Queer people do not need …

Queer people do not need to offer excuses or defend their own existence. If one could become queer by simply waking up one morning and deciding to become queer, for a day, for an hour, it wouldn’t change the fact that being queer is just as good, as valid, as worthy, as being straight. Providing straight people with reasons or excuses for our queerness simply confirms their suspicions that our sexuality really is their business and that we need to justify our existence to them. This allows heterosexists to continue to believe there is something superior about heterosexuality, and that being queer is a deviation from some kind of normal or default sexuality. There isn’t and it’s not.

We don’t need to justify ourselves to anyone. We don’t need a reason to be queer. Maybe we were born this way, maybe we weren’t. Maybe sexuality is fluid for some people and not for others. It’s totally irrelevant either way. The message we need to send to heterosexists is not that our sexuality was foisted upon us and that they should be “tolerant” and “understanding”. The message is: our sexuality is perfectly valid and none of your business, we offer you no excuses, and we are never going away.

– From Fauxgress Watch: “Born This Way”:
http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2011/10/fauxgress-watch-born-this-way/

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Quote from “Whose Feminism is it Anyway? The Unspoken Racism of the Trans Inclusion Debate”

“Speaking from the perspective and the tradition of lesbians of color, most if not all rationales for excluding transsexual women are not only transphobic, but also racist. To argue that transsexual women should not enter the Land because their experiences are different would have to assume that all other women’s experiences are the same, and this is a racist assumption. The argument that transsexual women have experienced some degree of male privilege should not bar them from our communities once we realize that not all women are equally privileged or oppressed. To suggest that the safety of the Land would be compromised overlooks, perhaps intentionally, ways in which women can act out violence and oppressions against each other. Even the argument that “the presence of a penis would trigger the women” is flawed because it neglects the fact that white skin is just as much a reminder of violence as a penis. The racist history of lesbian-feminism has taught us that any white woman making these excuses for one oppression have made and will make the same excuse for other oppressions such as racism, classism, and ableism.”

— Emi Koyama’s “Whose feminism is it, anyway?” (via http://queerandpresentdanger.tumblr.com) (Source: eminism.org)

PETITION – “FREE CECE: Drop the Charges Against CeCe McDonald”

{Trigger warning: Transphobic/racist violence}

“Last summer, CeCe McDonald, a young African American transgender woman, was violently attacked in the heart of South Minneapolis. As she and several friends, also African American and queer or allied, were walking to the grocery store, a group of white adults standing outside of a bar started shouting racist and transphobic insults at them, calling the youth “faggots,” “niggers,” and “chicks with dicks”. Tragically, the violence did not stop there- one of the white adults slashed CeCe across the face with a broken bottle, cutting all the way through her cheek, and another of the attackers was fatally stabbed.

Amazingly, in the aftermath of this racist and transphobic attack, the only person facing charges is CeCe McDonald- the victim. Michael Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney, has charged CeCe with two counts of second degree murder. Because of these charges, she has been unable to recover from the attack and prevented from continuing her studies at the Minneapolis Community Technical College. Considering that County Attorney Michael Freeman has dropped charges in similar situations this year and that he has advocated strongly for programs to keep kids in school, arguing “We all know that when kids miss school they don’t learn,” why is Michael Freeman ruthlessly going after this young student?

We refuse to allow racism and transphobia, on Minnapolis streets or in Minneapolis courts. We support CeCe. We are waiting for County Attorney Michael Freeman to honor his committment, in his words “to serve all of our citizens with understanding, dignity, and respect” by dropping the charges against CeCe McDonald. ”

 

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

 

Also, for more info this issue more broadly check out the website http://captivegenders.net/ (focused on the relationship between race, gender, ability, and sexuality & the prison industrial complex) &/or the “Captive Genders” book 

 

“Captive Genders is at once a scathing and necessary analysis of the prison industrial complex and a history of queer resistance to state tyranny. By analyzing the root causes of anti-queer and anti-trans violence, this book exposes the brutality of state control over queer/trans bodies inside and outside prison walls, and proposes an analytical framework for undoing not just the prison system, but its mechanisms of surveillance, dehumanization and containment. By queering a prison abolition analysis, Captive Genders moves us to imagine the impossible dream of liberation.”

–Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and editor of Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity