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"We want anal penetration, not Gay Pride assimilation!"

Queer Revolution and the Dyke March crashed the corporate-sponsored Gay Pride Parade day this morning. Carrying pink and black flags, anti-authoritarian signs, and shouting chants, the spirited folks made quite a splash with their alternative message. Many bystanders along the route recognized their complaints and non-commercial pride, and cheered them on. "2-4-6-8! We will not assimilate!", "We're not 'everyday people'", and "No borders, no states! We just want to masturbate" were among the calls raised up.
Not being a mainstream sort of person, i've generally avoided the Gay Pride events in the various cities i've live in. From Minneapolis to Boston to Portland, the corporate advertising and crass commercialism have always turned me off. So i was psyched to hear that Queer Revolution was planning to crash the Portland march again this year. Even better was that they'd be pairing up with the Dyke March.

i biked downtown along the waterfront on my way to find the radicals, and passed the Gay Pride set-up. The first thing i saw was a huge sign for a financial firm, then for Prudential, Bud Light, and Verizon. It was gross to see how the anniversary of a gay-led riot against police in 1969, the year of my birth, has turned into yet another opportunity to define people as consumers and sell them crap they don't need.

The thirty-six years since Stonewall has been marked by a process of buying off GLBT people -- dangling a few carrots out there to keep them from getting too uppity. Having car ads or sitcoms focused at your demographic, no matter how oppressed you were before, is not liberation: it's opportunism, and it digusts me.

So it was quite refreshing to march with the pink and black flags, chanting against assimilation, with a group of like-minded people. It was by far the most enjoyable and gratifying Gay Pride experience i've ever had. i thank the organizers for their work and look forward to more Queer Revolution organizing and events throughout the rest of the year.

Yes...........Yes..............Yes 19.Jun.2005 15:17

Kid Akai travelsbybrian@hotmail.com

That sounds fucking incredible. It's shitty when you watch the corporation co-opt any kind of culture, or like gay culture, "anti-culture". I am glad you guys tore into them, they had nothing to attack you with. "Biggi...oh wait! Uhhh......hmmm....why don't they like buying this shit??!

We had the same problem during Martin Luther King day, imagine the classist facists putting on a black pride parade. It was retarded, everything was geared around selling the Democrats something they don't need but asigning it in the form of "black pride" however thats possible. "Ancira loves your skin color, buy our Asian made parts, sucker!"

Thankyou guys for showing the corporation that culture is ours and is made out of a rejection for their stupidity, it will not be taken.



-B.

Say Yes To Anal Penetration No to Corporate Domination 19.Jun.2005 16:42

Dr Ruth

Anal Sex Good Fascist Corporate States Bad.

Hmmm... 19.Jun.2005 17:27

Kid Akai

I have never had anal sex but I bet it's terrific. Maybe I will ask around, see if anyone is down.


-B.

i agree 19.Jun.2005 17:28

"radical queer"

Thank you for realizing that our struggles are paralelled and plagued by the same core issues: Institutionalized racism and homophobia. It never feels good when you see your brothers and sisters laying down and accepting second class citizenship in the name of equality and justice. Complacency gets us nowhere.

We have abandoned our struggle as a community and it is really disheartening to our Forefathers and Mothers who fought so hard for the right to even have a day all to ourselves to reflect on how we got to where we are today. I marched in the Dyke March today, and it felt really good to here so many Stonewall generation Queers thank us for not abandoning the revolution. They kept saying how good it fells to see our FISTS IN THE AIR IN SOLIDARITY. I highly doubt any corporate sponsered parade goers were appreciated for their RESISTANCE to OPPRESSION.

JUST THINK, IF WE DECIDE TO RETALIATE!

Economic Justice and Pride Festival 19.Jun.2005 19:25

anonymous

The GLBTQ community is very diverse and while I support the right to crash the pride festival, I do not think that the pride festival itself has been usurped by the corporate state. The GLBTQ community has enough challenges to work with across the country to keep it busy for many years to come before the community has in any way been usurped by the corporate state.

