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)?"


  1. TANK says

    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.

  2. Jack M says

    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.

  3. idiots says

    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.

  4. JauntyJohn says

    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.

  5. billy says

    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.”

  6. redball81 says

    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?)

  7. TANK says

    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.

  8. says

    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.

  9. says

    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.

  10. TANK says

    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!

  11. TANK says

    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!

  12. rayrayj says

    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.

  13. PM says

    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?

  14. DR says

    Let’s see….

    Deface pro-gay billboards? Check. Vandalize LGBT centers? Check. Hide behind masks to avoid apprehension and not take responsibility for their actions? Check.

    Cowards of the worst degree. They’re a blight on our fight. Instead of doing something productive, they cost our own community money and time and stress. Really nice.

    Who needs enemies when we have freaks like this!

  15. Gianpiero says

    Funny that they want to proclaim what they believe to be important in their lives, but they reject the notion of an lgbt servicemeber having the same opportunity.

  16. brennigans says

    “How dare you waste your resources putting up billboards when you could be fighting homelessness and hate crime! You should be more like us, and…deface billboards instead of fighting homelessness and hate crime!”
    It’s a lot easier to bitch about someone else not doing enough than fixing a problem yourself. Is Bash Back raising money for any soup kitchens or homeless shelters? What are they doing to help people aside from destroying property and inciting conflict? Or is their MO complaining until someone else changes their community for them?

  17. Mark says

    Bash Back is just a bunch of angry, confused transtards ranting about “herstory” and “the systematic oppression of wimmin and queers of color” as though they’ve got new information that none of us know about already. Parodies of themselves.

    Clearly their youth, inexperience and anger prevents them from seeing how naive and ridiculous they are.

    Total transtards.

  18. qjersey says

    I just love how some feminists, trans men, and queers get all up in arms about the patriarchy, when in fact, all they want to do is replace it with their worldview…which is exactly their issue with patriarchy…being told what to do and think.

  19. Mark says

    Fuck them and fuck transpeople. They have no place in the Lesbian and Gay rights movement.

    Wanting to be the opposite sex IS NOT THE SAME THING as loving a member of the same sex.

    T R A N S T A R D S .

  20. patrick nyc says

    I’d like to know how tearing down a billboard, throwing condoms in a church or writing slogans in the street with pink chalk is going to change a thing? How is doing an article in that rag Details cutting edge or advancing their cause?

    These posers are just a bunch of angry, confused and hurt kids, who would rather delay growing up and attempting to become a part of a society, who they feel does not want them.

    Whatever valid points they may have, anti-war, sexism or others, is lost on them being douche bags to those they disagree with. If they think by using false names is going to give them cover, how is it the cops were able to call their landlords and parents?

  21. Bosie says

    Its about time a LGBT group stands up…instead of the white gay males…that seem to be more worry about connections, money and their looks.

    ***REMEMBER stonewall happened because the drag queens had the balls to fight back first.

  22. patrick nyc says

    Its about time a LGBT group stands up…instead of the white gay males…that seem to be more worry about connections, money and their looks.

    ***REMEMBER stonewall happened because the drag queens had the balls to fight back first.

    BOSIE what is Bash Back ‘standing up’ to? Yelling fire in a movie theater will get you noticed, but like the pranks they use, Bash Back too is breaking the law. I for one will lose no sleep over these posers.

    By the way, I’ve spent 27 years fighting for gay rights for all our community, not just white gay males like me. I did know a few white gay men who were at Stonewall, some even wore drag.

    Not knowing your color, race or sex, just wondering what have you or these idiots done for the LGBT?

  23. DR says

    I am proud to say that these so-called genderqueers in no way, shape, or form represent me. If this is what it means to be politically correct and queer, I am more than happy to just be a guy who happens to be gay.

  24. Kitty Boots says

    Stay strong BashBack! You are our only hope for a world free of Fashion Fags whining about Lady gaga and Adam Lambert!
    Being hated on TollwRoad is the best thing that could happen to you!

  25. says

    Regardless of one’s opinion on the efficacy of their vandalism, the level of transphobia presented in these comments is mortifying. Maybe it’s generational, but this sort of talk will not be tolerated by younger queer folk. The disturbing irony of these comments, is that they are on the same site that sees lots of discussion of our disappointment when black people “SUPPOSEDLY” aren’t supportive of our right to marry. We should probably practice what we preach if we don’t want to appear hypocritical or like assholes.

