THAT THING WHERE I THROW CHICKEN BONES AND SCREAM ABOUT HOW MUCH I CANT STAND WHITE QUEENS …
I was just gonna write a post from scratch by itself, but Juliana’s reaction is a short version of what I’m feeling after last night’s shennanigans, so I’mma use her words to…
Go read this whole post. It is all kinds of important when talking about the spaces we create. SO IMPORTANT.
When I’m on the train, I read my favorite gay magazine. I can’t remember having ever seen someone who looks like me on the cover. When I read it I see more ads - for underwear, cologne, cruises, hotels, and clothes - with people who don’t look like me. None of the writers look like me, nor are there any stories about anyone who looks like me. When I finally see an advertisement with someone who shares my skin color, the advertisement is for HIV medication.
While I’m waiting for my friend in the gayborhood hotspot I notice that none of the bartenders, DJs, or waiters look like me, nor do most of the clientele. Out of boredom, I fiddle around with the Grindr mobile dating app on my iPhone. My screen is filled with different faces, bodies, and torsos of men in the area. One particularly handsome man attracts my attention, until I read the “NO ASIANS” typed in angry capped letters on his profile. I wonder how I would feel if I were Asian.
After having a few drinks with my friend, I walk home through the garment district in midtown Manhattan. I see a gay male couple walking hand in hand down the street. They also do not look like me. In fact, they look like they could be in one of the gay cruise ads I see in my favorite magazine. Their relaxed and happy faces turn frightened when they see me, and they immediately cease holding hands and separate. On this late night in an unfamiliar area of the city, I am not seen as a member of the LGBT community. I am black. I am male. I am a threat.
What’s shocking is when I read on Grindr or something else “Aryan for same”.
It’s like, “W… what?”
One time I actually read “übermensch” in a Grindr profile.
Let’s not pretend this is a new thing. The whiteness of our “visible” community has been around for awhile and is especially prevalent in the movement, i.e. marriage equality. And the portion of the white gay male community that cringes and gets uncomfortable when passing people of color (because they just assume they hate on queers)… can’t. stand. it.
At least not in most people’s definitions.
Not because I believe in captialism or assimillation. But because I don’t have the privilege to be able to reject these systems and still survive.
Most of the ‘radical’ queers I know don’t work (or work for very little/radical orgs). Most of them I know have college educations that were paid for by their parents. Most of them I know police who is and who isn’t radical with no regard to privilege and power.
All very not radical ideas, if you ask me.
So I am very uncomfortable defining myself in that way. Maybe it is just my experience that lends myself to not IDing this way.
Has anyone felt similarly? Or want to say what being a radical queer means to them?
I identify as a radical queer exactly because of the ridiculousness I’ve felt from some radical queer communities. I want to counteract the unchecked privilege and power and challenge the idea that you have to leave the system to be a true radical queer. I’ve been privileged to have jobs I love, though most are not especially “radical” in nature (all non-profits, but none with strong critiques of capitalism for sure considering some have worked with the likes of Goldman Sachs).
I’m so over radical communities that are not committed to building true alternatives to the systems that oppress us but instead just protest and tell people to leave the system.
I’m committed to building safe space for queer and trans* people in the food justice movement, especially around sustainable agriculture which is why I get the fun job of working with farmers in the city greenmarkets as my authentic queer self and challenging them whenever they say or do oppressive shit (of any kind: even if you love my lil gay self, if you say some racist shit I’m gonna call you out).
I have a college education paid in small part by my parents which afforded me the ability to hold the paid work I enjoy, but I do still have a mountain of school debt so I ain’t working for free.
Being a radical queer means practicing radical inclusion. That means you don’t shut out someone or something because it doesn’t live up to your expectations. Work with what you got or you aren’t going anywhere.
Oh, and radical queer communities have GOT to stop with the crazy white privilege and racism. It drives me nuts and makes those spaces completely unsafe for a large percentage of people I love in my life (and makes NYC seem like the only place in the US where you can find radical queer POC spaces).
Probably the most important piece of news I have read recently. The work the Trans Youth Support Network has been doing in Minneapolis has always given me hope and I’ve been so happy to have the founder and also the current executive director in my life when I lived there. Their work to create true and deep solidarity with all people is inspiring. Read about Katie’s speech at the National Coming Out Day Luncheon (which was sponsored by Cargill) in which she calls out HRC for its extremely short-sighted Corporate Equality Index and Cargill for the deaths they caused in Iraq thru tainted seeds.
i love that rupaul’s drag race is THE show that makes my queer tumblr friends discuss and dissect identity and oppression from so many intersecting places.
this. read this.
This is great. And I’m glad he addressed race towards the end a bit, because I read most of this wanting to insert “white” in front of “cis gay male culture”.
From my experience as a white queer man in NYC who inhabits spaces in the queer world that are not what I would typically call “white cis gay male” spaces but more “queer largely POC spaces that tend to be on the masculine side”, I would say, at least in my world, the MAAB trans people of my life are still very much a part of a queer men of color space. Let’s not pretend I know what I’m talking about fully and that my ideas are well formed and feel free to complicate this or help me along tumblr friends.
All this to say, interesting read but I wish it talked about how race plays into this because it does on huge levels.
Is this the only actual music video Le Tigre ever made? It’s for their 2004 single “TKO.”
No no no. Le Tigre made PLENTY of music videos. And just watched their Documentary, Who Took the Bomp? today on Netflix!
After Dark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMPqJlXdvCA&ob=av2e
Keep on Livin’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_v1vU7DgOs
And this (which isn’t a Le Tigre video but it’s Jem vs. Le Tigre): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEqmC1q9Sow
i’ve noticed that polyamory and other relationships that do not fall within monogamy as a topic of conversation is extremely difficult in progressive communities outside of radical queer spaces.
therefore, i really encourage people to read this. i myself am in a monogamous relationship and because of this i think it’s important for me to educate myself and others on how other people choose to define their relationships. it is not our place to decide the validity of a relationship. especially to those who purport to support same-sex marriage.