We applaud our revolutionary sisters and brothers. Lessons in ourstories. Part 2

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Call to Action, Fight war and war mongers, For your information, for your reflection, From us to you, HIGH queer art, Real Food For Thought, resistance, Solidarity, We fight on, We remember

Introduction

In Part one of this essay we examined the early LGBT movement in Hartford Ct. in response to the Human Rights Campaign scoring Hartford in some type of equality index they do every year. You know what city in americkkka is just right for their type of people.  We said, “yes, well maybe, but let us remember our revolutionary sisters and brothers who fought the good fight against power and won. They are what matters, they can not be forgotten by some of the mainstream white comfortable class gays who today benefit from the labors of activists. These people who today who go about destroying the very community that our revolutionary activists built. A comrade brought it to our attention that many of the comfortable class had worked for marriage equality and to that we answer big deal. We contend that the marriage movement was a movement based in selfish me-ism, which has been proven, as far as we’re concerned, as today there really isn’t a movement in Connecticut. For as soon as so called marriage equality was achieved the group who spearheaded the effort Love Makes A Family disbanded. Yes once these poor discriminated against white folks were raised up and given the chance to be just like straights their rebellious days were over. Their caring and joining together to form a powerful united front with others to lift all people up worldwide was thrown out the window for their one goal, to be just like straights, to hear those wedding bells ringing and the chance to I do. This shows to me that their political courage and consciousness was based in how much power and privilege that they could gain and how much that could be shared with straight people.

Please don’t get us wrong in all of this. We firmly believe that no one has the right to with hold any civil rights from anyone. That these rights if given to some, (Straights, whites) then these same rights must be given to all others. No questions asked. This is why we believe that reform of a dirty rotten system is not the way to go, but to change all aspects of the system and replace it with a system of justice for all. Toying around, tweaking and reforming a dirty rotten system just makes a lot of folks think that all is well with the small advances that have been given by those in power. One still has a dirty rotten system at the end of the day. A small batch of crumbs given by the ruling class is just one of their tools to pause, to confuse and to make folks say, “What a wonderful system we have here in americkkka.” Folks become complacence and think that they have never had it so good and then sit back in their own little world, twiddling their thumbs while worms of the worse kind make their way to center stage to strike and devour all that they oppose and everything that is in their path. Can’t happen here, think again. It can and it just might. As we have said along with many others, remember a law is a law. A law can be put on the books and a law can be taken off the books.

Ourstories, Part 2 

We will start at the time the rainbow flag was raised at Connecticut’s state Capitol building. We do not start here because we believe that this was any great revolutionary advancement but because of what transpired a year down the road from that day.

flag over capitol

Rainbow Flag flies over the Ct. State Capitol the first in the nation on March 21st, 1999

The rainbow flag flying over the Ct. State Capitol Building was a part of Equality Begins at Home, a week long celebration that took place in all 50 states. It wasn’t hard getting the flag to fly. Fill out the paperwork, tell the state police the start and stop day and up goes the flag. No homophobic governor, state rep. or anyone could stand in the way.  Don’t think that they didn’t try to take the flag down but according to the state capitol police once the flag was up, it stayed up. The Equality Begins at Home week was sponsored by the Connecticut Coalition for LGBT Civil Rights and the raising of the flag on Sunday began a week of activities by both the CCLGBTCR and the Connecticut Stonewall Foundation . It was at this flag raising event that Rep. Patrick Flaherty was egged on to come out of the closet by one of the organizers which he did reluctantly, claiming that he was very resentful by what had happened. Some believe that this was one of the events that brought down the CCLGBTCR by underhanded actions from a few in the comfortable class, some legislators, a lobbyist and others who were upset over this coming out action. I remember that day with people yelling out, “this is so unfair,” and “stop it.” The action as I know it was one of Rep. Flaherty saying yes to coming out that day, telling the organizers that he would and then getting cold feet. I thought that the calls for the organizer apologies were out of hand then and still do to this day. (1)

Equality begins at homeCo-chair of the CCLGBTCR Pura Gomez at lectern, behind Gomez is Co-Chair Richard Stillson, and a line up of political supporters.

The event was coordinated by the National Gay and Lesbian task Force and organized by the Federation of LGBT Political Organizations in all 50 states for equality and was considered to be one of the largest political actions in the history of the GLBT movement. Over 250 events to address anti-lgbt discrimination, violence, and prejudice and largely focused on sate legislatures. Each state determined its own agenda and during the week conferences, art exhibits, rallies, forums, lobby days and the display of sections of the AIDS quilt were held. (2) The CCLGBTCR and the Stonewall Foundation held a public discussion about the rise of the right in both Connecticut and across the nation featuring Surina Khan of The Public Research Associates and Evelyn Mantilla State Rep. from Hartford who was being attacked by Reverend Carrera, a right wing minister  running for office against her.

