Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing left to lose (preamble)

Our new Housing Authority case manager decided that, despite bouts of the most intense cleansanity, our window tracks weren’t quite clean enough…and so, evicted us – a new and wholly unfamiliar experience for us.

Our oldest two children were at my sister’s, in anticipation of our move; my husband and I were asleep on the floor with our two youngest children, thinking we had at least one more day, when a loud knocking at the front door awakened us. Blinking sleepily, we opened the door to a team of “movers” and a sheriff, who ordered us to vacate immediately. I was still in a fog as I gathered together shoes and keys and computer stuff, speaking soothingly to the children as I dropped them off with a friend.

I returned to a scene: though we’d moved the majority of our belongings into storage the day before, some meaningful items still remained; these, the movers were throwing unceremoniously into black trash bags and onto the front lawn. In under an hour, the house was completely empty; an “Unlawful to Occupy” tag was slapped onto the front window, and the whirlwind of people vanished just as quickly as they’d appeared.

We were told we’d have 48 hours to retrieve our belongings from the grounds. Fully awake now, but dazed with shock, I somehow willed myself into opening the black trash bags and retrieving what mattered – and there was plenty: photographs of a 19–year-old me, fragile knick-knacks that meant so much, hard drives containing important files, dried and canned food items. I stashed the rescued items into the shed and piled the garbage together neatly. When nightfall came, we’d yet to dismantle the large swingset, and our friend with the truck had not returned as promised; so we slapped a padlock on the shed with plans to move the rest in the morning.

Retreating to a motel, we slept deeply; when morning came, we checked out.

We returned to what had been our home just a day before, astonished: the lock had been broken off the shed, and the parties responsible had helped themselves to our modest treasures. Everything meaningful was gone -- including birth certificates, social security cards and tax returns -- and what the vultures deemed unworthy was spread all over our carefully tended yard, natural-disaster style. It took a while to register…and I was stunned to realize they’d even dismantled and made off with the swingset in the middle of that windswept night.

I stumbled under the weight of unseen eyes and sneers; again, I willed myself into composure, forcing myself not to cry as I picked through the soggy piles of toys, books and clothing one last time. Eventually I ceded, sighing and defeated. I sat in the driver’s seat clenching the steering wheel, gazing at the house through tear-filled eyes; with a sorrow-choked voice, I thanked it for the years of warmth and shelter it gave my family.

As I drove off, I glimpsed the nappy crackheads who live catty-corner, peeking at me through their dirty, sagging mini-blinds…and the out-of-control Mexican boy Elmer who lives three doors down -- the up-and-coming young arsonist who set the Adams school playground and park on fire, and recently broke into the school building to vandalize it with a fire extinguisher…whose family was almost certainly responsible for inflicting upon us our own personal and material destruction -- riding his bike and feigning innocence. The Chinese man next door looked at me sadly and waved goodbye, as did the elderly Japanese woman across the street; I waved back…wanting them both to only remember the smiling me.

That house on the corner, directly across the street from Adams Elementary and Adams Park, where my family would sit and swing, listening to the music of school children’s laughter while enjoying the view and each other; that house where we strove to be stewards of our low-income neighborhood, working with, in and for our community; my love for that house knew no bounds. Like Adams Elementary School, and Adams Park, the house is now just a dry and empty shell, with barely a memory of what once was.

Dirty window tracks or no, the neighborhood will be the worse without us. Homeless are we, and down – but not out; with nothing left to lose, we trudge forward...ever faithful for a brighter tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q: Who is a fly girl?

A: Not Jan Tanner.

Definition of "fly" from cool, in style.

Judging from her decrease from four eyes to two, I figure Jan must have had unsuccessful Lasik surgery on her eyes; otherwise, what the hell kind of explanation can she have for her consistently ugly clothing choices? Enough is enough, Jan - friends don't let friends dress that way!

I'm like *so* busy, Jan, as you are too, I'm sure; we'd certainly have trouble meshing our schedules in order for me to properly mentor and counsel you on your frequent fashion foibles - and you definitely need *intense* one-on-one mirror training. You'd have a lot more success establishing some synchronicity with Kris Odom -- who, while also very busy, differs from you in that she happens to know how to dress herself.

Jan, look at Kris -- then imitate her the best you can.

I'm a little surprised that your thriftiness has outweighed your craftiness; otherwise, you'd already have a professional stylist on board. Didn't you learn in grade school that clothes make the girl?

Promise me to take it under your serious consideration; it will certainly do you well in your pursuit of higher office.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ha ha

Friday, April 23, 2010

Whathisname and whatshername

Emphasis added is my own 
Cabbage Patch Babies

In the state of California babies are found in the cabbage patch, brought perhaps by the stork. At least that is how it may be taught in the public schools when new bills SB777, AB 394 and AB 14, signed by Schwarzenegger, outlawing terms perceived as negative to “gays” in the public school curriculum, are implemented. No longer will it be socially correct to use terms such as Mom and Dad or Husband and Wife.  But wait a minute; even “gays” have a Mom and a Dad.  By signing this bill Arnold Schwarzenegger shows he is the “girlie-man.”  Just like the students, does that mean he can use either the ladies’ or the men’s bathroom?
Is there a new hidden agenda behind this new law?  Is there a plan that heterosexual reproduction is about to be outlawed?  Will we all have to start reproducing by cloning?  Perhaps they are considering instituting a Nazi Germany Eugenics plan, where the state decides which eggs meet up with which sperm.  How did those kids turn out without a real Mom and Dad?  Did they win any Nobel prizes?  I wonder how many were sexually molested with only the state to protect them?  Will it be considered fair game that, since only a Mom and a Dad can make a baby, the baby will be removed and given to a “gay” couple to raise in their “gay” lifestyle?  This doesn’t sound like a religious issue to me.  It sounds like an attack on the family unit of biological mother, father and children.  It sounds like a giant step toward the death of humanity, no matter what lifestyle or religion you follow.

