bash back

So It Was a Group of Queers Who Vandalized the DADT Billboard?


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)?

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  • Bryan

    What a bunch of tools. Tools that can’t even show their faces.

  • Danny

    Is that a real site or a parody site? Womyn with a “y”? Amerikkka? Please tell me it’s a parody site.

  • Mike L.

    Wow pro military really? It’s about repealing DADT through informing ppl, those back wash people are total loons.

  • Chris

    thanks for the link. i made sure to add my comment on their website so they can maybe get their heads out of their own assholes long enough to realize how fucking dumb they are.
    or maybe not.
    still, sometimes it feels good to vent.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I used to support Bash BAck, but they’ve really gone off the rails. Any chance they’re doing some black-ops? Really anti-gay posing as pro-gay?

  • vernonvanderbilt

    I certainly appreciate Bash Back’s intentions with their actions, but they do have an unfortunate habit of making us (the LGBT community) look bad in the process. Last I had heard they were all for repealing DADT because it would give queers access to weapons. Apparently they can’t make up their minds about where they stand. I’d almost echo Mr. Jones’ suspicions, but having been on the fringes of the radical movement at one time, I can say, without qualifiers, that there are some people involved in it who truly have no idea what it is they actually want, much less how to get it. As it currently stands, Bash Back are well-intentioned (but fairly harmless) pranksters and vandals. I’d like to see them get a little more focused, a bit more thoughtful about what their actions should be and how best to pull them off. If they could settle on a proper agenda, I might be inclined to fully support them.

  • romeo

    They sound like a bunch of undercover Marxists. If so the they’re just using the gay community as they’ve always done to create dissension. They care nothing for us in reality.

  • hyhybt

    Apparently the difference between being ALLOWED to serve and being FORCED to serve is lost on these people.

  • Dennis

    What a bunch of fucking (wanna-be) tools…Could these transtards show any respect for OTHER LGBT’s choices and rights, including the right to be treated equally when they CHOOSE to serve their country via military service?

    No, doesn’t seem like it…what we’re looking at is the equivalent of LGBT “Teabaggers”…stoopid, angry, and without a clue on the true meaning of justice or equality. Ugh!

  • AlwaysGay

    I think Bash Back is really heterosexuals. Everything this organization does is what heterosexuals do. Heterosexual organizations have used masked and property destruction as part of their approach.

  • Justin

    It WAS an anti-gay action. The most heinous actions against our people are perpetrated by gay people; we’re just used to it being closeted ones.

    And, the billboard was NOT a pro-military message. It was a prop-repeal message. They can’t even be honest about that.

    And their complaint about “squandering” $3500? How about “squandering” all that time and effort to deface the thing? Couldn’t YOU have better used YOUR resources to go actually HELP someone? HELP make change? HELP educate someone or do SOMETHING towards helping advance our culture?


  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Bash back. A bunch of suburban kids with too much time on their hands, and a sterling employment future as Baristas at Starbucks. LOL.

  • Billy

    Here’s how I see it:

    Bash Back is to the HRC, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, what-have-you what the ELF (Environmental Liberation Front) is to Greenpeace, Sierra Club, WWF, etc. The radical extremist expression of fighting for a cause. Personally, I think it’s great. While Gay inc. is mailing leaflets, spending donation money on constant mailers for more donations, issuing statements that nobody pays attention, too, and let’s not forget all the recent ass thumbing they’ve been doing lately, Bash Back does something and people notice. There’s no place anymore for being PC in the fight for our rights. Trying to take the high road just isn’t working and cheers to them for taking on a new approach and getting noticed.

    Plus, most of their work is to bring attention to the fact that while gays and lesbians are piddling about gay marriage and DADT, people under the trans umbrella are in constant defense for their safety and just trying to live as they are. Much where gays and lesbians were not too long ago.

    And to Danny – Womyn with a ‘y’ is to separate women from men and establish female empowerment and independence from men since, etymologically speaking, ‘women’ and ‘woman’ are words based off of the root ‘man’ or ‘men’. Spelling womyn with a y serves to break women away from men.

  • Mike

    I agree completely with Billy. Regardless of whether tearing down the billboard was the best tactical move (spraypainting, maybe?), I respect their efforts. Let’s invest that money in helping the queer homeless or in doing something about the other problems in this local community — the very high rate of trans hate crimes, including one murder of a transwoman that was preceded months earlier by her beating at the hands of Memphis police: These are things that affect LGBTQI Memphians in the here and now — just maybe not the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s big (white, wealthy) donors.

  • Attmay

    @7 Romeo:

    Bingo! It’s all about “the revolution” to them. Well, communism worked out great for gays. Just ask Renaldo Arenas. And ask Stalin why he made homosexuality a crime in the Soviet Union, which remained on the books until the year before it fell

    Use it as a starting point, not an authority; after all, it is Wikipedia.

  • Kropotkin

    “if a group of “radical” queers deface a gay billboard, does that count as anti-gay violence?”

    Now there’s an idiotic question; of course not!

  • Kropotkin

    And I also have to say that I agree with Billy and personally I feel that spending loads of money for the “right” to go off and be killed and kill in wars that enrich the already rich or give more power to the already powerful is probably the most clear example of just how bankrupt “Gay Inc.” or whatever you want to call it is morally bankrupt.