By 2000 Love Makes A Family a one issue group that worked on marriage for gay and lesbian people in the state was founded and a one issue Gay movement was once again filling the horizon.  A one issue movement was nothing new to the lgbt community as the wrong road was taken many years ago with the break-a-way of activists from the Gay Liberation Front and the forming of the Gay Activist Alliance who worked at that time on what many said were white gay men’s concerns. Now this is not to say that these one issue movements did not make great strides within their limits but they did not lift up all of the community. For it was at the same time that break-away groups began forming including, Street Transvestite Action Revolution, Third World Revolution and the Gay Women’s Liberation Front.

Ct. Stonewall Foundation responds to a hateful letter towards Drag Queens, Transgender people and Bisexuals.

Connecticut Stonewall Foundation

In Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month

HOLD THE DATE: October 23rd Conference

“Celebrating Our Life Stories
and Our Relationships”

The Connecticut Stonewall Foundation is proud to announce the Second Day Long conference celebrating LGBT History month in Connecticut. The event is entitled “Celebrating Our Life Stories and Our Relationships” and will be held from 9:00 AM until 5:30 PM, October 23rd, 1999 at Trinity College, Hartford. This event features a keynote speech from the Stonewall Veteran – Sylvia Rivera in addition to workshops, panels, and exhibits on LGBT relationships.

The event will conclude with celebration and music featuring Mystery Date. Further details will be forthcoming in your late September mail, so be sure to mark your calendars for this October 23, 1999, event at Trinity College, Hartford. (3)

Ct. Stonewall Event to Feature Sylvia Rivera (UPDATE: 9/2014. We noticed today that the archives of Queers Without Borders are no longer available so we will try to piece the story together the best we can from our memory. It too bad as our readers could then read the hateful letters but also the uplifting, united front against such hate from what we thought at that time to be our own community. We feel today as some of us did back then that those who denounced were not our family.

When Sylvia Rivera our True Shero of the Revolutionary LGBT peoples came to town.

Letters to the editor began appearing in the LGBT news magazine the Metroline condemning one of our comrades Mucha Mucha Placer and also drag queens in general.  Mucha as we fondly refer to her as is revolutionary drag queen, cor-chair of the Ct. Coalition and damn hard worker for LGBT civil rights. A flurry of letter in support of Ms Placer and drag queens responded. We felt at this time it was the same type of folks, white comfortable class gay men and feminist lesbians who were leading this charge as they had so many times in the past. Members of The Ct. Stonewall Foundation also participated in responding to this hit against the drag community and transgender folks and decided to at their next conference  bring Sylvia Rivera to town for a key note speaking engagement. Arrangement were made that the conference was to be held in October right before the opening of the Foundations exhibition, Challenging and Changing America. The Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights. Richard Nelson one of the Foundations educational program directors gave the opening speech welcoming Ms. Rivera to Hartford and speaking out against the denouncing of Ms. Placer, the drag community and our trans sisters and brothers. There is a video of both Nelson’s and Rivera’s speech floating around in the community. The conference was attended by over 100 people who applauded Mr. Nelson and Ms. Rivera through out their talks. We will always remember Ms Rivera and thank her for fighting the good fight for all of us. We miss you Sylvia but carrying on your work whenever and wherever we can and need to.

Regardless of what the comfortable class lesbian and gay folks have to say we stand firmly behind this quote from Audre Lorde, “There is no thing as a single issue struggle as we do not lead single issue lives.”

Gay marriage will not solve the problems that the majority of LGBT/Q people face and anyone who thinks that it will or that gay marriage is even a stepping stone is sadly misguided and helps to steer the movement in the wrong direction.

On marriage

One interesting place to start a discussion on marriage would be in our opinion excerpts from the Gay Manifesto written by Carl Wittman in the early spring of 1969. Wittman played a prominent role in the SDS and in union organizing on the west coast. Wittman called for gays to free themselves, come out, create institutions and liberate themselves from the yoke of all oppressions. In section III , Roles of the manifesto Wittman has this to say about marriage.

2. Marriage: Marriage is a prime example of a straight institution fraught with role playing. Traditional marriage is a rotten, oppressive institution. Those of us who have been in heterosexual marriages too often have blamed our gayness on the breakup of the marriage. No. They broke up because marriage is a contract which smothers both people, denies needs and places impossible demands on both people. And we had the strength, again, to refuse to capitulate to the roles which were demanded of us.

Gay people must stop gauging their self respect by how well they mimic straight marriages. Gay marriages will have the same problems as straight ones. For the usual legitimacy and pressures which keep straight marriages together are absent, e.g. kids, what parents think, what neighbors say. To except that happiness comes through finding a groovy spouse and  settling down, showing the world that “we are just the same as you,” is avoiding the real issues, and is an expression of self-hatred. (4)

In 2000  the lobbyist who had worked with the CTCLGBTCR and a few others got together as the story is told behind closed doors and decided to form Love Makes A Family. Love Makes a Family it was quickly decided was going to be a one issue movement caring about only one thing, “same sex marriage”. Leaving the LGBT movement at that time was hard for me to do but I felt as I do now that any one issue movement is not my movement and one that I could not fully dedicate myself to. Marriage to me seemed such a self interest cause that would surly destroy the community that we had been building in Connecticut for many years. How right I was when I saw the folks who came out from the white middle class to fight for marriage rights. The bourgeoisie, the comfortable class, those out to get what they could for them and then when they did everyone would go home, be happy, have 2 kids, a cat and a dog and now be “respected by their neighbors, family, the butcher, the baker and the car salesman.

