News, Opinions, and Perspectives
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!
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.
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.
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.
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… 🙂