    Also, why are we so upset by a little internal critique. Last I heard, self-reflection and debate amongst movements isn’t a bad thing. Rather, it clarifies an agenda and an ethos. No, their vandalism isn’t the same thing as starting a charity to help stop anti-transviolence or shelter homeless queer youth, but it is a very public form of activism that increases our awareness of often ignored problems that exist on a national and a local level. And yes, the LGBT movement does tend to prioritize certain issues (marriage) and not others (protections for homeless queer youth), so little reminders are probably a good thing.

  26. Mark says

    “Stay strong BashBack! You are our only hope for a world free of Fashion Fags whining about Lady gaga and Adam Lambert!” — KITTYBOOTS

    Hey Kittyboots, how incredibly bigoted and convenient to assume all Gay men are “Fashion Fags whining about Lady gaga and Adam Lambert!”

    Fuck you.

  27. John in Boston says

    Fucking dumb cunts. Put them in general population in a prison or with a squad in Afghanistan, we’ll see how tough they are then.

    Why do many alleged hate crimes turn out not to be what they appear?

  28. Jon says

    They want to take on patriarchy, so they go after… the Memphis Gay/Lesbian Community Center? Why target real oppression when you can go after some other powerless organization? These kids aren’t interested in actually challenging militarism — they just want to try to bully every other queer person into agreeing with them. (And you can be totally opposed to militarism and still believe that openly queer people should be able to serve in the military.)

  29. DR says

    Alex, what this whole thing raises is the fact that we are not so much a community as a bunch of loosely-defined special interest groups who think we can be one big happy family on the basis of “not being heterosexual”.

    That ain’t enough to bind us together as a community. Really, it isn’t. Our initials keep getting bigger and our goals and identity continues to be diluted. LBG made sense, it was a sexual orientation thing.

    Then we added the “t”s and the “i”s, who, quite frankly, have very little in common with men who love men and women who love women. I’m a man, I love men, and love being a man. What do I have in common with a man who feels trapped in a woman’s body? Absolutely nothing. Even the legal and psychological issues involved are different (consider that NO major LGB rights case has ever made mention of the transfolk. Think about it for a moment. NEVER.)

    Now we have a movement to add these little genderqueers who want to do away with the whole notion of gender. While PC and trendily post-modern, it’s meaningless. Don’t even get me started on the asexuals.

    What they accomplish is to show America-at-large the absolute worst we have to offer a as so-called community. A bunch of whining juvenile delinquents deface the billboard of a man who only wanted to serve his country and was discharged for being gay and this should make me stop and think? The only thing it makes me think about is how much longer we’re going to tolerate this lunatic fringe nonsense, quite frankly.

    I’m not privileged, and I’m tired of that notion. I have no civil rights in America. But that doesn’t mean that I’m interested in what these kids are peddling, and maybe it is time for our community to spend a little less time trying to tell everyone else what to think and get our stuff together and figure out who and what we really stand for, because right now, we stand for nothing but a bunch of special interests.

  30. Randy says

    Someone cleary needs to bash Bash Back back.

    Don’t confuse vandalism with actually having a point. If they had a point, they would make it themselves, instead of literally tearing down someone else’s message.

  31. CMS says

    My eyes glazed over immediately when I started reading their “press release.” Looks like someone in their group just finished their first freshman semiotics class.

  32. Mark says

    @ CMS

    LOL! Couldn’t have put that better myself. Looks like they also just finished their first history of sexuality course. The tone so ridiculously presumes the ignorance of everyone else to these issues.

  33. John in Boston says


    What if the U.S./N.A.T.O collapsed, and we became a totalitarian state like China or semi-totalitarian like Russia. How do you think your fucking rights would be then? How do you think your rights would be if the world was over-run by Nazi Germany, which it almost was. Or the USSR. How’d you like to be in a death camp, gulag, somebody’s lamp shade?

    Hate cops too? Cops can be assholes, but they prevent REALLY hard and bad people from hurting the vast majority softer people. You wouldn’t like it if prisons were emptied back into the population.

    There’s compelling reasons for soldiers and cops, unless of course you think you’re capable of defending yourself without them.

  34. GM says

    Aww — this makes me miss the late 80s/early 90s. These kids do have it ass-backwards (i.e., why don’t they take our their aggression on the aggressors?), but their naivete is charming. They will feel much differently in 15 years.