The destruction of community that cared about all of its people for a self centered idea of assimilation in the monkeying  of straights was no longer a unifying force that would propel us all toward liberation. Gone was the idea that had sustained us for years that no one is free unless all are free. We would have to say that these folks whose only concern was marriage do not see it in the big picture that we are a people with many concerns and we are all in it together. So community is dead would be the conclusion. Self interest rules. No longer are we a people.

Ryan Conrad in the book, Against Equality, Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage  essay Against Equality, In Maine and Everywhere has this to say: “Gays and lesbians of all ages are obsessing over gay marriage as it it’s going to cure AIDS, stop anti-queer/anti-trans violence, provide all uninsured queers with health care, and reform racist immigration policies. Unfortunately marriage does little more than consolidate even more power in the hands of already privileged gay couples engaged in middle class hetero-mimicry.  Let’s be clear the national gay marriage campaign is NOT a social justice movement. Gay Marriage reinforces the for-profit medical industrial complex by tying access to health care to employment and relational status. Gay marriage does not challenge patent laws that keep poor/working class poz folks from accessing life-extending medications. Gay marriage reinforces the nuclear family as the primary support structure for youth even though nuclear families are largely responsible for queer teen homelessness, depression and suicide. Gay marriage does not challenge economic systems set up to champion people over property and profit. gay marriage reinforces racist immigration laws by only allowing productive, “good” soon to be wed non-citizens in while ignoring the rights of migrant workers. “Gay marriage simply has nothing to do with social justice.” (5 )

Now anyone that knows us knows that we just love queer writer Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. In the book That’s Revolting, Queer Strategies For Resisting Assimilation, edited by Mattilda she writes in an introduction to the second edition, “A Gay elite has hijacked the queer struggle and positioned their desires as everyone’s needs– the dominant signs of straight conformity have become the ultimate measures of gay success. Even when the gay rights agenda does include important issues, it doesn’t in a way that consistently prioritizes the most privileged wild fucking over everyone else.” I have seen this over and over in Connecticut by folks who are well meaning, folks who I love dearly but who always seem to take care of the white middle class needs first whether it be recognition  of partners of people who work for the city or state, ( not including anyone else) insurance benefits, or a classic case that of pool fees for unmarried households of L and G folks to a swimming pool in a well off town. All of us were suppose to care about this issue, open our check books, rah rah for the cause, all for some to swim in a pool where the majority of us where excluded by where we lived. But you know on the way to this form of liberation, some of us said fuck this, piss in the pool. Better yet take a shit.

We love this from Mattilda, ” Gay assimilationists have created the ultimate genetically modified organism, combining virulent strains of nationalism, patriotism, consumerism, and patriarchy and delivering them in one deadly product: state-sanctioned matrimony. Gay marriage proponents are anxious to discard all those tacky hues of lavender and pink, in favor of the good ol’ stars and stripes, literally draping themselves in Old Glory at every pro-marriage demonstration as the U.S. occupies Iraq, overthrow the only democratically-elected government in the history of Haiti, funds the Israeli war on the Palestinians, and makes the whole world safer for multinational corporations to plunder indigenous resources. “ I would suggest that anyone who is interested in really thinking about what has happened and continues to happen in the “gay” world of “we are just like you” pick up Mattilda’s books and read.

I see it more and more with the straight “gays” in our mist as we are more and more drawn into being just like straights that sense, that all knowing, that wink, that nod has disappeared. I liked it better when we were all naked, there was no banker, no insurance executive, a fem, no  truck driver just us naked and willing a community of men. This friendship this comradeship is slowing disappearing into a selfish getting of what you can, a feeling of lines being drawn around race, class, no more do we feel the need to be one with each other. The security guard is no longer a brother to the insurance executive fairylinging across the lobby 7 inches off the ground. The cleaning man is no longer a brother to the lesbian security guard as the need to appear normal has taken over. And of course the worse classicism the worse I am better than you based on commodity culture slaps us in the face. Our institutions have been taken over by Lesbian and Gay people who are beholden to the corporations, and the democratic party, our tea rooms all but closed down, our marches have become a corporate orgy parades and rights are granted to those and only those who play by the man’s rules. Sorry honey as the song, Baby I’m an Anarchist says, “No I won’t take you hand and marry the state.”

We’re Here, We’re Queer and we have a lot of work to do! Bringing the movement back to a multi-issue movement fighting the good fight wherever and whenever we need to.  Queers Without Borders Resisting the common enemy of liberation and a free peoples.

download

push the wall

Queers Without Borders was formed in response to several anti-war straights that proclaimed to a few of us queers at a Hartford march and rally, “I thought all you “gays” were only concerned with marriage?” Clearly those of us, some who had been marching for years were taken aback, though  not totally shocked by this view, especially here in Connecticut. It seems that any semblance of a Queer Left, let alone a Queer anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anarchical presence is virtually non-existent. Yes we had to admit that the gay causes that was getting the most publicly during this period was the one issue marriage crowd. QWB members are interested in more than a reformist agenda of a singular issue political agenda. We see and saw at that time our liberation in much border terms as a part of the transformation of all economic, social, and political ways for all people. Some of our members knew this from the early days of the Gay Liberation Front and their work in the anti-war, civil rights movements and had been trying to fight for years for a multi-issue movement again within the LGBT movement and people’s.

