War is Not a Queer Right

Even a bitter Queer curmudgeon like myself has to begrudgingly admit that we’ve come a long way, baby. I don’t know if I can join the chorus of pretty pink-washed celebrities in singing “It gets better!” After all, I’m still home alone with PTSD and miles away from getting laid. But there is no denying the colossal gravitational sea change in Queer tolerance we’ve seen over just the last decade. Openly gay commentators now have the cultural gravitas to join the rabid breeders on Fox News in demonizing trans kids, and even those demonized trans kids now have a devil’s lexicon of words and labels to make sense of our weird bodies. Back when I was in high school, not only was trans rights not even a thing but we had no idea what transgender even was. All we knew was we weren’t “them” and that was way bad. As a teenage non-binary dyke with a dick, not only did I not come out of the closet, I didn’t even know I was in one. I just thought I was some weird new subspecies of freak. I guess I wasn’t wrong, but it would have hurt a hell of a lot less if I had the tools to realize I wasn’t alone.

But all progress comes at a price and many of the most cherished tokens of LGBT rights are little more than concessions to assimilation that aren’t worth the price of the parades that celebrate them. Hate crimes laws empower the very same Prison Industrial Complex that disproportionately enslaves, mutilates, and rapes Queer bodies. Gay marriage offers validation to gays and lesbians who choose to celebrate their partnerships with heterosexual legal traditions while simultaneously legally invalidating traditionally Queer partnerships that don’t invite the state for a menage. But the worst of the worst when it comes to toxic progress can be found in that token of hetereo-cis-masculine ultraviolence known as the Military Industrial Complex, and this is why I cannot be found celebrating President Biden’s decision to allow transgender people like myself serve in our nation’s killing machine.

This, once again, makes me a minority within a minority. You see, dearest motherfuckers, I don’t support LGBT rights, I don’t even support that clownish corporate acronym. I support Queer power. I am what you might call a Queer Nationalist, which makes me a young member of a dying breed. We rose up from Stonewall with fists in the late Sixties and early Seventies and took our cues from the fledgling Black Power and Chicano movements. They weren’t begging congress for equality. They were demanding autonomy. They saw their people as a stateless third world nation and they didn’t want shit all to do with the American horror show that brought them on stage in chains.

Queer warriors like Masha P. Johnson and Miss Major heard the call of Huey Newton and came to an iconoclastic conclusion that we were a nation too. Queer people have been many things to this country, from whores to the Conquistador’s dog chow, but we have never really been Americans, and that was just fine by us. We are a multicultural race defined by our refusal to comply with the biological tyranny of White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. We too are a stateless third world nation imprisoned by the first, and the last thing we wanted was to serve in the imperial slaughter house that defined our captor’s power on the world stage. I continue to doggedly fight to keep this tradition alive, the tradition that shouts with a pink fist held high that there is simply no place for a Queer person in the straight man’s army.

But this shit cuts far deeper than anti-imperialism. What Joe Biden’s executive order to reverse Donald Trump’s executive order to reverse Barrack Obama’s executive order really stands for in no uncertain terms is slavery. It is a gift to the draft that puts my people one step closer to the tyranny of forced conscription. As it stands, all US citizens and legal residents between the ages of 18 and 25 assigned male at birth are forced to register with the Selective Service System, a pool of able young bodies ready, willing or not, to be thrown into the Buzzsaw of total war.

A lot of Americans suffer under the delusion that the draft was done away with in this country when in reality it was just put on hold after resistance to our genocidal campaign in Vietnam brought America’s youth to the brink of widespread open rebellion. The draft lottery was put on mute until things cooled down, but the right for the most violent military on earth to violate the shit out of the 13th Amendment and build another slave army of poor people to kill other poor people remains terrifyingly valid and I’ll be goddammed if I just sit by and watch tanks join the pride parade.

There are victories and there are hollow victories. Queer folks, like most minorities, pretty much subsist on the hollow variety in the game of civil rights. It was a hollow victory when Biden revoked Trump’s horrifically transphobic manipulations of Title IV because Trump had already made it frighteningly clear that that civil right could just as easily be turned into a lethal weapon as a token to diversity. That’s the dirty little secret of the Civil Rights Movement. It will always remain a fist fight for privileges as long as the power imbalance between white straight cis-male plutocracy and the rest of us Third World freaks remains.

This latest executive action isn’t even a hollow victory though. It’s an act of war against Queer bodies, and the assimilated LGBT civil rights movement has been fooled into cheering it on in the name of inclusion. “Hurray! We get to be fucked like breeders into killing other poor people on the other side of the world for a prison nation that continues to prey on us like Serengeti gazelle!” Well I’m sorry, dearest motherfuckers, but I’m not celebrating. War is not a Queer right, not one I want anything to do with anyway. Besides, we already have a war to fight and it’s against the very system that “includes” us.

Fight the real enemy.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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