  35. says

    Your inability to find common ground is no one’s limitation but your own. I tend to think not being heterosexual is in fact a pretty important common thread, as all modes of breaking from the traditional Male/Female binary (even those pesky gender-queers you are so weary of) require a proactive rejection of the repressive value systems that made heterosexual logic so powerful in the first place. IMHO, political movements attempting to secure acceptance and equality function better both on levels of logical consistency and of ideological clarity, by themselves being accepting of difference and work towards resolving all forms of inequality under the law.

    Also, mind the eugenics style rhetoric… “identity continues to be diluted.” Hmm I’m pretty sure that same argument is used to justify xenophobia and racism… oh right… AND homophobia.

  36. TANK says

    So you think being defined in the absence of something is pretty important common thread because “of the repressive value system that made heterosexual ‘logic’ so powerful in the first place”. In short, you think being defined in terms of oppression is an important common thread.

    I disagree based on how poorly it has united the lgbt communities, with a bunch of fractured special interests and personality politics (cults actually…or personality disorders, more accurately) vying for funding, recognition, limelight, non-glbt related political causes under the banner of lgbt… And this codswallop from bash back. Are you blazing up?

  37. ant says

    “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.” Gee, I could not disagree more. If you really believe that Tank why are you here wasting your time on the selfish gays? For myself, I think there is a lot of value in fighting for the same rights my fellow citizens have. So I’ll say to you what I would say to any other homophobe – GFY.

  38. DR says

    @ Tank. Huh, we agree on something.

    @ Alex: Therein lays the problem. Not all gay men identify themselves in the same way you do. Not all lesbians identify themselves the same. The insistence that “we’re all the same” is post-modernistic, deconstructionist nonsense. “Not heterosexual” is simply not enough to forge an identity as a community.

    I am gay. That has impacted part of my identity, yes. But I am also Christian. I am male. I am Italian. All of those aspects of me impact my identity, and to boil myself down to “not a heterosexual” as an identity really doesn’t explain who I am at all.

    You so easily break things down in your mind into black and white, straight or not straight, gender or not gender, and that sounds really good on a blog or in a classroom, it means nothing in the real world, Alex. And it’s certainly proving to be a lousy means of organizing or uniting a group of people.

    By taking such a simplistic stance, you are ignoring psychological, cultural, sociological, and legal differences. I refuse to deconstruct and simply the person I am in the way you apparently choose to. And there are many LGBs who agree with me.

    I, and many others, will not agree that sexual orientation be defined by “not heterosexual” and then be forced into a peg which includes anyone who rejects traditional notions of gender or sexuality. You can get on your academic soapbox and call people racists, sexists, homophobes or any other “phobe” you like, but that does not negate the reality that your definition is not as all-encompassing as you believe, and by insisting that we embrace ALL forms of non-hetero “otherness”, we are totally losing our identity as a group.

    It’s kinda like my beef with the Unitarian Universalist Church… When you insist on including everything, you end up standing for, and meaning, nothing.

  39. says

    I have read the post in question, and the “Bash Back” group does not in fact take credit for vandalizing the billboard. True, a blogger with the group did praise the action, but praising and doing are two different things. So where did Towle get the idea that these radicals were responsible for defacing a pro-gay message? Towle’s story needs further clarification or a retraction.

  40. Mark says

    So Bash Back protests “state militarism”, and “racism/heterosexism” by attacking the Memphis Lesbian and Gay Community Center?

    I “furiously question” their logic.

  41. says

    It’s a shame you find “not heterosexual” and “queer” to be so much more of an affront to your identity and a sham than “Christian” and “Italian”. If we interrogate those terms we quickly realize that they too are broad umbrella categories for people linked to similar but not the same sources of identity. I.E. Episcopalians are certainly not the same as Lutherans, and I just made a fool of myself asking whether or not people from Puglia and people from Sicily shared the same cuisine. All attempts to atomize identity into concrete and objective terms fail at some point. The beautiful thing about queer is that it attempts by definition to be open to a vast expanse of sexual orientations and modes of gender presentation.

    The irony of you saying that queer people boil their identity down to being “not heterosexual” is that it shows that you probably haven’t had a civil conversation with people who use the term or identify as such. Most are pretty down with intersectional activism and recognize how multi-faceted our identities are. Thats why I can say I’m queer, but also gay and jewish and male and an unabashed supporter of reading Classic, Modern and Postmodern texts (your constant bashing on academics is really a bore…)

    Why you can’t be a gay male in a queer world confuses me, and how fighting along side a transman or woman or a genderqueer for your civil rights dilutes your identity eludes me?