We as queers are fully aware that the LGBT/Q community does not live in isolation from other communities. We know that war, racism, sexism,poverty, health concerns, youth violence, environmental justice, religious intolerance, racial and ethnic profiling, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while critical programs for the people are slashed, attacks on civil liberties and immigrant rights are our issues, our everyday issues for we as a people are indeed, here, there, and everywhere. (6) This is why we are Queers Without Borders.

qwb fed buil

Over the years QWB has actively helped to plan and to participate in all sorts of activities. We firmly believe that for the lgbt community to not take a multi-issue stand is foolish and unwise and any single issue stand denies our true heritage. The following is just some of the events, demonstrations, rallies and causes we have worked on over the years as we went about building alliances with other communities and other communities with us.

1. QWB helped to organize rallies with a broad base of community groups in response to the ICE raids in Hartford/New Haven/Waterbury on the Immigrant communities. Yes Mary, our people are also immigrants, are also deported and also are held in detention centers. We marched on ICE Headquarters on December 10, 2007.

Ice protest

Photo from: Ct. News Junkie

2. Held a political PRIDE and speak out in front of the Federal Building concerning issues that were not being addressed by the mainstream LGBT groups.

“We realize that all the gains made and all that we have achieved in the past 37 years could be taken away with the stroke of a pen. We unite with all other groups that will chase the Political and Religious right from power and help to set in motion a just America.” We seek fundamental change, not reformation of the state. Without revolutionary change we can’t achieve universal health care, real wages that people can live on, full immigration rights and equal power sharing at all tables of power.”.. We The People PRIDE  Proclamation…QWB, June 27, 2006 Hartford Ct.

Political PRIDE June 27, 2006 Federal Building Hartford Ct.

no to bush

3. Attends all demonstrations against the war in Iraq. We also take a firm stand against any war with Iran, North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela. We stand against the the government and its toying with and limiting our freedom and democracy.

4. We join with the Workers World Party and a multinational multilingual group of LGBT activists from organizations in the US and around the world in a Rainbow Solidarity with the Cuban 5.

5. Joined with the Free Peoples Movement, People of Faith and Hartford Area Students for a Democratic Society and students from area high schools to protest military recruiting in local high schools. This protest took place at Hartford’s Military Recruiting Station on Pearl Street.

The Back Door is Not Good Enough When There Is A Front Door!

adapt protest

Immediate Release May 26th 2008

SEPARATE BUT EQUAL ACCESS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Organizations including ADAPT of Connecticut, Queers  Without Borders, Connecticut TransAdvocacy and other activists will gather at Hartford City Hall on Friday May 30th at 12:00 noon. We will be gathering to speak out about the lack of accessibility for people in wheel chairs through the front doors of Hartford Public Library.

Seven months ago Claude Holcomb of ADAPT of Connecticut began this effort to get the main doors of the Hartford Public Library accessible for all. Seven months later we bring this unsolved problem to the steps of City Hall. The work hasn’t been started and for seven months we have been given the run-a-round by employee’s in Constituent Services, Public Works and by the Director of Hartford Public Libraries. We have been told by these same people to “go around to the back door.” Hardly words to use in this day and age. Included in the new construction is a beautiful new ramp but once up the ramp a person in a wheel chair can not get in the front doors. While the city stalls for 7 months, a power button could have been in place by now.

For other QWB postings on this subject click here and here.

6. QWB celebrated a victory with ADAPT of Connecticut, We worked with APAPT and other allies to make the front doors of the new library accessible to all. These doors did not have a power button for those who use assistive deices. A small band of dedicated activists fought city hall and won on Friday May 30th, 2008 when it was announced by Mayor Eddie Perez that all of our demands had been met and the doors would be accessible by the end of August. This battle began 7 months ago by members of ADAPT.

solidarity

7. Planned and participated in “An Evening of Solidarity” in support of Immigrant Workers Struggling for Justice and Dignity that was sponsored by the Hartford area Students for a Democratic Society, Queers Without Borders, Socialist Party of Connecticut, People of Faith, and labor groups. This dinner and fundraiser was for the IWW Food and Allied Workers Union.

evening of solidarity

8. Organized and joined with the CLASH Collective, People of Faith and other peace and left organizations to “Shut Down The Jefferson-Jackson Bailey Dinner.” This demonstration was organized to confront the Democratic Party, to remind them of their obligations and demand that they hold up their end of the social contract with action.

Jerrerson Baily 1

9. Joined with TransFM.org, World Gender Coalition, Know Thy Neighbor, Mass. Chapter of Trans American Vets, What Queer! and other labor, anti-war groups in protesting the HRC Gala in Boston Mass.

CRW 0059

Boston HRC Gala PROTEST & Left Out Party!

