Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride indeed.com. [00:00:05] The sort of trajectory for this afternoon is that I'm going to do a 40 minute presentation, I'm going to try to keep it pretty tight, just to give some some context and a place to jump off from for conversation. And so after the presentation, and we'll do some discussion, moderated discussion, and then I guess we'll break and do some some afternoon tea, for folks that are Johnson for a snack or for something to drink. And then we'll move to even more casual, let's just hang out and have a conversation. So first, I'll just tell you a little bit about myself. And then I'll tell you about the collective and we'll dive into the project. So again, my name is Ryan, I'm from Central Maine, which is in the States, it's in the northeast corner, pretty rural, pretty poor. Does anyone know where it is? Some people, it's always fun to see who actually knows where my little hometown is, most people don't. So that's where I grew up. I've moved to Montreal, I'm working on a PhD in a Sexuality Studies program. there and I'm having a good time with that. And the against equality collective has sort of been a backbone of sort of my activist work and bridging that with my my academic work. So that's just a little bit about me. I'm also I'm 32. I'm an Aries for people who want to know. Yeah. And also, I'm going to be raising my hand to do the next slide. Before maybe I [00:01:50] yeah, I'll raise my hand. So we can go to the next slide. [00:01:54] Great. Okay. So against equality is a small, all volunteer anti capitalist collective, based in North America that maintains an online archive of radical queer, and trans critiques of what we'd like to call the holy trinity of mainstream gay, lesbian politics. And so quickly, just what this is here, and this is the collectors website, where we manage an online archive, and I'll go into that in more detail soon. But next slide. So this holy trinity of gay and lesbian politics, mainstream game was being politics are sort of summed up in these three issues, right, gay marriage, gays in the military, and hate crime legislation. So these are the ongoing battles that have been happening in the West since the 90s. Largely, men are still present today in numerous different cultural contexts. And so in 2009, a very classist and urban centric gay marriage campaign was run in my relatively rural poor home state of Maine, and which resulted in a referendum that so gay marriage was passed legislatively, and then it was vetoed through popular vote. And so against equality actually began as my own personal response to this gay marriage campaign. So this is me as from my blog. And this is the the the yes and no campaign against gay marriage in 2009. I'm so against equality. Again, it began as my own personal blog initially designed to share my frustrations, my anger at the gay marriage campaign politics, and through starting this blog, because right, like when people are pissed off, nowadays, you start like a Tumblr or a blog, or a Facebook post, right? So I sort of using that that same model. So as this was originally designed to air frustrations and anger, through a lot of support I received through email and also through face to face conversation, I started sensing a need to, to record the sort of queer resistance that was happening to the mainstream gay politics. So what what started as a personal blog became what is today it's sort of transformed version of a digital archive. Next slide. So how the archive works is. So it seems heading here, you can do a drop down menu, which takes you to a digital archive of visual and written material of critiques of marriage, military inclusion, and hate crimes legislation. And these materials aren't just from the US context, there's also work from folks in Europe, folks in Australia. And hopefully, folks in New Zealand someday, if people have things to submit to the archives, we're always open to taking new material. So as an anti capitalist collective against equality is quite skeptical of the nonprofit models employed by multimillion dollar organizations in the US. And these organizations are groups like the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which recently in the states change this name to the task force. They're trying to be more inclusive, by having a shorter name. But just to give a sense of what kind of money is that play here, I just gave some quick figures on the head of the Human Rights Campaign basically makes half million dollars a year. So you know, he's like, really in touch with the people raking in a half million dollars a year. And all these people do is lobby, they don't actually do anything useful. They don't provide any service. They simply lobby the government. And oftentimes, they actually advocate on behalf of conservative political candidates, and on behalf of corporations that have gay inclusive policy, right. So you can be a totally terrible corporation that employs slave labor. But you know, as long as you accept domestic partner mentorship benefits, you're like, at a five star rainbow rating on their chart, or whatever. So really fucked up people. And just to note that the annual budget of this organization is $40 million a year, they're the largest in the US context, and the National Gay Lesbian Task Force operating at about eight and a half million dollar budget. So that just gives you a sense of like, what these nonprofit models are, right? Like you're a nonprofit, but your CEO still makes $500,000 a year. [00:06:29] So we say fuck that, right? We're not doing that. So we actually function as not not an anti, not nonprofit, but actually anti profit. So we try to strike a balance between valuing our own labor as well as making our work as financially accessible as possible. So when I refer to our work, and what I'm referencing is that as a project, we've actually moved towards creating cultural objects, and also publications that activate archive, right, where think about how to activate the history and the knowledge that we have. And so these things in terms of cultural objects, we've done a few call for our projects, to have some postcards designed, we did pins. I have this tote bag here that I'm going to show you all cuz I think it's hilarious. But for folks who know Nancy Reagan, and she had her just say no to drugs campaign and the US. So we did a play on that this is actually the trademarked the green and white with this terrible font. And so we've actually just replicated and added at the cost to marriage, and they're sort of give a nod to the feminist critique of marriage for the last hundred years, as well as making the joke that like, right marriage is the opiate of the masses in a way. And so done that we also can see up there, there's the equal sign situation. And we also have our logo is a mathematical greater than that. [00:08:01] Right? So I'm glad you're laughing sometimes audience don't. [00:08:06] Funny. I'm hilarious. So yeah, I mean, pointing out that right, like, like, a quality means an equal stake in the status quo. And if the status quo is incredibly violent, and deeply inequitable, that's not a worthy goal. So we're suggesting there's something better than greater than the hand that we should be fighting for. And so it's tongue in cheek, but it's also quite quite serious demand that we have a greater political imagination to dream up and actually create the world that we think would be most just and equitable to all people. [00:08:43] And so, another one last thing I'll say about functioning as [00:08:48] this kind of anti profit collective need to the next slide. [00:08:53] In terms of this question of access, we actually provide all our books for free to prisoners. So we work with a bookstore prisoners project in Madison, Wisconsin. Does anyone know where Madison Wisconsin is? Yeah. Yeah. That was a good guest. Yeah, it's basically in the middle of a country kind of in the middle of nowhere. But there's this really rad books, the prisoners project that has been functioning out of there for over a decade now. And so what we do is we actually buy books at cost from our publisher, send them books, and then send them $500, every six months to a year to cover the the postage and shipping. And so what we do is we actually put out notices in two of the big the books, the black and pink, prisoner correspondence project, and ultraviolet are sort of three major newsletters in the US and Canada that have a large prison circulation. So we've put out notices and those that if people write to the books to prison project, they can get our books for free. So [00:09:55] doing this cost a lot of money, right, and we don't have a budget. [00:10:00] So we've had to sort of cheat, lie and steal our way out of the debt that we've accrued. [00:10:06] But [00:10:08] in in terms of not employing a nonprofit model, it's actually allowed us to focus a lot more on her work, as opposed to board development, grant writing and things like that, and actually doing the work that we we think it's really important. And also, I mean, in the context of the nonprofit model, oftentimes, funders actually control the conversation, the discourse, and what you actually physically can do as an organization. And karma in one of the videos will dissect that and in a lot