 Mauri (11/1/07)


'Mom' and 'Dad' banished by California

Schwarzenegger signs law outlawing terms perceived as negative to 'gays'

Posted: October 13, 2007
1:00 am Eastern
© 2010

"Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" effectively have been banned from California schools under a bill signed byGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose.

"We are shocked and appalled that the governor has blatantly attacked traditional family values in California," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.

"With this decision, Gov. Schwarzenegger has told parents that their values are irrelevant. Many parents will have no choice but to pull their children out of the public schools that have now become sexualized indoctrination centers."

"Arnold Schwarzenegger has delivered young children into the hands of those who will introduce them to alternative sexual lifestyles," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, which worked to defeat the plans. "This means children as young as five years old will be mentally molested in school classrooms.

"Shame on Schwarzenegger and the Democrat politicians for ensuring that every California school becomes a homosexual-bisexual-transsexual indoctrination center," he said.

Analysts have warned that schools across the nation will be impacted by the decision, since textbook publishers must cater to their largest purchaser, which often is California, and they will be unlikely to go to the expense of having a separate edition for other states.

The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.

"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values," said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute. 

"These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured.

"Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation," she said.

England told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including "mom" and "dad." But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias.

"Having 'mom' and 'dad' promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of 'mom' and 'dad' or include everything when talking about [parental issues]," she said. "They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory."

Also signed was AB394, which targets parents and teachers for such indoctrination through "anti-harassment" training, CCF said.

Schwarzenegger had vetoed almost identical provisions a year ago, saying existing state law already provided for penalties for discrimination.

"We had hoped that the governor would once again veto this outrageous legislation but he obviously decided to side with the out-of-touch extremists that control the legislature. This law does not reflect the true values of the average Californian," said England. "True leadership means standing up for what is true and right."

Thomasson said SB777 prohibits any "instruction" or school-sponsored "activity" that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against "gender" – the bill's definition includes cross-dressing and sex changes – as well as "sexual orientation."

"Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school," CCF noted.

Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.

CCF noted that now on a banned list will be any text, reference or teaching aid that portrays marriage as only between a man and woman, materials that say people are born male or female (and not in between), sources that fail to include a variety of transsexual, bisexual and homosexual historical figures, and sex education materials that fail to offer the option of sex changes.

Further, homecoming kings now can be either male or female – as can homecoming queens, and students, whether male or female, must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room corresponding to the sex with which they choose to identify.

AB394 promotes the same issues through state-funded publications, postings, curricula and handouts to students, parents and teachers.

It also creates the circumstances where a parent who says marriage is only for a man and a woman in the presence of a lesbian teacher could be convicted of "harassment," and a student who believes people are born either male or female could be reported as a "harasser" by a male teacher who wears women's clothes, CCF said.

Thomasson said Schwarzenegger also signed AB14, which prohibits state funding for any program that does not support a range of alternative sexual practices, including state-funded social services run by churches.

Affected will be day cares, preschool or after-school programs, food and housing programs, senior services, anti-gang efforts, jobs programs and others.

Thomasson said it also forces every hospital in California – even private, religious hospitals – to adopt policies in support of transsexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality and opens up nonprofit organizations to lawsuits if they exclude members that engage in homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual conduct.

"It's the height of intolerance to punish individuals, organizations, businesses, and churches that have moral standards on sexual conduct and sexual lifestyles," said Thomasson, in response to the signing of AB14. "This is another insensitive law that violates people's moral boundaries."

The vitriol over the issue rose to new levels in its latest campaign.

As WND reported, a board member for the homosexual advocacy group Equality California verbally attacked and threatened CRI for its opposition to the bill earlier.

The board member sent an e-mail and video to CRI threatening the group would be buried if it continued efforts opposing the homosexual advocacy.

"The shocking hate mail we received shows that those behind this legislation do not promote true tolerance," said England. "Only politically correct speech will be tolerated. Those with religious or traditional moral beliefs will not be allowed to express their opinions in public schools."

She also cited an informational document published by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the Transgender Law Center that already is lobbying for special treatment in the school system.

"If you want to use a restroom that matches your gender identity … you should be allowed to do so," it advises. "Whenever students are divided up into boys and girls, you should be allowed to join the group or participate in the program that matches your gender identity as much as possible."

Further, the groups advise, "If you change your name to one that better matches your gender identity, a school needs to use that name to refer to you." The advocacy group also warns schools against bringing parents into any such discussion with students.

WND has documented a number of earlier cases in which educators, including leaders in California, have taken it upon themselves to promote a homosexual lifestyle to children under their charge.

WND reported California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, under whose supervision hundreds of thousands of children are being educated, has used his state position and taxpayer-funded stationery to praise a "gay" pride event used in the past to expose children to sexually explicit activities.

That drew vehement objections from several educators, including Priscilla Schreiber, the president of the Grossmont Unified High School District governing board.

"I am outraged that a person in this high-ranking elected position would advocate an event where diversity is not just being celebrated but where pornography and indecent exposure is being perpetrated on the young and innocent children of our communities," she said.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unappetizing fashion plates - updated

This is the last of my "gay" posts -- at least for the moment.  I thought it would be nice to end on a light that celebrates fashion diversity...

I originally came across this site while looking up pictures of fingerless gloves and gay sculptors who specialize in dead-baby art.

