We have been reading more and more about pats on the back, giving a big cheer for some of our people, celebrating folks, honoring folks lately, that we are wondering just who is doing the honoring and who is getting honored? Who is being accepted into straight society and who is not? Are they rich, are they white, are they beautiful? Do they smell good, fresh as a daisy? Do they sing a good straight song? Can they pass? How well can they ape hetro society? From their wealth how much have they given out? To who? For what? How privileged are these folks? How much are they willing to accept straight societies call, “Someday it won’t matter if a person is LGBT,”or try on this for size: “The goal is to reach a point where we stop talking about equality, rights and discrimination like this because we don’t have to.” Good luck as we move backwards.
These points we believe come from a straight perspective, a perspective of excusing oneself, a perspective of not knowing anything about ones culture, its story and the making of a people. We know as well as the next gal that we can never stop talking about equality, rights and discrimination. As soon as we do the shit is going to hit the fan. As long as we allow this system to continue to operate then there will always be some of us on the bottom. Many of us who seek our rights will still have to speak out against discrimination and a host of other injustices that this system heaves on us and other folks. Let us be clear here, if we give a damn about others who are oppressed then we will have to speak up and fight with them, in a united front, on any road they chose to go. If we do not then we have failed, we have failed the very soul of our movement and we have slapped the faces of our elders and all of those who have gone before us.
Equality. We say fuck equality, we want liberation. Why would we want to be equal to this filthy rotten system or any of the folks that uphold it? Gays and lesbians are the most likely to be targeted by the very system that they fall over themselves to affirm and strengthen. So much of the gay and lesbian movement seems to echo the rhetoric of the mainstream establishment. Our brothers and sisters who are LGBT especially a person of color, young or Trans are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. A history of bias, abuse and profiling toward LGBT people by law enforcement has contributed to disproportionate contacts with the justice system. Our people who are poor are likely to end up behind bars, where they are treated unfairly, abused by other prisoners and guards and in many cases kept in solidarity confinement.
Stigma in society, and especially in the workplace for the working poor puts many of us at an increased risk of unemployment, homelessness and involvement in survival economies like drugs and prostitution. This is why many of us work to ban the box on employment applications. This still is a struggle to get employers to give people another chance. We know that those of privilege will never understand this, hell they can’t and don’t even understand what many of us in the working class face from bosses and folks just like them. One day Emma had a discussion with a couple of comfortable class folks, “What do you mean if you don’t work you don’t get paid?” What, come on now everyone has paid holidays, paid days off, their birthday with pay.” No honey we don’t get all those little goodies that you get. Paid vacations, forget it the company I work for just got rid of them. No we don’t get paid vacations. Talk about a gulf, between us all. That is just one small part of it all. Just one small part of our lives. (more…)