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Christopher Street Liberation Day 1980
Once upon a time there was a man who realized he didn't want to marry a woman but a man. And he learned that men like himself are called "homosexual". He never thought to ask who it is who calls them that. In reading up on the subject of "homosexuality", he learned that "homo-sexual" means "sexually" drawn to the "same" sex that "homo" derives from the Greek word for "same", not from the Latin word of the same spelling which means "man". He never thought to ask why H-O-M-O in the word "homosexual" can mean only "same" and not "man".
In reading further, he discovered that women can be "homosexual"' too, if they are drawn to their own sex, and that therefore men who are drawn to men and women who are drawn to women are both called homosexuals that is, they are the same thing. He never thought to ask, "How can it be that a man, who starts out quintessentially different from a women and is drawn to men, is the exact same thing as a woman, who starts out different from a man and looks toward women that is, how can it be that a man and woman who start out different and look in different directions be the same thing?" And he never thought to ask who it is who says they are the same thing.
Reading still further, our friend learned that a man who seeks out his own kind is sick, maladjusted, psychosexually retarded, and in flight from his responsibilities to protect and love women and beget and raise children. He didn't think to question these assertions either.
Reading a bit further, he learned that homosexuality is condemned in certain parts of the Bible. It never occurred to him to ask "What parts?" and "Who were the authors of these condemnations?"
Reading still further, he learned that homosexuality is not merely a sickness but also a crime, punishable in most jurisdictions by imprisonment and in others by commitment to a mental hospital. He never thought to ask "Why?"
He also read that homosexual men are homosexual because they are confused about gender that they are drawn to men because they think themselves women, and try to look and behave like women, indeed, to be women. He never thought to ask how it can be that a man who has all the anatomical features of a man could think himself a woman.
Questioning the assertions of learned professors, clergymen. legislators, educators, judges and police does not come easily to some people, our friend among them. So when he read all these things and heard acquaintances making snide remarks about homosexual "perverts", "faggots", "queens", "fairies", and the like, our friend hid his nature in shame and rebuked himself in innumerable ways for his terrible crimes against morality, decency, good sense, and nature.
One day, however, he heard about a group of men who said that much of what he'd heard about homosexuality was self-refuting, self-serving heterosexual nonsense, and he was curious to see if this could possibly be. So he sought out those men and began to see that they were right. He joined the movement to change attitudes, and became active and outspoken quickly. Too quickly, as it turns out. Because he didn't take the time to eradicate the antihomosexual biases and heterosexual assumptions he had taken to heart. And neither, it turns out, had anybody else.
If he came into the movement with 100 antihomosexual prejudices, assumptions, and arguments internalized, he became outspoken when he managed to eradicate maybe 12 of them. And so had virtually everyone else. Gay liberation is a continuing, years-long process. That it continues is good. That it takes years is bad. Because thruout those years the actions of the movement are controlled by people who are unliberated. By the time one becomes liberated, after years of self-examination, contemplation and action, his patience with horrendously confused people is exhausted. Not willing to relive the nightmare of being immersed in the pains and confusions of the unliberated, relatively liberated men simply drop out of the Movement, leaving it to the almost wholly unliberated newcomers. It should not surprise anyone that much of what a Movement of unliberated liberators and on-the-job-trainees says, is nonsense.
Still accepting most heterosexual assertions, and most damagingly, those (a) that homosexual men are confused about gender, (b) that lesbians and homosexuals are the same, (c) that homosexuality is flight from responsibility toward women, and (d) that men and women "belong together", gay men "married" themselves to lesbians in a single, unified Movement, and chivalrously/guiltily gave "top billing" to women: "lesbian and gay" this, "women's and men's" that, almost as though men are intrinsically inferior end inconsequential, an afterthought. Women were given superior rights to men in the guise of "parity" through "gender equality", whereby, even if there should be only 1 lesbian for every 5 homosexuals, all offices must be filled equally by women and men if indeed men are to be allowed even equality. Or women were to occupy top offices on a rotational basis, every other term! In utterances of this unified Movement the word "men" must never precede "women", nor "gay" the word "lesbian"; "men"/"gay" must NEVER appear without "women"/"lesbian".
The gay-rights movement has married itself to the later, parasitic, lesbian-rights movement, and homosexual men have become the harried, henpecked husband of a domineering, insatiable harpy of a wife. What is this madness, and how did it happen?
