Monday, June 04, 2007

Radical GLBT Activists Not Into Military Fetish

Now who in the GLBT crowd would object to this Pride event? It's even sponsored by!

One of our friends from the younger, radical activist GLBT crowd handed us a neon pink flyer when we were at the "Pride Week" rainbow flag raising at Boston City Hall on Friday. (We were hoping to record Mayor Menino's mumbles for posterity, but he was a no-show.)

The "Ask Tell Act Coalition" is keeping the spirit of resistance alive," it reads. They've set up a website appealing to the "Boston Queer/LGBTQPI… Community Members and Allies." (Note the opening left for future categories to be added to the acronym.) They object to Boston Pride's official 2007 theme, "Ask. Tell. Proud to Serve Our Community, Our Country, Our World." And they object to Pride's "Military Ball". But we think their compatriots at Pride are not promoting a real military theme, but just referencing one of their more notorious fetishes. Jackboots are kinky, right?

But this military fetish is apparently abhorrent to the more radical set. This is probably related to the fact that "serving" and "answering any question asked" are really huge problems if you're "T" (transgender/transsexual), or "Q" (is that queer or questioning or both?), or "P" (polyamorous "swinger", we think), or "I" (intersex). And our impression is that these radicals don't want to hear the words "service to community." They just want to help themselves to the sexual smorgasbord.

They complain in the flyer about the "corporatization" of the Pride events. But we ask: If it weren't for support from big corporations, where would the GLBT movement be?

Here's their flyer:

Did you know that Boston Pride began when a few gays & lesbians joined a protest against the Vietnam war?

Today we are involved in the bloody occupation of Iraq, but our Pride theme is one that glamorizes militaristic imagery. Boston Pride is using dog tag logos and sponsoring a "Military Ball" event. In addition, the wording of the theme is not directed towards our own community, and implies that all of us are willing and able to answer any questions asked.

This year the Ask Tell Act Coalition is keeping the spirit of resistance alive. We are sparking discussions in our community that are long overdue. It is time for us to talk about racism, classism, transphobia, war & occupation, and the corporatization of our Pride events.

We are proud of who we are, not our service to the dominant, militaristic culture.

Join us in solidarity with the anti-war movement and with those who are not willing or able to "just tell."

Sign the letter at, and wear something hot pink on Pride Day!