You'd think with all that money, Jan Tanner could afford to buy herself a smidgen of style; actually, she can afford it, she must just be HELLA cheap.   In case you -- like Jan and her pet parrot Luann Long -- struggle with putting together a decent outfit, check it out; but it might be wise to check with your doctor first...some of these 21st century get-ups might cause dizziness, heart palpitations, mood swings, dry mouth...

A picture is worth a thousand words...and after taking a gander at this website, you might find yourself babbling a thousand gazillion of them; either that, or sprinting down The Boulevardier.

Reparations -- what the Hay??

A Gazette reader named "carrotcakeman" who claims I "hate" him made the accusation that I get my information from "gay hate" websites.  But actually, I pull my information from "pro gay" websites; I prefer to use their own statements to bolster my own.  The following was taken directly from

Harry made the following statement to a press conference on June 24, 1994, in the former Stonewall Inn on Sheridan Square in New York, site of the riots that launched the modern gay movement in June 1969.  The press conference was called to announce the Spirit of Stonewall (SOS) contingent in the Stonewall 25 march two days later.  It was moderated by SOS co-organizer and indefatigable activist Bill Dobbs.  Other participants were Christine Martin, sex educator and documentary filmmaker; Glenda Orgasm (aka Glenn Belverio), drag queen activist and filmmaker; Scott O’Hara, editor and publisher of Steam magazine; Val Langmuir of Feminists Against Censorship (London); Julia Smedley, member of Stonewall Now; and Charley Shively of Fag Rag and professor of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts.

This statement was transcribed from a videotape of the press conference. A much shorter version—which omits any mention of NAMBLA or SOS, as well as the entire last half of the statement and the first paragraph—appeared inRadically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of Its Founder Harry Hay, ed. Will Roscoe (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), p. 303. These omissions seem odd in view of the fact that Harry read from a written text.  The truncated version also used capital letters for words such as “Brothers and Sisters” and “Queers,” a convention that is not followed here since this complete version is not based on a written text.


Sir Julian Huxley, the great English biologist, said, at the beginning of this century, no negative trait—and, as you know, a negative trait is one that does not reproduce itself—no negative trait ever appears, and reappears, millennia after millennia after millennia, unless it in some way serves the survival of that species.  We gays and lesbians may embody, or have discovered, some things that you folks desperately need to know about.

I’m here today as a survivor, as well as the founder of the first ongoing gay organization in the United States, the Mattachine Society, first formed in 1950 in Los Angeles, and now, naturally, a member of SOS, the Spirit of Stonewall, because things we discovered about ourselves and principles we developed in 1950 to ‘53 are now being trashed by queers who don’t know their own history, all over the place.
We decided from the beginning that, first, because we were still discovering our parameters, we wouldn’t censure each other.  If people like NAMBLA self-identify themselves to me as gays and lesbians, I accept them as brothers and sisters with love.

Second, when we decided to rejoin the social or political mainstream again, we would integrate as the group we saw ourselves to be, complete with our own set of values, or we would not integrate at all.

And third, we would no longer permit any heteros—nationally or internationally, individually or collectively—to tell us who we are, what persons our groups should or should not consist of.  We assert our right to self-determination, we assert our right to collective self-definition.  We queers will decide for ourselves who our members should be.

Members of SOS, notably NAMBLA, have been accused of child molestation.  Insofar as child molestation is concerned, the most common form is the sexual coercion by which gay and lesbian children are bedeviled into hetero identities and behaviors.  And this is practiced daily by the whole national and international hetero community—parents, family, teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs, not to overlook U.S. senators and pooh-bah media.

This outrageous coercion of gay kids into hetero identities and behaviors against their wills is not only sexually abusive, it is spiritually devastating rape, because the child unbeknowingly is being led into developing self-loathing at the same time.  For this gigantic criminal trespass against not only today’s children but against all of us also—all of us—since childhood, from the queers my age of 82 down through all the generations of queers assembled here in New York, to the gay kids still being bedeviled by sexual coercion against their wills, we the international gay and lesbian people here this week should unite to sue the whole guilty heterosexual community lock, stock, and barrel to within an inch of their lives, and for every nickel they’ve got, as a beginning of compensation.  And while we’re at it, we should request our first-class citizenship as well.  This could be the class-action suit of the century.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Manifesto of the Socialist Homosexuals

Note:  the words in bold are the original author's; this piece is published in its unedited entirety.

Manifesto of the Socialist Homosexuals

(Published in Lot’s Wife, 2 August 1975)
Why We Oppose Capitalism
All around us we see capitalism in crisis. Not only have there been anti-imperialist victories in places like Indochina and southern Africa, but within imperialist societies themselves the economies are in disarray, political structures have been shaken (France May 1968, Australia 11 November 1975 and Watergate) and dominant ideologies are beginning to crumble.
The single most important conveyor of such ideologies has been the family - this too is losing its grip on the lives of individuals. The nuclear family has been important for capitalism. It has enabled the labour power of the predominantly male workforce to be maintained and reproduced through the housework of women. It has served as the unity for the bearing and rearing of children, tomorrow’s labour force. It has been the centre for the transmission and legitimisation of the inheritance of private property. It is still the prime socialising force aimed at creating docile workers for capitalism who accept such structures and values as male supremacy, racism and authoritarianism.
Above all children are socialised into roles according to their sex; they are expected to have either "feminine" or "masculine" gender identities depending on whether they are male or female. These sex roles and gender roles are necessary for the preservation of our class society, based as it is on private property, the exploitation of labour power and the sexual division of labour.
Lesbians and male homosexuals are seen to subvert these gender roles by not fulfilling our "family obligations", i.e homosexuals have a relative autonomy from the nuclear family due to our preference not to reproduce. Moreover, the assertion by lesbians of a sexuality independent of men is seen as a fundamental threat to male power. By association, effeminate men are seen as subversive to a class society where femininity is equated with a position of subordination. This is not to say that homosexuality per se is revolutionary, since it is possible for capitalism to allow some degree of non-conformity to heterosexuality (for example, celibate monks and nuns). What it cannot afford is the isolation of a significant proportion of the population from the ongoing function of the family. That is why we are oppressed.
All of capital’s institutions are arrayed against homosexuals; from the central influence of the family to psychiatry, psychology, the churches and the educational institutions. This is reflected in persecution of and prejudice against individual homosexuals, to such an extent that we have been forced to the closet to survive. Naturally, the effect of such a situation does not leave homosexuals unscathed; they hate us, we hate us. This means lesbians are doubly oppressed, as homosexuals and as women.
The recent growth of tolerance towards homosexuals should not be misinterpreted as acceptance of the validity of homosexual expression. It has been possible for capitalism to allow some liberalisation of sexual expression in an age of the re-emergence of a feminist movement. Homosexuality has been developed as a product to market; notice the spate of advertisements that use homosexuality to sell products to the heterosexual majority by appealing to repressed homosexuality and channeling it into consumerism. In this context, law reform has clear limitations in that it leaves untouched the fundamental social relations of capitalism. This new found tolerance is founded on the radical section of the petit-bourgeoisie, a class unable to effect decisive change in this society. Tolerance is not acceptance.

Women’s Liberation and Homosexual Liberation
The women’s liberation movement was the historical beginning of the fight against sexism (male supremacy and male chauvinism) in recent times. As such it allowed homosexuals to see themselves in an oppressed situation, able to attain liberation in a similar way. And so gay liberation emerged after the women’s liberation movement, as an autonomous movement, using similar methods to achieve its aims. These were the formation of consciousness raising groups and militant activism. Special features for homosexuals were "coming out" and "gay pride"; these correspond to women’s assertion of independence as women and the need to assert some autonomous power that goes with that independence.
Thus women’s liberation and homosexual liberation obviously have a close relationship. Theoretical and organisational developments have helped to elaborate on this relationship and made important distinctions. The central aspect of the relationship is involved with sexism, since this is the central theoretical basis for the women’s liberation movement. How is homosexuality related to sexism?
Theories of sexism have emerged which place it within the history of the development of Western civilisation and now, specifically, with the development of capitalism. Thus male supremacy, patriarchy, is the "main enemy" in terms of the liberation of sexuality, but the defeat of this enemy requires the overthrow of capitalism. Hence the developments have been based more decisively on the experience that men are the main enemy. And the logic of this experience is one that leads to lesbian separatism.
By now it is clear that lesbian women play many of the leading roles in the women’s liberation movement (split into several tendencies - radical feminist, Marxist feminist, etc) Since sexism is the key theoretical base for that movement it is quite logical that lesbians, those most clearly self-defined as sexually independent of men, would be playing leading roles generally. Hence when lesbians are considered, there is a fundamental connection between the women’s liberation movement and female homosexuality.
Historical developments with regard to male homosexuality delineate another aspect of the relationship between the women’s liberation movement and homosexual liberation. From an early stage of the mixed Gay Liberation grouping, a stage has now been reached where virtually all lesbians and some male homosexuals have broken from what is now a residual Gay Liberation group, noted by those who have left if for being confused in its politics and especially for having no clear relation to an understanding of sexism. Lesbians and male homosexuals began feeling united in their homosexuality, but the split has occurred because of the relations to sexism.
This has required more theoretical work on the part of the male homosexuals especially. They can only work with women when they have a common view of sexism as the fundamental reality of the oppression of women and the oppression of male homosexuals. This sense of unity as homosexuals that is involved is tempered by the reality of men being able to benefit from the dominant patriarchal society, but not women. This unity is important but goes hand in hand with the general struggle against sexism. A Marxist-feminist perspective would allow for a clear position by lesbians and male homosexuals with regard to the women’ liberation movement as a whole (as the general struggle against sexism).

Why We Are Socialists
History has shown that capitalism cannot be changed to serve the interests of the broad masses of people rather than those of a parasitic minority class. Exploitation and oppression are its very nature. For the liberation of humanity, including homosexuals, there has to be a totally new social system.
That’s why we stake our lives on socialism. Socialism as we see it is a society where private ownership of the means of production is abolished and thus the capitalist class is abolished. In the place of capitalist class rule is substituted the rule of working class; the majority of the people become the rulers of society. The state still exists, but it serves the class interests of the workers, not the capitalists. Classes still exist, but a class is in power which has no interest in maintaining class rule since it represents the majority and can work towards a classless society. Inequalities still exist because capitalism still leaves a lot of debris to be cleared away, but the way is made open for the creation of new social values.
Socialism as we see it will involve the democratic forms of industrial and political organisation; self management at all levels and in all spheres, at the workplaces, political institutions, educational system, etc. It will involve an extension of the democratic rights, such as freedom of the press, the right to strike, right to form political parties, etc, which liberals claim exist in the "Free World" but which in fact are token and restricted.
With the basic causes of exploitation and oppression gone, oppressive ideologies can be continued to be challenged with greater success. Ideologies have a relative autonomy from the economic base of society, so we cannot expect to have new values overnight. The workers who lead the socialist revolution will still be influenced by capitalist ideologies; so after the revolution we will still need a strong, revolutionary homosexual movement. What socialism does is provide us with the material conditions for our liberation; it is not liberation itself. But the struggle for liberation will be made easier by the fact that the structures which maintain and reproduce the ideologies will be smashed.
Socialism is not a utopia that someone has made up. The potential for it can be seen in experiences of the international labour movement, from the Paris Commune of 1870 to Soviet Russia of the early 1920s to the Czechoslovakian workers’ councils of 1968. Attempts to create socialism have been brutally suppressed and degenerated. In particular, in those societies in transition from capitalism to socialism - where private property has been abolished but political power is not held by the workers, such as the Soviet Union and China - socialism is still a long way off. They have been marred by extreme absence of workers’ democracy and the persistence of heterosexist ideology. Not only do we oppose the oppression of homosexuals there but also support the struggle for democratic rights and the dismantling the bureaucracy.
Socialism doesn’t exist anywhere in the world today. All the more need to fight for it.
Capitalism will split itself apart with its continual crises but it is up to socialists to give it the final shove. A condition for this is a proper, scientific understanding of society, which accepts that class struggle is the motor of history.
Efforts by the working class to take power by peaceful or parliamentary strategies have violently been fought by the capitalist class with tragic results as in Chile. Socialism can only come through the revolutionary seizure of state power by the working class (and its allies), the only class with the potential to lead a revolution because of its size, organisation and base at the point of production.
Not only does this involve unity and revolutionary consciousness, organisation and leadership of the working class, but also the forging of alliances with other classes and strata. Since both the working class and homosexuals have a common interest in the abolition of capitalism, then there is ground for a principled alliance. Likewise with women and blacks. Here and now in the struggle against exploitation and oppression, solidarity with each other’s struggles today provides the basis for tomorrow’s unity on the barricades.
The Socialist Homosexuals oppose the attempts of the capitalist Liberal-National Country Party Government to lower living standards of the working class through wage freezes and "social contracts" to integrate trade unions into the state and to crush industrial militancy. In the immediate economic crisis, we support sliding scales of wages and hours to combat inflation and unemployment and nationalisation of industry without compensation under workers’ management. We support the fullest autonomy, unity and organisation of the working class, especially at the rank and file level. We look forward to the development of workers’ councils as the embryonic form of the future workers’ state.

