a plague on all your houses, hopefully my last thoughts ever on inclusion politics
May 3, 2016
After getting that question yesterday about ‘gay biphobia’ and ‘bi homophobia’, I feel somewhat compelled to clarify my position on this and many other ongoing debates. I’ve written some posts talking about this sort of thing recently (about ‘gay’ about ‘queer’ etc). My position is: I hate all of you (with the sole exception of people oppressed by racialized transmisogyny [port] and sometimes individual qtpoc).
I hate all of you and none of you are even close to being in whatever community I might see myself part of. These days, I don’t really see myself as part of any community bc I’m too fucking jaded and bitter about that term and how most people use and instantiate it. However, if I were to define a community I belonged to, it would be the community that contains none of you.
It doesn’t fail to escape me that most of the times I’ve seen this sour discourse about gays articulating a distinct kind of oppression against bisexuals or asexuals or whoever. About binary trans ppl ~oppressing~ nonbinary trans people. All of this garbage has mostly fallen out of the mouths of white people. Most but not all (which is why I’m not defining my alleged community as qtpoc).
All I can ever think these days when I see these discussion is:
a plague on both your houses
I’ve said a variation of this many times through the past few years and absolutely nothing I’ve seen has budged my feelings on this even a little.
A comment I got about my post about shared oppression being the basis for certain labels (like queer, gay, or transgender) was that it was a different way to express a position or notion that I don’t actually like. As in ‘what is gay without homophobia?’. Which… meh. I don’t like questions like this. But I do see where she is coming from.
However. There is a distinction to be made here. These days especially when I use the word ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ or ‘transgender’ I’m using them as political designations not personal identities. For me, ‘gay’ as a political umbrella term has little meaning or use if it isn’t related to some notion of shared oppression. This isn’t to imply anything about either the personal or communal use of the word as an identity.
In other words, if we manage to dismantle homophobia both gay people and the gay community (such as it is) will continue to exist. I just don’t think there’ll be much need for it to have any political utility. Being gay as an individual or community is about more than oppression. But being gay as in revolutionary is about politics.
A lot of this is informed on my personal stances on these questions. I recently said I’ll be using gay a lot more often. And I will. But on an ontological level I am not gay. Gay isn’t who I am. That isn’t actually my identity. Neither is trans/gender. Twoc. None of these things are about me as a person. When I’ve used these labels in reference to myself, I am always referring to their function as political labels.
What I am is bakla. My gender is bakla and my sexuality is bakla. Anglo words that I use to talk about myself are imperfect translations, not representations. This has been true for a very long time for me. And I’m sorry if I haven’t been sufficiently clear on this account.
This is the other reason I don’t really care about LGBT inclusion politics. All these english words and identities and labels are meaningless to me. I don’t care.
a plague on both your houses
The primary reason I don’t care because I’ve never seen anyone on any side of these ongoing debates who isn’t a port remember that the space/community/whatever the fuck they are fighting over is built on the backs of port.
Beyond the fact that pretty much no one actually bothers to make a principled distinction between Gay Inc and distinct communities tells me all I need to know. A lot of you have bought into Gay Inc’s mythology that they are The Movement and The Community, and so you’re all fighting over the scraps handed out by straights thinking that this is all there is.
But Gay Inc – that entity most people mistake for the gay/trans community – is built on the backs of people oppressed by racialized transmisogyny. And basically none of the white aces I’ve seen saying this or that has ever taken a moment to think, “hey, why am I fighting so hard to stand on the backs of port with white cis gay men?”.
When some of these groups wonder, “why are ~lgbt~ spaces so hostile and violent for bisexuals?” almost none come up with the right answer. Which is: these spaces were never meant to include them. They were designed to exclude them and anyone else who isn’t a cis white gay man. When I see things like that post yesterday saying that gay people have purposefully excluded bisexuals and harmed them…
I’m like. Well. How are you surprised by this? Why don’t you seem to realize that this isn’t an experience unique to bisexuals?
Gay Inc began when they pushed people oppressed by transmisogyny out of the gay revolution we started. Or, its when they gay revolution ended and was replaced by homonationalism. Which is the same thing, btw. From that critical moment when gay liberation turned into homonationalism, the spaces and resources controlled by Gay Inc were designed to benefit them only.
More to the point: Gay Inc specifically framed itself as The Movement and The Community so that it could maintain hegemonic control over the scraps they got from straights. They needed this control so that the ~movement~ wouldn’t go back to a focus on liberation and instead keep on being homonationalist.
Fuck. All of this is why ‘queer’ picked up so much traction as a way to mark a distinct political break with the ~lgbt~ community.
All I hear when these ppl are getting into their inclusion politics is that they want equal opportunity to exploit my labour and oppress me. That’s it. That’s what inclusion politics boils down to. So forgive me if I get irritated by this constant chatter about how more ppl want to oppress me.
A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES