Monday, July 31, 2006

Staceyann Chin’s speech/poem at Gay Games VII

Being queer has no bearing on race
or class
or creed

             my white publicist said
true love is never affected by color
or country
or the carnal need for cash


I curb the flashes of me crashing across the table
to knock his blond skin
from Manhattan
to Montego Bay to witness
the bloody beatings of beautiful brown boys
accused of the homosexual crime of buggery

             amidst the new fangled fallacies
of sexual and racial freedom for all
these under-informed
self-congratulating
pseudo-intellectual utterances
reflect how apolitical the left has become

I dont know why
but the term lesbian just seems so
             confrontational to me
why cant you people just say you date
             other people?


Again I say nothing
tongue and courage tied with fear
I am at once livid
ashamed and paralyzed
by the neo-conservatism
breeding malicious amongst us

Gay
Lesbian
Bisexual
Transgender
Ally
Questioning
Two spirit
Non-gender conforming every year we add a new letter
our community is happily expanding beyond the scope
of the dream stonewall sparked within us

yet everyday
I become more afraid to say black
or lesbian
or woman everyday
under the pretense of unity I swallow something I should have said
about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa
or the violence against teenage-girls in East New York
or the mortality rate of young boys on the south-side of Chicago

even in friendly conversation
I get the bell hooks-ian urge
to kill mother-fuckers who say stupid shit to me
all day
bitter branches of things I cannot say out loud
sprout deviant from my neck

fuck you-you-fucking-racist-sexist-turd
fuck you for wanting to talk about homophobia
while you exploit the desperation of undocumented immigrants
to clean your hallways
bathe your children and cook your dinner
for less than you and I spend on our tax deductible lunch!


I want to scream
all oppression is connected you dick

at the heart of every radical action in history
stood the dykes who were feminists
the anti-racists who were gay rights activists
the men who believed being vulnerable
could only make our community stronger

as the violence against us increases
where are the LGBT centers in those neighborhoods
where assaults occur most frequently?
as the tide of the Supreme Court changes
where are the LGBT marches
to support a womans right to an abortion?
what say we about health insurance
for those who can least afford it?

HIV/AIDS was once a reason for gay white men to act up
now your indifference spells the death
of straight black women
and imprisoned Latino boys
apparently
if the tragedy does not immediately impact you
you dont give a fuck

offer a social ladder to those of us inclined to climb
and watch the bottom of a movement fall out
a revolution once pregnant with expectation
flounders
without direction the privileged and the plundered
grow listless
apathetic and individualistic no one knows
where to vote
or what to vote for anymore

the faces that represent us
have begun to look like the ones who used to burn crosses
and beat bulldaggers and fuck faggots up the ass
with loaded guns

the companies that sponsor our events
do not honor the way we live or love
or dance or pray
our life partnerships are deemed domestic
and the term marriage is reserved
for those unions sanctioned by a church controlled state

for all the landmarks we celebrate
we are still niggers
and faggots
and minstrel references
for jokes created on the funny pages of a heterosexual world

the horizons are changing
to keep pace with technology and policy alike
the LGBT manifesto has evolved into a corporate agenda
and outside that agenda
a woman is beaten every 12 seconds
every two minutes
a girl is raped somewhere in America

and while we stand here well-dressed and rejoicing
in India
in China
in South America a small child cuts the cloth
to construct you a new shirt
a new shoe
an old lifestyle held upright
by the engineered hunger and misuse of impoverished lives

gather round ye fags, dykes
trannies and all those in between
we are not simply at a political crossroad
we are buried knee deep in the quagmire
of a battle for our humanity

the powers that have always been
have already come for the Jew
the communist
and the trade unionist
the time to act is now!
Now! while there are still ways we can fight
Now! because the rights we have are still so very few
Now! because it is the right thing to do
Now! before you open the door to find
they have finally come
for you

1 comment:

Startha Mewart said...

I find it hard to believe that Staceyann is ever at a loss for words in the face of social injustices uttered by her publicist in polite conversation, based on the rest of that poem.