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Homonationalism Means Bashing Queers June 9, 2016

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Decolonization, Feminism, Queer politics, Transhumanism.
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I just got back from Albuquerque’s Trans March to the Pride Candlelight Vigil. As I yelled “Death to the United States!” and “Death to imperialism!” during the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, two homonationalists put their hands on me, threatened to beat me up, grabbed my sign, and temporarily pulled it off its handle. This neatly illustrates what inclusion entails for normative LGBT subjects: bashing queers.

Pride 2016 Signs (1)

Earlier, during the Trans March, I engaged violent insurrectionist propaganda of the deed by following the lead of a few other folks and walking into the lane of traffic we were supposed to leave open. Security, safety, or whatever-the-hell people in reflective vests told me to know my place and get back in line. At first I ignored them. At a stop, when I don’t believe I was actually even blocking traffic, my presence out of the assigned area created a scene. One reflective person put their hands on me. Others endeavored to persuade me to conform. They said I was risking arrest. Somebody in the crowd said I needed to be peaceful.

“Death to peace!” I shouted. “There is no peace!”

When the march began moving again, I joined the main flow but on the outer edge, partially in the forbidden zone. When a person who identifies as an anarchist came to whip me into shape, I lost it and rushed through the crowd to the sidewalk. I the left the march at that point, as far I was concerned. I followed along as a bystander or perhaps heckler, not as a participant.

The security folks were doing what they thought was right, I’m sure. While I intentionally pushed the envelope, I suspect I would have gone with crowd after that pause if the peace police had simply let me stand there instead giving me a hard time.


Some attempts at control prove counterproductive.

Taking the whole street would have been safer and more fun. It’s fully appropriate, given the importance of trans lives and trans visibility.

Because of this debacle, I arrived at the vigil already enraged. The event announcer, Tony Carson, told us to get patriotic. “Death to patriotism!” I responded. Carson said something about taking that Saudi Arabia. I continued yelling through the ensuing U.S. nationalist ceremonies. I wasn’t in any mood to hold back.

Carson was the first homonationalist to confront me. Ey demanded that I leave, threatened to hurt me, and got up in my personal space. I alternated between yelling anti-U.S. slogans for everyone to hear and arguing with em. Ey grabbed my sign and we struggled over it. Another homonationalist came up and said ey would knock me out. Ey identified as a veteran. I said was condemning the United States as a political entity, not the individuals in the military. This second homonationalist also grabbed my sign, albeit with less vigor than the first.

A prominent LGBTQ organizer intervened with a liberal narrative of tolerance and free speech. The homonationalists had assaulted me and threatened me with bodily harm, but whatever. We’re all equal; it’s all good. Homonationalists who immediately turn to threats and physical attacks are the same as loud but technically peaceful queer anarchists as far as the big-tent LGBTQ movement is concerned, right? We just need to learn to get along. What’s a little domination, hierarchy, and oppression between family?

Nah, y’all ain’t my family.

Eventually a few folks with (un)Occupy Albuquerque approached and engaged. It felt like they had my back in the moment.

Although the homonationalists didn’t deliver the bashing they talked about, their repeated threats and physical aggression show how homonationalism functions. Becoming a respectable LGBT subject means disavowing radical queers who pose a danger to the nation. It means bashing those radical queers if they criticize the nation and won’t shut up.

After all, violence against the enemy and against the traitor is what nationalism is all about. It’s not surprising that these folks want to hurt me for insulting the United States, but it does tell you everything you need to know about the mainstream LGBT movement.

Homonationalists are another group of queer bashers. Their norms ain’t quite the same as your stereotypical straight homophobic man’s are, but they enforce them in the same fashion.

Albuquerque Pride condones and enables homonationalist queer bashing.

Queer anarchists struggle against all such policing. I wish had a queer transhumanist anarchist crew. (Ideally, each of these identifications implies the other two.) However, this is Albuquerque. Furthermore, queer transhumanist anarchist values hardly lend themselves to community.

Pride 2016 Signs (2)

While I respect certain oppositional nationalisms under present conditions, I consider U.S. nationalism utterly pernicious. Emma Goldman’s analysis of nationalism from the early twentieth century remains essentially correct. Nationalism and militarism stand in direct conflict with the core principles of freedom and justice, as well as with those of innovation, science, and technology. Sure, nationalism and militarism fuel technoscientific development at times, but much of this is wasted effort. Ultimately, free flow of information and of people does the most to advance science and technology, to make transhumanist dreams reality. Borders, militaries, and governments cause vast human suffering and hinder progress.

Death to the United States!




1. Summerspeaker - June 10, 2016

Via Facebook: “Evelyn Amethyst Strange how you say ‘death to the US’, yet you use the Internet to post a manufactured sticker of ‘anarchy’. It seems as though you want everything to be free, well good luck with that. Being a violent pig is not how you help the community, I’m glad you were thrown out. Just like when that one person came up bitching about white supremacy, and saying that all whites are evil, fuck that speech. Violence is met with violence, if you can’t handle it, then just bitch about it to the other ‘anarchists’. I’m glad you were not noticeable enough to bothe me, I didn’t notice you making a fool of yourself. Better luck next time.
sincerely, Evelyn Amethyst”

To clarify, I wasn’t kicked out. The homonationalists backed off. They didn’t follow through with their threats.

2. Summerspeaker - June 10, 2016

It turns out Tony Carson, one of the directors of Albuquerque Pride, was the first homonationalist to confront me. We talked on the phone just now. Carson at least had the integrity to own what happened and not deny it, though ey didn’t admit to threatening to bash me and says ey didn’t put eir hands on me. (I’m sure Carson did threaten to hurt me. I’m not sure whether ey actually touched me, though I suspect ey did. The other homonationalist certainly did.)

During our telephone argument, Carson predictably told me to join ISIS and that the United States military (and presumably also police force?) was the only reason I could be trans without somebody beating me up or killing me.

Homonationalist: “The state protects you from queer bashers!”

Anarchist: “No, it doesn’t, the state is oppressive! Death to the state!”

Homonationalist: “Get out of here or I’ll bash you!”

It’s marvelous how quickly protection turns into a threat.

3. Wes - June 25, 2016

maybe just maybe you should tone down the rhetoric? It doesnt really help anything and makes you seem a little crazy. I can imagine myself attending what is supposed to be a positive event with and someone yelling “Death to the United States!” would give me a lot of anxiety. What does that even mean, I would wonder. Does she want to kill everyone who has a government job? My parents have government jobs. People who use violent rhetoric make me very uncomfortable, I get a huge knot in my stomach every time someone uses it and my head starts pounding. They should have never put their hands on you though, but telling you to shut up is reasonable imo.

Summerspeaker - June 25, 2016

I can imagine myself attending what is supposed to be a positive event with and someone yelling “Death to the United States!” would give me a lot of anxiety.

Hearing the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem gives me lots of anxiety. In this case, I responded in kind.

Does she want to kill everyone who has a government job? My parents have government jobs. People who use violent rhetoric make me very uncomfortable, I get a huge knot in my stomach every time someone uses it and my head starts pounding.

I only call for death to things that aren’t alive. It means death to the United States as a political entity.

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