It would be really interesting to know what take the older guys who DO remember those days have on this article.
Thanks for posting this reminder of what part of the heady '60s was like. As an "older guy," I well remember the lesbians and gay men who seemed to have nothing else to do with their lives other than to create and then haunt - after demanding, and too many times receiving, public funds for them - "community centers" where they presumed to dictate who the community was and what it should believe. I distanced myself from those people REAL quick and never looked back - except to watch out for knives. This cliche-ridden, sociobabbling screed could have come from a Stalinist tract of the 1930s and holds as little for me now as it did back then. But, don't take my word for it, let the document speak for itself:"They [GLF] formed coalitions with other groups struggling for change, the feminist movement, civil right [sic] organizations, the student movement and other left-wing political organizations. Unfortunately, ... they dissolved in 1972 due to infighting among organization leaders.
... While it is clear that the movement has made significant gains, the radical edge, the demand to fully restructure sexuality and gender norms as well as the economic and social foundation on which they rest, has been lost for many queer activists and allies. It should be of concern that the greatest achievements to date are acceptance into the military and acceptance into the nuclear familiar structure. While these may be important gains for many queer people, they are hardly the victories of a vibrant left-wing movement."
See what happens when misfits who never learned to play well together and presume to speak for everyone assume leadership positions? Sound familiar? As to the belittled "important gains," they're much more important to me - and most, i.e. 50%+ - gays and lesbians than is pushing a permissive Socio-Communist-Laborite agenda, currently masquerading under the name of "social justice.""Today, we confront a vicious form of capitalism but one that is wholly capable of tolerating a plurality of identities. The neoliberal and libertarian Right cannot stress enough the degree to which we must be free to choose. Certainly they feel some degree of comfort that the push for marriage equality never insists on de-coupling social rights from marriage. Under our contemporary regime of accumulation we see both the ascendance of a mainstream LGBTQ movement and a reassertion of the oppressive forces early activists had fought hard against. How could this be?"Antwort
: It can be only in the muddled minds of these latter-day Leninists. Capitalism will ever be "vicious" to them, and they asperse "accumulation" - presumably of wealth, possessions, and power - while ignoring their own lust for at least the latter, if not the two formers in actual practice."Indeed, many "pride" marches, once a militant and transgressive assertion of identity meant to confront directly the dominant sexual ideology, have been “pink-washed” by major corporations and effectively marketed for suburban consumption. Nowadays, it is not difficult to find advertising with pro-LGBTQ messages or imagine corporations jockeying for sponsorship rights of this or that festival. Not long ago many of these same companies refused to hire members of LGBTQ communities, and actively backed anti-gay politicians, but seeing how profitable the "gay market" can be they have since changed their tune. Pink-washed LGBTQ campaigns also, quite intentionally, neglect to call attention to the very real poverty and violence that so many queer people face."
Finally, a relevant and agreeable point, but one nevertheless infected with the rueful world-view that boils down to "damned if you do, damned if you don't." It's not necessary to "imagine" corporate sponsorship of gay events, not all of which are mere festivals but include gay professional and political organizations, since they've been a part of gay culture for several decades; even the once-dreaded Coors Brewing Co. has contributed to our causes and candidates for at least that long. And, can anyone say they've been to a Pride March that didn't include at least a few speeches about poverty and violence in our community? If so, then all that legalistic churning to make spousal abuse laws as bias-free as marriage ones has been for nought.
The op-ed then repeats, if not exactly embellishes, its earlier cant, while throwing a few bombs at what we've accomplished over the past quarter-century in terms of first adoption and then marriage rights:"Further, the dominant liberal ideology surrounding queer politics is stuck on affirming traditionally oppressive and constricting structures (the nuclear family, fixed sexual categories etc.) in the service of queer rights. Many liberals insist on a biological root of sexuality (“born-this-way” rhetoric has traditionally been used in the service of genocide, not civil rights) which allows no room for flexibility and fluidity. Liberals are expected to believe that queerness is no different than straightness and insist that the family form (two parents, two children) should remain perfectly intact."
And what socialist - or Labor - rant would be complete without a membership lure, or is it just sugar coating the expression that "misery loves company?" "... [W]e should reaffirm the articulation between socialist and queer politics. ... [S]ocialist issues are queer issues. ... This means fighting for more pluralistic work environments, better pay and unionization (and fighting for democracy within those unions) are not simply class issues that are parallel to the LGBTQ struggle -- they are integral to it. Let’s not forget that, while there have been victories for LGBTQ rights in the political sphere, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is still met with staunch opposition."
And let's not forget that ENDA came within an inch of passing the Senate had Al Gore been obliged to break the tie vote that would have been presented him had an AR Democrat senator not feigned illness the day the vote was taken. But, why should this matter - whetever the outcome - to a group that is pledged to dismantle the "neoliberal state" and its components, except for the "social support that should be de-coupled from work and the market," presumably leaving it in the hands of a socialist government. We've seen how well that works in Scandinavia, the former USSR, DDR, PRK, ...
And so to end with damnation by faint praise: "The LGBTQ movement thus far has been remarkably successful in terms of political victories and this should not be discounted. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that we are on the cusp of queer liberation. And it is worrisome to see how quickly corporate interests have co-opted and marketed the gay movement. The radical flame of Stonewall must be reignited and socialist-queer politics along with it."
No, thanks, I'll take my capitalism double-strength, please, with all the imagined evils that come with it.