While I understand the message of queer revolution I do think that the reasoning is polarized. Honestly I don't think that such an approach could be anything but polarized from the start. Let me try to explain myself . . . Queer Liberation is a political/social rights movement. Corporate sponsorship is an economic justice issue. I agree that corporations do not have a place at a pride festival, but corporate sponsorship does not in and of itself define a pride festival.

The pride festival itself is about honoring and acknowledging the struggles of the GLBTQ community for self determination. The very act of "crashing" a pride festival is in and of itself an act of recognition of the very spirit of the festival. Like any other issue that comes from a diverse community it is important for people like you to do what you did, because it sends a clear message to the community about an economic justice issue.

If the community is responsive, it will listen to your message, acknowledging the general spirit of what pride is about. I doubt that the GLBTQ community will seriously consider this issue though without an in depth community dialogue, because this is an economic justice issue, which is just as difficult as gaining rights for the GLBTQ community, if not more difficult.

Economic justice is more deeply entrenched I think that even sexual orientation issues in our culture, so it is not surprising the economic injustice issues inject themselves into a GLBTQ pride festival. This simply reflects the diversity of opinions about issues regarding economic justice, which is really a reflection of priviledge, access, etc which affect everyone in our culture.

So good for you for challenging the pride festival on an economic justice issue.

i was born in 1969 too 19.Jun.2005 19:59

amilcar

but i don't ride anymore

Great Work! 19.Jun.2005 20:49

Fatigued Fairy

I marched in my first "Pride Parade" in 1977, I think. We had no permit, we took over the street. It was a political protest march. We ended in the park where we heard radical speeches on emPOWERment. People ask me why I don't go to Pride. I don't identify with the party. When we marched so long ago the police were not IN the parade and the people on the sidewalks yelling were jeering not cheering. Yes, every few years I go, and I cry to see the police and firemen IN the parade, and the float of school teachers. But I miss the anger and the political rabble rousing. In those days, we rejected "heterosexual role-modeling". Yes, I think those who want to get married should be able to, but we're DIFFERENT, and SPECIAL, and why should we be clamoring to become Ozzie and Harriet, or even Dan and Roseanne? I'm glad the kids today can party because of what we did, but what are they doing for the next generations? Before we marched it was illegal for us to dance together. Now they're too busy dancing to see the danger around them. No one in this country has rights anymore, except those in power and they're not sharing and they're not giving up. We may yet find ourselves marching again...into the ovens. Exagerated? Nobody in 1936 thought it could happen in Germany...except the Nazis...let them with ears to hear...

Thanks 19.Jun.2005 23:14

queer revolution Queerrevolution-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

Thanks to all who participated in the event today and thanks to SpArkle for the fabulous photos and report-back.
If you're interested in finding out about more Queer Revolution events, e-mail us at  Queerrevolution-subscribe@lists.riseup.net and we'll add you to our shout-out list.

How to Fight the Corporate Agenda 20.Jun.2005 07:30

Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network, Chicago

This "anti-assimilationist" approach plays itself out in the disagreement that I have with the gay anarchists in Chicago. Sure, I agree with them in their disgust at the corporate takeover of our Pride events. I don't want a "place at the table," but struggle to build a new table, sitting in a socialist society.

But how do we struggle against the corporate agenda? One way is to take up the call for full equality for LGBTQ people. This means that, given present realities, we struggle for the right to marry.

This is not the same thing as endorsing the institution of marriage (although we might want to recognize how that institution has been reformed by the struggles of women). We need to struggle for the civil right of marriage equality. The alternative in today's real world, is to be thrown into the pit of second class citizenship and human inequality.

There's nothing at all contradictory in the fact that some corporations grant equal rights to gay employees, while at the same time promoting rightist, antigay politicians. Both promote their self-interests. Since they see the connection of beating back gay civil rights to beating back unions of workers, why don't we make the same connections? We gays need to back our allies in the unions even as some of us recognize the sometimes serious flaws in the US labor movement.