of detail. [00:10:40] So [00:10:42] just make sure yeah, so well against a quality members often right and make cultural work about our shared politics. And its first and foremost that we're actually an archive and not an organization. And we're also not a movement. I think we we interchange these words quite easily A lot of times, but against the quality is not an organization like we don't have an office, we don't have a phone, we don't have an internship volunteer coordinator. Like we don't have a budget. And we are primarily an archive, and every single member of the collective lives in a different place. And all five of us have never been in the same place at the same time. So it means a lot of like Skype conference calls where everyone's holding up their cats in front of the camera. Of course, I'm like the one factor in the collective. So I hold up my dog. But yeah, there's a lot of like, of work doing that digitally. But to be really clear, yeah, we all have like other jobs, we all do other things. We all do local activism. And this project is just another thing that we do, because we think it's really important. But again, not an organization, not a movement, but an archive. [00:11:56] So beyond the immediate purpose of building a larger and more critically engaged community, radical, queer and trans folks, we see the relevance of this work. And this archive is even more important today than ever before. So for example, in the United States, we've seen the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act in the summer of 2013. The end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in autumn of 2011, and the passage of federal hate crimes law in the 2010, National Defense Authorization Act. For people that don't know what the National Defense Authorization Act is, that's how the US government passes a budget for the military. For those that don't know, the US military takes up more than 50% of the US is actual annual budget. And protections for LGBT people were included as a caveat to the National Defense Authorization budget, which means the trade off was like global war for gay rights. If that makes sense, people [00:12:48] it's bad, that's a bad thing. [00:12:52] So for us, we want really want to make sure that the voices of resistance are not erased and written out of history, because there's sort of a singular narrative that's coming out united states that we're on this linear progress narrative. And this is all great. And then the US as a colonial project exports, the discourse and the politics through foreign policy and cultural imperialism. So today, I'm here talking to you to sort of break that consensus that everyone in the United States thinks this is a great thing, right. And that there are actually voices of resistance and alternatives that are being demanded but aren't getting any airplay and surely aren't making it overseas. And so we see these pieces in our archive, like bread crumbs, laying out different pathways to justice and resistance. For those that dare to imagine a more just world. When people look back at these desperately conservative gay times, we hope our collective voices can be an inspiration to those who come after us, those that look to our queer histories, just like we did a sites of rejuvenation, excitement and hope. So these are, again, just historical examples of groups that as a collective, we've looked back to as sites of resistance that inspire and encourage us to keep continuing with our work. And lastly, I'll say that all members of the against equality collective have some connection to academia. As a collective, we are in various configurations, tenure track faculty, graduate students, adjunct faculty, researchers, and people with academic degrees. And we rely upon academia in some very mature ways, for example, to assign our working class, or often how we've managed to get ourselves out of debt through book publishing is speaking at universities and charging exorbitant fees. And we're also very critical of sort of the academic norms of publishing, which promote a publisher parish mentality. For those of you are in academia, you're probably quite familiar with this. And this publisher parish mentality that often leads academics to regard activist and activists, labor activism and activist labor sites from which to pilfer ideas, often without credit. And maybe some people in this room have that experience academics, and coming in and then reproducing their work intellectually, without actually crediting the activist work that's done. And we're very critical of this. So [00:15:14] maybe I'll just skip ahead a little bit. I wanted [00:15:19] to talk really quickly about the publication projects that we've done. And so what we did was we published a pocket sized book every year for three years one, covering each section of the archives, AC, the marriage book in 2010, the military book in 2011, and the book on hate crimes legislation, the prison industrial complex in 2012. And we've self published these, right, and so like the publisher is called at press, it was like an address that no one lives that anymore. And, yeah, we just took out a bunch of credit cards, because in America, you can apply for like 10 credit cards at once, and like you get them. And I just predict. And so we printed a bunch of books, and we're just moving the debt from credit card to credit card, because they give you like, a zero percent introductory rate for like a year. So we just like move all the debt and then apply for another credit card, move all the debt. So that's how we that's how we did this. Because none of us had like $1,000 lying around to print a bunch books. And there's, there's a couple of reasons we published. Importantly, to know everything that are in the books are a backup. Those three books are republished in this anthology here, which is sort of what I'm touring to support as when AK press, which is an worker own publisher, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and asked us if we'd like to republish all three is one book. And for us, that was great, because they're going to pay for everything up front, we don't have to scam credit cards anymore. And keeping three books in print was actually really expensive. However, everything that's in all these books is in our archive. So you don't actually have to buy books to participate in the conversation that we're having. And so people are like, Well, why would you publish a bunch of stuff that you can get for free on the internet, right? Like That seems like a bad business plan. And we're anarchists mostly so bad business plans seem to come with the territory. However, there are a number of reasons to do this publishing project. And one is, again, coming back to that question of access, who has access to the conversations that are happening online, so we're, you know, thinking about people that don't have high speed internet access, which might be hard for some people who have lived all their lives in cities to actually imagine that there are places where you can't get high speed internet, in in Maine, where I'm from lots of places, it's not profitable to telecommunication companies to actually put up the fiber optic cables to provide high speed internet. So you're stuck with dialogue. And that seems like retro late 90s, early 2000s. But it's actually a lot of people's realities. So we want to make sure that we had like a tangible object that people could have access to. We did it books, to books into libraries project to make sure that people could get this stuff for free. [00:18:05] And there's also something about the brokenness of a book that [00:18:09] is tangible and shareable. That huddling around a computer screen doesn't provide a similar experience. And other groups of people that were thinking about in terms of access our older folks that might not have engaged with computers, in the same way, as a lot of us do today and have no interest in learning. And that being Okay, so finding other ways to, to engage those folks. And the other biggest group is people in prisons. So in the US context, we have over 2 million people in prison. So that means leaving a lot of people out of conversation when it's only happening online. And so the last thing I'll say about publishing before we move on to to short. Just over 10 minute videos from Yasmina and karma is this here, talking about self publication and seizing the means of production of knowledge. So what we're really getting at here is that in university, as some folks may know, creating a citation of someone's personal blog is not seen as a proper citation, right? It's not formal knowledge. It's not peer reviewed. It's not published in a book, which is a very unfeminine. It's sort of removes the personalized the political. So we give a big feminist middle finger to this ideology of proper knowledge and knowledge production to when we self publish, suddenly, this becomes official knowledge, right? Like all these things that have previously appeared on people's blogs suddenly become official knowledge, because in a book, and again, the book has like some fake address and some fake publisher, but it's official knowledge. So then students can suddenly cite this in a research paper. And it's like, it's real, as opposed to, you know, activists knowledge or, or sort