Some recent memes have left me wondering: Are certain leaders consciously uncoupling from some of our core beliefs that motivate our activism in the first place?
For example, it seems to me that it would be much better if the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) community fights for all of the objectives of the immigration movement, as we have done in the past. However clear it is that LGBT people suffer disproportionally in all matters of immigration, our advocacy must be inclusive of the suffering of all people, LGBT and straight conjoined, in order to attack directly the underlying causes of immigration problems in the first place, such as racism and radical nationalism. This is not a suggestion that our message regarding LGBT immigration issues disappear or be subsumed by the larger message of human rights but that the latter, larger message is always a preface to to our special plea for our LGBT-specific issues.
Just as LGBT advances have followed gains in women’s rights, we should pause to consider that we are a part of a larger fabric of social and economic justice and global human rights. Segmentation of any issue weakens the voice of all.
There are several reasons to be as inclusive as possible, the least of which is that we uncover our best allies when working in coalition, people who will support us when we need it. We can point out the special circumstances causing LGBT folks more trouble but not so loudly that all people hear is that we care more about our own. We can’t forget that everybody is suffering. We risk our own progress when we sound like we are pitting something like uniting same sex spouses over the needs of motherless children on the southern border.
Those of us who lived through the 60s, 70s, and 80s know that identification with the whole of any issue reliably enhances our credulity. When we rally shoulder-to-shoulder with activists dedicated to their causes across the social and economic spectrum (immigration, environment, economic, education, race, politics, religion, etc.), we are speaking to the broadest constituency. All of these issues, including sexual and gender freedom, are a matter of human rights. We can get our issues heard by more people if we set them in a reliable context, so there needn’t ever be a disconnect in our objectives.
The underlying cause of all injustice is enslavement of the many by the few. Peace, prosperity, everything, is inhibited because civilization has gradually surrendered the power of the group, giving away to someone else the power of the people that resides within us. For centuries, organized religion modeled human behavior through the opportunistic entrepreneurs who declared the necessity of their intercession between you and your direct line to the power of love. Whether you call this power god or something else, we all feel it flowing through our senses, continually recycled among those we love. Priests, ministers, pastors, imams, and rabbis, having recognized this universal power of love, found a way to exploit it for their own gains (getting shelter, food, currency, and other societal benefits) by warning that bad luck is sure to come to you if you didn’t follow their particular doctrine. Organized religions were the first corporations, and they are thriving, especially now that the Surpreme Court has declared the persons who can legally discriminate against others based on a false interpretation of both personhood and religious freedom.
As we have said before, the new age of sexual freedom is synonymous with the end of racism (at its root sexual oppression) and the end of nationalism (at its root racism). Sexual freedom is the bedrock of all freedoms because it fully expresses our bodily guarantee of plurality, global equality, and world peace.
Working arm-and-arm at the intersections of all issues pertaining human rights is the most direct path towards reaching our goals, common and specific.