Gay Liberator Needs to Look at his Predecessors 20.Jun.2005 10:43

SkidMarquez queerrevolution@riseup.net

The statement that working toward a "new table" somehow involves the pursuit of marriage is a flawed one. Portland had its own chapter of the Gay Liberation Front which descried the pursuit of marriage even back in the early 1970s, check out this link to one of their Manifestos:  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/glf-london.html

Modelling ourselves after the heterosexual community in terms of marriage suggests that the relationship forms of our own communities are invalid. Moreover, it only really offers benefits to those with entitlements, i.e. benefits, property, bank accounts. What do we care about poor queers? If I have no health insurance to offer my partner why should I want to marry him. The pursuit of which really only holds vague symbolic value for poor queers. Therefore, why should I be made to have the vanguard Queer movements like the HRC hijaking the struggle for the pursuit of marriage or the repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the military (in the meantime funding Log Cabin Republicans and giving awards to DRUG COMPANIES?!!). Do you see, the careers and aims of certain queers are being privileged over the struggles of working class and poor queers.

What happened to the real struggles against violence perpetrated on Queer People, where have our HIV positive and AIDS affected folk been shoved too, what about the incidence of teen suicide? These used to be some of our most important issues? These are the problems the Queer Revolution was hoping to address: how Queer Folks used to be at the forefront of struggles for LIBERATION, not a relationship mandated and managed by the state; how our own community plays into every aspect of our integration as "citizens" both commercial and state sanctioned.

Marriage equality is a working class issue 21.Jun.2005 05:32

Bob Schwartz

Skid Marquez wrote: "Moreover, it [marriage] only really offers benefits to those with entitlements, i.e. benefits, property, bank accounts.."

The analogy I often use is comparing the civil marriage contract to the work place. And remember, Skid, most gays are working women and men, not stock brokers. The work place remains the most undemocratic place in the nation. But, do we tell queer folk to avoid it? Don't think so. What's needed in the short haul is to strengthen the workers' organizations, the unions. We can reform the workplace in the short haul. This would be a gain for all workers.

Marriage conveys some 1200 federal rights, such as Social Security benefits to surviving spouses and children. It permits spouses unquestioned access to hospital rooms, insurance benefits, funeral decision making, and of course property inheritance. Lots of working gays I know own cars and small apartments,living from pay check to pay check. They have a right to protect their relationships and material benefits accruing thereto as they deem necessary.

The objective situation existing today is not the same set of facts confronted by gay liberationists in the 1970s. With the right-wing seeking to push us back into the closet or worse, we ignore the fight for marriage equality at our peril.

Another Queer for Marriage 21.Jun.2005 13:07

Scotty B.

I'm still split on whether I agree with the goals of an alternative pride celebration or not. I'll be in Portland for the one next year, and I'll have to decide which pride I want to participate.

The fundamental problem I have with queer radical movement is their rejection of marriage equity in many cases. Marriage *is* one of the most important issues out there facing many of us. It might not be a concern for some of us, but it is for others. Like me - I'm monogamous. I want a long term relationship with the same person for a long period of time. I want a cheesy classical romance. I want someone to share a room with. And I want to get workplace benefits from that person ;).

So does this somehow dilute my queerness? Being gay isn't something that can be defined by the way a person acts - it's genetic. I don't think that wanting to be in a monogamous long-term relationship somehow means that someone is trying to be like heteros. If I was trying to be like heteros, I would be out there dating women.

But I think that mainstream pride celebrations are so infested with corporate advertising that it's ridiculous. We had Coors be a sponsor of the one in Boise last year - during which time Pete Coors was running for US Senate on an anti-gay platform. And I hate the way that support for the Democratic Party is so explictly expressed at them. So I'm guessing that the one in Portland is going to be 10x worse and have 10x more corporate sponsors. So I don't think I'll go to that one.

But I'm still a little shaky on the alternative pride as well. I'm NOT going to start yelling out slogans about anal penetration - I mean, that kind of thing is best kept inside the dungeon, dang it! It seems a bit too ridiculously outlandish for me, and I'm not sure that it really accomplishes anything. I guess the problem is...I don't seem homosexuality as being any different on the surface than heterosexuality - we're just an oppressed minority group. So why not "assimilate"? Not with corporations or the Republicratic Party, but with humanity in general?

