Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adrian Brooks: Who are the (Stalinist) LGBTQI Thought Police?!

This evening, I read something totally crazy. A bisexual female friend, who is in a loving relationship with a trans man, is apprehensive about attending Pride celebrations because gay men hog the atmosphere, and because many people- (I assume of various gender preferences)- cast slurs or aim criticism at others whom they perceive as not being 'gay enough,' according to their assumptions. Okay. That is beyond nuts. That's flat out weird. And I'm unafraid to say it since I was out before Stonewall, and was an activist before the LGBT Movement (or Gay Liberation) was even heard of.

Let's get this straight, if you'll pardon the pun: everyone should be accorded equal rights, equal respect; and attendees who call themselves sexually, spiritually or personally advanced who doesn't grasp this simple fact should go back to Square One and start again. I'm serious. This is like some African-American people thinking they they're "better" because their skin is more pale than some other African-American. Does anyone seriously believe that bisexuals or transgender folk or people who are sexually comfortable or fluid aren't standing with us if they attend Pride?! For anyone who does, I have news for you as a Civil Rights and anti-war activist in the mid-60s, who risked my life for both causes. And that's no exaggeration.

When I went to Woodstock, (which was in 1969, for any pc types who don't know), I saw lots of people- mainly men- who would have beaten the shit out of my friends and me a year earlier for protesting the Vietnam war. But- hey!- now that it was "hip" to supporting peace, there they were- sporting weird mutton-chop sideburns and swaggering around exuding macho righteousness. It was vulgar, just as coarse as anyone who claims to be aware trying to make others uncomfortable because they appear to be different.

THE WHOLE POINT is to be different; to be yourSELF; to be unique, Whole, not stereotyped, not castrated or controlled by the system, not desexed, dumbed down, or blunted by conformist pressure. Failing to celebrate others only means that you still define yourself by some applied value system. If so, it's based more on Ideas than heart, on theories than the reality of humanness in all its subtly, and that you're still unresolved about your own core Truth. So! stop being robotic. Look at others in terms of what you share. See the courage and humor and freedom expressed and celebrated instead of reincarnating some Puritanical anal retentive need to criticize or dismiss people who aren't the same as you.

I say all this as one who was out on the front lines, who understood- then and now (as millions of my generation said they did in the 60s before so many bailed after the Kent State killings), that what we were fighting for, marching for, committing to wasn't group-think or mind control but has, finally, become the ability to be distinctly individual and, yes, marry if we so choose, have children, if we so choose, and agitate for human rights and equal access to legal rights for all- regardless of superficial differences- until everyone is secure and free from the specter of being punished for authenticity.

Wake up and smell the coffee. If you endorse the LGBTQI Cause, it is not to be chipped away at, trivialized, or rendered soulless. If you can't manage that, you're in the wrong place, regardless of what gets you physically excited. Sex is the trivial part. But as the dynamic (bisexual) anarchist Emma Goldman is reputed to have said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."