Nov 6, 2008

Real Queer Politics

As a proud former Californian, I'm pissed about the way Prop. 8 went and dismayed by what I've heard about the campaign on both sides. To me this looks like a common-sense civil-rights issue, but I know for those with a personal stake in it it has life-or-death importance. I've got to admit that, as contentedly religious and married as I happen to be, the way our religious and legal insitutions have sacramentalized the union of man and wife, after millennia of slightly less enlightened arrangements, seems to have led to as much heartache and misunderstanding as amity.

So it was a joy to read, from multi-disciplinary performer (and former Back Stage West critic) Adelina Anthony, this amusing and inspiring, only-partly-sarcastic rant in the form of a list of "gay marriage strategies":
#1) PROTECT the SANCITY OF MARRIAGE FOR REALZ! Queers let's stop playing defense and play hard-core offense. We MUST Protect Marriage from the Hets, i.e. we need to launch a campaign that allows marriage to take place between a man and a woman—ONLY ONCE!! This way we help hets preserve the sanctity of marriage! They can't do it without us. Look at their 50% divorce rate that increases exponentially as they marry for the 2nd or 3rd time. This is a historical opportunity for gays to build a true coalition with the Christian Wrong. And when they have used up their one-time only marriage license, they can, of course, have future domestic partnerships or civil unions.

#2) MARRY AN IMMIGRANT! Preferably Mexican because we all know that anti-immigrant laws in this country still equate anti-Mexican. This is a spectacular way to build coalitions amongst the disenfranchised in our country. Think about it. We can help hardworking immigrants gain their citizenship and in return they can help build those lovely homes gays like to live in and be the wonderful nannies that keep raising privileged babies.

#3) MARRY EACH OTHER! This is an old strategy that many queers have used before, but we should do this in record numbers. Let's find practical ways to make queer group marriage work. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, and I DO want mine raised by beautiful YMCA village people. This strategy should also quell criticism from within the queer community that those of us who aspire to marriage are seeking a normative livelihood (Hey, I hear your radical arguments, but I think it's more than okay for the rest of us to seek ways to protect our families and be so normal as to not get killed in the streets for whom we love or sex in bed.)

#4) GO to CHURCH! If Jesus was brave enough to wear a dress and roam the streets with 12 other lonely men, fight for the rights of the poor, fight for the protection of prostitutes, and fight for the separation of State and Church (Remember: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's) we can be brave enough to start a queer spiritual movement. Get in there and reclaim Jesus as the radical queer figure that he was for his time and not the religious bigotry he's been used for over and over again. Amen. Or Awomyn.

#5) DON'T GO to CHURCH! For those of us who understand that the Catholic and Christian global business industries were/are the tools of colonization for people of color, especially Latinos and Blacks, let's reclaim our TRADITIONAL two-spirited and matriarchal ways of living and making familia. Trust me, I've been to the Vatican, that Pope ain't po!

#6) CALL IT WHAT IT IS. And if you are making a life with someone ina committed relationship. Don't be afraid to name that person your wife or husband. Trust me, I had a domestic partnership and there's nothing sexy about introducing your other half as your domesticated panocha. Language is power. Name it. Live it. Make progressive art.

Yes We Can… it's just gonna take more work. And let's leave single-issue movement models behind. Follow the L.A. Bus Rider Union's model and build coalitions. Queers we gotta keep coming out in other movement work. If we fight for our communities we need them to fight for us.

Bottom line: This country's Religious Wrong will continue to make Gays and Abortions and Immigrants hot button issues because they want to have absolute control on how to make family and nation and profit. We need to keep the change coming…

NOTE: I had to look up panocha. Let's just say it doesn't mean "bread."

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