Queer/Race

News, Opinions, and Perspectives

Posted in Uncategorized by kriegerdeslichts459 on March 3, 2010

Hey, y’all!

So my articles this week come from a variety of different sources, publications, fora, blogs, etc., and I think they add some interesting topics for discussion around the phrase “Intersectionality of Identities.”  Enjoy!

1)  Queer Liberation is Class Struggle

This essay, composed for a San Francisco-area queer news blog, addresses the modern LGBT rights movement and the spearheading thereof by affluent white men.  The author advocates a complete restructuring of the queer rights movement based around securing rights for working class queer people.

2)   Queer Symposium Addresses Native Identity

An article published for the Johns Hopkins Newsletter at JHU, this piece describes a gathering held at which issues pertaining to Native American queers were discusses.  Several distinguished professors were invited to speak about their personal experiences with these issues.  The symposium provides what I think is a fascinating look into the national and social identities of Native American societies and how queerness affects them.

3)  Be Gay, Be Anything You Want – Just Not Single

I found this article to be not only entertaining and lighthearted, but also extremely relevant considering our discussions on marriage as an institution.  Focusing on Indian American immigrants, this piece sheds light on the immigrant perspective that for some cultures, marriage trumps sexuality.  Not having a spouse is often seen as more socially taboo than having one of the same sex, which I find profoundly interesting.

4)  Black Relationships: Polyamory

For my final article, I wanted to include something that didn’t necessarily have to do with same-sex partners or non-normative gender identities, yet was still undoubtedly queer in nature.  Polyamory has been a subject of contention between me and my own friends for quite some time, so I wanted to get a collection of non-white opinions about the issue and how it affects members of a marginalized racial community.  What better place for this than a blog about Polyamory on a site dedicated to African-American issues?

I chose these articles because the entire theme of this class is “Intersectionality of Identities.”  Queer people are not defined solely by our sexual orientations or our gender identities – our races, economic statuses, religious beliefs, ethnicities, and many other factors play a large role in determining who we are as individual people.  Each of these cultural identities plus personal experiences all combine to shape our theories of the world – supporting the theory that no two people are exactly alike.

Marriage and relationships have come to be the foundation of many of the world’s societies, and it’s interesting that it’s taken the LGBT rights movement and the “gay marriage” initiative to open the proverbial can of worms and really delve into the nature (nay, utility) of the entire institution.  Marginalized groups have always had to fight for the legitimacy of their existence, and piling one political “ism” on top of another makes it hard for people to understand others’ platforms.  For many cultures, queerness is a decadent Western import that pollutes the culture, so how do proud members of these racial/ethnic/religious/etc. groups reconcile their queerness with their other identities?  Does being queer make one “less black,” “less Indian,” “less Irish?”

The overarching question is: Should these facets of personal identity be viewed holistically or separately when the time comes to fight for political power?  Why can we not just accept that we’re people and we need to get along?  People are silly… 🙂

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2 Responses

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  1. saimaanika said, on March 4, 2010 at 1:42 am

    I think you came up with great articles and I found them quite interesting and relevant to the class. The one entitled, “Be Gay, Be Anything You Want-Just Not A Single,” really hit home for me because my family is from Bangladesh, which is right next to India. Although much of my generation were born here in the States while our parents spent most of their lives here, we are very much in touch with the social paradigm and values that are prevalent in the Bangladesh society. I also have many friends whose parents are Indian immigrants and I know how important marriage is to these societies. In fact, I just turned 21 as well as some of my cousins and some of my extended family are already are hinting at marriage! When a man or a woman, especially a woman, starts reaching his or her thirties, his or her family feels desperate to get them married to whomever. All those ideals and expectations of who they want them to marry sort of fades away and it become imperative that that person marries someone, anyone at least decent, as soon as possible. I have a family friend who did not get married until she was thirty because she spent her twenties studying to become a doctor. As modern thinking and liberal her family is, they still put her through a tough time and demanded that she get married before she turned thirty-one. They condemned her and told her that she would die alone and be a shame to the family. They set up an arranged marriage with a man ten years older than her. However, she’s not happy but she’s stays with her husband anyway to keep her family happy. On the contrary, my cousin got married to a woman through an arranged marriage, however, a year after marriage, he came out to us, his family. Even though we are a modern thinking and liberal family, the repercussions he faced from our family was intense, but not for the reasons one would think. The family sort of got over the fact that he is gay quickly, but they dwelled on the fact that he is not married anymore. Granted, these are two different families and religions, however, this is how everything would go down in the Indian/Muslim society. Definitely not all Muslim societies because there would be much more dire consequences for these things, but in a more liberal Muslim society/family like mine, the events would typically take place as the way I described above.

  2. sross10 said, on May 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I found this interesting because my of family dynamic Ours was not the “typical” American family. At the time, there was another adult figure in our home whom I will call my step-mother for lack of a better term, or my Father’s second wife. We lived in a small Islamic community that had headquarters in both Philadelphia and Brooklyn called the Ansaar Allah Community. My step mother and my mother became good friends. During that relationship my mother met my father and was subsequently asked by to join my father’s and step-mother’s family. This family consisted of my step-mother’s two daughters from a previous relationship and a daughter and son from their current relationship. Today, I have 4 sisters (only two are biological) and 2 brothers.

    At this point both mothers are separated from my dad, but I’ve always hel a unique perspective about relationships and I wanted to share my experience… you can ask questions if you want!!


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