Room For A View

By Martin Belk
© 2012 Martin Belk and Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.

MartinBelkheadshotUK“This innocent country set you down into a ghetto, in which, in fact, it intended you should perish.”

  – James Baldwin, ‘The Fire Next Time’

I’m not ‘gay’, I’m Martin. I’ve been saying that since I became aware of the distinction. Although necessary at a particular place and time, I don’t go in for parades or rainbows. My partner will never be my ‘wife’ and I will never be a ‘husband’. That’s for heterosexuals and their kind.

I don’t want to live or improve the ghetto. I want out – black, homosexual, poor – all. The acceptance of ‘status-within-a-slum’ paves a golden road to hell: selling souls to Absolut, branding with slick naked bodies, drugging ‘til the break of dawn — ‘gay’ is no longer a movement, it’s a target market, and the queer and questioning sit naively in the bull’s eye.

It’s not 1985 anymore. AIDS, addiction and suicide, not much has changed — no matter what Madonna bought you for lunch. The current PC political paraders (save a few like Larry Kramer) in the US and UK have become as handcuffed to their fundraisers as their GOP and Tory counterparts. So-called progressives ‘help you’ when it ‘helps them’. The second-classes need a new rallying point. Marriage ain’t it. Bad strategy, and a bunch of queers intent on fighting it out in the public arena with Mom & Dad. Out of the closet, into the woodwork.

You can identify with your parents all you like, it will never make you heterosexual – no matter how many babies you adopt, ‘husbands’ you marry, or houses you buy. You are queer, it is a unique and precious creation, with things to offer that haven’t even been defined yet. Surely, the most diverse group of people on the planet can come up with a better agenda. Here’s a few humble ideas:

1. Give up the word ‘gay’. It’s useless, means nothing anymore, and only serves to make life easy for the right-wing when making sure you enjoy your second class status. (Imagine, all those political spreadsheets having to be changed to “homasekshul”.)

2. Scrap ‘marriage’ in its entirety. For the purposes of legal coupling, it should be a pocket-change trip to the local registrar, homo, hetero, whatever-o. Equal rights for all. No gods required.

3. Ditch the rainbows. While well-intended, they’ve served their purpose. Fact is, these faux-security blankets usually mean higher prices (hotels, services, goods), less service, and more attitude (restaurants). The pots of gold aren’t for the customers.

5. Stop pushing teenagers to come out. Everybody ‘questions’, some are born this way and that, and change their minds. Most need a little breathing room and support, not banners and bullies. Gaga can’t save them; Glee sells them for ratings.

6. Start an underground railroad for suicidal teens. So what if it’s illegal? Harriet Tubman smuggled slaves & ActUP didn’t ask permission to riot. By any means necessary.

7. Bareback: porn, clubs, web sites? Banned. Fuck free speech.

8. Require comprehensive queer history lessons for all.

9. Bring back good music.

10. Find an empty country and wait out the current apocalypse of this loathsome society in a New Republic of Misfit Toys.

I won’t be standing by quietly while a neo-pop-culture crowd rushes to the loud stage. Nor will I allow a bunch of barnyard political hacks force me into a rainbow category to rot. There is something very new, unique, and progressive to be had, and it isn’t the cocktail party rationales which seem to be percolating these days.

Silence (still) = Death.

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