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Anarchists join Gay Pride march

Ricardo Malatesta | 30.05.2007 12:24 | Social Struggles | Birmingham

Local anarchists supported the march and distributed leaflets.

Last weekend saw the annual mardi gras which is a celebration of the diversity and self-esteem of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trensgender people. On Sunday there was a parade / march which was very lively despite the driving rain. We leafleted people assembling before the march and a few spectators on the way. The text of our flyer read:

Are We All Proud Now? (Pride and Prejudices)

Everyone here today is here to celebrate his or her own sexuality. Being open and proud is what today is about. The point is though are we really proud of our own sexuality?

In the last few years according to many in the Gay Press we have all become free. The reason being that of a little thing called the Pink Pound. The Gay Community now through being pumped with cash from Big Business has won its freedom and won the right to be treated with respect. Homophobia is a thing of the past, worries about coming out at work are a thing of the past and we now live in a society that accepts people for their differences and where people are not discriminated against.

Hmmm, really?
The Gay Community and people feeling may have transformed considerably in the last few years, but that has very little to do with the Pink Pound. People have only ever improved things in society through uniting to fight the problems facing them. This is the case with the LGBT community as with any other. Groups of people fought for decades to win the rights that we now take for granted. Once people started to gain respect, Big Business owners (capitalists) everywhere saw a potential market from which they could make a lot of money.

Whether these people are Gay, Straight or Bisexual is irrelevant, capitalists will happily exploit anyone 4 their own gain even if it is someone who has the same sexual orientation as them, so much for solidarity. It wasn’t long ago that the some of these people were promoting homophobia in rags like the Sun or even in nice middle class newspapers like the Guardian; attitudes turn on a six pence if a
buck can be made out of them.

Many of the supposed liberated sectors of the gay community now work up and down the country in gay bars on the minimum wage or less if cash in hand, oh the freedom. Being out and proud will not mean much if you are working for peanuts and being leached over by a domineering boss, this can just as demoralizing as being oppressed by homophobic bullying. For decent wages and working conditions, employees in gay bars and services will need to unite together and with straight workers against their bosses who are happy enough to maintain inequality in income and the relationship of order giver and order taker. The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W) can offer support locally for people wanting to tackle these issues.

Whilst there may now be more Out politicians, business and religious leaders...this hasn't led to a more humane society. This pecking order change has brought about newer prejudices. Bisexuals and Transsexuals after all aren’t specifically Gay, where do they fit in with all this?

The 2 biggest problems in our society for people fighting homophobia and discrimination generally are 2 things that are rarely mentioned. These 2 things are the State (government) and Capitalism (an economy run to make profit for a rich minority). Capitalism because it is based on the pursuit of profit and will make as much money out of peoples communities as possible, whether that means being nice or nasty 2 puffs and dykes depends on what is more profitable at the time and whether the system is looking for scapegoats. The other great obstacle to the improvement of our lives is the State. The state or government is a top-down form of control and built on hierarchy which always leads to the domination of one person or a group of people over a majority.

Pride and prejudices: Gays and lesbians have had to fight hard to increase the scope of our freedom. It's taken decades of struggle and increasing self-confidence to shape our identities and win some measures of equality. Capitalist society teaches that things are black and white, that you are part of the straight majority (still the preferred option) or a gay minority. However the reality of many people's sexuality is that is more fluid than fixed and people often experience attraction to people of either sexes at some point. Some gay people who have fought to defend their integrity in what has been billed as a 'them and us situation' with the rest of society may resent bisexuality as it appears to undermine the cohesion of the gay community.

Anarchists believe the only way that people in all areas of life can attain freedom and equality is by people actively collaborating to run things themselves without the unnecessary funnels of Government and Big Business. These two things have always used and abused people and it places people in a very vulnerable position to insist that they rely upon them. We say annihilate that vulnerability and cut out the middleman and do things yourselves. Homo/Bi/Transphobic views and every kind of prejudice must be challenged, it wasn’t long ago that homophobia was the mainstream, why should any other prejudice be so?

We need to see how our experiences link into the need to fight all forms of discrimination, we shouldn't let the system divide and rule us. Legal protections have been won on the basis of mass campaigning activity but aren’t a solution in themselves, for eg we’ve had the Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act for decades but sexual and racial inequalities are alive and kicking. We shouldn't just want equality with straights who are also trapped with the narrow and puritanical expectations of how men and women should act, but gain powerful allies whilst striving for genuine human liberation – which will include a struggle against rigid gender roles, prejudices and wage slavery.
Contact us on this or other issues:
Birmingham: / Industrial Workers of the World union:
Coventry and Warwickshire: / tel. 07807 386 276

Ricardo Malatesta


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  1. The fourth orientation — fangless