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In the Spirit of Stonewall: Reflections on PRIDE and Queer Assimilation

Long gone are the days when our bars were raided by the police on a daily basis, when trannies carried bricks in their purses to swing at the cops, and pumps were both a fashion statement and a weapon.

We have lost the sexual liberation we once found at truck stops and bath houses. Gone are our playful, extravagant genders and our refusal to love and fuck like straight people. We have settled down, found monogamous, long-term partners, adopted children and someday soon, we may even be able to get married.

Our struggle against the church and all the hatred they spit at us has calmed. The altar now urges us to join them, so we too can be chained by their guilt and moralism.

We have lost our radical critique of war and militarism in our urge to prove that even fags can murder in the name of empire.

PRIDE attempts to white wash our radical history and convinces us that rebellion and radicalism are things of the past. They want us to think that our slow move towards assimilation has been a positive advancement, that we have come so far, and things will only get better.

As children we were told to wait—once we get out of the small towns we are from and proceed to those fabled queer havens called “college” and “the big city,” we will finally find an escape from the daily torture and ridicule.

As adults, finding these havens to be mirages, we are again told to wait.

Just one more law passed, just one more rally against homophobia. Just one more sympathetic politician and everything will get better. Just look at the progress we have made, they argue. We have our own television shows now, and straight people watch them. We have our own politicians. We even have gay cops. We only need to situate ourselves more comfortably in society and we will finally be accepted.

What this fails to recognize is that the safety afforded by this “progress” is only given to those who assimilate into the norms of society—who climb their way up the work-place ladder, who embrace the nuclear family, church and state.

For those of us who reject the logic of capitalist society, things will never get better. We will continue to be forced to live illegally, on the fringe of society: stealing, turning tricks and working multiple jobs to scrape by.

The queer-bashers who haunted us in the halls of school, and the police who called us “fags” from their cruisers will always be our enemies. We recognize them for what they are: violent forces to police us and the rest of the world into assimilation.

Our only hope lies in our embrace of the wild excesses and militant experimentation of generations of queers before us. It is only in the replication and deepening of these currents that we find the potential for liberation.

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3 thoughts on “In the Spirit of Stonewall: Reflections on PRIDE and Queer Assimilation

  1. thanks for writing this. mother fuck that god damn parade

    Posted by Anonymous | June 26, 2012, 10:42 am
  2. From: http://www.justsomequeers.com/2012/06/25/a-little-bit-of-pride/

    JUNE 25, 2012

    We had a bit of fun in the intense heat of Pride this Sunday. Despite some morning-of hiccups we introduced what we hope was a bit of perspective in a sea of corporate sponsorship, empty hand-waving and political pandering, and tons of people gleefully screaming at floats of companies that feed the LGBT community’s drinking problems in order to get some made-in-China beads and beer koozies. Sometimes perspective must come in the form of a giant rainbow phallus.



    Move forward. Don’t let fucking banks, utilities & gas companies, your absolute fave alcoholic beverage, a goddamn casino, a gay-for-a-day politician, or the police force hijack your identity or your struggle. And help get CeCe McDonald the fuck out of prison.


    Posted by Anonymous | July 3, 2012, 3:19 am
  3. The voice of ratyinalito! Good to hear from you.

    Posted by Carlee | June 7, 2017, 6:52 pm

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