Our Attitude to Other Socialists
The early socialist movement generally adopted positions against the persecution of homosexuals and the myths that are popular about homosexuals. The German Social Democratic Party, then the largest and most influential Marxist party in the world, for example, published several articles in its press in the 1890s defending homosexual rights - the longest and most detailed being Eduard Bernstein’s defense of Oscar Wilde. The German Social Democrats further led the parliamentary intervention against the anti-homosexual paragraph 175 in the legal statute, actually campaigning among homosexuals to organise for its repeal.
The Bolsheviks, on coming to power in Russia, repealed all laws against homosexual acts and followed a general line of total non-interference by the state in people’s sexual affairs. No attempt, however, was made to integrate homosexuality into Soviet society as a valid form of sexual expression, even while conscious attempts were made by the Bolsheviks to replace the family as a social institution and to emancipate women. The link between the family, the oppression of women and that of homosexuals was never made by early revolutionaries.
The tolerant approach of the Bolsheviks and the relatively advanced attitude to homosexuality in the Soviet state were to be destroyed by the victorious Stalinist bureaucracy. Having appropriated the means of distribution in the Soviet Union the bureaucracy saw the family as a vehicle of indoctrination, a means for the disciplining of youth. Thus, in order to strengthen the family, abortion was once more criminalised and attempts at women’s emancipation generally ceased - to the extent that Medals for Motherhood were given out to mothers who bore a certain number of children. Since homosexuals could not fit into the family, they had to be once again actively persecuted; laws prohibiting homosexual acts were reintroduced in 1934 (with sentences of up to 8 years) and mass arrests of homosexuals were carried out in Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov and Odessa. Homosexuality became the "fascist perversion" from which healthy proletarian youth had to be safeguarded.
Naturally, revolutions that took place under the influence of world Stalinism such as the Chinese and Cuban revolutions tended to reflect the Stalinist position on the homosexual question. "There are no homosexuals in China" we are told by the Chinese bureaucrats and in Cuba homosexuals are "re-educated" in concentration camps. [The situation has changed in Cuba]
The left in Australia today reflects both the vestiges of Stalinism, where homosexuality is the product of decadent capitalism and the general "backwardness" of the working class on the question. Thus we are either sick or petit-bourgeois with fascist potential or we have to suppress our struggle until after the workers’ revolution. It is only in few Left groups that the homosexual struggle is taken seriously and homosexual oppression analysed.
The Socialist Homosexuals are not part of the Left in the same sense that we are part of the homosexual movement. The Left is composed of a number of different parties claiming to be socialist, whereas the Socialist Homosexuals is not a political party. It is made up of members of various socialist parties and other socialists who do not belong to any. It represents the desire of socialist homosexuals to work together to better spread our common ideas. Each socialist tendency within the group is free to propagate its views both inside and outside the group.
We oppose the anti-homosexual prejudice and heterosexism of the Left, as a flaw in its socialism. Parties claiming to be socialist and yet revealing anti-homosexual prejudice can expect more opposition from us than from other homosexuals. Beyond that, we are non-party and non-sectarian and all socialist homosexuals who accept this Manifesto are encouraged to join.

