Thursday, April 04, 2013

Tulsa Weekly: Gays Gone Conservative, Liberation is Dead

Ted Rall is an avowed heterosexual liberal, political cartoonist and syndicated provocative essayist and he has quite a big load of wisdom to share with the homosexuals who embrace gay marriage and equality as the ultimate top concerns for queers.

He's written a piece currently running in the Tulsa Weekly (!?) that I wish every unthinking and uncritical gay marriage advocate would read, because it asks us whatever happened to liberation and wanting to radically question and change institutions.

Let's delve into some of Rall's fabulous piece:

I miss the gays of the 1970s. Before AIDS made them fearful. When they were wild. On the fringe. A threat to decent society. Decent society sucks. I miss the gay-rights movement that came out of Stonewall. [...]

[G]ays and their straight allies are deluding themselves if they believe that achieving marriage equality is anything but a pyrrhic victory for liberals and progressives. A sign carried by a demonstrator at the high court hints at the sad truth: the marriage equality movement isn't propelling gays forward, it's keeping all of us back. "Gays have the right to be as miserable as I make my husband," read her placard. 

There's a lot of honesty about the "marriage equality movement that dare not speak the 'g' word" expressed in that sarcastic sign, which reminds me of the last thing my unmarried life-partner Mike and I are so not interested in - marriage misery!

Gays and lesbians may not all realize it yet, but adopting the cultural trappings of America's hegemonic majority culture is a tragic, disastrous, suicidal move. This is why those fighting for the right to enter into state-sanctioned monogamous marital pacts are finding that they're pushing against an open door. Right-wing support for marriage equality ought to make gays suspicious. [...] The sad truth is that the LGBT movement has abandoned its progressive roots. It has become a conservative movement. 

Yes, indeed it has. Let me remind you that the gay baths of San Francisco are still not allowed to operate, public nudity in Gay Mecca was banned earlier this year and a top concern is electing, yawn, more Democratic LGBTs to office. Some liberation.

Not convinced? Think about the other big LGBT issue of recent years: trying to convince the government of the United States to allow openly-"out" gays and lesbians to join the military so they can kill Afghans and Iraqis. Wouldn't it have been better for them to argue against militarism? To say that no one, gay or straight, should kill Afghans or Iraqis? [...]

The big advantages of being gay were that you didn't have to get married or go to war. Why give that up? [...] After the Stonewall riot the gay movement struggled to free not just gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people, but straights as well from a dominant heteronormative narrative that oppressed everyone. They pushed to destigmatize sex and the expression of sexual identity, and presented alternative means of sexual bonding and child-rearing such as triad and polyamorous relationships. [...]

I find it interesting that such a contrarian breath of fresh air was picked up by an alternative weekly in Oklahoma, of all places, and as far as I can determine has yet to appear in any paper in areas with larger LGBT populations.

Thanks to Ted Rall, for raising important concerns, and also to the Tulsa Weekly for running his piece this week.

No comments: