The radical queer/trans group Bash Back! that I wrote about a couple of months ago have taken responsibility for vandalizing a billboard in Memphis supporting a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In response, there were multiple rallies held by Memphis’ gay and lesbian community to help maintain a sense of safety, of course acting on the assumption that the vandalism was an anti-gay act. A Bash Back blogger writes:
I’m here to dispute the claim that this action was an anti-gay act. First, sending gays to be military fodder is NOT pro-gay or conclusive whatsoever to gay liberation. State militarism only reinforces the dominant structures, and the racism/heterosexism they perpetuate, as well as reducing the number of gay people in the world (both those in Amerikkka and the countries Amerikkka is colonizing/conquering). Second, we accuse the MGLCC of being flat out racist/anti-queer/anti-trans; and we furiously question how that the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center can squander $3500 on military billboards, when Memphis has the highest trans-murder rate (11 trans women of color, 1 white transwoman and 1 transman of color), as well as one of the highest queer youth homeless rates in the nation, and how they can justify putting a pro-military billboard in the overwhelmingly POC neighborhood of Morris Park, when the poor Black community in Morris Park is disporportionately preyed upon by the military (through the court system’s ‘prison or military service’ rule for minor felonies as well as recruiters’ false promises of otherwise impossible economic/education opportunities)?
While there is some part of me that agrees that gay people shouldn’t go fight in wars to support a country that not only doesn’t support them but that actively discriminates against them, unfortunately, that’s not reality. For many people the military is their only way out of a desperate situation, and while in a perfect world no one would have to make that decision, this isn’t a perfect world. So that’s pretty much the only reason I support the repeal of DADT, to be honest with you. At least until the United States decides to practice what it preaches and makes every person equal (although really, does anyone still bother to espouse that nonsense, because no one really believes it do they?)? I say let the straight people go die if that’s what they wanna do.
I also don’t support Bash Back defacing overtly gay billboards in an attempt to bring shame to what they see as the community center’s racism and trans-phobia. There is already so much hostility directed towards queer people (especially in Tennessee), why contribute to that climate of fear and act as a breeze on the already smoldering embers of hatred, discrimination and violence? I agree that as a whole the gay world is still pretty racist and trans-phobic, and while I can still theoretically get behind protesting churches, this I cannot get behind. The comments on the above-linked blog are pretty funny.
In other radical gay news, after the Catholic Church’s appallingly stomach-churning threat against the Washington, D.C. area if gay marriage is recognized there, someone has started a web site to out gay priests who continue to support the church’s campaign of terrorism against gay people. And while I am also never in favor of outing queer people, I am in favor of outing hypocrites. Especially in the service of saving kid’s lives, both physical and spiritual.
I had a very emotional session with a 14-year-old client this morning who I go see at their school because their parents won’t bring them to counseling. Sweetest kid ever, and clearly in a lot of pain. So I’m a little fired up today.