Besides Marriage 22.Jun.2005 00:18

SkidMarquez queerrevolution@riseup.net

Although I consider marriage to be a very important topic and I do not deny that the points raised these interlocutors are valid, I would say one thing: if anyone bothered to read an attached PDF file or the flier we had made for (and handed out at) the march they would realize that marriage was only a minor point of the intervention. Here it is again just for your benefit

 http://portland.indymedia.org/media/media/2005/06/319757.doc

I am not going to enter into that innane argument about the genetics of being gay, nor am I going to acknowledge the severe condescension Bob Schartz has shown by letting me in on the secret that work isn't the most democratic aspect of American life (although I would note both democracy and unions have been huge failures in the US in terms of fighting the corporate agenda that appears to have extranational agency).

The problem I have with this discussion is that both the previous discussants are telling me what the most important issue facing the queer community is. I know and appreciate the fact that Portland is one of the most amazing and tolerant communities in the country in terms of queer issues, but what does marriage matter to the Queer who is still beaten, disowned or humiliated when coming out, or to the person who must keep their lives secret in order to keep their job being threatened at all, or to the queer teens who are still the most probable to commit suicide amongst their peers. I am a queer however telling you that I don't think that marriage should be the priority and I am being told that I don't know what the most pressing issue for queers is. Do you see how the desires of certain folk to hold onto their assets and further their careers it being privileged in this discussion?

play it straight 22.Jun.2005 00:37

Dean-o

"why not assimilate?" (!)

Oh my gawd! Why would you want to? Why would anyone want to take that step backwards?

I was in the closet long enough before I became comfortable enough to come out. I endured homophobic jokes, people assuming I was straight and way too much hetereosexism. For me, assimilation means playing it straight, trying not to rock the boat that the heterosexuals have built. I am not a sheep, even a carnation pink one with fringe and sparkles. I will not follow hetero-norms just so I don't offend anybody. That's what assimilation means, compromising yourself and your freedom of expression in order to not upset anybody so they can pretend to tolerate you.

Assimilation also plays on the idea that queers will eventually gain rights just like "normal people" if we'd just behave. That's a big pile of what-the-bleep-ever if I've heard it. The ruling class along with big government and big corporations hate us. They think we're immoral and no matter if you're shouting it on the street or practicing it underneath the sheets, anal sex is deplorable to them and they will hold it against you if they find out you're queer. It won't be as obvious if you aren't shouting it but doesn't that oppression need to be brought out into the open? How can one go to Pride and not have the desire to fight off assimilation.

You say you don't want to be hetero and I believe you but you're letting the heteros define you by fitting into their image of a queer. Through the mass media, they perpetuate the notion of what they will accept as a queer. Usually white, always young, always fit, always middle to upper class, always beautiful. Live up to that or die trying. That's what they'll settle for if you decide to go the assimilation route.

As for marrriage, I personally think that some queers have done an excellent job maintaining healthy relationships outside of the state's definition of marriage. I think that if you want better benefits, you should look at attacking the health care system and help out all those who need the help, like the poor, the young, the disabled, etc.

I think that we as queers need to stand up and realize that marriage really isn't that important. Our brothers and sisters are still dying of AIDS. What's the gov't doing about that? We're still killing Iraqi civilians. How is a state certificate more important? We need to start thinking about helping others in the broader struggle and continue to resist the corporation's call for us to assimilate.

Cause I'm just a privileged queer 22.Jun.2005 01:30

Scotty B.

To creatively named SkidMarquez;

A few things - altough I'm not sure if anyone's still reading this thread. E-mail me at  humanrights05@hotmail.com if you want to. You mention other things that you think are more important than gay marriage, and I agree that they are pretty important. However, I don't think that "the desires of certain folk to hold onto their assets and further their careers" plays into my opinion on how important an issue gay marriage is.

I'm 17 years old - I came out when I was 12 in rural Oregon. Pretty much to my entire middle school. I was one of those "attempted suicide" statistics at age 13. So I know about the harassment present in situations like that, especially as a teenager. I've lived in suburban Idaho for the past 4 years - which isn't really any more tolerant.

I'm unemployed because people just don't seem to hire me here.

