Article about being queer and on community service in the UK, written by a participant.
Though there have been many appropriate criticisms of the recent discussion of marriage equality and the focus on liberal organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, the challenge to Proposition 8 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court has mobilized a mass of people to speak out and get organized. Organized by Basic Human Rights Oregon, the rally in support of marriage equality drew hundreds in front of the federal court house. Marriage equality is not the endgame of fighting heterosexism, but it can stand as a marker for those who are organizing more largely to challenge homophobia on an institutional level.
Queens, hookers, and hustlers: Organizing for survival and revolt amongst gender-variant sex workers, 1950-1970
By investigating public records, journals, and books published between 1895 and 1917, Terence Kissack expands the scope of the history of LGBT politics in the United States. The anarchists Kissack examines—such as Emma Goldman, Benjamin Tucker, and Alexander Berkman—defended the right of individuals to pursue same-sex relations, challenging both the sometimes conservative beliefs of their fellow anarchists as well as those outside the movement—police, clergy, and medical authorities—who condemned LGBT people.
In his book, Kissack examines the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, the life and work of Walt Whitman, periodicals such as Tucker's Liberty and Leonard Abbott's The Free Comrade, and the frank treatment of homosexual relations in Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, By defending the right to enter into same sex partnerships, free from social and governmental restraints, the anarchists po
Transphobic feminism makes no sense, argues Laurie Penny.
For decades, the feminist movement has been split over the status of trans people, and of trans women in particular. High-profile feminists such as Germaine Greer, Jan Raymond and Julie Bindel have spoken out against what Greer terms "people who think they are women, have women's names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody".
DD Johnston's review of Anarchism and Sexuality, a multi-authored book edited by Jamie Heckert and Richard Cleminson (Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2011).
I first encountered anarchism in my late teens (I had encountered sexuality a little earlier). Undoubtedly, anarchism made me a less bigoted, less dangerous person. I renounced explicit forms of homophobia and sexism that I had previously repeated uncritically. Simultaneously, however, I also developed new anxieties and confusions and sources of guilt.
The heterosexual questionnaire was created back in 1972 to put heterosexual people in the shoes of a gay person for just a moment. Questions and assumptions made of gays and lesbians that are unfair, are reversed and this time asked to straight people to demonstrate their absurdity.
1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2. When and where did you decide you were a heterosexual?
3. Is it possible this is just a phase and you will out grow it?
4. Is it possible that your sexual orientation has stemmed from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends know- how did they react?
A checklist from Queers United of things which heterosexuals do not have to be personally concerned about. We do not necessarily agree with all of it but reproduce it for reference.
On a daily basis as a straight person…
• I can be pretty sure that my roomate, hallmates and classmates will be comfortable with my sexual orientation.
• If I pick up a magazine, watch TV, or play music, I can be certain my sexual orientation will be represented.
David Berry's biographical account of Guerin's discovery of the working class and of the links between this and his homosexuality; and a discussion of his attempts to generalise from these experiences and to theorise the question in order to inform his political choices.
Originally appeared in Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate Vol 9, No 2 (2004)