    At any rate like I said, your’s is a view I believe (and hope) is about to reach its expiration date. I can’t wait when more people on GLBT interest blogs will strike up dialogue against this type of discourse, instead of nodding their heads in agreement.

  42. Tony says

    I’m impressed. I was sure this group would receive universally scathing criticism w/o anyone actually taking their points seriously. You may disagree with their methods but thank the Lavender Fairy some GLBT youth are still thinking, questioning authority and taking political action while the rest of them are shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch and working on their abs.

  43. Ben says

    You people for the most part need to lighten up. Bash Back are clearly young LBGTQ who have NOT been outreached, along with so many other subsets of the ‘gay community.’ Most of your criticising are likely white men, with decent jobs, etc, who know very little about real struggle in the world. Life is MUCH easier for a gay educated white man than for a poor fat girl from the sticks who feels like a man insider her female body. We can’t even imagine what that feels like/does to someone.

    So let’s show a little more patience/compassion and make strides to LISTEN to the dissenting opinions in our so called community (with our rather weak common denominator) and try our best to provide some room in the house for everyone.

  44. says

    I find it really funny that some people are actually complaining that a queer liberation group branched out to issues that aren’t exclusively queer (ir militarism, racism, etc).

    That’s the flogging point.

    Everyone is too concerned about one cause that they are willing to exploit beings from other causes in order to perpetuate their own. All this does though is divide and weaken the movement.

    This billboard was militaristic, pro-state, racist, heteronormative as hell, and so on. If anything, it was showing that queers that don’t fit this non-fancy white-male just-like-you attitude need to be hidden from the public and only good, red-blooded killers should be included.

    On top of this, when this billboard was vandalized, much of the nonradical queer community blamed it on POCs!

    BB! was completely, awesomely justified in this.

    All of you pissed off about some sign on a stick getting vandalized should take a look at the queer people and people of color that are murdered every day. That might put things in perspective for ya.

    Go BB!

  45. kody says

    When I saw the photo and the moniker “Bash Back”, I was happy and thought it was a response to the huge amount of physical violence committed against gay people that I read about almost daily on this site. Then I read further and became dismayed. Protesting the military this way seems backwards. I’m not pro-war, but I am for the right to be gay and fight for your country without fear of reprisal. I’m not the marrying kind, but I believe gay people should have the right to marry. I’m not a violent person, but I will fight to the death if attacked. Regarding the harm that is done daily simply because one is gay-it’s kind of like being at war, or a victim of terrorism. I mean the kid who was murdered in Puerto Rico, decapitated, dismembered, burned-it sounds like a terrorist attack to me. And while “Bash Back” may deplore our militarism, what are they but a fledgling military unit, unendorsed and unsanctioned? What they did sounds so small minded to me. Even though their aim is to criticize a global problem, it comes off like Jeannie C. Riley singing about “The Harper Valley P.T.A.” Grassroots, yes, but not much beyond that. Act Up it ain’t. I like the pink thing going on though.

  46. Jack says

    DR, you’ve eloquently expressed what I am too angry to even put into works. Kudos. We need to start calling out the post-modernist deconstructive crap.

    Also, can I throw in how much I HATE the word “queer?” I’ve had enough words with negative connotations hurled at me. I’m not about to start identifying with one. Especially if these assholes do…

  47. Mark says

    “The beautiful thing about queer is that it attempts by definition to be open to a vast expanse of sexual orientations and modes of gender presentation.” — Alex

    Then what’s the point of the word? If there is nothing to specify why do we need some redundant term?

    “Why you can’t be a gay male in a queer world confuses me…” — Alex

    Maybe it’s because “The Queers” are not interested in accepting or respecting those who eschew “Queer” and, instead, feel comfortable as Gay or homosexual. Maybe it’s because “The Queers” put people off with their Scientologist-like zeal and fervor. It’s like you all drank some fucked up Kool-Aid. In reality I know it’s because you’re just young and you think you’re the first generation to discover “Queer” and create that definition. What you don’t realize is you’re not doing this in a vacuum.

