All pissed off with no place to go? Care to intensify this predicament? Well, pick up That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation and you'll be handcuffing yourself to state buildings in no time. I've been experiencing a sadly impotent rage since I started this book, which is more radical than most of us will ever be. The forces against assimilation pictured therein are heroic, but how can they possibly defeat the juggernaut of conformity? And what can I do to help?
Although it's a book about queers, it doesn't discuss orientation or identity per se. It's all about racism, poverty, police brutality, inaccessible bathrooms, the prison system, and so on. The main point is that no one is free while others are oppressed. If you can't provide for your basic needs, equal marriage rights really aren't going to matter much to you. When people say "asexuals don't need rights, you already have rights", that's missing the point. What about asexuals who can't afford health care or those who are targets of racism? (According to one study, aces are more likely to be nonwhite, less educated, and poorer.) That's Revolting really makes it clear that every struggle is connected in some way. You won't agree with everything in the book, but you should read it anyway. It's important stuff. (And I love the cover art.)
One of the most powerful quotes was from Sarah Schulman, one of the founders of an experimental gay film festival. She said:
...In the old days, if there was a lesbian that worked somewhere, I could call her. And she would call me back and tell me how we could use her organization, or how we could use where she lived to help gay people...We were the conspiracy. That was the relationship between us. It didn't matter if we knew each other. Now gay people identify with the power structure that they're working for. And that identification is a lot stronger than their relationship to each other. So therefore, there's no community. (73)
Can we change that? In our emerging community, can I call you? You can call me-- (or e-mail, or even comment here) no matter where you are, no matter how far. Listen, baby. Can we bring the conspiracy back?