of personal knowledge, it becomes real knowledge. So that I think is also a very important part of our project is to legitimize a chorus of voices instead of being a number of disparate voices on the internet and sounding like the, you know, the people that just are too radical or too crazy, is actually know, we're all radical and crazy together. And there's lots of us. So I'll stop there. What we're going to do the first video from yas mean, sort of takes apart the Do people know who Edith Windsor is anyone use Windsor. Windsor was the plaintiff in the case that overturned the defense of marriage and to the US. And I think this case is really telling for how marriage campaigns have been run. So what we'll do is she'll sort of deconstruct this case and make an argument against marriage equality. [00:20:45] I talked today, we in essence, connect the dots between the rise of the liberalism [00:20:50] and the US and the rise of gay marriage. [00:20:54] The intense privatization of everyday life and the formation of stage which increasingly, inventiveness carry on the family. As a unit as opposed to this day, I will be situated getting married within an economic context [00:21:09] with differences are needed winter, [00:21:11] the plaintiff of the hunger, recent DOMA or Defense of Marriage Act. The problem with gay marriage is not that it compels people to engage in forms of discrimination, or the cause short their sex lives, or that it makes them less interesting. The problem of your marriage in the United States is that it is part of the machinery of neoliberalism, and that it functions both to effectively end states interest in maintaining the wealth of people and to increase the economic power of a wealthy elite. So first is that and again a little while, if we are to combine the liberalism we need to combat institutions and enable it to make a stronger in the US and like countries like Canada has three marriages all the can guarantee a marriage of life saving benefits, including healthcare and immigration status. So when I am against equality or against equality declares itself against equality and courts run engine marriage, what we are doing these days is that there is simply no beyond marriage, we have to dismantle the structure, which builds marriage into essential benefits. Liberals, progressives and Western leftists praised gay marriage or what they called marriage equality as a mark of civilized progress while they simultaneously scratch their heads trying to understand how and why this country is moving. So in the end, so Bruce Lee to as an intensive privatized state, where the most basic needs of people housing, food, healthcare and education is simply not being met. So the question then remains, how did liberals enough to survive or otherwise constantly comment for a change in the economic structure the US failed to see the gay marriage is a party I don't tend to eat it when are at the heart of DOMA Defense of Marriage Act case. It is Windsor, who was not legally was not legally married to her longtime partner upon the latter's death, and was left consequently with the largest state tax abounding to over $263,000. Now, it's very important to remember that the issue was not ever that either Windsor was in was unable to pay that amount because of say poverty is known as she was even capable financially of paying over $363,000 it is that she felt it was unfair, that she should have to pay that I wanted to now Just wait a little bit and talk about grief. pieces of metal piece of memorabilia memento a moment from Chicago's pride celebration this past summer, right after the Nova with a friend, founder of a T shirt is someone that apparent many people were wearing, which reminded me of the ways in which gay marriage services including the fast gate, the ways in which it is wrapped up in their localism, the T shirt and question feature wins his smiling face. And there was I am needed Windsor. In other words, there are no people marching everywhere on March and celebrating crime but also just walking around comfortable in the idea that they're all somehow even Windsor. This particular phrase, of course, is not to be taken literally. But it does speak to an agenda hundreds of idea thinking community that Windsor represents a grassroots impulse towards marriage and that she is in fact, every woman. [00:24:46] It's important in the context of understanding gay marriage as a manifestation of neoliberalism, to tres Wednesday's actual history, the story of how she came to be at the center of what will no doubt become one of the most famous legal cases, an LGBT history has a lot to do with how the game movement strategically chose women's having carefully picture it is possible cases. As we now know, Wednesday was chosen as a perfect candidate. We know all of this is NZ from the press coverage that was present a little before not much. But now there have been reviews around FN profiles in the garden in the New Yorker, and so on, which gives all these details. She was the chosen was a perfect candidate, a grieving and very presentable widow, but nothing exclusive and how past life but exemplary social networks and connections. And this of course, as I said, we have mounting evidence, this was a deliberately strategically plan. It's important to note that understand weeks after the actual decision, when it says actual financial situation was always never discussed. And she was often in fact, implicitly and sometimes explicitly, portrayed as little as a stereotypical little old lady, perhaps living somewhere in a darkened to New York City apartment, they able to keep her lights on as they flickered in the face of poverty. All of this, of course, was was palatable for an hour has been over the course of the publicity leading to the case lawyers who wins the game media, much of the liberal progressive straight media anti gay marriage activist is seriously worked and keeping with his actual life out of view, even the New York Times, which otherwise take so much pride and being able to reveal details about people's lives in providing comprehensive report, never once discussing actual value on the stage, the only publication for actually managing the agreement actually declaring a wealthy was the foot was Forbes magazine. And of course, as well, it is equality. What distinguishes both groups for many others is that we actually consider Quinn as as something that works within economic frameworks, not simply as a cultural or sexual identity. To that end, this summer agenda just began an ongoing research project, which I was planning on the actual amount of money that has been poured into marriage campaigns across this country. We're doing this because as radical queer grassroots activists, many of us are involved in queer projects of various kinds, such as working with queers and the prison industrial complex, harm reduction programs around drug use, working with LGBT youth engaged in street trade, and multiple sex work and drugs, as well as the someone more, let's say fashionable, or well, more well known issues of LGBT q housing hotel. There's agencies and organizations that work on these matters that I just listed are often not often always desperately scrambling for funds, why marriage fundraisers raise literally and I am not joking here, this is literally true hundreds of thousands of dollars in single nights or a few weeks. To put it bluntly, no one has ever seen a Kickstarter for a marriage campaign. Every marriage campaign ever launched in big and small cities and states has been well funded by organizations like Human Rights Campaign, and the National Governors and Task Force and many other was means on the ground is a marriage, which pushes a neoliberal agenda privatization is now at the forefront of, of this suppose in battle for gay rights, and that it has, in fact, has effectively swallowed up resources that could and should actually go to other organizations. So the point of all of this is that the sun result of our investigation with me discovered that in Windsor, and I only will speak for myself at this point, [00:29:06] is in fact where I conservative estimate in the region of $7 billion, [00:29:12] which is to say, [00:29:14] very few people and probably certainly not the people wearing that T shirt can actually be Edith Windsor. Now, in New York City, a word a word of seven to 10 minutes in may not ensure your place to the right of the billionaire ex mayor of New York named Michael Bloomberg. But I think we can get agree that it takes you quite far and boost parts of the world. I emphasizes a matter of winters financial way, because it represents the ways in which again, marriage fight has been understood and regurgitated as a grassroots struggle engage upon by millions of nominal gays and lesbians, when in fact, his research shows that against equality and gender just, it is a massively by coordinated campaign, which is cost again, [00:30:03] overall, not just [00:30:05] in terms of the larger campaign across the map, the last five to seven years, a few hundred million dollars all together. That's how much that campaign has been costing us so far. You might ask, why does all of this matter? It matters because many of the central tenets on which gay marriage is being built as a movement towards equality are in fact benefits