A FEW THOUGHTS FOR PRIDE
Will somebody think of the comedians?
Stand-up comics that “bravely” and “heroically” come out onto a stage in front of thousands of paying customers to fight “wokeness” will always invoke a migraine or two, but it is important to listen carefully to what they have to say. In particular, the casual way they pass off the narrative of “progressive authoritarianism”.
The simplest and most blunt way to explain this is that it’s the idea that the expansion of social introspection, care, empathy, and agency that come with addressing and solving hierarchical relations is secretly tyranny with a smiley face. The closest truth to this is seen in the liberalization of dealing with these social inequalities. The question of racial violence goes from having a systemic critique in radical circles to having a more tokenistic form when it reaches the democratic party, for example. Abolishing the police becomes “What if we have more African American police officers?” This basically implies that the solution isn’t getting rid of the police state, but that it isn’t diverse enough. This is smiley-face tyranny precisely because it doesn’t solve the social inequalities of policing and doesn’t expand social complexity in any meaningful way.
Let’s roll back to the idea itself that expanding social complexity is somehow rigidity in disguise. It’s really a clever way to take the insecurities that the privileged have when faced with threats to their power and dress it up as a fight for freedom against their supposed oppression. Calling someone by their preferred pronouns rather than adhering to the pronoun laws of gender essentialism, for example, is deemed “language policing.” Which, when you think about it, is odd. Having no choice in your pronouns is not seen as oppressive. However, having the option to choose a pronoun other than the one assigned to you at birth is regarded as tyrannical. The only reason this is seen that way is because transphobes are cranky that people are going outside of this limitation and then asking them to respect that.
Which is why transphobes are correct in asserting that this poses a threat to gender norms. That’s why it’s so great, and why they’re fighting so hard to prevent you from having this option in the first place. As a result, comedians like Ricky Gervais mock the idea of women having dicks and trans-women using the women’s restroom in his special SuperNature, proclaiming trans-women as the “New Women” and cis-women as the “old-fashioned women.” Ricky, sorry (not really), but women have always had dicks. Get over it, Snowflake. This isn’t some act of “social rebelliousness” but more social policing because it reinforces the laws of the status quo, which is ironic. Conservatism has never been the cultural underdog. It can’t be, by definition, but it can certainly try to dress itself up as if it were.
Which might sound odd when saying that, because it implies that Gervais is in the company of conservatives. He’s definitely a liberal, but here he’s taking a noticeably conservative stance with regards to the moving tide of social attitudes. Liberalism and conservatism have a temporal aspect that’s not discussed enough. But to summarize, keeping gay marriage illegal was a stance that resided within liberalism only a decade or a few ago. However, that opinion would now be regarded as conservative. Given that the root of conservatism as an ideology is to restrain social malleability, when Ricky talks about resisting “too much progress,” he’s setting a standard for how much society should be allowed to change and expand. The limit he reaches will be the point by which future (and present) conservatives try to maintain and enforce against further progression.
Don’t spare the cis their feelings
Queerness is all those complexities that heteronormativity denies. So when we have kink at pride, it isn’t about allowing people to have sex in front of children, but rather it’s about having a space for different queer sub-groups to express themselves. Those little complexities don’t simply stop at just the existence of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, etc., but also their own unique history and cultures that they create amongst themselves, which manifests into artifacts that are created within this landscape, such as leather straps, pup masks, collars, and any outfit born out of this. Not allowing these simply because they’re sometimes used in a sexual context is erasing queer history. “But somebody think of the children!” Yeah, let’s think about the youth for a second. The same demographic that is constantly harassed and bullied if one of them comes out to their peers or family members. This idea that queer people are somehow prime offenders with regards to child abuse is absurd. Gender essentialism has killed more children than ass-less chaps.
When these Helen Lovejoys cry out about children, it’s really just a common rhetorical device to silence the voice of the youth in a given situation. Here it’s used to quiet the speech of young queer people and refer to the sensibilities of cis-hegemony, which would rather not have pride, or if it has to happen due to mounting social pressures from queer rights becoming more common, will (as always) resort to the secondary tactic of assimilationism. Where you limit the ways and means by which queer people can express themselves and their overall experiences to conforming to a more hetero-washed frame, where only monogamous, plainly-dressed, capitalist and state-loving gayness is allowed. Keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with monogamy or dressing plainly, but presenting this as “good queerness” is a problem. This tactic tries to make queerness as unthreatening to hierarchies as possible. (Even still, two guys kissing, no matter how boring their clothes are, will always invoke threats from bigots.) Trying to limit and reduce queer complexity is always to the benefit of the powerful. If you want to maintain your domination as a bigoted parent, then you’ll want to reduce as much exposure your kids will have to queerness as possible.
Any queer person arguing for removing kink at pride in hopes of social acceptance is pushing fellow queers in front of a moving bus, hoping the bigoted bus driver spares them. A world built on bigotry will never accept you. But by that same token, why then should you accept this world? Be queer. Actually, no, be more than simply queer. Be completely, totally, super, and incredibly queer. Never settle for less than that, especially in a world that doesn’t want any queerness and constantly tries to destroy all of it.
“Fuck you, I’m a robot. I’m a whatever. They’re whatevers. You don’t get a say in it and there’s no reason whatsoever for you to assume. I’m a mind with agency and that should obviously include agency in my self-construction.” — William Gillis (The Floating Metal Sphere Trump Card)
Make pride more chaotic
The Progress Pride flag has gotten some backlash for its chaotic design as it tries to represent as many groups as possible. However, in Being’s opinion, it should be more chaotic. Inclusivity should always be a wild, flashy, and open intersection of diverse assemblies. An ever-increasing swarm of horizontal networks that chip away at the restraints of the present until they burst through and overwhelm the future with possibilities. Those who swore allegiance to conserving the weights of the past are swept away, and all will be made weightless drifters in a new and infinite age beyond singular epochs.
Perhaps this flag represents a gesture towards this, or maybe Being just think’s it looks neat. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Even if it was a choice
Your support for queerness shouldn’t depend on any biological or naturalness. Even if being gay was a choice, you should still defend it. Never concede to the flesh as ethics. If being gay is against biology, then rebel against flesh. Place your morality beyond any constraints of anatomy or neurology. Become a queer space crusader for never-ending choice and agency in how you or anyone constructs themselves. Cyborgs don’t ask if it’s natural to upgrade. They just do it. Gays don’t need to ask if their freedoms are founded on natural laws to have or express them. May trillions of unnatural and nonbiological sexual, romantic, and gender orientations flourish across the cosmos.
Free radicalisms for cool queer kids
Here’s a list of purposefully provocative sayings and slogans that you can have for no additional cost for pride season. (And all the seasons after.)
- Women have always had dicks.
- The first pregnant man died thousands of years ago.
- Become an attack helicopter and air strike gender.
- Always be a threat to western society (or) Proud to be a threat to western society (or) Become a threat to western society.
- If being gay is against biology, then rebel against flesh.
- Arm the bearded ladies and burn down the circus.
- No, I’m not an attack helicopter. I’m an F-35 fighter jet.
- Leather daddies will always have a place at Pride.
- Queer ally, Straight villain 😈
Feel free to add, subtract, and even mix these up however you like.