Our Attitude to Other Homosexuals
It is through the "gay ghetto" that homosexuality is channelled in capitalist societies. Homosexuality is thus isolated from the mainstream of society and is further used for commercial purposes. Bars and nightclubs in the ghetto are notoriously overpriced and there are a million and one other ways for entrepreneurs to sell to homosexuals by appealing to our loneliness, isolation and social conservatism. The ideology of the ghetto, it follows, is bourgeois and male supremacist.
The ghetto, however, does provide a certain protection to homosexuals who would otherwise be totally isolated in a heterosexual world. Meeting other homosexuals in a bar or on a beat is better than never meeting homosexuals at all. Also, by attracting attention to itself as the only place for homosexuals, the ghetto allows homosexuals in the suburbs - the dykes and poofters next door - to go undetected and escape persecution.
But while the ghetto offers some protection and some way to escape, at the same time it subverts the political and revolutionary potential of homosexuals. It is only protective so long as it is allowed to be by the state and in times of repression ghettos are easily smashed. It is political protection that homosexuals need, through organisation and struggle. It will be one of the main tasks of Socialist Homosexuals to convince other homosexuals of the absolute necessity of this protection as against the short term, false security of the ghetto.
In response to the radicalization of the 1960s and the growing influences of the women’s liberation movement, radical homosexuals in Australia formed an organization which was "open, constituency based, spontaneous and militant". This was CAMP. Like similar organizations in other advanced capitalist countries, CAMP developed two wings, one oriented almost totally to civil rights issues and another which was more New Left oriented and held some concept of revolution.
This, as well as personal differences among the activists led to the creation of a Gay Liberation cell in Sydney, which eventually split from CAMP to form Sydney Gay Liberation. While CAMP receded further into a classic, civil rights organization, less radical than the Gay Activists Alliance in the USA, Sydney Gay Liberation became the radical homosexual organization advocating unity and militant action by all oppressed groups such as homosexual, women and blacks. The political practice of Gay Liberation consisted of confronting society with blatant homosexuality, concentrating on themes like Gay Pride, coming out, etc.
Sydney Gay Liberation at first included both lesbian and male homosexual activists; this was a period of growth and progress for the movement, when it was able to generate great solidarity and optimism as well as concrete action. The flexible structure of Gay Liberation allowed people to be involved in any number of issues or campaigns in apparent harmony.
However, after this period of growth and development, some contradictions became apparent in the theory and practice of Gay Liberation. In particular, lesbians questioned more and more their role in a male organization. While Gay Liberation had been a base from which lesbians who had not necessarily had much contact with the women’s liberation movement to organize, the growth and acceptance of lesbian ideas within women’s liberation meant that lesbians could now work against their primary oppression as women as well as their secondary one as homosexuals. A split developed between the women and men on the question of sexism within Gay Liberation and the women left to form their own organization. This is hardly surprising given the differences in the oppression of lesbian women and that of homosexual men.
The withdrawal of the women left the men in Gay Liberation disheartened and disorganized. The concept of "liberation" used became more and more the I’m-more-liberated-than-you syndrome than the original idea of collective liberation.
By 1973 a current developed in Gay Liberation in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide known as effeminism, which essentially accepted radical feminism as its philosophy, with homosexual men as a fifth column within the patriarchy. The efffeminists criticized Gay Liberation for its lack of understanding of the importance of the struggle against sexism. While such criticism and the understanding of the importance of women’s liberation to homosexual liberation were positive attributes of the effeminists, their limitations lay in their incomplete analysis of society. Concepts like learning to cry and raise children were far too removed from the real problems of male homosexuals to allow effeminists to build a movement.
By the end of 1973 after Gay Pride Week, Gay Liberation as such almost ceased to exist, most of its activists either joining CAMP or dropping out of any organized homosexual movement.
Today there are six major tendencies which comprise the homosexual movement in Australia.
The lesbian feminists. This was formed by lesbian women at the 1975 National Homosexual Conference as a result of the absence of such an organization since the disintegration of the Radicalesbian collective. The main dynamic the behind building of this organization came from women in CAMP (NSW). The women felt it was impossible to combat sexism within the homosexual movement without a strong lesbian feminist group. The thrust of the organization is essentially radical feminist.

Gay Liberation. This is what remains of Gay Liberation. The group is mostly male, student based and has a membership of some socialists , independent activists and those interested only in civil rights. Gay Liberation is very much a services organization, organizing dances and serving as a contact point for male homosexuals. While the organization mobilized very successfully around some campaigns, like the AUS homosexual motions in 1975, its shortcoming is its failure to come to terms with old problems of theory and organization.

CAMP. As the largest of the secular homosexual groups CAMP (NSW) has progressed considerably from a purely civil rights, conservative organization to a more populist one, far more aware than before of the importance of the struggle against sexism and the links between the oppressed minorities. The dynamic behind the changes has been mainly the lesbian collective in CAMP.  The organization, however is still extremely lobbyist, being the homosexual organization which writes submissions to the government bodies and takes part in Royal Commissions and Enquiries. The pitfalls of lobbying could easily drown an organization like CAMP under miles of red tape and reports.
Its organization is based on an executive elected at an annual general meeting. The majority of members of CAMP are not activists, preferring to leave the political work to the executive. CAMP’s political orientation is to the Labor Party and other working class parties. While recognizing the radical advances made by the organization, it must be remembered that the bulk of its membership is interested mainly in the services provided (coffee shop, etc) and that a significant number of its members would see liberation purely in terms of civil rights for homosexual men.

Metropolitan Community Church. The new phenomenon of the homosexual church can be analyzed along similar lines as the development of black churches in the Deep South of the USA. Just like the blacks in the South who were unable to take part in the goings-on of the established (racist) churches, homosexual were forced to form their own churches because the established churches generally condemn homosexuality.  The Metropolitan Community Church plays a protective role for homosexuals in a hostile environment. It has shown a great deal of militancy on many homosexual questions; while the organization has a right wing of traditional Christians, it also has a left wing of militants. The political practice of the MCC however is limited to its civil rights approach.
In addition there is the role played by religion in advanced capitalist society; to confuse the toilers and oppressed as to the origins of their oppression and to mystify oppression by means of unscientific dogmas, rituals, etc. While defending the democratic right to belong to any church without threat of repression, Socialist Homosexuals condemn the reactionary and sexist role of religion and regard it as an obstacle to our liberation.

