In an earlier post about anti-war protests in the northeast & kari edwards' activism, I briefly mentioned CA Conrad's accompanying (the protests, at that time) petition "Gays Against Gays in the Military." He sent it to me as he was heading out the door to join others on the picket line, & I'd haphazardly made reference to what is an important stance that many of us within the LGBT "community" have towards the knee-jerk (and class-oriented) making of repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell one of basically two centers of LGBT activism (gay marriage being the other). Who, asks Conrad on behalf of so many of us, should want all our time, energy, and activism dollars going to demanding the right to join some of the most oppressive institutions--war and state-sanctioned love-as-ownership? Thousands upon thousands of gay, bi- & lesbian men, women, & transgendered people are being slaughtered both here in this country (just google "hate crime" & "homosexual" to get a sense of the crisis) and abroad. Thousands of gay Iraqi men, notes Conrad, are being slaughtered by the U.S. military & its vassal government right now.
A petition is only a petition, one could say. But as many of the signatories note, it's an important start. So many activists unsettled by the direction LGBT activism has taken in the past several years (hijacked, one might argue, by middle-class Neo-Liberals, gay & straight, who want so badly to be considered "normal") have, as I have on occasion, clammed up on who and how we want to be (we, meaning all of us as an interdependent society) for fear that too much apparent splintering within an already accosted minority might appear as weakness, thus would further damage us or set us back. This is only to a very small point an understandable quietism, if as tactical concern, and if one considers the reactivity of its core. But I'm very glad Conrad, among many other activists in different ways, has it right and is not afraid to speak up here. Please, if you believe in equal rights, sign this petition. Equal rights means not only the right to love and affirm that love, e.g., but the right not to be shot and killed, or occupied and violated.