which only accrues you the wealthy few like even Windsor's, the one of the biggest arguments around Windsor vs. Gentleman, was that this would affect positively affect [00:30:39] all those gays and lesbians faced with estate taxes. [00:30:43] But in fact, very few of them will ever have to, oh, those kinds of estate taxes. That's why, too, is that if you have that time, it is if you really should, in the interest of fairness to all the hate a certain percentage of your estate of taxes. And it's things like estate taxes, after all, which also fun [00:31:09] things like [00:31:10] public school systems. Now, this is of course, this sort of argument that all these will benefit, whereas in fact only a few wealthy is will benefit is also true for is the field of immigration, which has those who are in financial gain, gain by national couples are also benefiting from Delmar because they cannot sponsor their their partners for integration. What that ignores again, why don't pretend that this is somehow beneficial to all gays and lesbians who might have partners who are not US citizens. What this ignores is that you still have to have a second economic value in order to be a sponsor, your part, they actually take a very hard look at your bank account, you have to have a certain level of income, not only do you have to have a certain level of income, you have to guarantee that you have that level of income for a certain number of years. [00:32:14] So [00:32:15] of course, and of course, if you have if your partner happens to be someone who had a minor infraction, the DY, all of us are voice oriented the country illegally. There's no hope for a sponsor sponsorship sponsorship at all. So I leave the discussion about a little later. But let me conclude by saying that the many benefits suppose it benefits of the marriage simply, as I've tried to show I primarily benefits that the wealthy enjoy the atmosphere management person or the average pass strange past and for that matter, is not likely to improve the stage worth as much as that left to eat at Windsor. As it stands today, marriage in the US is significant struggling one component of the neoliberal machinery of the state. In the end, to position the key problem with gay marriage as in essence, somehow being only about one peep about people fucking differently, or Horace Not at all, is to ignore the much more insidious and pervasive that marriage plays. In the [00:33:26] second video, we'll see today it's from Carmen Chavez, will look at the inclusion of gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the US military. [00:33:37] Hi, my name is Carla chats, and I am against equality for member and I'm going to be doing the military portion of our presentation today. I'm really glad that you have us here to speak. And I'm going to be reading just to make sure you know we get everything right. So if you see me looking down, I'm just looking at my script. So here we go. After the repeal of the US military's don't ask don't tell policy in 2010. And the rollout of its implementation, most gays and lesbians in the United States praise the policy change their argument usually when something like this, we may not support militarism, but people should still be able to serve, or given that it's mostly poor people and people of color who served in the military. Being against military inclusion is like taking a stand against poor people or queer people of color. Now, we've always disagreed with these arguments, maintaining that we should not support us military imperialism and impunity under any conditions, or allow gays and lesbians to be used as a foil for the alleged spread of freedom and democracy via expanded militarism. We also believe that we should not support the US military as the only unemployment and jobs program for poor people and people of color in the US. But we lost so is this debate over? Well, in July of 2013, the pump center policy and research center focused on enhancing the quality of public dialogue and controversial issues, announced a new multi year research initiative in order to assess the possibility for transgender inclusion in the US military. The key question for this initiative is whether it is possible to include transgender troops without undermining military readiness. The research will analyze other militaries who already have a transgendered people, as well as assess transgender inclusion and police and fire departments, policies of prisons and athletic organizations and like, as legal scholar and activist as well as a contributor, Dean space noted, this call for new research and hence the naming of this issue as a key to the transgender movement has emerged as a result of a large $1.35 million grant by the 20 Foundation, founded by Jennifer Natalia Pritzker, and fair to the highest fortune recently out trans woman and a formal colonel in the National Guard, SV. its critics argue that the issue is not being put on the agenda because of one wealthy donor, but that organizations have been fighting this for over a decade. And nevertheless, that issue made headlines in July 2013, for the first time, draw attention to it as a key concern for LGBT inclusion in an unprecedented way. The wireless fate and others have repeatedly noted trans and gender non conforming people, especially the poor and people of color, remain among the most likely to suffer from discrimination, violence, homelessness and premature death. And how military inclusion addresses these concerns of the broader trans community is unclear. But there are more reasons that this debate is not yet over. The pathway to inclusion reflected in the don't ask don't tell repeal and implementation are also the same logic being adopted more broadly by the US military and security apparatus. In June 2009, brock obama picked up the tradition of the Clinton administration Deacon Jews LGBT Pride Month, African history 2012 declaration, institutions including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and US Customs and Border Patrol began officially celebrated pride, recognizing that their LGBT employees groups and providing training for staff about the importance of LGBT inclusion to each institutions mission at these events clearly coincide with the broader implementation of the repeal of DDT. [00:37:25] To be sure, [00:37:27] all people should be able to work in jobs where they are respected, treated with dignity and are safe. But it is important to interrogate some of the ways in which this conclusion airy rhetoric is being offered by these institutions, each tasked with perpetuating militarism and militarization. Well, let's begin with the Department of Defense, which celebrated pride for the first time in 2012. Then do the general counsel now head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jay Johnson was the keynote speaker. During his speech, Johnson made it clear that he was not activist on the matter of gay men, women in the United States. And in fact, he entered into the sustained study of the done so tell repeal without any particular outcome in mind. After resisting some of the now familiar results from the study, Johnson also noted that the following on rotation had a lot of impact on the ultimate recommendation that the risks of repeal would be low, and I'm going to read a good chunk of this year. He said this was a quote from the report. In the course of our assessment, it became apparent to us that aside from the moral and religious objections to homosexuality, much the concern about open service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes. repeatedly. We heard service members express the view that open homosexuality would lead to widespread and overt displays of feminine behavior among men, a sexual promiscuity, harassment and unwelcome advances within units invasions of privacy, and an overall erosion of standards of conduct unit cohesion, and morality. Based on our review, however, we conclude these concerns about gay and lesbian service members are exaggerated and not consistent with the reported experiences of many service members, and communications with gay and lesbian current and former service members. We repeatedly heard a patriotic desire to serve and defend the nation subject to the same rules as everyone else. from them, we've heard Express many of the same values that we heard over and over again, from service members, that large love of country, our respect, integrity, and service ourself, and quote, Johnson goes on. And last, but not the least, was this noteworthy quoted the report, which seems to be a favorite of a lot of people. We have a guy in a gay guy. He's big, he's mean, he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay. And Johnson's remarks are incredibly telling you about the risks and stakes of inclusion. First, so the concerns that presumably straight service members had about what open surface with me, gross displays of male femininity, increased sexual harassment, presumably from gay men, straight men, on advances, advances, again, presumably from gay men to straight men, and an overall decrease in morale. Johnson calls the stereotypes and misconceptions and they may very well be that, at the very same time that these concerns definitely function to codify the massage need the military, as straight men clearly seem to worry