    I was around in the late 80s as a member of Queer Nation. You’re not educating me about anything new when it comes to “Queer”. As I’ve matured I’ve come to understand and respect how people name *themselves* AND accept the reasons behind those identities. Some prefer Gay or Lesbian. I prefer homosexual and reject “Gay” as I realize “Gay” purely as a cultural identity, NOT a sexual orientation. I’ve come to see “Queer” as an intellectual retreat from the very specificity that makes us marginalized indviduals in the first place.

    One important question: how is “Queer” nothing more than a cultural identity? Again, it is precisely sexual orientation, not cultural identity (nor semiotic posturing), that defines people against hegemonic normativity. Therefore specificity, standing up as homosexual, is a very agressive political act that runs against the “Queer” notion of a diluted mass.

    It IS possible for those who are *different* to be united while respecting those differences and how we name ourselves. We don’t have to join the Church of Queer to conform. Isn’t this “Queer” stuff just more semiotic bullshit?

  48. Mark says

    “My eyes glazed over immediately when I started reading their “press release.” Looks like someone in their group just finished their first freshman semiotics class.” — CMS

    What he said.

  49. says

    Bash Back seems to be really misguided, BUT – these youngins are showing more BALLS than any LGBTQ group I’ve seen in recent years. Yes, it’s balls w/o intelligence, but how far has intelligence w/o balls gotten us lately?

    Next time a state thinks it can put our family’s safety and security up for a vote, why NOT stage a massive sit-in, tax revolt, or even express our JUSTIFIED RAGE through a little vandalism to draw attention to a good cause? When was the last time people in our “community” took some REAL risks?

  50. hadassah weinreb says

    Wow, this topic has received as many responces at a Rupert Everett one. I hope these kids take it to the next level by receiving gun training & using it on a Baptist church.

  51. Jon says

    “Then we added the “t”s and the “i”s, who, quite frankly, have very little in common with men who love men and women who love women. I’m a man, I love men, and love being a man. What do I have in common with a man who feels trapped in a woman’s body?”

    What you have in common is the same enemy. You may feel like you have nothing in common with a transperson, but you can be certain the bigots at Focus on the Family view you as just being part of one indifferentiated group of perverts whose lives they would like to make miserable. The basher cruising the streets of the Castro, or Montrose, or DuPont Circle, or Chelsea, doesn’t care whether you’re two dudes holding hands or a person with a penis who’s also wearing a dress. The parents who throw their gay kid out on the street would throw their trans kid out on the street, and the homeless shelters that treat those gay kids like crap are going to do the same to those trans kids.

    We also share some common experiences. Most GLB folks that I know grew up feeling isolated, with a secret they were terrified to tell anyone, sometimes even themselves. I’m betting most transpeople had that same experience. And like GLB men and women, trans men and women have to make the decision practically every day as to how out they’re going to be.

    There are plenty of differences between us, but I think the things that unite us are a hell of a lot more important.

  52. Derrick from Philly says

    Thanks, JON,

    but I’ll tell you one more thing these anti-trans faggo….homos have in common with transwomen: they can turn their booty holes into fabulous pussies…’cept the homos leave all the hair on theirs (try to make it seem kinda’ butch…yuck)

  53. DR says

    Thank you Jack and Mark. Clearly this is a generational thing. Much like you, I’ve been dealing with these issues for, oh, 20 some-odd years now. Probably longer than some people commenting have been alive or out. You’re correct, this is hardly the first time many of us are hearing this, and it probably won’t be the last time we hear it, either. Surprisingly, we don’t have an expiration date, go figure.

    The cult-like zeal in demanding we “all be the same” is very much off-putting. The continual denial that there are very real sociological, cultural, psychological and legal differences between LGB folk and T/I folk is, quite frankly, simplistic.
    I heard it in college, heard it in grad school, heard it in law school, and will hear it more, I’m sure, should I go back to the world of academia as planned. Surprisingly, I find that aside from the aggressiveness with which it’s presented in the classroom, there isn’t a lot of substance once you leave enter the real world.

    The reality is that these movements come and go every few years. This one will fizzle out, just like they did in the 70s and 80s and 90s, and then pop back up again at some point when another generation believes that it’s the first group to ever discover identity politics.

    Now, does that mean that T/I folk don’t deserve civil rights? No, I’ll go on record saying that I don’t agree with that at all. What I do disagree with is the idea that “we’re all the same” and have to join under on giant rainbow. Let them deal with their issues, and let the LGB community deal with its own issues. They’re simply not one and the same.