And I still believe that marriage is the most important issue. Marriage equality is about as close as we're ever going to get to receiving "de jure" equality. It may not be true equality, but it is such on paper. And it does provide an immeasurable amount of benefits to a ton of people. It ain't just rich people that wanna get married. (Footnote: Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination laws should probably be the number 1 issue in states that don't have them - because if ya can't get a job or get treatment at a hospital in the first place, none of the other stuff really matters).

Regarding the flyer handed out at the march:

I only actually disagree with one thing in this flyer. I agree with its comments about queers in the military, the Human Rights Campaign, and gay activism. So I think it might be an organization I'd mostly agree with. Only the following statement bothered me:

"By prohibiting donation of sperm from queer people, the US government has taken a step towards attempting to eliminate "bad gay genes." This practice is known as eugenics."

Bullshit. While I agree that the policy is discrimitory, it certainly isn't eugenics. First of all, most evidence suggests that queers are created through a combination of genetics and things that occur in the womb. So it's possible that queers would still be around even if all were banned from reproducing. Also, a lot of evidence suggests that the gene is recessive, meaning it skips generations and only affects certain family members. (This might explain why in my family, my parents are straight but my uncle is gay, my brother and sister are straight but I'm gay, and all my other cousins are straight but one is bi-sexual). This policy is bigoted and discrimitory and definately disenfranchises us, but it isn't eugenics. It is hardly a "threat to our community".

One thing I'm curious about is the quote:

"Now you can perpetuate the advancement of capitalism and the lifestyle of the white gay/lesbian bourgeoisie."

Not so much because I disagree with it in the context it's used (because I don't), but because I'm actually kind of curious about what percentage of our people fit that mold. There's this huge perception out there that gay people are all rich and white - you rarely ever see any gays or lesbians in the media that go against this mold. And we're told that gay people make more money than straight people and are more highly educated. I've always questioned this too. I have noticed on a regular basis that people that come out of the closet when they're 27 and already in a career tend to do much better than those who come out at age 12 or 13 and are openly gay from then on. All the other gay teenagers I know are what I like to call the "perpetually screwed over" of my gen - they don't have the opportunity to do well in school, they can't get money for college, and they have a hard time getting a good job. It just makes me wonder about those of us that have always identified as gay from an early age, and how we compare to the whole "upper-class white" mold.

I know I'm going to be poor for the next few years.

- Scotty B.

Response: Scott B 22.Jun.2005 06:37

Looks like Rain

Why would they discontinue the use of queer male sperm? Do you have a reason? Do you really think that this kind of action is below our beloved Western Science? I don't think that all gene theory has been exposed.

Evidence? 22.Jun.2005 15:50

SkidMarquez

I don't know why I keep entering into this discussion.

But all the so-called evidence for the "gay gene" our community rabidly lusts after has been produced in unverified individual studies. The recent Swiss "I smell gay people" scent study works under the assumption that humans have pheremones (that we release chemicals in the air that institute arousal in the opposite sex), it is not commonly held by the scientific community that humans have pheremones at all.

Moreover, eugenics programs have manifested themselves in varieties of ways throughout history. Be it all out castration and sterilization (what we are used to) or something like the recent gov't subsidized voluntary tying of fallopian tubes for crack-addicted women (instituted in Chicago) for $300. Now this isn't compulsury perse, but does seem to have some of the vestiges of eugenics.

AudioOnDemand : KBOO Gay Day 2005 coverage contrasts liberation, assimilation 22.Jun.2005 22:18

glen theKnownUniverse@yahoo.com

Monday, June 20th, 2005
.
Pride Parade - Portland 2005
Nobody can complain of any shortfall of solidarity at the Gay-Pride parade in downtown Portland yesterday afternoon. K-BOO's Glen Owen carried a microphone along the parade route, talking with both marchers and onlookers.(runs 3:18)
.

http://kboo.fm
503 231 8032 ex 203
KBOO fm / 20 SE 8th Ave / Portland OR 97214
AudioOnDemand : KBOO Gay Day 2005 coverage contrasts liberation, assimilation
AudioOnDemand : KBOO Gay Day 2005 coverage contrasts liberation, assimilation