I'd say cheers to the South African human rights activists who happen to be gay, such as Simon Nkoli, Zackie Achmat and Edwin Cameron.
Without their voices and selfless struggles for human rights, we probably would never have gone from a country with highly homophobic laws in 1994, to
laws that ensured equal marriage in 2006, and rights for 5.5 million HIV positive people (mostly heterosexuals in SA).
Thanks to all the gay people in the US who cared for people with AIDS and stood up, when all the anti-gay haters could do was spit gleeful homophobia
and various useless conspiracies.
Thanks to people like Peter Tatchell and Judith Butler, who fight for rights they believe to be right outside the gay community, even if I don't
support all their causes.
From my view the gay community is not monolithic, and it has issues of race, class and gender.
Last year the Joburg Pride Parade was interrupted by radical lesbian feminists, who felt it had become too much of an elitist party, and did little to
address the problem of the "curative rape" (raping a lesbian to make her straight) of black lesbians in the townships.
It called the parade a "pinkwash", far removed from the initial parade around 1990 when several people were so scared of the security police that they
wore paper bags over their heads.
However, I think it is a bit one-sided to only look at the gay movements.
Has anyone seen the hateful and stereotypical arguments made about gay people on ATS?
If one looks at the most homophobic countries and movements today, most of them are cult-like religious fundamentalists who use arguments of a "gay
agenda" to make their own tyrannical world-views politically relevant.
Has anyone considered their religious agenda and views on child-rearing?
Is their anti-gay agenda (just the tip of the iceberg of what they believe) not divisive?
I've yet to see one of these anti-gay religious groups that don't also abuse women and children behind the scenes.
Are they the force for "good" and we must all just remain silent until they rule?
No thank you.
Sorry, it takes two to tango, and I don't care if they use dated nonsense and outright lies to demonize all gay people, but it's a bit much to expect
gay people not to respond.
Sure, use us to make heterosexuality look good and natural (what else is there?), but why call it an "agenda" when gay people respond, or market
forces are interested in gay characters in entertainment?
While any group that gains some acceptance in the mainstream can be co-opted by power (including parts of the gay movement, I'm sure) I don't see how
standing up for gay equality is not standing up for human rights in general.
Anyway, the projection of homosexuality onto a gay minority seems to serve a wider purpose.
It ensures that male rape in cults, prisons and war zones hardly becomes an issue.
These male tortures can't exist because good, homophobic straight men would "never do that".
And the same politicians who speak on heterosexist "family values" encourage wars and laws that lock up people in single-sex situations, sometimes for
their entire lives for victimless crimes.
The horrendous and widespread problem of male rape in war zones, usually perpetrated by homophobes, can thus be distanced from global gender work, or
activism by the men's movement.
Thousands of men are victims every year, yet it's not even really considered "rape".
It's considered "forced homosexuality".
So I suppose rape is then "forced heterosexuality"?
Why don't men speak for the rights of other men?
Yeah, some just call the gays anything they like: "demoniacs", "pedophiles", "coprophiliacs", "unnatural" and the actual cause of diseases and the
fall of civilizations (pretty funny coming from religious groups that actually split and destroyed civilizations).
Call us "selfish" for all I care.
In democratic countries we can respond and say we know who the selfish people are.
Just look at who sprouts hateful homophobia every day, and who gets minions to donate money and work for free while they live in luxury.
So gay rights also seem relevant to human rights activists.
Those who are violently against such rights will also roll back other rights - that is for sure.
Even if I wasn't gay, I couldn't think of a single country with homophobic laws I'd like to live in today, because their human rights records in
general are far worse than whatever is going on in the countries with gay rights.
But yes it can be a "pinkwash" and too militant in instances.
It can also undermine the struggles and selflessness of the past if people are only interested in using their freedom for a big, irresponsible,
There are issues, although they are not unique to the gay movement.
However, as long as there is public homophobia one can expect a public gay response.
One would have to watch what's going on, and take things instance by instance.
There are important things going on that effect all people for sure.
But I can't make a sweeping statement that any group should stay silent if they are targeted on the premise that everything is divide and rule.
If that's the premise without prejudice then one should make a thread about ALL the people who divide us.
edit on 14-6-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)