both about the correlation between an increasingly feminine environment and diminishing morale, at the same time that they worry about being put in a feminized position as the victims not perpetrators of harassment and unwanted advances. And there's no mention of sexual assault, but certainly that anxiety is present to now Johnson, of course, be expected to take this as an opportunity to critique the existing with sodomy, and sexism embedded in military culture. But instead, he continues with the quotation which unsurprisingly confronts the misperceptions, with images of and words from good soldiers. Those who imagined would share their straight comrades with their straight comrades and discuss that an increasingly feminized military. In fact, these patriotic service members wanted to be subject to the same rules as everyone else and have no desire to advance a social agenda. Those are quotes. These homerun nationals then not only have no interest in changing business as usual, even if business as usual is violent toward them and others like them. They want to prove everyone wrong. Some will go to great lengths to do it. A point proven by the quote, favorite quotation in the record, again, we have a gay guy in the unit. He's big, he's mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. [00:41:42] No one cared that he was gay. [00:41:45] Just like allowing women in combat doesn't make for a kinder and gentler military, gays in the military to not lead to more open and accepting environment. Instead, if we consider the logic that Johnson espouses here, gays can be just as mean and burgers, straight men service members, and when they are able to prove the possession of such characteristics, the fact of their gayness is no concern at all, at least we presume for being back actually gay men. But what about those bad guys? In 2013, and God ups the ante, celebrating its first ever pride in the comic art province in southern Afghanistan, one of the bloodiest and deadliest regions of the entire duration of Operation Enduring Freedom, better known as the war in Afghanistan. The DOD put out a short minute long video to commemorate the event from the common heart airfield, I don't want to be treated special, I just want to be treated equal. [00:42:40] It's been a little under two years since President Obama signed the deal with the don't ask, don't tell us. Service members are allowed to reserve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [00:42:52] people came to support people that didn't even know. They just knew that they were part of the LGBT community and they want to come support us. I think that right there shows how following the armed forces is getting ready to go. It [00:43:08] makes my military service from the wars that [00:43:12] are missing. But our experience and everything that I went through, was worth it in the end is the men and women who are working for now. It's open serve as gay, [00:43:24] lesbian, bisexual, I think it was worth it. [00:43:28] What is celebrating LGBT pride in Afghanistan named to the United States, I think it's very important that we are here representing United States of America. We hope that we leave here we have Let's all positive qualities of [00:43:41] what America is like and that we're equal. [00:43:45] country, we treat all our students equally, recording from Kandahar airfield, Afghanistan. [00:43:52] As cool. Now finding reports of the exact numbers of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is very difficult. And it's even more difficult to find accurate reports of locations of the deaths are the exact causes of those deaths. The United Nations assistance mission Afghanistan released a report on civilian deaths and injuries from January 1 to June 30 2013, titled Afghanistan protection of civilians and armed conflict. The report includes escalating deaths and injuries to Afghan children, women and men led to a 23% resurgence in civilian casualties in the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. The mission document in 1319 civilian deaths and 2533 injuries from January to June 2013. Marketing a 14% increase in deaths 28% increase in injuries and 23% increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period of 2012. The rise in civilian casualties in the first half of 2013, revises the decline recorded in 2012. And Marshall returned to the high numbers of civilian deaths and injuries documented in 2011. As the report simply put it, civilians again increasingly bore the brunt of the armed conflict in Afghanistan and early 2013. Civilians particularly in conflict affected areas experienced the grim reality of rising civilian deaths, and injuries, coupled with pervasive violence, which threaten lives, livelihood and well being of thousands of Afghans. Now, I'm not sure how we reconcile the image of a young generally lyst Marine or soldier who doesn't want special treatment, but just wants to be treated equal. With horrifying images, such as the reports cover image and terrified people running literally for their lives. Or their lives and deaths. The price and the quality is so many inclusion champions suggest is the carnage of the now inclusive war machine just an example of how freedom isn't free? Or is this entire scenario, something far more complex and perhaps sinister? How should LGV and soon to be t people respond to our inclusion? [00:46:09] Thanks a lot. [00:46:18] I'm just gonna quickly talk about the third section of our archive. I know this is like, lots going on lots of information, lots of stuff. But I'll try to go through this quickly so we can move to more discussion oriented stuff. So here we have the actual piece of the bill around hate crime legislation, the US so LGBT inclusive, federal hate crime law in the United States, which is also commonly referred to as the Matthew Shepard act, was enacted into law as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. For those who are not aware how hit crime laws work, they function by increasing penalties for acts of violence and intimidation that are already illegal go, for example, harassment, assault, rape, all these things are already criminal offenses. But the way they work is that if it can be proven that the violence is carried out or motivated by anti LGBT sentiments, it becomes a hate crime. hate crime law, a hate crime legislation, the United States has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which protected victims of violence based on race, color, religion, or national origin. These protections were again expanded in 1994, to include gender based violence against women, and in 2009, as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, to include proceed gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. So regardless of the effectiveness of such laws, which have already been called into question, here's one of many, many examples called into question by many feminists, people of color and career activists. As a collective, we as prison abolitionists, oppose any prison expansion, any expansion of the prison industrial complex, including the expansion of the policing, surveillance, and prosecutorial powers of the commercial state, even once expansions are supposedly enacted on our own behalf or for on safety. Historically, and I'm going to show a couple examples here, we know that neither prisons nor the cultural state have ever protected us from violence, and in fact, have been and continue to be sites of violence for queer, trans and gender non conforming people, particularly those who are also have low income people of color immigrants, young people, sex workers, and or drug users. So here's just an example that I think is interesting to look at, because gay sex was illegal when I was in high school. So I was born in this one little red one in the sea of yellow. So that's why I was born. So gay sex was illegal until like 2002, which is pretty wild, right? And so the ones that are even the deeper shade of red. Yeah, the Supreme Court struck down the sodomy laws in 2003. So it's just an example of how maybe we should be suspicious about our relationship to the judicial system. And he's good to the next side. And so this is also a piece of vigilante justice work. Boise, where's a 1961 film made by a retired police officer in Southern California, or retired police chiefs? In which Little Timmy here is hitchhiking home from baseball practice, that's, that's still happening. And you know, this, this scary man with glasses on a thin mustache is waiting in the bushes to seduce him with candy and car rides. But this is an example of right, the historical stereotype of Stranger Danger right now there's a scary man waiting in the bushes to get your children, when in fact, most violence happens between people who know each other in places they're familiar with. So that's just another example of how we might be suspicious of what our relationship is to police and corrections officers. Just to give some historical context. And so Furthermore, as China ready points out in his 2011 book, freedom with violence, the Matthew Shepard Act was passed with specific penalties for young offenders. So with the already disproportionate surveillance, policing, arrests and convictions for people of color in the US context, it's fair to assume that this expansion of hate crime