Don’t-Say-Gov: What Queer Kids Need Now is Anarchy

There is a growing conspiracy against your children in this country and it’s being waged by Queer genderbending perverts like me. We have successfully infiltrated your schools and your doctor’s offices and we are using them to peddle our evil pagan agenda of sexual liberation. We are grooming your children to reject the gender rewarded to them by God through the blessed miracle of federal government documentation in favor of the wicked contents of their souls.

We’re indoctrinating them into our twisted ideology by teaching them the evils of bodily autonomy and sickening predatory notions about adults not being allowed to define their sexuality against their will. We’re desegregating public spaces and pushing weird harmless medications on them used for decades to safely regulate a wide variety of adolescent hormonal conditions. We’re erasing the imaginary line drawn by the scholars of the Puritanical Era dividing human beings into two exclusive classes based solely on the aesthetics of their outward genitalia. In other words, crazy faggots like me are bringing on the decline of Western Civilization and only a vote for the humble heroes in your local Republican Party can stop us.

This is what those howling Karens of the GOP would have you believe but even this big bad wolf ain’t that bad. As much as I would love to take credit for the razing of Protestant values in this country, I regret to inform you that this conspiracy to liberate your children from the bondage of the gender binary with the bulldozer of the public school system is little more than an election year partisan hoax. What little information that actually reaches your precious darlings through the bars on their classroom windows about their own bodies and their right to define them is few and far between.

Oh, there is a fucking revolution going on. The caskets you built for this nation’s youth that you call closets are exploding left and right across the country but this righteous leveling is being carried out by a grassroots movement led by the children themselves. In fact, a lot of Queer adults like myself owe our own liberation to the pint-sized gender outlaws that arrived a generation after our government facilitated indoctrination into the gender binary and our hearts break to see you fuckers use them as scapegoats to prove how conservative you are to their terrified elders, all in the name of saving the children from themselves.

Across the country, Rockefeller Republicans like Ron DeSantis are trying to throw irate populists off the trail of their deep state connections and Wall Street donors by demonizing Queer children and the few brave adults who support them with a slew of laws that use the tools of big government to regulate everything from their free speech rights to their private medical decisions, and bills that silence classroom discussions on gender and sexuality like the tactically broad Don’t-Say-Gay bill are just the tip of the spear. Five states have passed anti-Queer legislation this year alone. In fact, nearly 240 state bills to regulate sexuality and gender in minors have been filed in the last three months, part of a bigoted barrage that includes 670 such bills since 2018.

Some of these laws threaten to charge doctors with felonies for child abuse just for treating transgender minors with proven suicide-reducing hormone treatments like puberty blockers. Some of them are going after their parents and threatening to rob them of the custody of their children for their own private medical decisions. Most of these laws will likely never pass but the damage is already done. They’ve created a campaign of terror targeting some of the kids at the greatest risk of suicide and self-harm in the country, and for what?

This isn’t conservatism. Every fucking one of these bills grows the government like vines that reach directly into our already over-regulated classrooms and doctor’s offices. This is big government social engineering for the sole purpose of allowing rich Washington crooks to virtue signal to backwoods bigots who don’t know the first goddamn thing about my people other than the fact that they want us all to fucking disappear.

But never fear, Queer people! Here come the Democrats on their gallant white steed to save us from the evils of government intrusion with more government intrusion. Crooked gangsters like Joe Biden have promised to save us from crooked gangsters like Ron DeSantis as long as we agree to look the other way while they instigate World War 3 in Ukraine. I can’t possibly be the only Queer person who is sick to death of this fucking culture war shell game.

The state terrorizes us, the state saves us, the Lord giveth and Lord taketh away. Is this what we bloodied our knuckles for at Stonewall? To be at the mercy of the charity of powerful straight warmongers? Is this really what Queer liberation looks like in 2022? I think we can do better, in fact I know we can and we owe it to our kids, the ones who showed us the way. Any institution granted the power to crush our children doesn’t require reform, it requires destruction. This includes the police, this includes prisons, and hell yes this includes compulsory schooling.

