Jimmy, NYC

Culture Wars

Rebels  with a cause

And a cause without rebels

Who are we? Is there a "we"? Does it matter?
Thoughts on the world we want.
And the worlds we make


Battles over "gay marriage" mask a more fundamental struggle: for the power to define who "gay people" are. How should we live? How do we hope be regarded by the rest of the world? And why?

But there is no one "we," no single coherent "community" united by our desires. Within what, for public consumption, gets called the "gay community" -- even the "gay / lesbian / bisexual / transsexual / transgendered / queer / other / plus community" (reducing wildly different lives to a bureaucratically "inclusive" acronym: LGBT; even LGBTTO+) -- there is more human diversity, more distinct experiences, perceptions, values and desires than any of us can claim to define, control, or represent.

Yet some do claim to represent us, even to define who "we" are. And what we want. But we do not all want, or need, the same things.



Welcome to our world!
Now here's the rule book.
The Real World blesses homosexual matrimony
-- in the name of "social stability"

In Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights, two guys conjoined in a Toronto ceremony "covered like a royal wedding" let us into their comfortable version of reality -- reshaped by the media and its savvy manipulators. "A wealth of literate and sensitive insights into the 15-minute variety of fame and its effects on those caught up by it."

Paying the price
Some of us paying more than others.
Demanding the same respectable rights;
willfully dismissing social wrongs

On the 1999 lead of dyke dynamo Chris Bearchell, members of Egale ponder the impact of absolute equality on low-income pairs. Many see potential injustices; some question marriage as the final goal. Others drop a few crocodile tears but won't give in: Full Equality! Nothing less! No matter the cost! A cost few middle-class marriage mavens will pay. Poor slobs will.

Bodies unbound
The Hidden Cameras: Communal cacophony,
liberated energy, a wall of sound -- & the walls
come tumbling down

"Ban Marriage! "We aren't fools to fall in love, but let 'coupledom' die."

It's a big hit -- sung to "the tones and groans of gay church folk music." The Hidden Cameras, a fluid menage of music and art, hymns and pop (and boys and girls beyond fretting "sexual orientation") get everyone from Goth punks to "LGBT" Pride festers up off their butts, dancing -- in joyous celebration of the body. Our own bodies: as sacred fonts of erotic power -- not "gay market" commodities.

Shame on you!
Claiming we're not all "just like everybody else"
could get you branded a traitor

Radical "Pomo-Homos" as "nitwit" collaborators of religious right "Traditionalists"? Check out the "common sense" logic of "Modernist" marriage mavens -- and then, my dear, watch your mouth.

Don't groan: organize!
Making change: with just small change. And big dreams.

Lessons from a '90s queer punk 'zine (become a flick) -- & another little 'zine born in 1971. Tired of gagging on smarm and sanctimony? Go GAGM! A bit of fun with this tiresome issue -- if with serious point: social change starts with just a few people talking. See how to add your talk to this site.




Go back to:
Ideas  in play  (Main contents page)
Gay marriage? Wrong question  (Lead page)

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This page: http://www.rbebout.com/getfree/wars.htm
February 2003 / Last revised: May 1, 2003
Rick Bébout © 2002 / rick@rbebout.com