Time: October 25, 2008 at 5pm
Location: Sharaton Boston
Street: Boylston/Dalton TBA
City/Town: Boston
Website or Map: http://www.queertoday.com
Phone: 617.416.0552
Event Type: Protest, &, Queer, Party
Organized By: QueerToday
Latest Activity: Oct 23, 2008

Protest of HRC, Boston Mass.

See planettransgender’s piece Activist Unite in Protest of HRC Gala.

10. Protested the Human Rights Campaign when they held a public meeting at University of Connecticut.

Click to view photo’s from the HRC protest at UCONN.  Below is a report from the Queer Without Borders Archives on the event which was held on a cold winters day in December.

Well TransAdvocacy and Queers Without Borders braved the horrid cold (thank you Richard, Frank, Alvin, Paul and Philip) to tell HRC what we think. Click on the link below to see photo’s from the event. Click to view photo’s from the HRC protest at UCONN. It’s a good thing we kept our numbers small otherwise we would have outnumbered those attending. Sadly, my guess is that there were maybe 20 students (non panelists, non HRC plants) that attended. As they entered we provided them leaflets about HRC’s actions in supporting Sweatshops and selling Trannies down the river for the expedeiency of the Rich White Gays and Lesbians. Every single student attending, except for two lesbians who clearly did not want to talk to us, fully supported the action and were outraged at HRC’s exclusionary position on ENDA….HRC Protest at UCONN. Posted December 7, 2007

11. Joined with and worked to form the Coalition for a Real Debate and held an educational event in front of the Bushnell when the Ct. Forum held a discussion entitled, “The Cultural Wars: Values, decency, Marriage and More. On the panel where Ralph Reed, David Brooks, Frank Rich and Margaret Carlson. There were no queer voices or representatives of the many voices affected by these so called wars. After the rally and picket we joined with other groups at a Real Debate and forum at a church next door to the Bushnell. For a so so article on the protest see Rinker Buck’s Hartford Courant piece, Protesters Demonstrate Diversity, April 2005. One of my favorite signs said” “STOP Religious and Political Kickballing With Our Lives.”

Helping to protect our lives and the constitution of Connecticut from Right Wing Attacks

Hands off

12. Helped to form the Ct. Civil Rights Defense Coalition to Stand Up and Fight Back against the Religious Rights attempts to amend the Ct. Constitution via a Constitutional Convention with an election day question. Calling for a NO vote on the Constitutional Convention Question this statement was issued: Special interest groups are rallying for a Constitutional Convention in order to bring ballot initiatives to Connecticut. They tell us Ballot Initiatives will promote direct democracy and neutralize the power of special interests. In fact opposite will happen . Ballot initiatives will create open season on the rights of women, African-Americans, Latinos, Immigrant, LGBT people. Slick media campaigns with hidden agendas will attempt to manipulate public opinion and dictate what civil rights you keep and loose. Don’t be conned by the con con!

pollitical 2

13. No Pride In Apartheid was QWB June Pride event held at MCC in Hartford. The evening featured a panel discussion, a movie and dinner.  QWB issued this statement: “In 1969 Stonewall and the early queer pride events meant fight back and solidarity with the oppressed. Yet today’s PRIDE have become an orgy of corporate consumerism and homo-nationalism. Where struggles such as racial and economic justice, immigration, anti-imperialism and anti-militarization are being lost through the “Middle class whitewashing of Stonewall and its Pride events. In reflecting upon PRIDE in 2012 QWB desires to bring us Queers back to the days when PRIDE was a Political Statement and not a Gay Fourth of July festival of commercialism and blind nationalistic pride. We invite you to join us for an evening when we discuss the pink-washing of Israel, and the fight by the people of Palestine against Israeli occupation.”

manning hartford

QWB in NYC with "Bradley Manning"

QWB in NYC with “Bradley Manning” in jail.

14. Called out for groups to gather in support of Chelsea Manning in front of Hartford’s Federal Building. On June 6, 2013 a loud whistle blowing groups from various organizations gathered at the start of Manning s trial at Ft. Meade. A booklet for the public education event was created about Manning and passed out in the street. After the rally an event was held at the Hartford Public Library with a video made by a member of QWB.  We also joined with many groups at NYC Pride in June in support of Manning. For an article about this protest with photo’s see, Blowing Whistles for a Whistle Blower published on Real Hartford.

front banner of jeri and us.

NYC PRIDE June 2013 in support of Chelsea Manning. Helping to hold the banner from QWB is Jeri Marie. To the left of Jeri is Ricky. Behind Jeri in Blue with hat is Frank and in Pink Richard. Paul with his arm in the air.

A video that was presented after the protest in support of Chelsea Manning at the Hartford Public Library.

For a video of the rally at the Federal Building in support of Chelsea Manning see Protesters Think Bradley Manning is a Hero.

15. Stood up against left homophobia when May Day leaflets quoting St. Paul (a rabid homophobic early Christian) were used to call people together for a May Day Rally and march. The group sponsoring the May Day March was a break-away group from the Occupy Hartford movement, that members of QWB were involved with. The group did not even after demands from the queer community and QWB  remove the quote. Leaflets were passed out a the May Day Rally stating our concerns. For more information see the article on this blog, An Injury to One Queer Is An Injury To All which was written as a response to the flyer. Supporters and members of the LGBT community removed the flyers whenever they found a batch and threw them away.

