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Trans/Queer Anarchist Group Bash Back Takes Credit for Vandalism of Gay Soldier Billboard in Memphis


The radical trans/queer anarchist group Bash Back, which was profiled in September's Details magazine, has taken credit for vandalizing the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center's "Coming Out Day" billboard, which featured a gay soldier.

Bb After mocking the rallies held by the gay and lesbian community in Memphis in response, 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)?"

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  1. Fist, it is an antigay act of vandalism (whoever it came from). Secondly, these douchetards are silly morons who should be universally ignored by the lgbt communities.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 2:53:08 PM

  2. It seems to me as if Bash Back are drunk on their own pretentious form of punk anarchy. They are also obviously not aware of the old saying that you should not s**t where you eat.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 17, 2009 2:54:57 PM

  3. You know...they would have won me over to their side far more quickly by releasing that press release (which actually made some good points) than by their seemingly random vandalism of the billboard (which made no sense whatsoever and failed to get the message to the broader community). Don't get me wrong: I don't object to vandalism in and of itself. Indeed, I think vandalism has its place in fighting against injustice. But this group has so far failed to initiate any action (that I have heard of) that would bring about a positive change.

    Posted by: idiots | Nov 17, 2009 2:58:30 PM

  4. Okay, I think they're getting some of their issues muddled, but I admire their passion and commitment to action. Whether or not a military action is right (as it so often isn't) and whether or not the govt/military preys upon POC is a different issue from being equally treated by these entities.

    Posted by: JauntyJohn | Nov 17, 2009 3:01:08 PM

  5. Fuck these douche bags! About the same empty headed media slags as "gay shame".

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Nov 17, 2009 3:01:31 PM

  6. Great, gay teabaggers.

    Which in this case is a double-double entendre.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Nov 17, 2009 3:03:57 PM

  7. I may not agree with their actions, but they have a point, and they made it in an un-violent way.

    Posted by: James | Nov 17, 2009 3:09:44 PM

  8. They were doing fine when they started but they have now turned into extremists douche bags anti-gay, anti-America, etc. Fuck them!

    Posted by: GIO | Nov 17, 2009 3:12:47 PM

  9. Why do we always form circular firing squads?

    Posted by: DavidLRed | Nov 17, 2009 3:13:14 PM

  10. fatties!

    Posted by: Gregsy | Nov 17, 2009 3:15:07 PM

  11. Good for them. What a mockery this billboard makes toward the struggle for equality. In essence: "I proudly served a country that says I am less of a citizen than another person. Now please accept me and give me some rights... btw, I'm a white male and straight enough for you."

    Posted by: billy | Nov 17, 2009 3:17:52 PM

  12. Bash Back = you BETTA preach!!!

    They made some great points. We need to critique the structures of warmaking. War is a horrific, tragic thing. Why do we so often resort to war instead of peacemaking and negotiation? Using the collectivity of nations to hold rogue, violent nations accountable? Further, I'm not sure the right to "serve [and be shot and killed in wars that are ill begotten in the first place]" is a "right" I want my lgbt brethren to share in. NO THANK YOU. Fuck that, for real.

    Yes there's a fairness issue here (i.e., why can't we serve openly when straights already can?). But there's a more fundamental issue here (i.e., why should a country start campaigns of aggression and the killing of humans in other--poorer, non-European--countries when nonviolent means of conflict resolution are left unxplored?)

    Posted by: redball81 | Nov 17, 2009 3:20:11 PM

  13. Stupid wise youth.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Nov 17, 2009 3:21:54 PM

  14. I'm glad to see the diversity in opinion here that was found in such acts of effete posturing as the DC equality march. What we really need to do is stop fighting for gay rights, and start focusing on global warming and environmental issues--as clearly, those are the biggest concerns facing the planet right now.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 3:26:47 PM

  15. Wow, now FOX has a whole new thang. What a bunch of idiots. So, from now on when someone commits vandalism against Gays, the haters can say, "how do we know it wasn't done to make us 'christians', etc., look bad?"

    I am no assimilationist by any means, however, this was just a bad PR move for their cause of PETA proportions.

    Just a bunch of whiny and spoiled, little bitches.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 17, 2009 3:27:01 PM

  16. i hate it when anarchists (if their data is correct) make a good point.

    i may resent the means, but it sure as HELL got the conversation rolling.

    Posted by: jack | Nov 17, 2009 3:27:20 PM

  17. This is what happens when a country is divided.
    Violence all over. Radical groups.

    Posted by: Raul | Nov 17, 2009 3:30:43 PM

  18. Even if they have a good point, these morons are pathetic.

    Posted by: Geoff | Nov 17, 2009 3:33:40 PM

  19. i like how the first commentator said, that Bash Back's direct action against war propaganda targeting at-risk queer communities of color should be "universally ignored by the lgbt communities." Wait, LGBT communities like.....the queer/trans youth in Bash Back itself? hmmm, great point there.

    Posted by: Alex | Nov 17, 2009 3:37:19 PM

  20. no, alex--these are outliers--those who abhor the normativity of labeling themselves as it promotes heterosexism and homophobia. QUEER POWER! But seriously, we need to stop with this senseless campaign for human rights (gay rights), when the environment is such a bigger problem that affects all life on the planet... HOw selfish of us!

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 3:43:10 PM

  21. Excuse me, I take exception to my own comment labeling human rights and enfranchisement "gay" rights. Gay is a heteronormative word that canotes upper middle class WHITE HRC same sex couples (PENISES!) who are the oppressors just as much as any homophobe. QUEER POWER!

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 3:47:01 PM

  22. No one is sending gays to be military fodder. Some gays want to serve their country in a military capacity. If Bash Back wants to have have a conversation about how money is spent they should attempt to have a conversation instead of alienating everyone around them. Even though tey raise some valid points, I found it difficult to believe they would be willing or able to engage in productive dialogue.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Nov 17, 2009 3:48:17 PM

  23. Can I paraphrase them here: "Their beliefs and values are not our own - damn them!"

    Firstly; the military is not a death-trap for the disposal of the poor and impoverished - shockingly enough some people from all walks of life do actually want to serve!

    Secondly; you cannot claim 'credit' for inciting an act without substantiation and THREE weeks afterwards - statistically it is likely an anti-gay act until evidence to the contrary is presented.

    Thirdly; if the brain trust at Bash Back has formulated an amazing media campaign that will prevent transphobic murders for a mere $3,500 price tag, they need to make it public now.

    Forth; yeah, the MGLCC COULD be a homeless shelter... but it's not. Same as the Black AIDS Media Partnership isn't a charity for black homeless kids, and the USHLI isn't a charity for homeless Hispanic youth.

    I would have more respect - by which I mean any - for Bash Back if for example they could tell us what they themselves are doing to house the homeless of Memphis, prevent trans murders and change military enrollment strategies?

    Posted by: PM | Nov 17, 2009 3:53:17 PM

  24. A drama queen by any other name is still a drama queen.

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 17, 2009 3:56:42 PM

  25. It's good to see that gay youth are alive and fighting.

    Posted by: Antny | Nov 17, 2009 3:59:25 PM

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