legislation will actually have a disproportionate impact on the lives of young people of color. So this is just a quick infographic to give you a sense of how racialized the prison system is in the US context. But what you will also notice is that indigenous people are not represented here. It's a failure of the graphic that we're using. But I think it's also fair to say that the policy of almost total total genocide of indigenous people in the US, along with interment, and you can essentially say that indigenous people are, are almost all incarcerated in giant open air presence of the reservation system. [00:50:57] So as a collective, we use this critic hate crimes legislation to provide an opening to a broader, clear critique of the prison industrial complex. As previously noted, marriage, military service and hate crimes law serve as the holy trinity of mainstream gay and lesbian politics is through this critique of inclusion in the hetero status quo that we aim to have a broader political conversation about the prison industrial complex. Again, as Dean spade is noted, in our five myth busting facts about violence, synchronization, the introduction to our 2012 Anthology, prisons will not protect you. So I'm just going to lay out those five quick facts and that goes into much more detail in the book, but I think it's a helpful place to start. So when jails are jails and prisons are not overflowing with violent and dangerous people, but with the poor, the disabled and people of color. To most again, most violence doesn't happen on the street between strangers but between people who know each other in places we are familiar with three, the most dangerous people those who end and destroy the most lives are on the outside running our banks, government courtrooms and wearing military and police uniforms. prisons aren't places to put serial rapists and murderers they are in fact themselves serial rapists and murderers, and five, increasing criminalization does not make us safer. It simply feeds the voracious law enforcement system that devours our communities often for profit. Quick note about the profit. So in the US context there and increasingly more in Canada through a recent bill that was passed last year, is there a public private partnership model for running our prisons. So essentially, the government will contract out the managing the building and managing of prisons to private corporations, the largest one being the correction Corporation of America. And then they use their profits to form large lobby groups to increase mandatory minimums to increase penalties. So that even things that were like less criminalize years ago are now more criminalized. Why would they do this? Because there's a profit motive. The more beds you feel the more money you charge the government for having full beds, right? So then you're like, shit, how do we get more people? How do we make more money, we get more people in bed. So we need to lobby for harsher criminalization of all sorts of things, mandatory minimums. And so there's now this thing happening where private corporations are lobbying for tougher sentences. And then it's like, oh, shit, the prisons are full. Now the government has to pay us to build a new prison. Right? So there's a really troublesome logic, capitalist logic in what is becoming a larger and larger percentage of our prisons. And at the moment, it's only as of 2013 was about 12% of the prisons were running on the public private partnership model, I'm sure it has continued to increase from there. And also make a quick note that the Australian Government is actually contracting with the crushing Corporation of America as part of their intervention in the northern territories. So it's a problem globally. And so to continue, so hate crime law obscures sources of anti queer and anti trans sentiment and violence by making it personal right bad people the hit the gays that do mean things to us, while leaving structural forms of violence in place, so police officers, the National Guard, the US military borders, got border guards, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, detention guards, prison guards, Homeland Security, private security firms, these people and the institutions they represent will never be charged with a hate crime for the violence they inflict. Instead, actually, there's more and more cases that are springing up where laws that were intended to protect minorities are be using being used to prosecute them. So for example, in Boston, in 2012, three lesbians were charged with an anti gay hate crime for assaulting a gay man. And hate crime charges have been brought against an African American teenager in Brooklyn for assaulting a white couple, in October of 2014. This is what Paul Butler The author of let's get free to hip hop theory of theory of justice points out an interview as the use of hate crimes legislation to defend majority populations from a already populations. And worse yet, are the hate crime charges brought against African American youth in the aftermath of the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, spurned by the shooting death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer. So again, just an example. Interestingly enough, we've been in this sort of intense political moment, with the shooting deaths of numerous other African American men, and other trans and women, but the media has really focused on on men in particular. So just flip to the next side. [00:55:34] So in the aftermath of that movement, a man drove from Baltimore to New York, and assassinated two police officers. And in the aftermath of that happening, the Fraternal Order of Police, which is the largest police union in the Union, United States, and send this letter to, to Obama. And for those that can't read the part that I've highlighted for you, it says the Fraternal Order of Police, right to to advise you that we are calling on Congress to expand the current federal hate crimes law to include law enforcement officers. And so essentially, we've created a monster right, we we, we have passed this piece of legislation that we thought would work to protect minority populations from attacks, and it's actually being used to bolster the police and also for minorities, to prosecute minority populations, right. So we have to be really careful, as prevalent prison abolition, as most of us are not opposed to all forms of reform, but because we need to meet the immediate needs of people who are actually in prison. But we need to be really thoughtful about how we do reform the laws in our country in every country, because laws, the legal system doesn't take social and historical context into account when prosecuting people, right. So the fact that civil rights legislation around Hey, credit saw, we're actually to prevent lynching of African Americans, that the law does not care and will prosecute African Americans who attack white people, right? So we have to be really cautious about investments in the legal system, at self being able to solve problems of harm and violence in our communities. So, by using high crime law as a way to open up a critical queer lens on the prison industrial complex, there becomes a number of other query issues relating to its seeming unending expansion, for example, and some of these images were represented some of these things and the criminalization of self defense as seen in the case of the New Jersey for NCC McDonald. So these are people who defended themselves from homophobic violent attackers. And after the altercation were the ones that went to prison instead of the attackers. We also see the the intense profiling of trans women particular trans women of color. And they're always assumed to be sex workers. Right. So this is a Monica Jones case up there. She was actually denied entry into Australia when she came to speak in this area. And also the historic anti gay witch hunts against school teachers and daycare workers accused of child sexual sexual abuse, like the case of the San Antonio for and Bernard Moran. And those two cases are examined in length in our apology. And as well as the criminalization of HIV, non disclosure, and exposure, a disease again, that disproportionately impacts gay and bisexual men, particularly men of color in the US context, and Canada. And this is just an image from a collective that was working against the criminalization of non disclosure in Montreal, and the group is called fuck laws. And so again, thinking about how criminalization is being used to address a public health crisis that disproportionately impacts queer and trans communities. And we're also thinking about the legacy of brutal and ineffective laws organize around concepts of sexual deviancy. So these have resulted in things like sex offender registries, as well as this thing called civil commitment. I'm not sure what the context for civil commitment is here. But essentially, you serve your prison sentence. And then you're taking to the mental institution across the street, where you're helping a mental health prison, essentially, you server One day, the life sentence. So basically, you never get out of prison. And so it renders all all any sex crime, life seconds. And to know that historically, queer and gender non conforming people have been disproportionately impacted by