16. Co-sponsored along with the Middle-East Crisis Committee, Council on American Islamic Relations-Ct, ANSWER CT, Socialist Action, People of Faith and other groups a march and rally called by We Refuse To Be Enemies. The march was from Hartford Federal Building to Rep. John Larson’s office to protest continuing violence in Gaza and Larson’s, co-sponsorship  of the AIPAC Resolution that blames Hamas and justifies the Israeli government’s massacre in Gaza. We Refuse To Be Enemies is a locally based coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians working for peace and justice in the Middle east.

If We Began With This, How Much Further Could We Go?

a end to war

leaflet passed out at anti-war rallies in Ct.

For more on Queers Without Borders see their site at HERE.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones be Dammed. I never liked those fuckers and would rather kill them than be like them.

or, Why Do They Hate Their “gay” So Much That They Want To Be Straight?

by punkpink

I asked typist to do my essay all in pink so no one in their right mind would think that I was a straight person. I’m as  queer as queer can be. I like pink and pink likes me is a slogan that I have above my writing desk. I have taken from articles that I wrote and that have been published on furbirdsqueerly to form this essay.

Hello from the woods of Vermont, where I stopped working my back woods person butt off for a few, to write these lines to you. No don’t worry I don’t claim to be a poet cause I can rhyme few lines and get away with it. No not me. Too busy chopping wood, shoveling snow,(when it does, I thought this was winter in Vermont) taking care of the goat and chickens and doing what way out in the woods folks have been doing for years. Waiting for spring but trying hard to enjoy the winter and not eat all of the food that has been put by for weather such as this.

So Mommy and Daddy or Mr. and Mrs. Jones is what I am suppose to write about, those dear folks who represent all that was and is wrong with everything, those folks who we escaped from so many years ago, who we claim we would never be like in a million years even if they tied us up and make us squeal like a piglet. Nope not us. We were determined to burn down the old world and from the ashes a new world was to be in birth. Well something derailed the liberation train way back in December of 1969 back when all heaven was breaking loose all across americkkka and “gay” folks were acting up just like other oppressed folks. Well in that cold winter month nineteen people met and formed what was called the Gay Activist Alliance. Their goal was to be completely and solely dedicated to securing basic rights for homosexuals to the exclusion of the other movements. The Alliance wanted to win acceptance within the country’s institutions. So sad and how different from those whom I called comrade, friends, lovers for our mission was to topple and transform the country’s institutions. To set in their place justice and freedom. Institutions that cared about all of the people not just the comfortable class of war makers, the bourgeoisie, the white middle class and any one else who mindlessly waved the red, white and blue and rah rah over dead Vietnamese. The key here of course is to “win acceptance within the confines of that which was strangling so many of us all around the world, to win acceptance even today with the institutions that are still strangling folks all around the world. I don’t think that any of us reading this need a listing of the corporations that straight gays have cozied up to, to begin to understand what we are talking about.

Yes back in that December on the road to liberation a dreadful turn was made. The ugly place we had fled from, the place that looked at us and said burn fag burn became our grabbing new reality. The place we all swore up and down that we would never be a part, we began to delight in. And they said, “If only we had some rights then we could be free. Let’s march on up to the state capitol and get some of that good americkkka that the straight folks enjoy. If we just tuck and tweak and reform it a bit we will be okay. After all we are just like straights except for what we do in bed.” Those who wanted to be just like mommy and daddy were able to wrestle the movement away from those who rejected such a plastic boring selfish straight vision of what life was and what it could be. This horrible sameness this stench of war and bosses, this get what we can in this good old apple pie land. Yes boys and girls cozy up to evil and you become just that. Yes this gay elite, these white middle-class boys had their eyes set on the americkkkan prize carrying along all the movement with them for their own good and the good of those just like them. They have spent so much of their time straightening their genes that slowly but surely they became one with the enemy.

No it was not the way it was always. We once held a vision that through our liberation that others would be liberated also. We knew that we were here, there and everywhere so all issues were and are, our issues. We wanted to be free not like those who opposed us. We once knew our stories and rejected those who took those stories away from us. We took off our masks, our straight jackets and walked freely. We no longer were content reading between the lines and knew that an injury to one of us was an injury to all. So we started to be more and more like them, to want what they had, to dream like they dream and one by and one by more and more folks were pushed aside as the dreams of a certain few became they dreams that we were all suppose to fall in line for.

...oh beautiful for gay skies, for mommy, daddy and apple pie.

Marriage is full of shit.

