Queer Skinhead Revolt INDEX


GAY POWER: cover of an old gay liberation newspaper
FAQ#2: Are you gay?

If you are asking about my culture, reactions to things, affiliations... then FUCK NO!

If you are asking about where my dick has been, then are you sure you really want to know?

If you are asking about who has a chance with me, well it depends on how many beers I have had.

If you are a closet case who fears that the only choices out there are plunging into the discos or pretending to be straight, suffering the disrespect and not getting laid, then damn right I am! Same goes if you are one of those willfully blind hets who think drag queens are the only gays out there, and are oblivious to what is really going on around you.

Homosexuality is a part of the natural order. Human community is shaped by economic, social, and cultural processes, but has a biological base: we have evolved as a social species. One subspecies of chimpanzees settles its tensions with violence, while another, which is more closely related to humans, settles them sexually.

Violence is like sex. Each is a break with routine that involves contact among body parts. Each is unimaginable without the customs concerning the right and wrong times and places for it, and the gender and age of those involved. These rules carry with them a program for the regulation of the life of a community, and like all other ways of running things they are prone to particular abuses. Those who have strong opinions about them call in the State to enforce them, or at least to curb those abuses. The result is that the State, that supposedly neutral entity that pretends to evenly and fairly apply its policies, overruns community-level regulation. Does it, too, really lack its abuses? Are the abuses of state-level regulation really more benign than those of the free citizens in a community?

Just as the rules of grammar make communication possible, so the customs and instincts of gender and age (with regard not just to sex and violence but also division of labor) shape the survival, reproduction, and regulation of human communities. The notion that gays should be direct objects of violence is a recent consequence of the collapse of community (homophobia only really took off with the 1930s depression); homosexuality (as with capacity for violence) is part of our natural variation, part of that grammar of community maintenance.

Variation in our instincts, abilities, and capacities makes community possible, and denying those - whether you insist that there is no fundamental difference between males and females, or if you insist that everyone must be heterosexual - disrupts community as much as an excess of alcohol disrupts one's command of grammar.

Harry Hay who asked, in his call to form the Radical Faeries, asked "what are we here for? What is our purpose?" Sociobiologists have suggested that a gene for homosexuality exists because kids who have unattached aunts and uncles who assist in raising and protecting them are more likely to survive. Consider today all those gay men and women who work in social service agencies. Others have looked to ancient history where it seems the shamans were queer: gays have a purpose in mediating between the male and female realms as well as between the material and spiritual.

Homosexuality has a purpose in building the bonds of a military force to protect a community: remember Sparta's army of lovers. One of the characters in Plato's Symposium distinguishes between two kinds of love. One is governed by the goddess Aphrodite and it is the love of a man for a woman and it produces children. The other, the love of a man for a man, is governed by the muse Urania, and produces great art and contributions to the community as a whole. If we are not producing children of our own, we should be out there securing a future for our communities.

Such creative forms of kinship as the gay ghetto and skinhead crews are necessary because family and community fail.

Whatever purpose it is that gays could have is wasted on gay culture in its current form.