portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

gender & sexuality

More Queer People Murdered. Lesbian and Gay Organizations Seem to Care Less.

New Orleans Police discovered the bodies of three young, Black, Queer people in a 7th ward house Saturday. The three people, one of whom was gender variant, were all shot to death in the house sometime around 3 or 4am Thursday.
More Queer People Murdered. Lesbian and Gay Organizations Seem to Care Less

By Beau Vyne of BB! News

New Orleans Police discovered the bodies of three young, Black, Queer people in a 7th ward house Saturday. The three people, one of whom was gender variant, were all shot to death in the house sometime around 3 or 4am Thursday. Mainstream media and the Police are as of now ignoring the fact that the three people were queer and possibly trans. However, Facebook groups devoted to the three and comments on news sites, are raising interesting questions by Queer people of color as to why large Lesbian and Gay organizations are ignoring this. Many people have wondered as to whether there would be an LGBT organizational black out on such violence had the three been wealthy and white Gay businessmen.

The Lesbian and Gay movement is currently so focused on begging the state for a marriage license that they seem to have forgotten everyone who is not well off and white. On Wednesday Morning Jennifer Gale, a homeless TransWoman, froze to death because no shelters would take her in. On Thursday 3 Queer People in New Orleans were shot and killed. And on Friday, Join The Impact held silent candlelight vigils for their "Right" to Marry.

Needless to say that in this latest "struggle" for gay marriage, white people have consistently demonized communities of color for their role in passing Prop 8. To many in the marriage movement, Queer People of Color and Trans people do not even exist. It is typical for White people in the marriage movement to claim that Trans people should wait until Gays and Lesbians get their rights. When violence is perpetuated against Queers of Color, HRC and other marriage oriented organizations are typically silent. (See Duanna Johnson, The New Jersey Four, The 4 people just killed in New Orleans, Jennifer Gale and virtually every other trans person or queer/trans person or color) .

If we put all of the energy and money that is being wasted on the marriage movement into other projects, think of what we could do. We could easily open queer/trans friendly spaces for the homeless throughout the country. We could successfully demand, or better yet, provide free and quality healthcare to all people. Instead of collecting food and giving it to institutions that are notoriously corrupt, and yes, homophobic; we could collect food and distribute it ourselves. We could actively confront classism, racism, sexism, and transphobia amongst LGBTQ people. All the while militantly raising hell in the streets and disrupting business as usual, as every generation of Queers has since 1968. If we did all of these things and more, we would see more change than Barrack Obama has ever offered us.

What's more important: a marriage certificate or housing for people who are freezing on the street? A slip of paper or the guarantee that when multiple people in our community are shot at point blank range we stand up and bash the fuck back?! Why are we not focusing on the plague that is HIV/AIDS? Shouldn't we be making a big fucking deal seeing that in the last week alone 4 queer/trans people that we know of have been murdered?

It is long passed the time that queer and trans people got their shit together. We have been fighting since birth, by now you'd think we would now how to do it in an inclusive and effective manner.