The name of this madness is "heterosexuality". And it happened because unliberated people founded the gay-rights organizations. These groups were formed with the intent of self-help, but since their founders were themselves unliberated, the organizations they established were built on a foundation of heterosexual assumptions. A homosexual structure cannot rise from a heterosexual base. Yet there was no other base when the movement was first established
The very most damaging (heterosexual) base assumptions which the movement has not yet managed to eradicate are (1) men and women "belong together" end (2) homosexual men and lesbian women are "the same thing". To accept the premise that men and women "belong together" is to admit that homosexuality and lesbianism are intrinsically wrong, and, thus, to defeat oneself even before he starts his efforts at liberation. And the assertion that homosexual men are in effect male lesbians does great disservice to the very people the movement is supposed to help. According to straights, as men homosexuals "owe" women love, support, and total involvement in their lives. Then the Movement says that homosexual men owe their "lesbian sisters" love, support, and involvement in their lives, and the individual is left with the worst of both worlds. Straights say he is the same as a heterosexual woman, and the Movement says he is the same as a lesbian woman. The one confusion does not cancel out but compound the other, for no matter the difference, one thing remains the same: the suggestion that the homosexual is not a man and not entitled to identify or act as a man. He has sacrificed the respectability, paternity, and stability of heterosexuality but is still to be required to open his life and heart to women, to support women as much as he would have had he turned out straight indeed more, because he "is" a woman. As a heterosexual woman and only as a heterosexual woman he can feel free to be attracted to men. But as a male lesbian he is required to identify with the lesbifeminist struggle against "male oppression", and to see men as his enemy. Straight society requires as a condition for approval that the homosexual man renounce homosexuality. The Movement requires that he renounce his manhood and join the struggle of his "lesbian" sisters" against men. There is more than a little insanity and self-hatred in the gay-rights movement.
None of this need have happened if we had had the good sense to ask the right questions and come up with rational answers. Fortunately, it's not too late. So let us ask now the questions the movement and each of its participants should have asked but didn't. Let us also answer them now as liberated homosexuals would have had they existed when the movement was founded. And let us on answering these questions establish a homosexual-liberation movement which is sane and self-reinforcing, not insane and self-subverting.
Q. WHAT IS A HOMOSEXUAL?
A. A man drawn sexually, emotionally, esthetically and in every other way to men.
Q. CAN'T WOMEN BE HOMOSEXUAL TOO?
A. No. Women drawn to women are "lesbians". Lesbianism is parallel but opposite to homosexuality. Parallels never touch they have nothing whatsoever to do with one another but always keep their distance one from the other.
Q. BUT DOESN'T "HOMO" MEAN "SAME"?
A. In Greek, yes. In Latin, "homo" means "man" male. It is nonsensical to say that a word in English can mean only what it means in a single foreign language. An English word means everything it seems to users of English to mean. Thus feminists are right when they say that "man" in words like "mankind" conjures maleness and a subsidiary position for women. In the same way, "homo" inevitably signifies maleness, and when most people say "homosexual" they mean homosexual male not "lesbian". They are right.
Q. WHO, THEN, SAYS THAT HOMOSEXUALS AND LESBIANS ARE THE SAME THING, AND WHY?
A. Straights, who see the world in terms of "Us" and "Them" lump both homosexuals and lesbians into "Them" because they are not heterosexual "Us"-es. In like fashion, racists split the world into Whites and Nonwhites again, Us versus Them. But the fact. that WASPS may see Japanese, blacks, Chinese, Australian aborigines, rain-forest pygmies, Filipinos and Amerindians as "all the same" because. they're "all nonwhite" does not mean that these groups have anything really in common one with another. It would be mad for them to form common cause and subjugate their various identities and cultures to a synthetic uniformity just because some moron racist says that all nonwhites are alike. Japanese and these other "nonwhites" have the good sense to define themselves, assert their own unique identities and set their own priorities without reference to the Ku Klux Klan, and more than just rejecting the notion that outsiders have the right to define and control them, they don't even consider it. Forcing homosexual men and lesbian women to interact and control each other just because they are all nonheterosexual is asinine and destructive. We have the right indeed, the obligation to find and assert our own identity and culture, without apology to lesbians, straights, or anybody else.
Q. IS HOMOSEXUALITY SICK?
A. No, although individual homosexual relationships may be unwholesome on other grounds.
Q. ARE HOMOSEXUALS MERELY MALADJUSTED MEN FLEEING FROM THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN?
A. No. The attraction of a man toward men is positive and powerful, not negative and weak. Homosexuals naturally feel good about men and sex with men, and may very well be equally naturally repelled by the idea of sex with and emotional dependence upon women. But women are more fundamentally just irrelevant to our (positive) quest. Homosexuals seek out men. If that should at the same time constitute flight from women, it's purely happenstantial. As for children, many, many homosexuals have very powerful paternal feelings feelings which, in being frustrated, may cause serious unhappiness. That we don't have children at home is due merely to the biological fact that homosexuality does not (yet) produce children. As adoption by homosexuals becomes more acceptable and other means of reproduction become technologically and legally feasible, we will surely see many homosexual men becoming fathers deliberately and lovingly.