You cannot reform an institution designed to enslave and police poor people, and if that doesn’t include the compulsory school system then I don’t know what does. The public school system in this country was not built to educate, it was built to indoctrinate. This was an apparatus originally erected to propagate the puritanical tyranny of the King James Bible. It has been used for generations as a tool to colonize and Americanize Black folk, Native Americans, and immigrants and it has been a consistent tool of abuse against Queer children.

My people are defined by a spiritual and biological drive to be free from the harsh restrictions of sexual and gender conformity, and we have always languished in the factories of conformity that make up this nation’s school system. A system that grants typically cis-hetero authority figures total hegemony over our bodies and our minds. These are institutions designed for the express purpose of instilling the kind of compliance and rigidity that runs contrary to our very nature. Is it really any wonder that so many Queer kids kill themselves under these conditions? What Republican national socialists like Ron DeSantis are advocating isn’t a deviation from this cruel tradition, it’s a return to form and I for one have had enough of it.

I spent the first decade of my childhood rotting like a Jack-o-lantern in a stifling Catholic gulag with textbooks. I had no idea who or what the fuck I was because nobody ever taught me that I had any goddamn choice in the matter. I was indoctrinated into believing that boys and girls were two separate and distinct species and that anyone like me who didn’t quite fit into one of these tight little boxes was a pervert and a sinner and was probably going to burn in hell. I grew up lonely and afraid, believing that there wasn’t another single human being like me on the planet.

When I finally left this parochial hellhole, I welcomed the promise of the supposedly secular public school system with open arms, believing foolishly that I would finally find my people and an identity that didn’t fit like a crown of thorns. What I found was more of the same. More conformity. More forced genderization. More ridicule from bullies, only now the bullies had tenure and a union to back them up. I didn’t find my people until well after I graduated and by this time, I was already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by decades of spiritual abuse, isolation, and stigma. I dearly wish I could tell you that I was the only one but quite literally every single Queer person I know has shockingly similar horror stories and I’m sick of hearing excuses to keep an industry running that produces more of them like a machine fueled by broken childhoods. It’s a fucking disgrace.

Before I knew what the fuck Queer even was, I called myself an anarchist and as far as I’m concerned, the two will always be synonymous. There was no chickenhawk faggot to groom me with suggestions for alternative pronouns. I just knew instinctively that I needed to break free from all the rules and institutions that made me want to die. That’s because there is absolutely nothing new or unnatural about my identity. Third genders had existed for a millennia before a bunch of dudes in cassocks clutching crucifixes stomped all over us with their laws and their lies about our existential wickedness.

What’s unnatural is the state and carceral institutions like schools that disconnect us from our elders and our communities. What we need is an education free from classrooms and curriculums where children are treated as equals and not segregated from the rest of society. The kind of education envisioned by Queer mavericks like Paul Goodman who dreamed of free schools held in urban storefronts where educators served as guides that taught children how to exist with pride and confidence on the city streets around them.

And there is no reason why this Queer anarchy should end with deschooling society. We don’t need powerful breeders to liberate us from their own devices. We don’t even need a revolution, at least not in the macho Bolshevik sense of the word. All we really need is a direct democratic system of alternatives to the straight world. Queer militias to protect us from the police state with dayglow ski masks and matching Kalashnikovs. Mutual aid societies to protect us from the powerful predators of the mental health industry who try to diagnose our way of life as a treatable illness. Truly free pink markets on the dark web to protect us from the hormone Nazis in Big Pharma. We don’t need a state. We need a community that makes the existence of the state totally irrelevant. We need to build a new Queer society inside the cracking shell of this old puritanical empire so that when Western Civilization finally does collapse, we’ll be ready to catch fireflies on the ruins.

And it all starts with smashing the prison of your local schoolhouse. Our kids ignited a revolution by reminding us of who we’ve always been. Let’s return the favor by setting them free.

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.