By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Even a bitter Queer curmudgeon like myself has to begrudgingly admit that we’ve come a long way, baby. I don’t know if I can join the chorus of pretty pink-washed celebrities in singing “It gets better!” After all, I’m still home alone with PTSD and miles away from getting laid. But there is no denying the colossal gravitational sea change in Queer tolerance we’ve seen over just the last decade. Openly gay commentators now have the cultural gravitas to join the rabid breeders on Fox News in demonizing trans kids, and even those demonized trans kids now have a devil’s lexicon of words and labels to make sense of our weird bodies. Back when I was in high school, not only was trans rights not even a thing but we had no idea what transgender even was. All we knew was we weren’t “them” and that was way bad. As a teenage non-binary dyke with a dick, not only did I not come out of the closet, I didn’t even know I was in one. I just thought I was some weird new subspecies of freak. I guess I wasn’t wrong, but it would have hurt a hell of a lot less if I had the tools to realize I wasn’t alone.
But all progress comes at a price and many of the most cherished tokens of LGBT rights are little more than concessions to assimilation that aren’t worth the price of the parades that celebrate them. Hate crimes laws empower the very same Prison Industrial Complex that disproportionately enslaves, mutilates, and rapes Queer bodies. Gay marriage offers validation to gays and lesbians who choose to celebrate their partnerships with heterosexual legal traditions while simultaneously legally invalidating traditionally Queer partnerships that don’t invite the state for a menage. But the worst of the worst when it comes to toxic progress can be found in that token of hetereo-cis-masculine ultraviolence known as the Military Industrial Complex, and this is why I cannot be found celebrating President Biden’s decision to allow transgender people like myself serve in our nation’s killing machine.
This, once again, makes me a minority within a minority. You see, dearest motherfuckers, I don’t support LGBT rights, I don’t even support that clownish corporate acronym. I support Queer power. I am what you might call a Queer Nationalist, which makes me a young member of a dying breed. We rose up from Stonewall with fists in the late Sixties and early Seventies and took our cues from the fledgling Black Power and Chicano movements. They weren’t begging congress for equality. They were demanding autonomy. They saw their people as a stateless third world nation and they didn’t want shit all to do with the American horror show that brought them on stage in chains.