Wednesday, March 04, 2015

What Makes Them Radical?

While mainstream Gays and Lesbians fight for marriage equality there are those who are fighting for their rights. Gay News Network had an article about the rise of Radical Gays,
The most prominent example is repeated vandalism of GayTMs in New Zealand by a group called “Queers Against Injustice” who believe rainbow-coloured cash machines “reproduce many of the intersecting injustices by which queer subjects are marginalised”.

“Against Equality” has been posting facebook memes decrying marriage equality as “racist, sexist and classist”.
They also ran a rebuttal to the article, STOP PATRONISING THE 'QUEER RADICALS',
But let’s be honest. This isn’t only about gay marriage. This mainstream agenda seeks to sanitize queerness as much as gayly possible. It applauds gays in the military. It advocates for prisons specifically for queer and trans people. It will actually tell rightwing bigoted parties how to harness the gay vote. Yes Rodney Croome, we did see your advice to Tony Abbott on how he could reel in the pink vote.

This agenda also affects queer people of colour and transgender people, amongst others, in countless ways (I highly recommend reading Against Equality for more nuanced detail, though I’m not quite sure where the memes are that Croome speaks of).

In short, this agenda is one that is self-serving, neoliberal, and only benefits a few.

Yet we’re made to appear as the ones who co-opted 'LGBTI issues into revolutionary agendas'.

Apparently Stonewall was a cup of tea? Or perhaps it was an orchestra? You see, I’d argue that Croome has co-opted our radical activist past in order to create a bland future. And in doing this, he has somehow argued that we don’t understand because some of us weren’t alive in the 70s. We respect and admire the work of our elders, but for many of us there is still a long way to go.
I have always said that marriage equality should not be the main agenda for the LGBT community, that there are more important issues that should come before marriage, like not being fired for being LGBT, not being thrown out of your apartment or not being thrown out of a restaurant. Or important issues like prison reforms, insurance coverage, access to homeless shelters of your gender identity, and many, many more social justice issues.

DCF won, Jane Doe is still in a men’s prison and they only have to wait another six months and then they can wash their hands and throw her out on the street when she turns 18. It was the Radical Queers who were fighting for justice for her. They organized the rallies for her, they were the ones who tried to keep the media focused on her.

We owe a lot to the Radical Queers.

1 comment:

  1. Yes and this radical queer will keep on fighting until he dies. It is always us who kick in the doors so those who disinfect and sanitize can then have a safe place. I understand quite well what it was like to be alive in the 60ties and 70ties and I am still alive. What I don't like is the white mainstream who has co-opted our radical movement and made it as bland as white bread.Yes we still have a long way to go and those who only see passing the wedding cake are so blind to the fact that we are here, there and everywhere so all issues are our issues. Thanks for this piece Diana. Hope to see you out and about.

    Richard Nelson