"I deny that there is such a thing as a gay person. I deny there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. These are not categories. The word heterosexual is an adjective; the word homosexual is an adjective. They describe an activity. Of course there is a homosexual activity; of course there is a heterosexual activity. But there is no homosexual person. There is no heterosexual person. Everybody is everything. Now that is - only a country that is based upon an extremely primitive religion, which is Christianity, I am a devoted enemy of monotheism in all of its forms, could have come with a categorizing of people as one thing or the other. “- Gore Vidal
That figures if there is not a breath of Gore Vidal and his fresh air on the International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and amid the hue and cry over the pop story of same sex marriage.
Few weeks ago, the US Supreme Court concluded two days of intense debate on gay marriage after suggesting it could strike down the law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of federal benefits that go to married people. Although the sea of the one version of "equal" signs on Facebook over the past months might lead the casual clicker to believe that all progressives and radicals are united in support of the ongoing mainstream banal approach.
Though seems it is not the case. No, beyond of all doubts here is not someone who is disconnected with stonework. It is not only an intellectual gesture of someone who does not know in what a barbaric homophobic context we are striving to survive and try to make a little progress, even one iota, which could have an overwhelming impact on the lives of thousands of people in the US and around the world. Nevertheless the narrative and reaction on gay-marriage debate in the mainstream media amid all the other inequalities in the patriarchal homophobic current economic system is something that we cannot simply neglect.
The red lacks the redness
A square box with thick red horizontal lines (the mathematical equal symbol) was offered for sharing in the last weeks by the Human Rights Campaign as the US Supreme Court took up arguments in key marriage rights cases. The image, replacing profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and elsewhere. It is being said that the HRC made it available in red - for the color of "love".
Though at first glance, it reminds me of two caskets goes together and pretty match with the running debate of outdated institution of marriage and all the hue and cry over it with the taste of Obama drone policy ,the Nobel peace price in hands, with the taste of the saga of Bradley Manning behind bars and the hypocrisy of the President of austerity and his cracker jack speech writing team during his recent speech in Jerusalem when he said all that wonderful stuff but made very clear, quite explicit, that if Israel simply said no, there would be no consequences.
The “red” anti reds is much more about the gay icons of Corporate media and its Anderson Coopers and that ilk. Some of you might be say they are irrelevant issues, if so, I want to detect what does relevant mean? We are faced with the ironic name of “red sign” though the redness in this context does not make any sense to me, neither the "love" that HRC mentioned to earlier but the emptiness of an unmitigated bewilderment in the so-called gay bar. The mainstream so-called red has a lot to do with the darkness of the crowd in the so-called gay bars of the mega cites of the world or the occasions like the Christopher street day and the people as a subject for marketing and looking over in march of ostentation as always like the most of “gay” places in the world, a bottomless abyss in the hullaballo of the streets covered with the smitten rainbow, however, more stupid, more market and the lack of “gayness”. That figures. Sure, no one wants to be discriminated against, but what is this equality HRC is buying us?! What kind of red we are talking about? Let alone the notion of “Love”.
Thus in the lack of the notion of redness, that “love” of the above sign is gone for the real minority of the world with whatever sexual orientation which is the meaning of queerness and is way beyond the banal familiar ongoing talks in the mainstream LGBT atmosphere. Under the conditions, the current situation of no housing no healthcare no job no citizenship and the pop story of even some of the red warriors in the Armani suit is pretty annoying. After one read HRC and the Illusion of a grassroots movement, the story of Bradley Manning in the SF gay pride and the corporatization of LGBT political discussion, one could complete the puzzle by simply trying out each piece in each location. What has equality and the true notion of queerness to do with HRC which celebrated the financing of violence abroad to prevent homophobic and transphobic violence at home.
As a matter of fact, what matters to those who aspire to control our lives is not the mainstream vision to skin pigment or gender or our sexual orientation, but the class we serve.
The ultimate goal: Tiffany wedding bands, and kissing in front of a priest?
It goes without saying that in a primitive Christian society which has been based on violent capital accumulation, legal recognition of same sex marriage as a civil right could be a progress however slowly though not as a strategy to achieve structural change . Needless to say that recognition of same-sex marriage is a political, social, human rights and civil rights issue, though it puzzles me witnessing even some of the folks who believe another world is possible, who comprehend the underlying causes of discrimination and the roots of human rights, simply would rather to go with the mainstream and inanely have become Pro-marriage at its end in any context and justification.
The massive rally in Paris against same-sex marriage just some weeks ago, depict the present time homophobic atmosphere of the so-called first world we are living in, let alone the second, third and all other worlds. Thus we should not to be surprised if Obama's Holland agenda and so on and so forth have become an "alternative" for a number of mainstream activists, "Progressive Liberal" around the world. It seems like there is no surprise if that ilk play the role of hero at this wilderness. A port in a storm? That figures. Speak for itself; marriage is pretty "conservative" after all. Whether the ultimate irony of gay liberation becomes tiffany wedding bands, and kissing in front of a priest.
Slacktivism and the stereotypical sign
On top of that another phenomenon which is Slacktivism, play a big role in this pop culture as always. Slacktivist activities include signing Internet petitions, joining a community organization without contributing to the organization's efforts, copying and pasting of social network statuses or messages or altering one's personal data or avatar on social networks.