these, these things. So each of these issues are explored at some life in the book, so I won't go into any more detail. But our goal here isn't to critique the criminal punishment system for the sake of problem enticing it, but to ask questions that help forge a pathway towards a form of restorative justice that moves beyond the punitive model, a model which more often than not compounds or hides problems rather than deals with them by restoring the dignity of all involved in repairing the harm done. So as a collective as a movement, we point our fingers and discussed at both liberals and country Servet of fees, the perennial, get tough on crime rhetoric to win elections. And we look forward to a day when our spineless leaders [01:00:09] are getting tough on the causes of crime, right. So those would be things like poverty, inadequate, safe and affordable housing, medically healthy food and water, lack of resource and treatment for drug users, lack of meaningful education, employment opportunities, lack of access to health care, racist and exploitative immigration policies. And again, these are all problems that we associate with neoliberal capitalism. We look forward to the day when these become the focus of our spineless political leaders. But we know this shift comes only through a combination of fierce critique and grassroots political action. And we believe that the collective working against equality is an integral part of that process that envisions the future without prisons. [01:00:47] And stop there. [01:01:00] I think what would be useful or hopefully useful for folks is to [01:01:07] I mean, people can ask me questions specifically about the project and the work we've done. But it might be useful, I think, to also talk about the parallels and the divergence from the situation that we have in the US and Canada from the experiences here. [01:01:23] So I will open the floor [01:01:34] for [01:01:44] everything about a 1.2. [01:01:48] exchanger. [01:01:52] That's even more [01:01:57] is the opposition. [01:02:01] It means about [01:02:05] gay marriage. [01:02:07] But it lives in this place, mostly realms, [01:02:10] the relationship between American institutions and the office that [01:02:15] patients have this experience [01:02:26] the parameters or their ecosystem around? Like, [01:02:32] yeah, cuz she missed that part people fucking differently or not at all right? I mean, she's also, she's not just suggesting that right, all this money is being wasted on this thing, but also that why do we give special events and [01:02:43] couples that fuck each other? [01:02:45] Right. So that's part of the critique, [01:02:46] for sure. And then, and but I think that conversation [01:02:50] is actually really difficult to have, at least in the US context, and also in the Australian context from being there for three weeks is that there's [01:02:59] there's rhetoric around love and effect and emotion. And then there's rhetoric around like, where my rights. Thank you. Yeah, right, and actually see [01:03:06] everything. And [01:03:08] so there's sort of these two competing discourses around like, you know, I want access to like material things that I am given to your marriage. And our critique is like, Why are many of those things distributed through the institution of marriage? Like, why can't we all determine how we are family or whatever configuration we want to call it? [01:03:29] But also like, the [01:03:32] difficulty is that the effective discourse raises the emotional level of the conversation that you actually can have a conversation. So in our first book came out, we got death threats from other gay people, right. Like homophobes actually didn't care [01:03:45] what we're doing. But [01:03:47] we're getting people hate us. [01:03:50] So yeah, I think those are two competing discourses make it hard to actually have a conversation about like, what is marriage, and it's actually a business contract between two people in the state. [01:03:57] Right. [01:03:59] And the Defense of Marriage Act laid out 1138 rights, that federal marriage gives people that are married, right, so that's actually the special rights that political couples get. But if you actually, I'd love to ask this question. It wouldn't make sense here, right? Because I asked how many people have actually read the Defense of Marriage Act? Because like gays talk about the note what the fuck are talking about? Right? And no one's actually read. The the biggest piece of the piece of legislation is actually from the General Accounting Office. So it's not like the Department of like love and family, General Accounting. [01:04:35] We talk about like, when this goes wrong, [01:04:37] who gets what [01:04:39] does 1138 rights, almost all of them are about the distribution of money and property. And the other ones are about children. But the only way they are framed this piece of property. So it's really difficult to have that conversation when there's those sort of two competing or are bleeding across course. And what makes it really interesting in the Australian context is de facto marriage. Although it's not 100%, the same as gay marriage, as having gay marriage actually gives people those rights. So it's almost entirely symbolic, which to me, is a very important use of resources. I mean, I think some blog entries are largely a middle class victory, right? Like it doesn't actually do anything useful. For the large part. I mean, I think symbolic victories have their place, but it doesn't put food on the table, it doesn't pay rent, it doesn't meet people's immediate needs. And I think that needs to be center and have those conversations, and Australia. It's just like bacha crazy that all these people are putting all this money into [01:05:45] the equal of campaign. [01:05:48] But they already have the thing that they need. Like I'm baffled, but [01:05:55] QKC to the gala. Thanks so much for coming in today. This, I think you probably already have an open. So you probably want a timely moment that it is. And also what the moment. And I think that is this. There's so many parallels in terms of I mean, the thing is, is that we exist sons of capitalism, colleagues and other capitalism the way so the parallels of what we're talking about, and how that intersects alone, gender and class price, sexuality, so So here, there's a lot that's going on here. I think one of the big differences is obviously that we're not fighting for marriage, because there has been no, what has been quite an interesting thing and how high up and in some way, it's just good, that it's done so that the rest of the shows can kind of come out, and which is really [01:06:43] fantastic. But I mean, it's definitely I [01:06:46] think, is a lot of just kind of the spirit of the almost the final frontier, and therefore Everything is fine. And it's only now that I'm having conversations with people that I would have been having. And at the time was saying, I actually wanted everything defaming wasn't really done yet, can we have a conversation about some of these issues that are happening? And you've touched on one of them today? I guess my other question, my question to you would be, you have seven that you are purely an archive, and not a movement organization. And I'm very interested because we have highs and you know, really, we are a small population here, obviously, in our country. And so a mainstay of the time, we organize in slightly different ways. And maybe things like speed up in some ways and slow down in different areas. But a lot of it is geographical on and because of our population. And so I'm interested in what kinds of are there actually any movement or organizations that are working on the ground for this kind of stuff [01:07:44] on the inside? [01:07:47] Sure, sure. [01:07:49] Thanks for all that. [01:07:52] I would say the community I just a quick note about the idea that we've already got a call here. So because I think that really resonates that the Canadian context, right, because marriage is actually passing like 2003. And the great thing about marriage and gay marriage and Canada was passed, because a lesbian couple broke up, and one of them was like, Where's my stuff? Where's my money? Right? It was actually [01:08:17] not just rhetoric in the states of life, hello, we just want to be able to love blah, blah, blah, like this one was like, Where's my money? [01:08:25] That's a really useful way to like, bring it home to Americans, in particular, in Australia, as well. Married is actually about what happens, as opposed to how do we publicly show our love, right? Because you can do that you don't have to get married to do that, you can do that. Or you could have a marriage and whatever. But I think something that has come out of the context of in Canada in particular, is that if you don't succeed, it's now your fault, because we're [01:08:52] on the playing field, right? Like that's [01:08:54] the rhetoric is like, oh, if you're failing at making it in society today, any of it has to do with like experiences of homophobia [01:09:02] or discrimination or like [01:09:04] the hetero patriarchy, like it's your own problem, because like we're all equal. So it's actually more difficult to have these conversations in those contexts where all these things have passed. So even though it's really