  54. says

    @ Mark and Dr: Maybe I am just not being clear enough, or maybe you think you are responding to an argument you encountered prior, but Queer and Homosexual and Trans and Genderqueer are not mutually exclusive terms. I agree with you Mark that standing up as a dude who screws dudes is extremely political, but I also believe that a broad based and intersectional coalition of people who run against normative sexuality/gender is probably a politically effective tool. This is true on scale and magnitude (more people= more visibility) but also on the level of underlying agenda (we want a more inclusive/just world, so why wouldn’t we encourage alliances). No one (as far as I know) is demanding that you deny your own identity. We are simply encouraging you to see how your experiences as homosexual men speaks to and correlates with other people’s experiences.

    and DR, to respond to this gem of a quote from your last post: “Let them deal with their issues, and let the LGB community deal with its own issues. ”

    NO. Being an advocate for social change means advocating for more people than just yourself. Did you tell white people and homosexuals not to stand up for black Civil Rights because they ought to “deal with their own issues?” Do we not condemn human rights abuses outside of the United States because victims of state sponsored violence or of cultural violence ought to “deal with their own issues?”

  55. DR says

    No, Alex, we get what you’re saying. We just don’t agree with it. I do not agree that it’s an effective political tool. It goes back to what I said before, that when you stand for total and utter inclusivity you end up standing for nothing at all. It’s too much.

    And I absolutely stand by what you refer to as “that gem”. Somehow, somewhere, the T/I community got piggybacked onto some giant “rainbow coalition” because “we’re all not straight”. You and Jon can continue to reach and stretch, but being gay and being trans/intersexed is not the same thing. In the real world, they are two completely different things, political correctness be damned. Can we support each other, sure. Does that mean we’re under the same umbrella… nope.

    “Standing up for” doesn’t have to mean “including them in the same community” or “dealing with the same issues”. It simply means that we’re not the same. I think part of the the problem, as I said, is that we’re stretching ourselves far too thin advocating for everyone. I think it is high time we decide what our identity is, and if that means some of us go our separate ways because of identity politics, I’m ok with that. Because LGB people have enough on their plates to worry about picking up every sexual outlaw group who needs a home.

  56. Mitch Shea says

    We need groups like this to keep us in check, but you gotta wonder if they have the same enthusiasm for forming groups of self-defense to walk that same neighborhood at night (it’s not a nice one) and protect gay people who frequent those bars off Poplar from people who would want to hurt them. I was sorta thinking the bashers are the ones who get bashed back. I have way more of a problem with those who beat us up than I do with gay rights activists of any sort.

  57. says

    DR, who has to “reach and stretch” to figure out where trans people got “piggybacked” onto LGB agenda. The main thrust of GLBT politics right now is for marriage rights. Analyze a transperson’s legal standing, and you find a pretty compelling parallel. A post-operative transwoman can’t marry a man in many states, and god forbid you are pre-operative transwoman, don’t even try. Both are still considered by in large to be homosexual relationships under the law. Therefore, same sex marriage impacts trans communities as well. I suppose maybe you could have your ideal world where the two groups exist seperately… if the homosexual contingency didn’t choose issues that equally affect both.

    I doubt you consider securing marriage rights “stretching ourselves too thin.”

    I also doubt you consider fighting to help homosexual homeless youth, who are homeless because society rejects a boy or girl for loving boys or girls or to help stop anti-gay and lesbian bullying. Hmm, turns out there is an interesting confluence with those benchmarks to gay liberation and the benchmarks of trans and intersexed liberation as well. Should we do this separately, and create shelters just for boys who can prove they were born biologically boys and have sex with other biologically born boys? Should we lobby against anti-gay bullying, but not exclude anti-trans bullying for fear of having too big of a “rainbow coalition”?

    I presume your argument is that we should still have two separate organizations to do this. Well, if that’s the case, I question the political efficacy of this choice. In fact, splitting up into smaller fragmented lobbies vying for the same monetary support would be what I call “stretching ourselves too thin.”

    At any rate, at some point we will just have to agree to disagree so I can get on with doing my homework. Good chat though. :)

  58. TR says

    Right on! Why the hell are we trying to get into imperialist military games or hetero f-ed up marriage. These anarchist fags and dykes make me proud to be gay again!

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