Shades Of Equality: The Encompassment of the American Queer
“Equality for Queers and Queer liberation is not the same thing. Equality in your community may, simply, mean acceptance into the power structures of white supremacy — to possibly dorn a white hood alongside your father.”
As cultures evolve and societies restructure, bodies once cast out are sometimes returned — not as their authentic selves, but as tools of the state. As the co-evolution of American Imperialism and white supremacy intertwines with culture at large—some—Queer bodies sanctioned for destruction have, instead, been repurposed.
Thirty years ago, the west was foaming at the mouth with covered eyes as HIV/AIDS ravaged Queer communities.
And now? Homonationalist rhetoric has enveloped Queer bodies, “pinkwashing” the imperialist, and excusing its deeds. Political parties that hold disdain for the LGBTQ+ community grift from our trauma and weaponize our identities.
Homonationalism with its byproduct, “pinkwashing,” assists and navigates imperialistic and far-right schemes, whether it be by blackmailing Queer Palestinians, or justifying interventionist policies and economic sanctions. The political courting, and the expansion of, or into, the LGBTQ+ demographic is not a new phenomenon in a microcosm.
White supremacy, and what constitutes “whiteness” within an American lens, has always expanded—think Ashkenazi Jews, Irish, and Italians—in order to survive. While white supremacy and far-right political and philosophical beliefs on paper are explicitly anti-queer, Queer folks are still not only accessing traditionally hostile territory. But they have slowly become incorporated into whiteness, i.e. the white supremacist, nationalist, American conservatism zeitgeist.
Albeit a tense and shaky atmosphere, LGBTQ+ voices are being heard in hyper-conservative far-right spaces. While their convictions to support Queer folks do not extend to civil rights and mutual respect. Lessening homicidal and pro-incarceration beliefs coupled with mutual hate for the “other”—Muslims, Jews, undocumented migrants, communists, etc—is sufficient for the Queer fascist.
The ilk of racism, Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, and the austerity of conservative values is not the only avenue driving Queer fascism. It is also the perception of what equality and acceptance are from one’s community. Equality for Queers and Queer liberation is not the same thing. Equality in your community may, simply, mean acceptance into the power structures of white supremacy — to possibly dorn a white hood alongside your father, or sneer at migrant workers while you “kickback” beers with the “good ole boys.”
Communities are offering equality, and their members—once shunned—are accepting the terms and conditions. Sometimes, hate just wins. Love doesn’t always beget love, it warps into hate.
However, one must only open a history textbook and see that the fascist and the white supremacist will burn the bridge as quickly as it was built. When Queer bodies hold no more value—and their allies are shouted and chopped down—the Queer fascist is stricken from the ranks, hunted as vermin, and cast back into the night once more.
When your fellow Queer speaks of equality ask them what system are they vying for equality in?
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