obnoxious in the US context, to have this drawn out battle, it's actually I mean, through our work, and the other groups where we've actually opened up space to have some sort of critical [01:09:24] dialogue about like, what is this thing we're doing? [01:09:27] That Yeah, it actually, I mean, it's like, it's actually also neoliberal logic where, you know, individualized says, failure, right? Like, if you're failing to succeed in today's society, it's because you made bad choices, or you're an idiot, or whatever, when in reality, like experiences of heterosexual still exist, and where those things intersect with other identities and forms of oppression. So that's, I maybe give a word of caution about the future, right. And that's gonna be the future in the US to like, in June, the Supreme Court rule on gay marriage in the US, and I, I'm sure that it will become the law of the land. And I mean, in my lifetime, I'll never see universal healthcare in the US, but I will see get here. And what doesn't work for [01:10:11] me, my life is kind of like in the half over stage, because I'm in my 30s now. So I'm like, okay, that won't happen along the line. But gay marriage house, [01:10:19] go figure and have questions about [01:10:23] groups. And during this work, [01:10:25] all of us [01:10:26] that are in the collective are involved in actual groups, doing activist work, and movement building work, as well as a lot of the contributors to our project. So the book project is an anthology, right? So lots of different people have have contributed more to us. And one of the really great organizations we look to is called queers for economic justice. And they were based in New York City and half through austerity clothes after being around for more than a decade. But their website still exists. They did lots of work in the homeless shelters in New York City. And like big media campaigns around access to LGBT inclusive housing, homeless shelters, trans inclusive shelters. So this looks like that, in in my community in Maine, where I come from, my primary work was around HIV and AIDS service provision, and maintain both one remaining queer and trans youth dropping in the entire state 37 numbers one. And that's largely been through the work of mostly like welfare, dykes from the rural, making, making and making sure that those places kept their doors open, while the inner city wants to do the professionalization of activism wouldn't do anything if they didn't get paid. [01:11:46] So, [01:11:48] yeah, it wasn't there's lots of people doing lots of really great things like some of our contributors have been part of critical system, which is the prison abolition of organization founded by Angela Davis. There's other folks involved. I'm going to Sylvia Rivera lot project based in New York to the Transgender Law Center. And that's actually also been doing really good work around [01:12:06] healthcare and [01:12:08] identification documents. So there are like, even though I feel totally hopeless, most of the time, there are actually like, rad things going on that mean, I feel like we've got some quality projects actually connected a lot of the dots for people because we, for example, like bridge for economic justice, we've republished one of their statements on military inclusion in the book was civic parallel project here, we've included a statement from them on mountain Shepherd hate crime, law, hate crime, Matt, from them being critical of it. So I feel like as a project, we're trying to connect those dots for people and give people access to I like to think of us as a gateway drug, maybe, you know, like that, that hope you find that gives you access to all sorts of other people doing other things and other places. So yeah, I would say even just flip through the contributor section of the book, and you'll see where people are working. And again, I mentioned the prisoner correspondence project was a queer and trans pen pal project that connects people inside and outside, as long as as well as also. [01:13:10] Like they, they have just made tons of [01:13:11] PDFs. And the website that you can download from inside here inside of empower is around harm reduction, six x in prison, how to clean needles in prison with limited resources. There's black and pink, which does [01:13:26] prisoner support projects, a lot of fundraising [01:13:28] for people as they exit the prison system. And [01:13:36] ultra by radical middle age, lesbian collective supports women prisoners and women lesbian prisoners in prison system. [01:13:45] So that there are lots [01:13:46] of things and I'm sure there's like, other things here too, that maybe other people can see to have cool things going here. And maybe that the one last thing I'll share the petty and vindictive collective, which is the group of folks organizing in Auckland that for folks, I'm sure most people know that I'll say it anyways, they organized a contingent to confront the uniform corrections officers that were marching in the pride parade in Auckland, which resulted in private security attacking three people on breaking indigenous trans woman's arm. Me [01:14:25] that happened, there's also a number of [01:14:30] gay ATMKTN I heard that happened here to like the teams that were vandalized, and the banks actually framed it as an attack on their gay and lesbian workers. Just like totally, totally wild. Yeah, as if defacing our bank is attack on like, someone who's a teller. So yeah, so there were a number of actions that happens. opinion, vindictive is not responsible for all those things. So with that, in harm's way, but they were the ones that organized the the intervention to the Pride Parade, saying, What What does it mean to include corrections officers and police officers? In a parade? Like who does that then exclude 30, including these people? So yeah, there's, I'm sure like, those are just like a handful of people in office, I'm sure there's the people who's doing cool stuff. That's brilliant. [01:15:27] Thank you. [01:15:31] Great, and who wants to do cool stuff? that's also part of that. [01:15:40] talking a lot to us about [01:15:42] marriage is the way to access [01:15:45] the social welfare type things. And I didn't record the [01:15:49] question, situation, the [01:15:52] non social reputation over relationships, and [01:15:56] workshops is the most beneficial. Some of the things we've experienced, [01:16:00] being unable to get [01:16:07] disability related issues, or kind of sorted out. [01:16:14] Yeah, that's great. And there's that there's also a parallel, but a difference in the in the US context is we don't have to facto, but there is a situation where people don't get married. Because if you are on any form of state benefits, like, for us, it's like section eight housing vouchers, food stamps, Social Security income, if you get married, you become a double income family, your benefits are reduced. Right? So if you're on if you're disabled, or you're poor and subsisting off of some sort of state benefit, what few we have left? [01:16:51] You [01:16:52] You lose those are, they're reduced, because there's the privatizing logic marriage, which says you should meet all your immediate needs to the family, which imagine would be complicated here, where people are suddenly into factors even though they didn't consent to being in this two factor. Yeah, I could imagine that being a really serious issue. I think one other sort of similarity that's happening in the US context. areas, Arizona State University, which is a public university, sent out a letter to all its employees in December, just after Christmas, that said, if you're not married by January 1, because gay marriage had just gone through a legal battle there and became legal. It was if you don't get married by January 1, you no longer can access domestic partnership benefits. [01:17:42] So similar, like [01:17:44] coercion to married that is quite dangerous, right? Because right, a lot of the rhetoric around like, we should have the option or be able to choose to get married. And it's like, well, if it's the only way to meet your material needs, it's not choice. That's coercion. I think that choice it says like the key of certain neoliberal logic right, it's every shot choice [01:18:06] turn around. Yeah, sorry. I guess yeah, yeah. It's you went to this the frame of choice but is someone new the brain of course the mind you like to sort of cultural population and one thing away from those guns as well as you can talk gradually is first choice really is freedom when framed right? [01:18:34] Yeah, I mean, it's, it's certainly not freedom when you have to participate in an institution to access health care, for example, that's [01:18:45] that's not freedom. [01:18:47] For sure. [01:18:54] Maybe we can. [01:18:56] If there aren't any other direct questions we can shift to like more cash flow. You know, it's like the good conversations happen after the thing is over and you're just like hanging out. I was like to make time for that. So maybe we can shift to people want to cruise books and [01:19:10] we have some snacks and tea and stuff. This is there any burning last question before we shift? [01:19:18] Well, thank you so much for hosting me. Thanks for being such a great receptive Yeah.

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