution of marriage, under the auspices of love, is going to help anything much. It takes more than love to keep a revolution going.

It's just that. Revolution for some people. We can forget about the rest. As long as we have enough equality and rainbows we'll know we're in the right. Couch it all in the language of human rights, disregarding all those other humans who have rights, those humans we don't exactly have a stellar track record with. People of color. Transpeople. Low-income people. And jesus, that's just the people in this country that we're totally disengaged from.

What intersectionality means is that oppression does not occur along a single axis. It's not just gay vs. straight. It's not just men vs. women. It's not just white people vs. people of color. It's not just rich people vs. poor people. A variety of different factors play out in the oppression of different groups. And while one group is still oppressed none of us are truly free of oppression. It's why gay men are not free of the oppression visited upon women by misogynistic society, for example. By having sex with other men, gay men fail to fulfill gender expectations and fall victim to patriarchal culture in the same ways women do.

That's why NO H8 isn't revolutionary enough. You will all take this little bit of validation from the straight people - validation of something we knew all along, that we aren't fucked up and wrong, at least not because of this whole, y'know, gay thing - and you will hold it close to your hearts and it will be the thing that they wanted. Now the homosexuals and their money can be subsumed into straight society and everything will be alright.

Maybe I'm just not gay enough, because I'm not going to quote Harvey Milk and I'm not going to celebrate this. There is nothing to celebrate. The oppressed are going to become the oppressors, as newly-privileged people invariably do.

No comments: