Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Need for a Queer Power Movement

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I know this sounds gay, but I’m in love with being Queer and I’m kind of gross about it. I celebrate my flamboyant tribal freakiness in everything from the fluorescent pink color of my hair to the words that I hurl into the shocked faces of basic bitches like glimmering confetti. I didn’t choose to be this fucking weird, but I did choose to embrace my spiritual otherness with the obnoxious bravado of a house on fire and that choice and the tribe for which it stands saved my life.

After barely surviving a bleak Catholic childhood pock marked by casual atrocities committed in the name of divine conformity, I spent the better part of my twenties as a hollowed-out husk; numb, depleted and totally devoid of hope. I took long drives through the countryside praying for a car crash to save me from the dull ache of my suffocating agoraphobic existence. It was only after I discovered that I actually come from a long line of proud freaks who violently straddled the fickle lines between acceptable gender boundaries like meth-addled cowgirls that I truly started living my life for the first time.

To me being Queer is about so much more than who you fuck or which bathroom you piss in. It’s a sacred pagan tribal identity for those of us who were purged from our old tribes for transgressing the norms of civilized Christian society. It is a place for misfit toys who were never designed for mass production. Those of us too weird to live but too goddamn pissed-off to die. Above all else though, its home, the first one that I’ve ever really known and it’s under attack from two sides of a schizophrenic empire in decline.

Queer people find ourselves at an existential crossroads at the intersection of annihilation and assimilation. In one direction we face an openly genocidal GOP who are vigorously advocating for our forced internment back into the closets which are now fortified by a growing arsenal of legislative boobytraps. More laws are passed every day in states across this country that utilize the tools of America’s formidable police state to terrorize anyone who dares to transgress what certain zealots consider to be properly gendered behavior.

They began their assault by targeting the rights of our children to have a marginally less abusive childhood than we did but their laws only grow bolder by the second, regulating the medical decisions of adults as old as 26 and declaring our public displays of existence to be “drag” punishable by prison sentences measured in years. And with 2024 creeping over the horizon like a rapist on the skylight, all the major-league Republican candidates are promising to make this regional jihad national with none other than Orange Man Bad himself leading the pack as he promises to unleash the full powers of the federal government to enshrine the gender binary in depleted uranium.

Under such dire circumstances, many of my people aren’t just turning to the liberal elites in the Democratic Party, they are running to their arms like frightened rabbits, but America’s other breeder party is actually trafficking in something far more insidious than good old-fashioned genocide. That warm blanket they are wrapping around your bruised and battered shoulders is actually a straitjacket called assimilation and if you aren’t careful, it will strangle you into submission to the very same forces that you’re running from.


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