Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Remember Queer?

I love living in New York. However, the one thing I really despise about it is how conservative it is. I'm not sure if it's the times or the culture (since both have shifted for me) but it feels like queers are a dying breed.

I find myself buying in to this bland, capitalist culture based on the need to consume. Yes, we all need to consume to live, but gay culture is centered around taste-making, around listening to certain types of music, wearing certain clothes, buying the right products, liking the right people and wanting things like marriage or kids. Acting in a certain way.

While I'm not saying anyone shouldn't have the right to these things, I think they ultimately lead to an eternally perpetuating emptiness, unattainable fulfillment when they are devoid of any critical or spiritual substance.

We are all born gay or lesbian or trans, etc. But we choose to be queer.

Being queer is about fighting this structure that is imposed on us, telling us that we are different. In fact it is the world's insecurities in seeing themselves in us that cause their oppression because they need to differentiate themselves from us. Being queer is about refusing to collude with phallocracy, with capitalism.

There was a legitimate movement that now feels distant and fractured. Where is the catalyst for re-orienting our resistance? Who is trying to kill feminism?

Are we just too tired after years of being taken advantage of?

This point was startlingly and poignantly brought home when I visited the main library during the Stonewall remembrance exhibition. The GLF (Gay Liberation Front) had formed almost immediately after the riots and drawn up a manifesto. I tried to find it to quote it properly but the documents from the exhibition seem to have gone missing from the internet. PLEASE, if anyone has them or knows where to find them, I would really appreciate it.

Back to the point: the GLF manifesto began by saying that the family structure was fundamentally corrupt and detrimental to gay people. The second article said that they would no longer be forced to go to war. This was amazing... and disheartening.

So 40 years later all the shadows of these radical organizations want is the opposite? The right to fight in wars, the right to marriage. I wouldn't want to deny anyone the opportunity to do either, but I wonder why marriage provides a privileged status and why you would want to go to war. You should have the right but I question the desire.

Why care about oppression, colonization, women's rights, capitalism, Imperialism, racism, transphobia, misogyny, animal rights, patriarchy, injustice or (Madonna forbid) the destruction of the environment? Collusion has the most alluring dance beat.

There are still people fighting the good fight. This post is for them. QUEERS. Refusal. As thousands of topless consumers dance the night away, I am refusing to believe I'm in this invisible cage, I'm refusing to collude with oppression.

I am refusing to be a victim to anyone's insecurities.

Refuse, resist, remember.

Incredible, beautiful power to the people.

I humbly give thanks.

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