This marriage business gets me. Don’t we realize that one should not have to get married in order to get rights or benefits. That every one of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or queer should have been fighting for a system that did not depend on who we sleep with. Fighting in the marriage battle gays adapted themselves to the system instead of thinking really thinking about all of our people. People who just don’t fit into the neat little package of Mommy and Daddy. Folks who are and should be just as deserving of health care and protections as those who are married. But the lure of wedding bells, of pleasing of being just like the straights was too strong. I firmly believe that the wrong people are leading this movement and leading the movement to its death. I like what the group Against Equality has to say, “Gay marriage increases economic inequality by perpetuating a system which deems married beings more worthy of the basics like health care and economic rights.” This is just not fair and not the way that most of our people live. Mommy and Daddyism creeping up and the more it creeps into this community the more and more community is killed. Everyone will be in their own little space of a place living a very selfish  life. See mommy I don’t have horns. See daddy I don’t do the nasty in the men’s room. Wait just wait till I get a baby all my troubles lord will be over. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are so proud of you.

not every boy dreams

Cannon Fodder for Uncle Scam.

Now I marched in many a demonstration against war and occupation and when this DADT thing came up as a burning issue within the LGBT movement I had to say, Man you have really gone off the deep end now. We are really losing it wanting to help boss that much. Boss that hates us to the core even if he has a smile to hide it. Yes boss we want to share in some of the privileges of this society and we think by being in the army now we can do it. So many of our boys are being thrown out of the service because straight boys think we want to get on our knees or drop the soap in the shower, fall in love with their dicks and sweet rose bud, and all in all fuck up the U.S. Army. Oh to have such power this rejected queer would have joined up long ago and fucked it all to death. It would have been my duty to end Uncle Scams running all over the world burning and bubbling the skin off of children, destroying the villages and the jungles of Southeast Asia. No my war was here, here in americkkka not thousands of miles away attacking folks who did nothing to me. No none of those folks made my life miserable, who beat me up and pushed me down. Why in the world would I want to be like them in the army now? Why would I want to fight and die for them?

One of these brave slaves for boss told me that he can’t get a job so he might as well join the army. The economy is bad so why not join the military? So I said to him, so you think that since you can’t find a job that you might as well go blow up some people half way around the world. Your little no Jobie thing is baby talk to the murder and mayhem that you will cause others. How many that say that could look a mother whose children had just been killed in a US Drone attack, “Sorry Mrs. I am sorry about your kids who have been killed but I couldn’t get a job back home so I came thousands of miles landed here with a job to kill your family and anyone else who gets in the way of my good old Uncle Scam. Why are you so ready to bury others because of the economic situation here in americkkka? Why don’t you look the real enemy in the face just once? Take a look and see.

There are some of us and we hope that our numbers grow that will not stand up and support the biding of the imperialist army of Uncle Scam. We can not do the bidding of these masters and we can not join the enemy. There is nothing civil about rights in the military, once in you go by their rules and what they dish out. We like very much a quote from Queers Against War which states, “Some say that we are not considering the fact that working class and poor lgbt people have a right to join the military in order to go to college. We say to that if we believe that then we uphold centuries of oppression against poor people in stating that only the wealthy are worthy of education without being asked to risk their very lives to do so.” Let’s think hard about that.

But beware gay folks the mad dog americkkka is for the time being wearing  a muzzle. Mad dog loves you and you love him. When push comes to shove you all will find out real fast that they know who you are and it will be curtains for you McGee. We all are really perverts and outsiders in their eyes. Laws come and laws go. In today out tomorrow. Changing a few laws here and there is really nothing. It just give you pause, it just makes you think that all is okay. It is just another tool of the ruling class and another way to silence you. This is never the road to liberation. We know full well that we can never build a new world while clinging to the symbols, ideas and ways of the ruling class and never by loving the master and doing his bidding.  We know that those who are lgbt that do will not hesitate to pull their guns out and shoot us queers who oppose dead. Hell they hate us anyway as we stand in the way of their being straight, in doing what straights do and do so well that is fucking up the world that we live in. Yes, hell yes, we stand in their way of being straight just like mommy and daddy. They are convinced that straight folks will like them better if they do what straights do. My lord what a sorrow how they have paled their genes, how they have grown out in the wrong direction. My lord what can we do but stand firmly in their way.

NOTES

(1 ) Egged On at a rally at Capitol, Legislator Announces He Is Gay, Mike Allen, The New York Times, METRO, Monday March 22, 1999.

(2 ) Equality Begins at Home is a national campaign to strengthen and unify the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community and promote equality at the state level. It is sponsored in part by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and coordinated locally by the Federation of Statewide Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Political Organizations. In Ct. The Ct. Coalition for LGBT Civil Rights coordinated events statewide.

(3 ) From QWB webb site—Ct. Stonewall Foundation Event: There is a special significance to this event that was never mentioned in the flyer that involves (yet again) a major response by the CT Stonewall Foundation against Metroslime ~ who in April 1999 allowed a mean spirited and derogatory letter to the editor appear (unedited) attacking Drag Queens/Trans folks and especially the much loved and respected Mucha Mucha Pleasure. I hope that some of those folks intimately involved will add their comments to this Queer CT History blog posting. Click here to view PDF scans of the original letter and subsequent responses appearing in the following two issues.

(4) Carl Wittman, A Gay Manifesto, pg. 3 Section III Roles,  Special Collections Univ. of Washington Libraries, Vietnam War Era Ephemera Coll.

