On Actually Keeping Queer Queer: A response to Cherríe Moraga
Cherríe Moraga’s essay, entitled “Still Loving in the (Still) War Years: On Keeping Queer Queer,” is a two-part essay that was first published in 2009. The first part is a brilliantly written critique on the mainstream gay rights movement’s focus on marriage equality. The second part is a misguided and misinformed attack on the trans* community in general and the transmasculine community in particular. Moraga is well known within QTPOC activist circles and the purpose for this response is to facilitate an inter-generational dialogue that is both effective and salient. I want to bring our best to the table by continuing to challenge and critique, while at the same time to honor and recognize those that have come before. In short, I want to change the world and the only way to do that is to work together.
In the first half of the essay, Moraga outlines how the gay rights movement is flawed in its mostly white, single-issue politics. She says that the movement is “prompted by the entitlement of race and class” which the mostly white queer proponents of the movement possess. In other words, she states that the contemporary gay rights movement seeks not to challenge those systems of power that keep people oppressed, which is what it’s original aim was, but instead desires to assimilate into those very systems- both as individuals and as a movement. Moreover, she argues that the movement fails to recognize the way white queers are implicit in the cultural imperialism involved in transnational adoption and “the support of immigrant rights for gay couples but not for migrant workers”…
[Submitted by kararikue]