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From Stone Wall on: Going back to go Forward The Childhood of the Revolution, The revoluti

Op-ed piece about the state of Queer liberation at the 40th anniversay of stonewall, and a call for the reradicalization of the queer politic
It is indeed hard to escape it. Though the mainstream "straight" media pays it no heed, the gay media is abuzz. This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. What makes Stonewall significant? Was it the first queer voice of the modern era? Certainly not, during the Weidar republic there had been a brief shining moment when significant strides had been made in the city of Berlin (this of course ended very badly, the rise of Adolf Hitler changed the cities "civil union" registry an easy way to identify, locate and round-up large numbers of what was the first modern queer rights movement. Though some fled and even a few waited out the war in hiding in Germany itself (for example the DaDa artist Hannah Hoch). It wasn't even the first time that the subject of gay rights had been advocated. The sisters of Bolita, and the matachine society had been "respectably" (and with all due respect to the immense bravery of those early advocates) quite ignorably picoting in DC, and doing the "letter writing" thing. No, what made Stonewall special, what makes it the Day we remember was that it was the day when queers not only advocated for their rights but refused the model of hetero-superiority. Rather than try to persuade the "big America" that they were deserving of human rights, the Queers of Stonewall stood up to the Cops in the streets of New York and REFUSED to be anything less than human.
It is an interesting moment, 40 years out, and to a certain extent the progress has been remarkable. With 5 states of the union approving gay marriage we are presented with a fascinating vista in which to view our movement, our identities and yes, ourselves. Queer Liberation represents a great deal more, in the end, then simply the liberation and equality of GLBT people. The gift of the queer rights movement is to grant individuals the power to self-define and to learn the skill of negotiating relationships. What feminism began, Queer liberation has begun to expand, and must eventually overwhelm the world with. The idea that None of our relationships my be simply based on an assumed model, that none of us has the right to presume a preconceived "order" upon human interaction. This began with Women agitating for a larger place in society, continued in women questioning assumed gender roles. Queer people, having no real pre-established model to turn to in terms of modeling a relationship are therefore, by necessity pushed to the forefront of the conscious creation of relationships. The fight for Queer Marriage is only the beginning.
It in fact has consumed so much of our attention, that we scarcely often can see any other issue in the Queer radar, but I ASSURE you, they are there! And in their own way, more pressing, and far more revolutionary! When we seek to open the definition of the Romantic/ life partner relationship to negotiation we also give this gift to straight people, who's relationships become increasingly more open to conscious definition and negotiation.
The next step involves the Elephant in the room. It is the subject that the main stream gay press fears to speak of, the fear of being seen as radical again. The fear that we may lose ground on gay marriage and "gays in the military" (a fight I can barely comprehend even in theory) has, in its way become the Anti-stonewall. The greatest challenge to the queer liberation movement, lies at the doorstep of what may be that least considered great human social liberation movement: The Rights of Children. I speak here of a queer suicide rate, a queer hard drug abuse rate, a queer alcoholism rate, The queer youth run-away (read throw-away)/ homeless population, with the street prostitution that accompanies this that dwarfs any comparison to society at large. These horrors grow from the dark seed of Child-property, and the assumed parental rights.
Now I am indeed walking on the most treacherous of political grounds, Sacred cow tipping, of that greatest of mythological creatures the wholesome family. But go there I, and more importantl we, must! It is the "right" of a parent to emotionally/ psychologically abuse a child in the name of the presumptions of culture, religion and simply the preconceived bigotries of the adult parent (read owner/handler). The darkest, and most painful reality of growing up queer, is that we may be raised in the home and at the hand of our own persecutor, and society at large judges that it is right to allow a child to be told they are evil, dirty, wrong, if that is the belief of the parent. When one person's belief may take precedence over someone else's rights to life and happiness, this is tyranny indeed!
We have allowed a debate over marriage rights, to take our eyes off true liberation, and focus upon the fetish of equality and liberty rather than the true article! To move forward, we must step into the grand brave shoes of Stonewall, of Act-up! Of Queer nation, that have been handed to us! We must now become that person who was not there for us, become that movement that we did not have! For when the revolution comes, the final revolution, the real revolution, it will be a child that leads the way.

Stonewall: The birth of gay power 10.Jun.2009 17:05

Sherry Wolf

"THE SIXTIES is often perceived as an era of social upheaval and orgiastic revelry. But for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) folks in America, the efflorescence of sexual expression did not begin until the waning months of that decade in the heart of the nation's then-largest bohemian enclave and gay ghetto, New York's Greenwich Village. The Stonewall Riots that began in the wee hours of June 28, 1969,1 lasted six nights and catapulted the issue of sexual liberation out of the Dark Ages and into a new era."


Commemorations upon commemorations... 11.Jun.2009 10:03


It bears mentioning that in addition to the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, this summer also marks the 30th anniversary of a camping trip that would become the foundation of the Radical Faeries. This is the first pride following the passing of John Burnside queer activist, and life partner of one of his fellow founders of the Radical Faeries, Harry Hay.
He and his partners remains are scheduled to be laid to rest in southern cascadia in the queer homeland this summer. The gifts of our fathers/ mothers leave us astonished. We owe them so much, and can only remember and repay our children. On his death longtime friend, Joey Cain remarked:

"We are sadden by our dear, sweet John's passing, but are gratified that John's last years were happy and he was surrounded by people who loved him. His life dispelled the notion that haunted all the early LGBT freedom fighters, that without the hetero family structure you will die lonely and unloved. The work that John, Harry and the other LGBT pioneers did has dispelled that destiny forever for all of us."

With us in Spirit, John Burnside November 2, 1916 - September 14, 2008

For More information see:  http://whitecrane.typepad.com/gaywisdom/2008/09/rest-in-peace-.html

QueerFest Eugene 16.Jun.2009 19:02

QueerFest queerfest09@gmail.com

In a brazen attempt to restore radicalism to our community, a celebration known as QueerFest will occur simultaneously with Eugene Pride on August 8th in Alton Baker Park. We at QueerFest wish to present an alternative version of queer reality, one that exists outside the scrum of mainstream political discussion. Details are still sketchy and will hopefully remain so until the date arrives. This is all we know for certain, the loss of our cultural distinction is an attempt to prepare all queers for easy digestion by that voracious creature known as mass society. Resistance is in order! Our blog  http://queerfest.wordpress.com/