Monday, January 15, 2018

Queer Against Empire

                      An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

                                           - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

I cover an almost absurdly wide terrain of subject matter on this humble little blog- Guns. Drugs. Horror Movies. Courtney Love. But the lion share of my posts seem to be focused on two primary subjects- The American war machine and my equally tumultuous gender identity. To a lot of people these two things couldn't be more different and they're not completely off base to make that assumption. Over the last couple decades the queer rights and antiwar movements have become largely separate entities. Gone are the halcyon days of Sixties solidarity, when any gay pride parade would be incomplete without a Vietcong flag. This division has even resulted in a degree of tepid hostility between the movements. I've experienced this first hand from fellow members of the antiwar community who I've encountered online, who seem to view queer rights along with feminism as being largely a distraction from the more pressing issues of war and peace.

On the flip side, many queer folks, particularly in the trans community, are so busy trying to maintain their basic survival that the rest of the world becomes peripheral. This is totally understandable when you have to ask yourself every time you leave the house, "Is today the day when someones gonna hurt me? Is today going to be the day they go all the way and finish the job?" Many members of the antiwar movement have the privilege of not having to live with these kinds of existential questions. It can be a little hard to worry about folks on the other side of the fucking globe when something as basic as taking a leak can get you raped and castrated. But it's all connected and I contend that being an anti-imperialist should be a prerequisite for any self respecting queer activist. After all, don't Palestinians and Yemenis have to live with the same kind of existential questions before they leave the house, "Is today going to be the day they drone strike the market? Is today going to be the day they take what's left of my family with their bombs?"

Imperialism and it's crude cousin colonialism cut to the bone on both sides of the border. The state cannot exist without whole classes of people to subjugate and oppress. These people aren't just the foreign targets of death squads and drone strikes but the domestic targets of police violence and mass incarceration. This includes queer people, my people, who are singled out and violated by the state for rejecting their established status quo on sexual and gender etiquette. In other words we refuse to play by their rules and lead a bad example to the rest of the proletariat expected to toe the company line. Controlling a sizable population of people becomes a lot harder when you can't divide and conquer and when your very existence shreds notions as basic as the gender binary you find yourself pretty close to the top of the establishment's shitlist. After all, if boys aren't boys and girls aren't girls then how will the state know who to oppress? This is why the incarceration and whole sale slaughter of the gender non-conforming community is so staggeringly high. And this is why the destruction of the American Empire should be every bit as important to trannies, fags and dykes as it is to Arabs, commies and isolationists.

The same goes for blacks, Latinos, women and even rednecks. These are the people queer folks should be looking to for solidarity, not the state with their assimilationist consolation prizes of domesticated marriage and foreign military service. And our visibility in expressing solidarity with these other oppressed classes will go a long way towards taring down the stigma that remains persistent against the queer community without having to sell out and assimilate. When conservative Muslims see trannies pounding on the walls of Gaza, it'll be just that much harder for them to pick up a stone against their own children. When ranchers find themselves joined by AR toting bull-dykes in defense of their land, they'll be hard pressed to toss off homosexuality as a metropolitan social virus. And when queers and blacks and Muslims and feminists and militiamen and gangbangers and trailer trash and migrant workers join together in the streets in solidarity with Palestinians and Zaydis and Kurds and Novorossiyans and Catalans and Tuaregs and Zapatistas and Arab Nationalists the empire will finally know without a shadow of a doubt that their days of plenty are numbered.

I don't know when this day will come, dearest motherfuckers, but you better fucking believe that my people will throw one hell of a parade the next day. Revolution will never look more fabulous.

Peace, Love, Empathy and Solidarity- CH

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post.

* Come Together By The Beatles
* And Saints By Sleigh Bells
* Today By The Smashing Pumpkins
* Lola By The Raincoats
* Rise Above By Black Flag
* Dive By Nirvana
* Sex Bomb By Flipper
* Drone Bomb Me By Anohni
* Land By Patti Smith
* Everybody Does By Julien Baker

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