    Like the communique said, squandering money on a DADT billboard while their are hungry homeless LGBT people are struggling to survive and trans people are getting slaughtered on the street of Memphis is beyond ridiculous. It really makes me question the basic values and goals of our community and if doing that is “Marxist” or “being a disgruntled suburban kid” then sign me up.

  • Jacob

    They havent admitted to doing it. Theyre just expressing their views.

    Personally, im against vandalism all together and the whole point of the poster was to repeal DADT clause, so that people in the military can be openly gay rather than hiding who they are and heaven forbid anyone who finds out—-and they will be kicked out!

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Bring ALL the troops home. Especially the Gay ones!

  • Brian

    We have a similar group in Dallas – Queer Liberaction. They just try to get attention by “shocking” people. They just make all LGBT people look bad … and stupid.

  • BB! memphis

    It’s amazing the way you managed to misread the article entirely.

    Claiming responsibility? Hardly- we’ve got other projects to focus on.
    Critiquing a viewpoint on the vandalism? Definitely.

    Perhaps your blogers could use some critical reading skills?

  • anonymous

    uhm, lgbt moderates need to stop reading whitewashed history books. if it weren’t for the stonewall riots, for the white night riots after harvey milk’s assasination, for numerous direct action by radical queer folks, there wouldn’t be a lgbt rights movement. you don’t have to participate if this isn’t your thing, but you should understand that these guys are your friends. the military, the state and heteropatriarchical society is not.

  • Liam

    “Bash back. A bunch of suburban kids with too much time on their hands, and a sterling employment future as Baristas at Starbucks. LOL.”

    Miss Ga-Gasp,

    You are for the most part entirely correct in your assessment of the boredom and future employment opportunities of Bash Back! ppl. However, I think you fail to understand what that means for queers in the US, and exactly how your sentiment reveals a question which may only be confronted with force regarding what is a political about the friendships formed in such conditions or boredom and service work, and what is political about the way LGBTQI communities would exclude people whose job opportunities are baristas at Starbucks (or some other miserable “locally owned” cafe. If most of the working US population now works in the service industry, what does that say about your position Lady Ga-Gasp?

    Perhaps, I think all this issue-touting in the communique and the use of “amerikkka” is a bit nerdy or whatever, but clearly those us who work to sell ourselves, have different positionalities than those who don’t. And it shows. How? because we could give a fuck, and we expose queer as an event which destroys the futurity inherent in all politics of the current social order, and yall bitchez want to defend society. Its pretty simple: we don’t want a military, we don’t want police. we don’t want all life as ordered by the law of value. we don’t want this society.

  • Bill Perdue

    GLBT groups can be very wrong headed from time to time. Some support Republicans or Democrats. Some oppose same sex marriage rights. Some racists and islamophobes oppose giving asylum to GLBT refugees from US backed jihadists in Iraq and the killer ayatollahs of Iran.

    Whatever their errors, though, trashing their events or property is self-isolating, mindless ultraleftism of the kind described by Lenin in his booklet “Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder. It’s uselessly sectarian and deeply divides parts of the movement that occasionally have to work together.

    The truth is that the left will defeat the right wing, liberal part of our movement, including Democrats and their front groups like HRC and SLDN with our ideas. These groups are being steadily pulled to the right by their association with the Democrats and just as steadily discrediting themselves.

    That said there can be no compromise on the question of the war. The only solution is immediate, total and permanent withdrawal of all US military, mercenary and CIA torturers from the region. We also have to cut the US funding of zionists who practice apartheid and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. That was the immediate cause of 9-11 and continues to enrage the muslim world, although the US genocide in Iraq and mass murder in Afghanistan have eclipsed it.

    It’s correct for GLBT groups to point out that MGLCC is acting in an unprincipled fashion supporting the war or that SLDNs prowar stance as unprincipled as voting for Obama. Both of them are tacitly supporting polices that kill GIs and civilians from Pakistan to Palestine. Many of those GIs are gays and lesbians and large numbers of them are working people escaping the poverty caused by Clintons deregulation.

    LGBT Democrats will continue to become isolated by being part of the party that supports Obama’s efforts to sabotage our right to be married, the party that is at this point now solely responsible for the ongoing murder of GIs and civilians in South Asia by being part of the party that busts unions and that presided over the greatest theft of wealth, TARP, in human history. Republicans support all the rightwing policies of the Democrats but only as junior partners.

  • Chris

    I don’t think i would serve for a country that doesnt give me equal rights.

  • Attmay

    @24 Bill “Ernst Rohm” Perdue:

    Lenin was right: Communism is an infantile disorder, and you’re proof of that. Are you still wearing your black arm band you put on to mourn the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall? How’s your plan to build an alliance between AFL-CIO and Al-Qaeda going? You’re complaining about vandalism when you vandalize this and a dozen other gays blog with your cut-and-paste, non-sequitur, non-factual, fascist/Arabist tripe?

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 26 • Attmay is a hopelessly racist right winger. He’s not very bright and given to fits and frothing at the mouth. All in all I’d say he’s a good advertisement for the lunacy of zionist racism.

    Attaboy, Attmay, you do more to weaken the influence of zionist racism than anyone I can think of with the possible exception of hellskitchenguy-hardmannyc. Keep up the good work.

    All things condidered I’d say he’s a good advertisment for zionist racism.

Comments are closed.