Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Straights Read This: I Hate You. Or, Ben Is Fed Up And Likes To Swear.
Obviously, the title here is largely in jest. But I am tired of hearing in class, every single fucking time that anything we read doesn’t cater directly to straight liberals’ self-imagination as Redeemers of the Faggots, that the piece is too abrasive to be ‘effective’ in the constant gay struggle to make heteros like us. I’m tired of the arrogant heterocentricity of claiming this about internal critiques such as a queer manifesto (or the above picture). Last I checked, we have yet to read a piece beginning, “Straights Read This:” so maybe, just maybe, people shouldn’t read as if every time a queer person opens their mouth, they have to be subject to how straight people might react.
I’m tired of the only acceptable model of advancement being couched in sameness. I’m tired of the silencing of anger, of radicalism, of deviation from any norm that comes from both within and outside the community, because we have to convince straight people that we are all just. like. them. I’m tired of the assumption of whiteness, of middle-class-ness, that this entails. I look at white middle class heterosexuals and I think, if that’s what I have to be to be accepted, I’m fucked—and not in a good way. Heterosexuality is fucked up. It’s oppressive. It’s got all sorts of baggage in the way of gender, class, and race. It’s abnormal and unnatural. It’s a social disease.
Anger works. ACT UP showed us this. Just ask these folks. It was their passion and anger that forced a straight society that was completely content to let gay men die into acting. It wasn’t because straight people were so nice as to accept gay people a little bit more. It wasn’t because of the progress of some mythical apolitical medical community. It wasn’t because society had just “progressed” far enough that people could do this (how does that even work?). I know that it’s a giant mindfuck to think that gay people could have any influence on straight society, but it’s true. It was all them.