Not because I believe in captialism or assimillation. But because I don’t have the privilege to be able to reject these systems and still survive.
Most of the ‘radical’ queers I know don’t work (or work for very little/radical orgs). Most of them I know have college educations that were paid for by their parents. Most of them I know police who is and who isn’t radical with no regard to privilege and power.
All very not radical ideas, if you ask me.
So I am very uncomfortable defining myself in that way. Maybe it is just my experience that lends myself to not IDing this way.
Has anyone felt similarly? Or want to say what being a radical queer means to them?
I identify as radical in the tradition of of roots etymology, in that I don’t believe oppression can be legislated away and that sometimes legal reforms only make it harder to recognize the big picture. That doesn’t mean, however, that I rule out strategic political reforms that can have a major impact on people’s life chances in the here and now. That doesn’t mean I don’t think a legal precident might accomplish a lot more than a brick through a window. But overall, it’s about a major cultural shift that probably requires the eventual destruction of the whole construct of “straight.”
I identify as queer, sometimes, because it’s a single word that most people understand to mean some level of identification with same-gender-attraction and avoids me having to tack on a lot of qualifications to other commonly known words.
I don’t identify as radical queer because in my experience it’s more of another youth-obsessed subculture like punk/goth/etc. than anything else. In my case, I feel like my own value to “radical queer” community has been based as much on overt sexual availability and expressing myself within certain subcultural parameters as what kind of person I am and what my politics are.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because I recognize that my own former polyamorous casual sex kinky radical queer badassery was an unhealthy outlet for needing to be “loved,” but I have to stay quiet about that lest I get accused of kink-shaming blah blah.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because “assimilation” and “homonormativity” are buzzwords that most people sound like absolute judgmental d-bags trying to articulate.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because radical queers too often romanticize a highly editorialized bohemian account of queer histories while ignoring the fact that a lot of queers 40, 60, 80, and 200 years ago probably wanted to get married too.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because I’m over 30 and felt serious embarrassment around many of the other over-30 radical queers I’ve met.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because radical queer community is misogynistic and has tried to entirely dispense with the contributions of lesbian feminism to dyke culture. Even where it responds to widespread absolute worship of maleness and masculinity, it has to be dressed up as gender-neutralized “femmephobia” and the proper response is “glitter! stilettos! look how fucking FIERCE we are!” and not “look at all this misogyny and look at what a fucking travesty it is that dykes are expected to put up with it, and even participating in it.”
I don’t identify as a radical queer because last year I saw Matilda Bernstein debating Dan Choi and telling him, a Korean-American, about racist imperialism, and I just had to back away slowly from all that.
I don’t identify as a radical queer because nearly all of the prominent radical queer rock stars editing anthologies are really obnoxious people whose male-centric analyses have more to do with public sex and being snarky about the homos they don’t relate to than with power relations.
I know this is going to make people mad, but every thing I’m criticizing here is something I have regretfully taken part in so haters to the left etc.
Love this. I’ve been feeling this a lot over the last two years (especially living in the Bay Area where so much of the “radical queer” community is heavily image conscious, judgmental as fuck, Gay Shame/Mattilda Bernstein-y, exclusive, isolationist, etc.)
I’ll add- I don’t identify as a radical queer because when I was a wee 18 year old trans kid, I helped organize over 200 people to shut down an intersection in SF after prop 8 was passed. We did a lot of coalition/community building with faith, immigrant, and labor communities leading up to the action. When I reached out to the “radical queers” at the community college I attended while also working full time stocking shelves at a grocery store, they laughed in my face and called me an assimilationist. My politics are much more radical and leftier than they were when I was 18- but I don’t scoff at mainstream marriage/military focused folks because I remember the hurt and betrayal I felt at the hands of “radical queers.” I do my best to engage and educate, to have conversations about imperialism with other white queer folks & not presume to speak for folks of color, and to LISTEN to people whose politics aren’t totally in line with mine when I know they value justice and are deeply committed to building a better world.
^ all of this. i’m so over not feeling queer/kinky/poly/feminist/radical/body positive enough. why do i have to assimilate to this mostly middle class white and cis east coast liberal arts degree having queer brand of radicalism that will never be relevant to my life?
^ ^ ‘…the proper response is “glitter! stilettos! look how fucking FIERCE we are!” and not “look at all this misogyny and look at what a fucking travesty it is that…”’
Excellent thoughts and commentary and a whole bunch of stuff I really relate and agree with! So much time spent tearing people down!
“Transphobia has no place in feminism. None whatsoever. You can dress it up in as much theory as you want, you can stick your hands over your ears and deny you’ve done anything wrong, you can wilfully twist the truth into lies, but if you’re transphobic, you have no place in feminism.”
Heya! I’ve been Tumbling since Friday and I have almost 90 followers so I thought I’d give a little list of Me things:
- My name is Teddy
- I’m 32
- I live in Sydney with the love of my life (thejoyofq)
- I’m Queer
- I’m a Trans Man (actually I’m currently recovering from chest surgery, I have so much time on my hands and not much dexterous mobility so Tumblr is awesome!)
- I have a biologically identical twin sister, she is my life.
- I haven’t touched any alcohol or drugs for nearly five years.
- I work for an environmental reuse charity, we sell second hand furniture and bits that people have donated to us. We are not affiliated with any religious organisation, we exist purely from what we sell. (www.bower.org.au)
- I have a number of tattoos
- I’m really quite blind. I couldn’t survive in the world for 10 minutes without my spectacles
- I love riding my bike and I ride him everywhere when I’m not incapacitated! Actually I really love exercising and I’ve got a bit of a post recovery beef cake plan. Watch my neck disappear!
- I refuse to watch television
- I am a yogi with a strong spiritual path. I try to walk with love in everything I do. I’m also pretty firey and passionate so I try to extend that same love to myself when I end up being tragically human!
- I’m a Daddy
- I’m currently exploring my desire to sleep with another man in a submissive capacity. Ooooh Scary and Exciting!
“If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don’t show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents, out-learn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.”—
“Sometimes I’d rather be a tree frog. I don’t think they fall asleep worried that they’ve been a bad tree frog that afternoon or envying kingfishers or resenting their own diet or habitat. They just seem to spend 100% of their time being magnificent at being a tree frog. We spend most of our time regardless of our religion or lack of it, disappointed in ourselves, ashamed of ourselves, envious of others — always becoming and rarely being.”—
I like your last post, I frequently devolve from social justice activism to LOOK Y'ALL ADORABLE ANIMALS!! ALL OF THEM!!! and just cross my fingers every single person following me doesn't abruptly leave (it hasn't happened yet but I'd regret nothing if it did)
DEFINITELY!! My blog is quickly becoming a space for kittens, puppies, trans bits, womens rights, tattoos, queer bits, porn, pretties and body positivity…perhaps even in that order!