Friday, May 29, 2009

The TGIF Sex Blog (Gay & Lesbian Liberation)

¡Hola! Everybody...
What a shame it is that in this country the nomination of a qualified and brilliant legal mind is met by the festering sore of racism... Scalia is “hot headed,” but Sonia Sotomayor is “ill-tempered.” Bush the Elder cited empathy as one of the virtues he considered in selecting Clarence “Slappy” Thomas. When applied to Sotomayor, empathy signifies that fave of linguistic code of angry white men everywhere: affirmative action.

This is more than madness; it’s a cancer poisoning our society. My hope is that when Sotomayor ascends to the highest court in the land (and she will), that she becomes a thorn in the side of the right wing mediocrity of the current SCOTUS.

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-=[ Gay & Lesbian Liberation ]=-

A Letter to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters

-- Huey Newton, from Berkeley Tribe, September 5-12, 1970

[Note: Lost in the euphoria (for some) of Obama’s pick of Nuyorican Sonia Sotomayor was the setback handed down by the California Supreme Court for those seeking to create a nation that respects the rights of all citizens. In what has to be one of the most warped decisions in recent jurisprudence, California upheld the notorious Proposition 8 referendum -- even after it had previously held that gays should have the right to marry. In light of rampant homophobia in communities of color, I’m offering a piece was written by Huey Newton, a leader of the Black Panthers, a radical black political and social service organization of the 60s and 70s. This letter represents one of the first overtures made by a nationally recognized leader to the lesbian and gay communities, thus helping legitimize homosexuality as a political issue.]

A Letter from Huey Newton to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters about the Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements

During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some uncertainty about how to relate to these movements.

Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion. I say “whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the women or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start with.

We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude that the White racists use against our people because they are Black and poor. Many times the poorest White person is the most racist because he is afraid that he might lose something, or discover something that he does not have. So you’re some kind of a threat to him. This kind of psychology is in operation when we view oppressed people and we are angry with them because of their particular kind of behavior, or their particular kind of deviation from the established norm.

Remember, we have not established a revolutionary value system; we are only in the process of establishing it. I do not remember our ever constituting any value that said that a revolutionary must say offensive things towards homosexuals, or that a revolutionary should make sure that women do not speak out about their own particular kind of oppression. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: we say that we recognize the women’s right to be free. We have not said much about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the most oppressed people in the society.

And what made them homosexual? Perhaps it’s a phenomenon that I don't understand entirely. Some people say that it is the decadence of capitalism. I don’t know if that is the case; I rather doubt it. But whatever the case is, we know that homosexuality is a fact that exists, and we must understand it in its purest form: that is, a person should have the freedom to use his body in whatever way he wants.

That is not endorsing things in homosexuality that we wouldn’t view as revolutionary. But there is nothing to say that a homosexual cannot also be a revolutionary. And maybe I’m now injecting some of my prejudice by saying that “even a homosexual can be a revolutionary.” Quite the contrary, maybe a homosexual could be the most revolutionary.

When we have revolutionary conferences, rallies, and demonstrations, there should be full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women’s liberation movement. Some groups might be more revolutionary than others. We should not use the actions of a few to say that they are all reactionary or counterrevolutionary, because they are not.

We should deal with the factions just as we deal with any other group or party that claims to be revolutionary. We should try to judge, somehow, whether they are operating in a sincere revolutionary fashion and from a really oppressed situation. (And we will grant that if they are women they are probably oppressed.) If they do things that are unrevolutionary or counterrevolutionary, then criticize that action. If we feel that the group in spirit means to be revolutionary in practice, but they make mistakes in interpretation of the revolutionary philosophy, or they do not understand the dialectics of the social forces in operation, we should criticize that and not criticize them because they are women trying to be free. And the same is true for homosexuals. We should never say a whole movement is dishonest when in fact they are trying to be honest. They are just making honest mistakes. Friends are allowed to make mistakes. The enemy is not allowed to make mistakes because his whole existence is a mistake, and we suffer from it. But the women’s liberation front and gay liberation front are our friends, they are our potential allies, and we need as many allies as possible.

We should be willing to discuss the insecurities that many people have about homosexuality. When I say “insecurities,” I mean the fear that they are some kind of threat to our manhood. I can understand this fear. Because of the long conditioning process which builds insecurity in the American male, homosexuality might produce certain hang-ups in us. I have hang-ups myself about male homosexuality. But on the other hand, I have no hang-up about female homosexuality. And that is a phenomenon in itself. I think it is probably because male homosexuality is a threat to me and female homosexuality is not.

We should be careful about using those terms that might turn our friends off. The terms “faggot” and “punk” should be deleted from our vocabulary, and especially we should not attach names normally designed for homosexuals to men who are enemies of the people, such as Nixon or Mitchell. Homosexuals are not enemies of the people.

We should try to form a working coalition with the Gay Liberation and Women’s Liberation groups. We must always handle social forces in the most appropriate manner. And this is really a significant part of the population, both women and the growing number of homosexuals, that we have to deal with.

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  1. This was a good read. I'm going to have to use this in a blog that I am currently working on around this subject and the Black church. There was a demonstration here in Memphis of Black preachers and one White preacher agianst anti-discriminatory laws in the hiring of LGBTs to work for the city of Memphis. Ironically, this demonstration fell on the same day prop 8 was uphelp and the announcement of the Sotomeyor nomination.

    Just sad man...

  2. Rippa: I think I saw a clip of that protest that day, but it was lost in avalanche of responses to the Sotomayor nomination.

    we need to stop fighting amongst ourselves or we will remain pawns to the power elite.

  3. This was powerful -- lots of people would do themselves a service to read this.

    No matter what you believe about homosexuality, homosexuals are people first and foremost. And while I have my own issues with their struggle compared to the Civil Rights' era struggle, they want what black folks wanted in the 60s... and that's to be treated as humans and Americans and get all the same rights and priviliges the rest of us enjoy...

  4. @A. Smith: I believe that the struggle for equality is about people, not color. As Newton pointed out, it could be the G&L community is the most oppressed group.

    In any case, what i don't like when I hear ppl of color talking as if they have exclusivity to oppression is that it blinds us to the reality of The Cause. pain is pain.


    If you want to talk about that your pain was bigger than my pain, or I was oppressed more than that other person -- that's a losing argument. shit, if that was the case, the American Indian was practically wiped off the face of the planet, their culture almost erased, their land taken from them.

    the first instances of bio warfare was enacted against the Indian.

    It shouldn't follow, then that Indians should go around telling black and brown ppl they have no real stake or cause for grievance because they didn't suffer as much as the Indian.

    That's what the Massa wants. And we do his bidding when we go that route.

  5. Bye bye, "Lesbian sex." Please take the spam somewhere else.

  6. Thank you, sir.

    I got here after reading your comments at RiPpa's. Thanks for understanding what so many cannot. Pain is pain. Oppression is wrong. I'm going to add you to my blog roll and be back to read again. Nice stuff here.

  7. @Dawn: This issue really gets me riled up because some ppl think there's some kind of "suffering" hierarchy. LOL

    A good friend of mine, a beautiful woman in the prime of her life, was beaten to an inch of her life and repeatedly gang raped by a bunch of animals. Her crime? She's a lesbian.


    Thanks for stopping by

  8. A very good essay; thoughtful, articulate, and forceful. The subject matter here forms the essence of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a gay man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for acceptance. You can learn more about the book at

    Mark Zamen, author

  9. @steinbeck: thanks for stopping by and for the link. I'm interested in how oppressed peoples sometimes internalize their oppression and t seems to me that your work address this issue.


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