Andrew Sullivan on the future of the gay rights movement

Andrew Sullivan is a prominent former-blogger, columnist and gay rights activist.

He writes about the future of the gay rights movement at New York Magazine:

Is the gay-rights movement effectively over?

The thought occurred to me when I stumbled on the latest “social justice” cray-cray. From Canada, the land of mandatory super-wokeness, I give you the dawn of the LGGBDTT2SIQQAAPP community. That is: the lesbian, gay, genderqueer, bisexual, demisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual, allies, pansexual, and polyamorous movement. Now try pronouncing that one!

But in this neologism of so many consonants and tragically few vowels, I wonder whether we are being inclusive enough. I mean: Where does it address the intersectionality of the LGGBDTT2SIQQAAPP community with race? In my hometown of D.C., one ascendant coalition, No Justice No Pride, is on the case: “We exist to end the LGBT movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, white allies and together we recognize that there can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” The D.C. chapter has sister movements in most North American cities, and its message is at one with the critical gender and race theorists who now dominate the left’s worldview. So let’s add BBQGIFIDWA to the mix, so we do not unwittingly oppress some marginalized voices. Call it the LGGBDTT2SIQQAAPPBBQGIFIDWA community. I think I got that right.

But doesn’t that exclude some other crucial elements as well? Where are all the possible gender variants that are marginalized by this formulation? Sure, there’s only a limited number of consonants left — so why not just add an infinity sign to the mix, to include the infinite number of newly constructed genders that exist or are at this very moment coming into existence? Welcome to the LGGBDTT2SIQQAAPPBBQGIFIDWA∞ community. How does that feel?

It is always funny watching gay people fisk gay people.

For most of the straight people we need to engage, it feels like a near-parodic example of hair-splitting victimology and grievance-mongering. And to me, and many who once thought of ourselves as supporters of gay equality, it feels like an unpronounceable and impenetrable congeries of literally everything … and therefore nothing. It includes, for example, straights as well as gays, the cisgendered and the transgendered, the asexual and the hypersexual, the polyamorous and the monogamous. Which is to say, it includes every orientation — alongside the opposite of every orientation. It isn’t even about sex, because it includes those who are asexual, who want no sex and have no sex. It’s certainly not about love — a word that you will search for in vain in this intersectional discourse, because love is a bourgeois distraction from the constant ideological struggle.

He has identified, obtusely, tha the problem isn’t gay rights, it is the taking over of the movement by politically correct, virtue-signalling, socialist activists…and all that comes with that.

And if it’s about resistance to oppression, and oppression is inherently intersectional, one has to ask: Why does it exist as a separate entity or movement at all instead of being just one small part of a broader coalition to deconstruct the white supremacy and masculinity that crushes every one who isn’t a white cisgendered male? And why does it actually include white, cisgendered males — i.e. most gay men — at all? Aren’t we the problem and not the solution? Do we not contaminate the pure victimology of it all? It certainly doesn’t feel very welcoming.

My point is that a political movement makes sense in a liberal society because it advances certain policy proposals, and not because it spends its time constantly defining and redefining who is or who is not part of it, or sees itself as just one sliver of a broader movement dedicated to an ideology a very hefty chunk of the gay world simply doesn’t adhere to or believe in.A gay-rights movement that has no place for centrists or independents or libertarians or classical liberals or just regular human beings who want to help out their fellows is really not a gay-rights movement any more. It’s one aspect of a wider neo-Marxist progressivism. Many will go along to get along, of course. But as time goes by, and these tendencies deepen, the white cisgendered men are likely to leave.

And that is a terrible shame because there is still important work to be done — extending employment protections for gay and trans people in those states without it, resisting the reopened question of transgender service members, to take two pressing examples. The understandable inclination in the Trump era is to radicalize still further. But this is perverse insofar as it will divide gay-rights supporters by identity rather than unite them around a common goal, and because the remaining work requires engagement with the most conservative segments of society — voters in red states where the most vulnerable gays and lesbians and trans people reside. Doubling down on leftism makes that impossible.

We know this. It was only by engaging — rather than enraging — our opponents that we won so many victories this past couple of decades. Adding yet more woke consonants becomes at some point a form of narcissism that, in the guise of inclusion, actually leaves many of the most vulnerable to fend for themselves.

Andrew Sullivan is a wise man. I miss his blogging.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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