Acceptance. This is the homosexual organization working WITHIN the Catholic Church - in order to change its views on homosexuality. This must be seen as a step behind the MCC which has broken away from the hierarchies of the established church. Acceptance too, has a right wing and also a small left wing.

Socialist Homosexuals. Emerging out of a number of critical strands inside Gay Liberation, including feminism and socialism, a definite tendency developed which sought to come to grips with the split between women and men through a general struggle against sexism and which sought to place the struggle for homosexual liberation in the context of total social change. This tendency has been slow to take organizational form.

The Socialist Homosexuals is not a group that will appeal to all homosexuals. The class position of some will lead them to bitterly oppose us. They are our class enemies. We will defend them if they are attacked for being homosexual and we oppose the practice of queer baiting conservative politicians, for example. We expect most capitalist homosexuals to oppose socialism - and thus the liberation of homosexuality - when it comes to the crunch.
The Socialist Homosexuals will not even appeal to everyone in the homosexual movement. Many of those active for civil rights have no political interests beyond that; of those who do, many support capitalist parties. There are many who want to preserve male supremacy, religious mythology and gender roles.
But there are others who do not. And this is what explains the formation of the Socialist Homosexuals.

We Are Part of the Homosexual Movement
Homosexuality is a valid form of sexual expression; we encourage it in hand with the subversion of sex roles and gender roles. We support selective coming out as a tactic to give us pride and militancy.
We participate in the (secular) political activities of the homosexual movement, including the campaign for civil rights, equal liberation, but the struggle for them widens our "free space" under capitalism and has a valuable educative and radicalizing potential.
Separatism refers to the strategy which decides that there is really only one struggle to be fought and that energies should not be diverted into other struggles going on around. So one development in the homosexual movement has been to consider heterosexuals as the only enemy. Another example is that of effeminist men who see men as the main enemy and unite with women on this basis.
This leads to sectarian attitudes to other struggles and isolation from other groups. It is an undialectical view of history; the process of struggle is many sided and does not proceed on a mechanical pattern. Rather, at different times, different aspects of oppression are more prominent and socialists need always to be aware of the changing situation.
This is not to deny that autonomous organization is necessary. At this time of heightened pressure on the family, the churches and male supremacy, it is clearly necessary to maintain autonomous organization and a clear perception of one’s position in the contradictions of capitalism. The autonomy of separate homosexual groups is a positive aspect, as are activities like consciousness raising groups. However these aspects have a context - the class struggle in imperialism - and to isolate them from the context is to retreat into a new ghetto, with only momentary relation to the dominant forms of social conflict.

Workers and their Unions
The working class shares the common capitalist view of homosexuality in an unconscious aspect. Prejudice against lesbians and poofters is rampant. Poofters can be bashed and scapegoated because they are sick, evil, queer or feminine, etc and lesbians need to be seduced and shown that a prick is what makes the difference.
However, in a conscious way, the organized working class has seen homosexuality as a decadent aspect of the capitalist class. In this view workers are too busy and exhausted by the demands of the employers and their families to ever develop an interest in homosexuality themselves. But the capitalist class who grow rich on the surplus labour of the working class has so much idle time that it can develop these strange relationships. And the epitome of this is the twitty, rather fragile man, perhaps with a title, who is just obviously "queer".
At the present time these conscious and unconscious aspects are being transformed under the pressure of the visibility of the women’s liberation movement and homosexuals based largely on the radical petit-bourgeoisie. So now it is beginning to be possible for workers to come out on the job, but it is still very difficult. The idea that anybody may be homosexual and that this is not related so much to an immediate class position (rather to the reality of sexism) is winning some limited acceptance however.
This is leading to efforts directed at unions to become active over members discriminated against because they are women or because of their sexual preference. The best example of solidarity has been the action of builders labourers in support of a student at Macquarie University in Sydney, 1974; however those involved admit that the action was only won by loyalty to the union leadership and that it was a bit far to go for homosexual students. Nevertheless, that is one lead that must be fought for by socialist homosexuals conscious of the need to defeat male supremacy as part of the fight against capitalism.

We are concerned with five general areas
Organized defense and extension of the democratic rights of lesbians and male homosexuals and struggle against sex roles and gender roles.
Struggle against male supremacy and male chauvinism, which involves solidarity with the struggles of the women’s liberation movement and against sexism in the homosexual movement and the left.
Development of theory of the oppression of homosexuality in the light of historical materialism and study of Marxist-feminist theory.
Work in trade unions and other workers’ organizations for them to support their homosexual members and other homosexuals, especially through the formation of homosexual caucuses oriented to work among the rank and file members.
Solidarity with the working class and socially oppressed and anti-imperialist movements throughout the world.

No homosexual liberation without socialist revolution! No socialist revolution without homosexual liberation!
[Signed by 4 Socialist Homosexuals.]

On Huckabee and heteronormativity

I don't know about you, but I am a bit of a purist, particularly when it comes to words.  Sometime, when I have time, I'll provide for you all a glossary of GLBT terms and made-up words...such as "heteronormative", "homonormative", and "gender complexity", ad nauseum.

But where to find the time?  So here, for now, I'll just share one of my favorite pastimes with you:  arguing with strangers in the Comments section of the Gazette, my much beloved hometown newspaper. 


spydra -- 3:32 PM on April 16, 2010

You know, a long time ago, I used to be the world's most horrible drunk. My mother detested the drunken me -- my demeanor, my mouth and particularly my *words*...which indeed, were reprehensible.

The night I first got drunk, my parents came home, found the evidence, and confronted me. "Spydra, you're drunk." "No I'm not," I said. "Yes you are," they said. And on and on...until they both lost their patience with me.

