I want to recruit you for the fight to preserve democracy from the John Briggs and Anita Bryants who are trying to constitutionalize bigotry…
I ask my gay sisters and brothers to make the commitment to fight. For themselves, for their freedom, for their country…Gay people, we will not win our rights by staying silently in our closets…We are coming out. We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out. – Harvey Milk * San Francisco Gay Pride Parade of 1978
The Washington DC, Dupont Circle HRC store was vandalized last night by a group “that claims” to be a radical queer organization called, and get this: “The Right Honorable Wicked Stepmothers’ Traveling, Drinking and Debating Society and Men’s Auxiliary,”
The damage was mostly cosmetic, with paint splatters visible on the windows of the store, and the word “Stonewall” spray-painted on the sidewalk immediately in front of the store.
The Washington Blade received the groups press release which is reprinted below.
In the wee hours of June 29, 2011…..
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gift shop in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC is a god awful monstrosity. We were in there yesterday and between wiping our genitals on the clothing and discovering that the snow globes wouldn’t properly fit up our bums, we got to thinking:
“This place would look great with a bit of shattered glass and splattered paint.”
So we strapped on our riot chaps, poured pink paint into light bulbs, grabbed hammers, and went party party party! all over that tacky testament to the transformation of radical queer liberation into consumer junk.
We’ve got good reason. This week marks the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
On the night of June 28, 1969, New York City’s Public Morals Squad did a routine raid of an East Village gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. Everything was going fine until, in the midst of the standard genital check that police forced on draq queens, a lesbian beaned a cop straight in the head with a ripped-up parking meter. And so queer liberation was born.
The modern LGBT movement owes its success to three days of smashing, burning, punching, and kicking–all of it happily indiscriminate–and the confrontational tactics of groups like ACT-UP that followed in the decades since. Yet, somehow we’ve forgotten our riotous roots.
Gay Pride, for example, wasn’t always a suburban county fair with less fanny packs and lined with banks and politicians. The first Pride was the 1970 Christopher Street Liberation Day march, a celebration of the riots the year before (and to this day, Pride festivals the world over are celebrated in June)
But we’ve been snorting ritalin and drinking whiskey all night and this manifesto tomfoolery is wearing us down so let’s bring it home, shall we?
Why, you’re asking, did we specifically target the HRC, a massive national gay rights non-profit as opposed to vomiting urine on Rick Santorum or something equally fun?
Put simply, they suck. What do they suck? Cash. Lots of it.
The HRC rakes in something approaching 50 million dollars a year in revenue–their executive director, Joe Salmonellamayonaisemanese pulls in a salary of several hundred grand. What have we gotten out of this bloated carcass? Not a thing worth mentioning and every now and then, they eagerly sell trans people up the river. Seriously, this is an organization that hordes money and does nothing useful. It’s a sad, sick dinosaur.
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC violence against the LGBT community is on the rise; DC’s only LGBT center is forced to go hat in hand to real estate developers and beg for space, only to face eviction a few years down the road; We lack a homeless shelter for queer youth and services for our community are the victims of budget cuts. Can you think of something better to do with a few million dollars?
(Did you know that 50 million dollars can buy about 300 thousand pounds of glitter?)
Everyone: We know you mean well, but stop giving these idiots your money. Stop putting that equal sticker on your car. Stop going to their lame galas. And for the love of Judy Garland’s Ghost and Robert Mapplethorpe’s Zombie Bones, stop saying “It Gets Better” and hoping for a miracle from up on high. We don’t expect you to riot (although we swear you’ll love it once you get going!) but it’s time for us to quit with the passivity, move to action, build community and care for each other instead of hoping the Gay Non-Profit Industrial Complex will ever get anything done.
THE RIGHT HONORABLE WICKED STEPMOTHERS’ TRAVELING, DRINKING AND DEBATING SOCIETY AND MEN’S AUXILIARY
Now “if”, and mind you I am saying if because there have been a lot of fraud lately like fake lesbian bloggers, gay activist against flotilla’s and such and frankly the above release smells of pure horseshit. Because ANYONE could have done this and claimed to be a queer group. So lets not jump to conclusions.
But I will say this. While I am 100 percent against the action truthfully I have to say the gist of the message itself is not far off base.
“As we fight to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ we know that this fight can easily be more painful than physical combat, as the people we fought to protect subject us to the harsh bigotry of popularity polls and the soft bigotry of political inaction. Caught in this battlefield, it is easy to claim victimhood and suffocate in the sadness of national betrayal. Gay Americans, like all scapegoated and stigmatized minorities in America’s history, know this feeling all too well. But just as all the patriots who had to come home to fight for equality, we cannot heal our injuries by permanent sorrow and self-pity. The only treatment that can heal the wounds of betrayal and hatred is a recommitment to fight for each other, to stand up for each other, to love one another.” – Lt. Dan Choi, in a Veteran’s Day message on The Huffington Post