As an independent Iranian journalist who always tries to avoid accompany of the mainstream, the ambiance and replacing the profile pictures is pretty familiar to me. The banal approach of LGBT mainstream Iranian activists due to the ad hoc situation of this country is another untold story.
In short, meanwhile I strongly support any attempt under whatever pretext to publicizing of the idea love goes beyond gender, passionate resistance against heteronormativity, I would like to emphasis once again that the running debate of same sex marriage and the rather narrow, heteronormed, and decidedly bourgeois version of LGBT identity represented by HRC-is absolutely acceptable to, promoted by Democratic-Republican Party elites and their cohorts.
Fighting for the abolition of marriage
Fighting for the abolition of marriage and universal access to the services that marriage can sometimes help procure: housing, healthcare, citizenship, tax breaks, and inheritance rights is something which has been forgotten amid the ongoing dust-up. As we read in gay shame opposes marriage in any form "The current push towards gay marriage is, in fact, not going to subvert the systems of domination we all live through. Ironically, the gay marriage movement is standing on these same legacies of brutality for their slice of the wedding cake. Take for example the “Freedom to Marry” stickers created by the freedom to marry organization. Not only are these stickers falsely equating the intervention of the State into one’s life (marriage) with “freedom” (when was the last time the State helped you to become more “free”?) they are also trying to work this idea through horrifying star-spangled stickers. Instead of critiquing the ways US imperialism has rendered most transgender people, queer people, people of color etc. as expendable through its countless wars here and abroad, the Freedom To Marry stickers simply disguise these atrocities and reproduce this red-white-and-blue national theme for every married gay and guilt filled liberal to wear with PRIDE."
So if there is a need to change our profile pictures anytime, I will definitely go with that familiar always red fist historic image which have covered by the captivating of rainbow colors, however still we are faced with another kind of stereotype, though at least not a regressive notion and we are all aware that while all stereotypes are generalizations, not all generalizations are stereotypes. We really cannot stereotype people or put them in boxes, even for the pop-culture of same sex marriage debate. It is unfair.
The concrete issue of homeless LGBT
Amid all the talk of Facebook equality signs and gay marriage, I would rather to conclude these rashly words with the well-timed reminder of Chris Thomas, posted on his Facebook page some weeks ago about a simple, concrete way to directly help homeless LGBT youth and buying them something from their online wish-list. The homeless LGBT youth from New Alternatives, a drop-in center on Christopher Street for the most at-risk youth in New York City who have fallen through the cracks.
He has mentioned correctly that the list is very moving if one starts to think about being a gay or trans teenager living on the street who needs this stuff - for example, not having underwear or a toothbrush, or a blanket to keep warm.
The international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is an annual event celebrated every May 17 though it is not but another call for rethinking the notion of gayness or better to say queerness which means far more than just sexual attraction to so many people in this world.
To see that some of my "comrades" who possess such great insight in understanding what really goes on deep in society being so entangled in their inmost emotions in daily life to lose their critical thinking ability and simply joining this mainstream paradigm makes me ponder on the notion of belonging to an even smaller minority. However this does not seems like a brain-teaser to anyone with a basic understanding of the complexity of human relationship and sexual desires as the most intimate aspect of human’s life, and despite all the contentions, we seem to be still standing in primeval times facing this concept.
There are still a number of questions here: what is sex? What is it about people getting more affection in a handshake or caress rather than when engaged in a porn-vision of sex? A simple powerful touch. The ongoing mainstream porn-vision to the most intimate aspect of human’s life is the gist of the matter. The post-orgasm issue also is another wordy story. These questions are barely to be answered in the LGBT community, even among the progressive forces let alone among the people hanging out in bars or parading in streets at occasions such as Christopher street day or on Cyber-atmospheres like Gayromeo. Our burning anger, our incurable wounds break open further with tears when along with Adrienne Rich we acknowledge that “They still control the world, and the one is not in our arms.”
Rebuilding heterosexual stereotypes in the so-called homosexual context
Hence in the age of economic, we are talking about the very meaning lost among this ongoing hue and cry. However we seem to be talking about a simple and universal concept as old as mankind itself, it seems that the permittivity of human being in regard with a number of key issues like sex is still the gist of the matter. So it is not a big surprise if rebuilding heterosexual stereotypes and relations in the so-called homosexual context is the objective that the majority of LGBT people are drawn to fallow. For instance it seems that the ability to self-present as a mainstream fashionable woman has become the objective and dream of many progressive transsexuals, as so many others with seemingly different concerns.
The gay of the matter, anti-capitalism
It is needless to say that homophobia is perpetuated by the economic system of capitalism and LGBTQ liberation disconnected from anti-capitalism movement, is nothing but a vacuous blather. This is it. In other words, the gay of the matter is about the solitude of sages in the system which has been based on violent capital accumulation. Albeit I strongly believe that people should not be forced to categorize themselves as “gay,” “straight,” or “bi.” People are just people even in this ignorant homophobic world, if there is such a thing as a gay way of life, it is nothing but daily struggle of the real minority, those well aware folks around the world who are in the front lines of the struggle against capitalism.
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|Allen L. Jasson|