Looking back, I realize that what angered my parents -- more than the clear and convincing evidence, more than the sloppy silliness, more than the lie in the face -- was my *insistence* that false was true, insistence that drunk was sober, unreasonable insistence that what was, was not...keeping a straight face, and to the point of acting offended and hurt that they could even entertain such a notion. I denied and denied and denied...but didn't change the truth.

That is what I am reminded of now, and each time this topic is debated. Be gay if you want to be gay; but please don't argue that it's normal. And when I disagree with you, you can claim that I hate you, and claim that it's natural, and claim that it's healthy; you can deny and deny and deny all that you want, but it doesn't change the truth.

If only from the standpoint of ability to pro-create, homosexuality is a barren fact; slice and dice and mince words all that you want, procreation requires something from a man, and something from a woman -- REQUIRES it. And if that thing from the man and that thing from the woman needs any additional assistance -- turkey baster, test tube, petri dish -- then it's NOT NORMAL. And while it can be argued that it's not necessarily *wrong* it most certainly is not and will never be normal.

carrotcakeman -- 3:50 PM on April 16, 2010

The 2000 US Census counted over 600,000 children of same gender parents. Social service agencies report there are now over NINE MILLION American children of same gender parents. What did these NINE MILLION American CHILDREN ever do to YOU that you feel this need to HURT them by attacking their parents, spyder?

"[S]tudies on children dating back 25 years conclude that children raised by gay and lesbian non-adoptive parents fare as well as those reared by heterosexual parents (Breways, Ponjaert, Van Hall, & Golombok, 1997; Chan, Raboy & Patterson, 1998; Golombok, Perry, Burston, Murray, Mooney-Sommer, Stevens, & Golding, 2003; Wainwright, Russell & Patterson, 2004)."

A 2008 report from The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Agency, America's most respected experts on adoption.

spydra -- 8:11 PM on April 16, 2010

Please, don't even try to go down the adoption road with me. I was given up for adoption at birth, and was adopted at 11 months. My birth mother was white, and my birth father was black; my adoptive mother is white, and my adoptive father is black. They were childless then; five years after they adopted me, they got pregnant with my sister -- yes, their "real" biological daughter.

That was 40 years ago. We all love each other tremendously now...but *none* of us can say that we *weren't* confused and hurt and disturbed by it all at some points and at others -- especially now that my sister and I both have biological children of our own.

Even now, when I discuss the topic, I'll stumble over my words...referring to my birth mother as my "real" mom...and wondering what it is that I mean when I say that. My adoptive mom is the only mother I've ever known...and I love her so very, very much; I imagine that I love her *as though* she were my biological mother. I love my biological mother intensely as well, though I've never seen her face, and never will.

And so, I live loving two mothers, two fathers, and two sisters. But deep down inside, I know that one mother, one father and one sister actually aren't...and I can only imagine how confused and hurt and disturbed I'd have been had a gay couple adopted me and required me to call both of them my "mother" or both of them my "father." It simply wouldn't be true, or even possible; we all know it, and requiring a child to state otherwise is, in my mind, a form of brainwashing and child abuse in and of itself.

The same is true for "transgendered" folks; they claim they feel like a woman trapped in a man's body, or a man trapped in a woman's body; we all patiently go along while they cross-dress and take hormones to artificially stimulate the growth of facial hair or swelling of breast tissue -- to simulate that which they are not. And if they feel strongly enough about it, they willingly and knowingly go under a knife and irreversibly maim themselves to remove their penis or their breasts...and the rest of us are supposed to pretend that it's normal? Yeah, right.

Talk about confused. The truth is this: if man is born with a penis and has it removed and refashioned into a vagina, then that man still has no idea how it really feels to be a woman; he only knows how it feels to be a man who had his penis removed and refashioned into an artificial vagina.

Listen, carrotcakeman, because this is a VERY OLD MAXIM, and one I know you've heard before: the truth hurts. Sometimes, it hurts worse than others -- but it doesn't do anything to alter the truth. Wishing something doesn't make it so...neither does money, or power, or a knife, or use of poor logic, or shouting, or accusing those who dare to disagree with you of hating you...or denying the truth over and over and over again.

In Holland there is the expression of "lange tenen" -- it means "long toes" and those suffering from the condition are constantly and easily hurt, because it's so easy for others to step on their abnormally long and constantly tender toes. I suspect you suffer from this condition...otherwise, how could you and why *would* you read my previous post and interpret that I feel a need to "HURT NINE MILLION American CHILDREN" or that I've somehow attacked any of their 18 MILLION real PARENTS or the 9 MILLION others who aren't but pretend to be?

I didn't even mention the word "adoption" in my previous post -- you did. I'm sure you weren't expecting an answer from a real life adoptee, and not just a speechless statistic you glean from some dubious study. Unlike you, I call 'em like I see 'em based upon my personal life experience; I don't need to rely on hyperbole and theorems and slapping people around with statistics in a futile attempt to argue the obvious.

My point in my previous post was that one can never win an argument with a drunkard, who will swear a lie is the truth. Similarly, there is no reasoning or arguing with those such as yourself, whose response is to quickly take offense and orchestrate a hissy-fit until the person who disagrees with you either gives in or goes away. This may come as a surprise to you...but just because you jump up and down and stamp your feet doesn't do a thing to change the mind of the person with whom you disagree; if anything, it only convinces that person MORE that you're not listening, entirely unreasonable, and that their disagreement with you has strong merit.

This is a lesson we all learned while waiting with our mothers in the checkout line at the supermarket and having a temper tantrum after being denied a piece of candy. Speaking for myself…I might stop arguing with you because enough is enough, and I have other, more important things to do than quarrel with a child…but I would never, *ever* – no matter how ridiculous you screamed and cried and thrashed your feet – no, this mother would never capitulate and reward your inanity by giving in and purchasing you that candy -- no matter how much I loved you.