Archive for October, 2009

14
Oct
09

Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!

I just read Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda!, the first (and so far, only) post on the new blog Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage! (I think I saw it linked on Kate Bornstein‘s Twitter feed). It’s a great read. Two quotes that really jumped out at me:

What if, rather than donating to the HRC campaign, we pooled our wealth to create a community emergency fund for members of our community who face foreclosure, need expensive medical care or find themselves in any other economic emergency? As queers, we need to take our anger, our fear, and our hope and recognize the wealth of resources that we already have, in order to build alternative structures. We don’t need to assimilate when we have each other.

And, the one that really grabbed me (in both quotes, emphasis mine):

Equality California keeps on sending us videos of big, happy, gay families, and they’re making us sick: gay parents pushing kids on swings, gay parents making their kids’ lunches, the whole gay family safe inside the walls of their own homes. Wait a second, is it true? It’s as if they’ve found some sort of magical formula: once you have children, your life instantly transforms into a scene of domestic bliss, straight out of a 1950’s movie. The message is clear. Instead of dancing, instead of having casual sex, instead of rioting, all of the “responsible” gays have gone and had children. And now that they’ve had children, they won’t be bothering you at all anymore. There’s an implicit promise that once gays get their rights, they’ll disappear again. Once they can be at home with the kids, there’s no reason for them to be political, after all!

I think this is one of my biggest problems with the push for same sex marriage, though I’ve had trouble articulating it. Because what they’ve said here feels exactly right. The same sex marriage agenda seems to be to let us get married so we can be just like you — and, by extension, again become completely invisible to you. And I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in keeping our radical ways of building family and community, of loving and supporting each other, of seeing injustice and fighting it. I’m not interested in a movement that thinks equality means assimilation, losing everything about myself and my beloveds that I prize most. Oppression has shaped us this way, and I’m certainly interested in ending oppression, but I think our shapes are beautiful. I hope we keep them, keep what we’ve learned and take it with us even if we end up in some oppression-free utopia. If it’s free of oppression because everyone finally does things the same way, it’s not my utopia. And this movement isn’t trying to do end oppression, anyway. Just to help a few middle-class whites wiggle out from under it without realizing they’re then perpetuating it.

Sometime in the past few days, I saw someone say — again, I think, on Twitter (the problem with Twitter is that it’s hard to find things later in order to attribute them correctly) — that the LGBT rights movement seems to be fighting to get queers into America’s two most conservative institutions. I agree, and that’s just not my goal here. I have trouble allying myself with those for whom it’s the be-all and end-all.

Advertisements
09
Oct
09

I wanted to point you to an excellent post on Queer Subversion (a blog I will definitely be keeping an eye on!) about “Fake” bisexuality and slut shaming. Jackson makes some great points about how it doesn’t help anyone for us to draw lines in the sand between “real” bisexuals and people (usually women) who we think are “faking it” — for publicity, to arouse men, to look cool, whatever. As he writes, “it just leads to more of the same culture of bisexual doubt that makes it hard for all of us.” And I needed that pointed out to me, I think, because these are behaviors that I criticize myself. I try to criticize the way our culture presents a very particular view of bisexuals behaving in these ways and doesn’t tell any of our other stories, but the line is fine and I probably cross it sometimes.  I’m against every other way that communities try to disavow some of their own in order to “put their best foot forward.” My thanks to Jackson for pointing out to me this counts.

It also got me thinking again about the trope that most bisexuals will eventually “choose one” by settling down in a monogamous relationship with a person who, presumably, has a gender. And while this is not necessarily true –most of the bisexuals I know are polyamorous, because I move in very specific circles and most of the people I know are polyamorous; nor do all people (and therefore, all partners of bisexuals) identify with one of the two genders society recognizes — I’m frustrated by the way people react to it when it is true. Bisexuals who settle down with either a man or a woman are not finally choosing a side, admitting to being either straight or gay. This seems so obvious to me, yet seems to escape most people. Choosing monogamy is just that — choosing monogamy. That’s all.

Jackson ends with a note on how this dismissal of some ways that women express bisexuality basically comes down to slut shaming. All I’ll say about that is that I agree completely and you should go read it.