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September 10, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Queer

I’ve noticed (and by noticed I mean have been told) there is a lot of bigoted behaviour going on in the queer community, and I, for one, am against it. Now I’m not trying to be like the Dalai Lama and say ‘love is good’ and ‘hate is bad’ because the word ‘duh’ automatically springs to mind. Rather, I’m urging people to look beyond themselves and become active and junk. Not physically active mind you (who has the time) but perhaps politically active.

We, the queer people, may be a minority group preaching about human rights until our throats hurt, but there are still all of the ‘isms’ exist among our ranks; sexism (e.g. misogynistic fags and lesbian separatists. It’s so easy to be sexist when you don’t need to rely on the opposite sex for romantic and sexual validation), racism, ageism, and yes, sometimes even homophobia(ism) and class(ism). We may be awesome, but we’re not perfect. We’re still human, and as Scott Adams stresses in his book ‘The Dilbert Future’, humans are stupid, selfish, and horny (note: horny could be defined as always desiring something).

Because of this, people find it difficult to think outside their box, and can only identify with themselves, or other similar things. Therefore they can “afford” to be unenlightened about issues that do not directly affect them. Like the parent who is anti-queer until their child comes out, and suddenly becomes a pioneer for queer rights. Or more cynically, like the parent who is anti-queer until their child comes out, and then tells all their friends about it over tea and biscuits, emphasising how much they love it, but become quietly passive aggressive when girlfriends and boyfriends are brought home. Maybe I shouldn’t be condemning those who genuinely reform after they realise what idiots they have been, but the point is that they did not do it until they were forced to confront the issue, and experience it firsthand, instead of arriving at the conclusion due to their own voluntary reflection.

What I’m trying to say is that it is hypocritical to fight for one’s minority group but be insensitive to others. How can we demand rights for ourselves, yet be ignorant of the rights of other minority groups? Haven’t we learned anything from our own struggles? Even being apathetic isn’t justifiable; it just shows that you have no social conscience towards anything that’s not directly related to you. Anyway, wasn’t it the acquiescence of the German people that allowed the slaughter of millions of Jews, not just the Nazis’ actual actions?

Equality is something everyone is striving for, isn’t it? So I urge you, my queer brethren, look beyond your own self, we are all in this struggle against oppression together – so why not unite? I understand that this could easily be dismissed as the unoriginal ranting of a bitter liberal suffering from “liberal guilt” or “post-colonial-arthritis”, but I’m not, it’s as simple as that. As a gay icon (i.e. my icon) Alfred Hitchcock once said, the worst part of the human condition is complacency. So, people all over the world join hands… start a love train (or something).

By Pazuzu and Clobberella

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (7)

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  1. SEANN says:

    What is this about and who wrote it?

  2. SEANN says:

    Some of the points ‘salient’ has made – need a little polishing but its basic common sense so why can’t the author put his or her real name and stand by these opinions?

  3. SEANN says:

    some advice though: you do realise that the strength of individualism is total right now? And that homosexuals/gays/queers etc are very much affected by that particular ideology? Its one of the reasons that the idea and ideal of a diverse queer ‘community’ doesn’t exist in a broader sense anymore even though the rhetoric suggests otherwise. ‘Community’ in its more profound, diverse version can really only exist when there’s oppression, struggle and conflict around. Do you agree or not?

  4. Kerry says:

    I’ll have a wild stab and say that was Patchali and Paul, writing away from their usual personas.

    Seann, I think the point being made is that diversity, yes, is engendered by struggle, but it doesn’t have to be a ghetto-ised struggle where you only care about your own, intimate circle of contacts.

    Do you see merit in understanding the civil rights abuses faced by gays in Burma/India/China, or would that only touch on your life if you knew someone from one of these countries?