Q. IS HOMOSEXUALITY A TYPE OF PSYCHOSEXUAL RETARDATION?
A. No, though some individuals may be both homosexual and psychosexually retarded, seeking out juvenile and fetishistic sex in preference to a full, multifaceted relationship that incorporates sex as one important tie between men. The notion that homosexuality is psychosexual retardation is a backhanded acknowledgment that there is a natural homosexual component in the male psyche, which is most visible during adolescence, when a boy who feels most comfortable with boys encounters sexual feelings and relates them to the people he is closest to other boys. That most such boys later switch, by preference or coercion, to sex with women does not mean that boys who do not switch are stunted, but rather that they know what they like and won't be moved to something they don't want.
Q. DOESN'T THE BIBLE CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY?
A. Yes and no. What we call "the" Bible is actually three separate and often quite contradictory works: a Jewish part, a Christian part, and a Paulist part. The Jewish part, the Old Testament, contains two prohibitions on homosexuality in, a section prescribing ritual, The Book of Leviticus. Leviticus is an ancient work arisen from a barbarous society which, though it aspired to civilization, was so barbarous that it didn't know what civilization was. Leviticus, which so many Bible-thumpers throw at homosexuals, prescribes, in another of its sections, the sacrifice of animals to a rapacious and vindictive god, so you can get an idea of how barbarous and unfit for civilized human beings the Code of Leviticus is. The Christian part of "the" Bible, consisting of accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as described by people who knew him (the Disciples) does not condemn homosexuality but rather orders us, Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You a commandment homosexuality obeys most ethically. The Paulist part of "the" Bible, written by a man who started out a Jewish religious fanatic who killed Christians but after a supposed "religious experience" converted to Christianity, contains one condemnation of men lusting after men. It does not mention men loving men, and Paulism is very hostile to everything sexual, so it doesn't have much to say to people who aspire to fullness in adult human relationships. Paul never met Jesus and was an Apostle rather than one of the Disciples. Perhaps because he did not hear Jesus explain his doctrine fully, Paulism is a curious and not-always-reconcilable combination of the charity end wisdom of Christianity with the fire-and-brimstone tyranny of unregenerate Judaism. It must be taken with a grain of salt, inasmuch as its spirit and that of Christianity are not always reconcilable. People who regard themselves as Christian must renounce both Judaism and Paulism where they conflict with Christianity. And hostility to homosexuals is most un-Christian. For those who are not religious, what the Bible says about anything may be a matter of interest but not crucial to an evaluation of ethicality. Homosexuality withstands the closest scrutiny on ethical grounds not hemmed in by presumed Biblical anathema.
Q. WHY IS HOMOSEXUALITY A CRIME?
A. Because heterosexuals make the laws. "Liberalization" of sex-control laws has occurred, but is difficult because sex occupies, by the very nature of things, a peculiarly powerful place in the mind. People feel very strongly about sex and try to suppress things they don't do, because they find them repulsive, and the thought of anyone's doing them is disturbing. That is perfectly natural. If homosexuals had always been in the majority and been the ones to make the law, heterosexuality would be against the law.
Q. DO HOMOSEXUALS THINK THEMSELVES WOMEN?
A. Because straight society often defines manhood and womanhood in terms of sexual activities A Man Is Someone Who Has Sex With Women, and A Woman Is Someone Who Has Sex With Men many homosexuals do experience at some point in their lives, often for many (too many) years some confusion in gender identity. Once homosexuals reject that asinine definition and state, much more simply and accurately, A Man Is A Person With A Y-Chromosome, or, less accurately but usually satisfactorily, A Man Is A Person With a Y-Chromosome And A Penis and Testes, confusion dissipates and a strong sense of manhood becomes more comfortable and assured.
Q. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOMOSEXUALITY AND PERVERSION?
A. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation toward men, complete human beings who possess male bodies. Homosexuality delights in mutuality, affection, and sexual response to the total body. Perversion, by contrast, is arousal by and obsession with things: specific body types, parts; specific acts, smells, words, and the like; to the exclusion of the larger context, the person with whom one is interacting. Perversions are exploitative and truncated. Perverts prefer a body or a body part, or sexual act without involvement with a person to a similar or more wholesome act with the full person. Perverts engage in sexual or sexually allied acts that degrade end defile themselves and their partners. Sometimes the tie to sexuality is tenuous or nonexistent. For instance, the mere fact that the penis has a function as a duct for excretion of urine as well as a completely distinct function as a sexual organ and the one function precludes the other at any given moment, so incompatible are they has caused many people to regard urine as a sexual fluid. It not. The anus may function as a sexual orifice, but that function is incompatible with its use as an excretory outlet and so feces are not sexual substances. But the pervert confuses sexual and nonsexual function and substances, sexual fluids with excrement. This is, more than stupid, sick. While there are homosexual perverts in the sense of men whose fetishes relate to males, homosexuality is a total relationship between at the very least complete bodies and more fully between complete persons who are both male.
Q. WHY DO SOME HOMOSEXUALS ACT LIKE THE STEREOTYPICAL "FAIRY" OR "QUEEN"?
A. Flitting-fairy behavior is most common in young homosexuals who have not yet discovered what homosexuality is and is not. They have heard and read what homosexuals are supposed to be and concluded that if that is what homosexuals are supposed to be, and they are homosexual, then they must behave like that. People try to live up to the expectations placed upon them, negative as well as positive. Some homosexuals also indulge in stereotypical behavior as a rebellion against the years when they felt so ashamed that they dared not let people know and so hid their natural attraction to men. Once they have managed to overcome that fear they may go overboard in the opposite direction. They flaunt the stereotype as a way of defying the people they once feared, knowing that if they were not flagrant they would be presumed heterosexual. As they become more knowledgeable and relaxed, however, and learn that much of what they've heard is just plain wrong and that they can be themselves without being defiant, they outgrow the need to behave like a fruit and become instead homosexual men.
Q. WHAT SHOULD HOMOSEXUALS BE DOING IN THEIR "MOVEMENT"?
A. Homosexual men should be learning to understand homosexuality and themselves, sorting out truth from falsehood, and learning to like themselves and other homosexual men. They should be working to reform the institutions of the Gay World so they serve the real, adult needs of homosexuals. They should work to evict straight and female parasites and intruders from their places of privacy with other homosexuals, as to secure a comfortable, male environment where they can be themselves and relate without distortion to other homosexual men. Only in privacy with men can they learn what is natural to men, what men would be and are like without impositions by women and men deeply involved with women. They should work to produce literature, music, art, and dance thru which they can grow by seeing in cultural mirrors a true reflection of themselves and their lives. They should be working to eradicate negative feelings about themselves and their sexuality. They should be spending a lot less time trying to convince straights that they are decent and respectable, and instead should be working to become decent and respectable which too many individuals are not, and our institutions most assuredly are not.
Q. CAN THE MOVEMENT AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS?
A. No. Homosexuals can find homosexuality only in open, wholesome privacy with one another. They cannot achieve self-knowledge thru marches and legislation. They cannot achieve easy, comfortable relationships with men if they are constantly surrounded, buffeted, inhibited and distorted by intrusive women of whatever ostensible sexual orientation. They cannot understand their uniqueness as men drawn to men if they told even by their own organizations that they are the same as women of any type and that they "owe" women, of any orientation, anything.
The time has come to declare our independence from straights and from women of any and all orientations. We have the right to be men who identify solely and absolutely as men, not women. We are not male lesbians and have the right to be free of invasive, repulsive lesbians. We have the right to privacy with men everywhere in the Gay World. We have the right to exclude women not merely from our beds and baths but from our bars, theaters, discos, dances, organizations, and thoughts as well. Our lives belong to men, and we owe it to ourselves and to each other as homosexual men to devote ourselves to understanding and fulfilling one another. Let lesbians support themselves in their own movement. Let them fight their own battles with their own numbers and their moneys. Let them find their own historical rallying point, not ours, the Stonewall Riots. Let them find their own march, their own street fair, their own bands, choruses, athletic leagues. Let us get them off our backs. And let us get on with our own lives in our own Movement.
© Copyright L. Craig Schoonmaker 1980
HOMOSEXUALS INTRANSIGENT! is a homosexual-separatist publishing organization. We believe that homosexuality is a powerful and constructive force in our lives and we want to achieve happiness as homosexuals in our lifetime. We issue leaflets like this from time to time, write letters to publications and public officials. We plan also to issue a small, quarterly magazine of ideas and creative writing but need help of all kinds to do so. If you think you might like to help, join.
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