By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Nicky, why can’t you just smile and join the pride parade? I must hear this refrain at least ten times a day from people both inside and out of my community. With all the progress, with all the popular approval, why can’t I just be one of those happy Queers you see on TV? Why must I insist on being such a fucking bummer? And sometimes I wish it was that easy too. That I could just put on a pair of heels and embrace the simple pleasures of mainstream inclusion. The only problem is that I know way too much about the history of Western Civilization to pretend that progress isn’t a fucking trap.
I can’t pretend that the globalized corporate culture that defines the collective West isn’t a moral desert defined by commercialism, conformity and assimilation. I can’t pretend that this culture isn’t the direct descendant of the White Anglo-Saxon Puritan culture that wiped out the pagan tribes who once revered my people for what made us unique, and I can’t pretend that being Queer isn’t defined by our long history of resistance to this culture and that allowing ourselves to be absorbed into it would be tantamount to genocide.
Every right that these people have given us has been rigged. We have the right to state protection from bigotry as long as we consent to recognizing the authority of an institution that violates the rights of more Queer people than every Bible Belt fag basher combined in the form of the Prison Industrial Complex. We have the right to serve openly in the straight man’s army as long as we consent to the wholesale slaughter of other marginalized people that defines its very existence. And of course, there is the most sacred right that a Queer person could possibly ask for, what every little trans girl dreams about, the right to marriage.
This was the right on full display just a few weeks ago when Joe Biden officially signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. A bipartisan smash hit, this law codified federal recognition of same sex marriage as well as interracial marriage after the Supreme Court reminded us all of the unpleasant fact that the Founding Fathers were a bunch of sexist bigots like them with the overturning of Roe V. Wade.
Once again, I can’t pretend to be impressed by this thing called marriage. I’m an anarchist for Stirner’s sake. The state’s approval of who I love and how I love them is about as meaningful to me as receiving the blessing of the Mafia. But I have nothing against the institution in and of itself and consenting adults should have every right to enjoy it. Kali knows the weird shit that turns me on isn’t every Queer’s cup of tea. But there was something that just wasn’t quite right about this picture.
The sight of all these shiny, happy, camera-friendly Queers whooping it up on the White House lawn as Cindy Lauper belted out the hits couldn’t erase the fact that many of the Beltway ghouls who invited them to the party, including our hero Joe Biden, had long and economically fruitful careers defined by fucking us over with sickeningly bigoted laws like DOMA and FOSTA-SESTA. I mean, after decades of drowning us in pigs’ blood, the cool kids invite us to a party in our honor and this doesn’t seem weird to you?
Categories: Sexuality and the State