    Or even the wider civil rights abuses being perpetrated under the “Patriot Act” in the USA, which is legislation that they are trying to get exported globally, so that anyone who isn’t white, hetero, middle-class and employed can be marked down as a possible terrorist, anywhere in the world. Try keeping funding for HIV/AIDS programs on the UN agenda after that!
    Compulsory Capitalism, more particularly, enforced consumption of the products of USA capitalism, is what’s driving the wrangles at the WTO, Gatt, Apec and G8 rounds of world leaders’ meetings. As we’ve seen in the Apec forum’s in Sydney over the past few days, it all gets rather paranoid and silly. A man who already has more power than he can logistically manage to deal with, goes around costing Australia millions in extra security measures, just because he can enforce their requirement to do so.

    Perhaps that’s all in the too hard, or not particularly releveant basket for you. But it does make running pride week look like a cakewalk.
    Goto the AGM on Thurs, and stand for something that matters to you. New UniQ exec members needed, smartly!

  5. Kerry says:

    I’ll have a wild stab and say that was Patchali and Paul, writing away from their usual personas.

    Seann, I think the point being made is that diversity, yes, is engendered by struggle, but it doesn’t have to be a ghetto-ised struggle where you only care about your own, intimate circle of contacts.

    Do you see merit in understanding the civil rights abuses faced by gays in Burma/India/China, or would that only touch on your life if you knew someone from one of these countries?

    Or even the wider civil rights abuses being perpetrated under the “Patriot Act” in the USA, which is legislation that they are trying to get exported globally, so that anyone who isn’t white, hetero, middle-class and employed can be marked down as a possible terrorist, anywhere in the world. Try keeping funding for HIV/AIDS programs on the UN agenda after that!
    Compulsory Capitalism, more particularly, enforced consumption of the products of USA capitalism, is what’s driving the wrangles at the WTO, Gatt, Apec and G8 rounds of world leaders’ meetings. As we’ve seen in the Apec forums in Sydney over the past few days, it all gets rather paranoid and silly. A man who already has more power than he can logistically manage to deal with, goes around costing Australia millions in extra security measures, just because he can enforce their requirement to do so.

    Perhaps that’s all in the ‘too hard’, or ‘not particularly relevant’ basket for you. But it does make running pride week look like a cakewalk.
    Go to the AGM on Thurs, and stand for something that matters to you. New UniQ exec members needed, smartly!

  6. anna says:

    this is rediculous! everything is taken too seriosly! there is no deal being bi and iv descovered many girls are! the numbers of girls i get is rediculously funny and how many girls are interested too date or atleast sleep with another girl.

    so shush and grow up and stop complaining!

  7. Ivy says:

    *groans at a gigantic missing of the point*

    Hi. Perhaps what Pazuzu [1] and Clobberella are getting at is that there are people in the queer community who have prejudices, or perpetuate stereotypical view of people of other races, genders or sexualities.
    I have personally come across a number of racist people in the queer community (in Auckland) and many people who are all too willing to go along with their views, their stereotypes. There are gay men who have odd opinions on lesbians or women in general or gay men who aren’t like them, overweight and obese people; lesbians who have odd views on gay men, or straight men, or obese people, or lesbians who aren’t like them.
    Thankfully, none of them are transphobic- at least not in front of me (they might be unsure whether I’d kick their ass), but just ’cause I’m not the target that doesn’t mean I should just ignore discriminatory views and intellectual laziness.

    That’s what I think the authors are getting at.

    To Kerry: If you want to campaign against american hegemony and capitalism, and rail against human rights abuses the world over, that’s cool, but I don’t think UniQ is the best forum for that. Sure, UniQ will do some political activity to highlight human rights concerns, with a particular focus on queer issues, but UniQ is also a social group, and a place for those questioning their sexuality, or dealing with life issues pertaining to being queer to have a safe place to go.

    To Anna: has anyone assumed that you’re a lesbian if dating a woman or straight if dating a man? Are you under any pressure to be one or the other? Do people have misconceptions about your identity? Because some bi people do, and so while it’s cool that you haven’t had any worries some bi people face these issues, and they need to be discussed.

    So saith the Violet Vines.

    [1] Wicked. But I’d better not do that with my name, I might end up as Isuzu.

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