If a group of “radical” queers deface a gay billboard, does that count as anti-gay violence? Bash Back, the group of masked LGBTs who defaced DNC headquarters in Colorado, are now claiming credit for defacing an anti-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell billboard in Memphis. And they’re insisting it’s not an anti-gay attack.
Defaced back in October, the billboard featured a white man in uniform with a simple statement on why gays should be allowed to serve. When it was vandalized, the immediate instinct was to believe an anti-gay group was responsible. At the time U.S. Marine Tim Smith, who was featured on billboard, said: “It felt like somebody had violated the honor and commitment that we as military veterans feel about our service … All my brothers and sisters in uniform who are part of the gay community who aren’t able to speak for themselves … I think now the community has been shocked, but shocked into further action. The billboards will be put back up.”
But now Bash Back claims it went after the billboard — because it promoted sending gays to die.
I’m here to dispute the claim that this action was an anti-gay act.
First, sending gays to be military fodder is NOT pro-gay or conclusive whatsoever to gay liberation. State militarism only reinforces the dominant structures, and the racism/heterosexism they perpetuate, as well as reducing the number of gay people in the world (both those in Amerikkka and the countries Amerikkka is colonizing/conquering).
Second, we accuse the MGLCC of being flat out racist/anti-queer/anti-trans; and we furiously question how that the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center can squander $3500 on military billboards, when Memphis has the highest trans-murder rate (11 trans women of color, 1 white transwoman and 1 transman of color), as well as one of the highest queer youth homeless rates in the nation, and how they can justify putting a pro-military billboard in the overwhelmingly POC neighborhood of Morris Park, when the poor Black community in Morris Park is disporportionately preyed upon by the military (through the court system’s “prison or military service” rule for minor felonies as well as recruiters’ false promises of otherwise impossible economic/education opportunities)?