With the release of the names and participants of the people who signed the anti-female and anti-lesbian petition to mandate inclusion of M2T individuals into Michfest, it’s spawned a lot of conversations about the nature of exclusion. The GLBTQ community has such a knee-jerk reaction to the concept of exclusion, which is unfortunate because it misses the point. Where they see discrimination others see liberation and a moment to breathe.Thankfully many activist still understand the importance of having spaces to one’s self. Unfortunately their voices are most often drowned out by the hive mind. But however have we all moved forward if not by being able to establish and maintain ourselves? This is something that must be retained, it’s 2014 and no one is out of the woods yet. Racism, Misogyny, homophobia, it’s all still alive and well, and everyone in these groups have, or are now expected to have their oppressor looking over their shoulder at every movement. Why? What good does this presence have on the oppressed other than to stifle the potential of ideas because of fear?
While I’m not female, nor am I a person of color, I am gay, and there is something special about the energy of just gay men meeting. It’s a time and space for us to exchange, share etc. All with a lack of judgement in any context of our homosexuality, which always has to come up among straight men in some fashion, especially through unwelcomed humor. We can be free of that, as we can be free of hearing disgusting hetero male fantasies and objectification of women and their bodies. Straight men often go on in detail creating visuals that I trust most gay men do not want. And while I don’t give any type of man a pass on their potential to perpetuate male violence , it often at least feels like that gay men are missing an aggressive macho factor that many men have, and that I personally find intimidating. There is something therapeutic about being among one’s own. There is relief. It’s heartbreaking to see so many of us want to take this away from our lesbian sisters.
I’m very interested in how one can equate this type of exclusion to the type of exclusion that the oppressors classes have perpetuated since forever. I think the knee-jerk response to “women only”, “gay only”, or “black only” spaces is rooted in liberal logic. Like most progressives “don’t see color, just see people”. I feel the current GLBTQ movement does not have a political or class analysis, which is something we could benefit from if we weren’t so busy clawing our way to a seat in the patriarchy. We should be working to overthrow it, now work with in it. Right now we are working as it’s left hand.