Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Lesson for HR Pride: The Alt-Right Is Wooing Gays to Fascism

Self-loathing gays suffering from internalized homophobia?

I recently wrote about the disturbing phenomenon of - self-loathing? -  gays voting for and otherwise supporting anti-gay politicians and political parties.  True, it is an minority of the LGBT community that engages in this form of ultimately self destructive behavior, but it remains troublesome.  Now, Hampton Roads Pride has stepped into this excrement by granting a vendor booth to the local "Gays for Trump" organization. They will be present at tomorrow’s PrideFest in Town Point Park.  Having anything Trump at PrideFest is disgusting, in my view, but it gets far worse: 

Joe Jervis, quoting a GAYRVA piece notes that the group in question, "Gays for Trump, was largely spearheaded by a 757 local, Scott Presler, who worked for the Trump campaign under gubernatorial failure and Confederate Flag fetishist Corey Stewart until they led a protest at the Republican National Committee headquarters in DC prompting Trump to fire him . . . . Presler is a main organizer for the extremist group ACT For America, which held dozens of anti-Muslim rallies across the country last weekend. The SPLC describes ACT For America as “the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country.”  

Outwire757 correctly notes that "the Trump administration, despite promising to be a “friend of the gays” on the campaign trail, has undertaken a laundry list of anti-LGBTQ actions, from rolling back protections for transgender students in public schools, to removing any mention of LGBTQ from federal employment policies, to removing sexual orientation and gender identity questions from the 2020 census, too being the first President in eight years to not proclaim June LGBTQ Pride Month… and much much much more."

Having this group at PrideFest is an insult to those in the community who have labored long and hard to advance LGBT equality - and put up a great deal of money to sponsor Pride Fest.  Obviously, some one at HR Pride failed to vette this group.  Similarly, in my opinion, there needs change in direction from what I see as a too GOP friendly leadership at HR Pride that may be in part due to naivete.   Having been in the GOP for the better part of a decade years ago and a City Committee member for 8 years, the party will NOT be changed from inside. Anyone who thinks otherwise is allowing themselves to be used.  Sadly, the situation is part of an even large problem of some in the LGBT community actively supporting our enemies to the harm of the majority of the LGBT community and other minority groups.   A lengthy piece in Slate looks at how gays are being wooed by the Al-Right and used for its purposes, not civil rights for all citizens.  Here are excerpts:
At the National Policy Institute’s 2015 conference, alt-right star Richard Spencer’s annual Nazi-fest, a speaker named Jack Donovan exhorted the crowd "to leave the world the way you entered it, kicking and screaming and covered in somebody else’s blood." The same year, in the pages of the The Occidental Observer, one of the most prominent white nationalist webzines, another alt-righter, James J. O’Meara, held forth about how "behind the Negro, hidden away, as always, is the darker, more sinister figure of the Judeo. The Negro is the shock troop. The Jew is the ultimate beneficiary.” Aside from being open fascists and “white racialists,” Donovan and O’Meara have another thing in common: They’re both out gay men.
In his book The Homo and the Negro, O’Meara says that gay white men represent the best of what Western culture has to offer because of their "intelligence" and "beauty," and that "Negroes" represent the worst, being incapable of "achievement." Donovan calls women "whores" and "bitches," and, when a questioner on Reddit asked him his views of the Holocaust, responded, "What is this Holocaust thing? I’m drawing a blank."
Both have become influential figures in the alt-right; horribly, they are not the only gay men to respond to an olive branch lately offered by white nationalism. In the United States, unlike in Europe, out gay men have never been welcome in white supremacist groups. The Klan and neo-Nazi groups, the main previous incarnations of white hate in this country, were and still are violently anti-queer. And while a subset of openly gay men has always been conservative (or, as in all populations, casually racist), they never sought to join the racist right. That was before groups like NPI, Counter-Currents Publishing, and American Renaissance started putting out the welcome mat. Since around 2010, some (though by no means all) groups in the leadership of the white nationalist movement have been inviting out cis gay men to speak at their conferences, write for their magazines, and be interviewed in their journals.  And there are many more gay men (and some trans women) who have been profoundly influenced by two white nationalist ideas: the "threat" posed by Islam and the "danger" posed by immigrants. Donovan tries to sugarcoat his own racist beliefs when speaking to his main fan base, gay men who like his macho looks and straight men from the "pickup artist" culture and the manosphere who are desperately trying to learn from him how to be manly. . . . he functions as beefcake for the neofascist cause. He’s parlayed his butch allure into a brand, earning money from a line of T-shirts and wrist guards that say things like BARBARIAN and a series of books that seek to instruct both straight and gay men in how to become more masculine and in particular, more "violent." But when Donovan says violence, he means violence. This is not BDSM. "The ability to use violence effectively is the highest value of masters," Donovan said in a 2017 speech at a fascist think tank in Germany. "It is the primary value of those who create order, who create worlds. Violence is a golden value. Violence rules. Violence is not evil–it is elemental." . . .  it's straight-up people hurting and killing other people he's endorsing.
 And what is all this violence for? Creating small, decentralized "homelands" in this country separated by—surprise!—race. He enthusiastically embraces an idea the alt-right calls "pan-secessionism," under which, as Donovan says in his book A Sky Without Eagles, "gangs" of white men would form "autonomous zones" for themselves and white women, where women "would not be permitted to rule or take part in … political life." The gangs would enforce racial boundary lines, because, as Donovan puts it, whites have "radically different values [and] cultures" than other people, and "loyalty requires preference. It requires discrimination." If Donovan is a caricature of the gay Nazi strongman—almost a personification of the phrase "body fascism" (which was originally used by gay men to critique other gay men's obsession with perfect gym bodies)—his counterpart, James O'Meara, is an embodiment of something that could barely be imagined until now: Nazi camp. I hesitate to write that phrase, because it's almost painful to acknowledge that camp—that subversive, gay "turning" of seriousness into playfulness and straight narratives into gay ones—could be deployed by a Nazi. . . . we no longer have the luxury of assuming that queer tropes are inherently, and trans-historically, progressive. Of course, neither O’Meara nor Donovan actually support gay rights. This is partly because they don't believe in "civil rights." Although O'Meara wants to be part of an imagined elite band of men who love each other and rule society—his version of an Aryan fantasy called the M√§nnerbund—he doesn't want to support, as he put it in the interview with Alternative Right, "some sniveling queen demanding 'my rights!' … 'The plight of the homosexual' … is a Leftist myth." Donovan says explicitly that straight people should be given more power and privileges than gay folks, because their "reproductive sexuality" is superior to ours. Both men openly detest lesbians and trans and genderqueer people. . . . .
 So why are white nationalists 
smiling in our direction? Most importantly, because it worked in Europe. In Holland, France, Germany, and Sweden, white nationalists have deliberately used LGBTQ people and Muslims as a wedge against one another. Bringing queer people in, in both Europe and America, is a way to grow the neo-fascist movement. It is also a way to court millennials, who are consistently supportive of gay rights even when they swing conservative on other issues. It's a testament to the fact that, in some ways, the queer movement has already won the battle for public opinion. The far right could not beat us, so they decided to join us—in the most superficial way possible. Ultimately, it's a form of pinkwashing, which YourDictionary defines as “the practice of representing something … as gay-friendly in order to soften or downplay aspects of its reputation considered negative. There is another potential benefit: If white supremacists can equate "Muslims" with attacks on LGBTQ people—and women—they might be able to attract liberals and moderates into a kind of anti-immigrant "big tent."

This is what HR Pride unwittingly welcomed to 2017 PrideFest.  

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