(5 ) Ryan Conrad, Against Equality, In Maine and Everywhere, “The Wedding Cake Is Rotten, pg. 44-45.  Against Equality is a art and publishing collective that manages an on line archive and critical texts devoted to queer and trans critiques of the neoliberal mainstream gay and lesbian politics of inclusion. These archives can be accessed online at http://www.againstequality.org.

(6 ) QWB Queer Archives are HERE.

Some thoughts on those who began to move the movement astray.

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 HOMOCONS, Richard Goldstein,  “For most of its history, the American gay movement has been part of the democratic Left. Gay liberation’s founders were Communists, and its activist core is still overwhelmingly progressive. But in recent years, a more affluent group of gay men has begun to make its mark. Though they are a minority in the queer community (which includes people of all races, classes and genders), conservatives have become the loudest gay voices in the mainstream media. With their withering contempt for feminism and radical politics, these ‘gayocons’ are changing the movement’s public image. Unless their rise is met by a persuasive critique, they may also alter its heart and soul.

Homocons offers such a critique. It describes how the gay Right agenda differs from the one the queer community has long embraced. Never abandoning its analysis of the complex relationship between homosexuals and liberal society, the book examines the conflict between liberationists and assimilationists that has raged since the Stonewall era, and explores how political success tipped the balance and facilitated the rise of the gay Right. Finally this book offers an alternative to gay conservatism grounded in queer humanism, a distinct sensibility that has been a major force in progressive thought for more than a century.”

The Gay Conservatives: Pulling the Movement to the Right, Surina Khan, Public Eye

Kate and Deeg, “Gay Marriage Is Still the Opiate of the Queers.” LAGAI – Queer Inssurection. Lesbians and Gays Against Intervention, April 2004. Web. 17 July 2011 http://www.lagai.org/gaymarriage.htm

 Be sure to see: against equality-queer challenges to the politics of inclusion.

A very important article that is a must read by Jomo, a member of the Black Orchid Collective is Queer Liberation and Class Struggle.

JOMO says about this flag my friend, Sarah Hopkins, made this flag after we watched “Flag Wars,” a film about middle class, white gay men gentrifying a black neighborhood. The rainbow flag became a symbol of gentrification, so we realized we need to make our own flag which symbolizes working class, queer liberation.

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Comments
  1. While going through the archives of this blog we found this part of an essay that we think is important to add here.

    We queers everywhere take note, we are not part of what is called the Gay INC. (7)

    We have all heard of paling one’s genes but not much has been talked about the process of straightening ones genes. It’s a big problem now-a -days and a problem that won’t be solved as long as liberals and conservatives rule the roost. Let’s face it most of the “gay” organizations that rule today are run by upper-class, cis, white gay men and white lesbians. Many groups that we can lump in with what is called the gay inc have shown over and over again a deep disregard for the rights of trans people, gender queers, outlaws, poor people, working class queers, people of color. They have show by their being a deep disrespect for movements of social change in this country. They remain silent when they should speak out. These folks cry out to the established norm, just like Harry Hay told us, “we are the same as you, only what we do in bed is different.” They want so bad to be straight, to look straight, to act straight. We queers must learn to push harder and maybe just maybe we can push them out the door. They have betrayed all of queerdom. They are straightening their genes and in the process push us to the side lines and name us freak shows.

    The human rights campaign fund the biggest offender of queerness and queer liberation complies a list of corporations that they feel are wonderful for LGBT people to work for. The idea is that these companies treat their LGBT employees fairly. No one at the HRC seems to take into account what these corporations do beyond treating LGBT folks fairly. HRC and its fellow travelers love and embrace, (This is just a short listing, for a complete list see (8) in our note section., Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies, Nike INC, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Genentech Inc, Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Foods, Aetna, Chevron, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer. We love the big corporations and the Wall Street brokers and bankers sucking the working class and poor dry. The list reads like a who’s-who of killing, exploiting and polluting death machines that blow holes in everything meanwhile prancing around Americkkka as being good employer of gays and lesbians. It’s no wonder a leftist asked a few of us queers at an anti-war demo a few years back, what we were doing at the demo, “I thought you gays were only interested in marriage.”

    We have to say again and again, STOP your selfish behavior. Stop just thinking of yourselves. Think about the big picture. Because these corporations have a few good policies for gays and lesbians doesn’t make them good. All of this ” we got” by taking from others. All we see here are bloody hands, bloody arms in blood up past your elbows and up to your neck. A part of the army that oppresses a part of the system that spells doom for so many. So many Gay folks instead of being a beacon, a light in the dark, a moving force, have become a part of the Capitalist death machine. These people tell our young folks it gets better meanwhile blowing up queer kids around the world. Queers know that such folks are the privileged and it is the privilege that they serve. They do not have the working class interests in their hearts as they are not us at all. In fact as we have said before they are the enemy.

    To quote Audre Lorde, “the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.” This blog supports a radical queer movement that seeks to abolish Capitalism, overthrow the hierarchy in both the LGBT movement and in society, we fight for a future that is free of oppression not only for ourselves but for all folks around the world. When we are finished all masters and servants of masters will only be found in the history books.