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is not to say that "doms" have not been

oppressed; it is only to say that when they refuse

to struggle they have chosen the side of the

0

oppressor-as collaborators-rather than that of their

G

oppressed brothers. The Flaming Faggots, for instance,

argued that the very terms "butch" and "femme" were

G

extremely offensive and degrading both to homosexual

~

men and to all women. After listening to and discussing this

argument, a brother group called Femmes Against Sexism

dropped that name in a spirit of revolutionary struggle. In

contrast,

Gay Sunshine

continues

to

publish with an

intensified male-supremacist "dom" consciousness, pur–

I

n emphasizing the tasK ot de-manning ourselves

and other men, however, we tried to avoid two

mistakes. First, by insisting on our right to be

gentle, we did not and do not mean to imply that

we are not committed to fighting our oppression in a

militant way. Second, to say that the effeminate in us is

associated with the sweet and lyrical can in no way be

aCcepted as a stereotype of women's roles and capacities.

Women themselves are shattering stereotypes that consign

them to submissive roles, to feeling but not thinking.

Whatever we do, we are determined

not

to strengthen sexist

stereotypes or make their overthrow more difficult.

Consequently, it is as

non-men

that we insist on our rights

to qualities previously denied to us by our culture, and

not

as imitation women. To put it another way, just as The

Flaming Faggots criticized the unquestionably oppressive

refusal of GAA and GLF men to relinquish their

male-domination trip, we also criticized male homosexuals

whose oppression had forced them into a submission trip

that is parodistic of women and is based on stereotyped

women's roles, fashions, and mannerisms. We have the right

to feel and be beautiful-without

having

to put down

women. No revolutionary white person goes around

pretending to be Stepin Fetchit as though this could

somehow be justified as anything other than an unspeak–

able offense to all black people. Similarly, no revolutionary

male homosexual has the right to call himself or other

genital males "she" or parody women or their oppression.

Period. That goes for Holly Woodlawn. That goes for the

Cockettes and their queer-baiting, woman-hating bisexual–

ity an6 androgyny. For the first time in history, we faggots

have a chance to take our rightful place in a revolution

against sexism, in the anti-gender revolution now underway,

but not if we refuse at the outset to create revolutionary

changes within ourselves.

For the record, male homosexuals previously oppressed

as "submissives" were far more willing to struggle over their

{and our) anti-women attitudes than "dominatives." Which

1972

veying the same old sexism in a way designed to drive the

non-passing "sub" out of .the movement, thereby destroy–

ing Gay Liberation as a revolutionary force. In a recent

issue, Allen Young accuses us anti-masculinists of doing

damage to the gay movement. Frankly, either the gay

A'lovement must stop oppressing women and the majority

of male homosexuals, or it richly deserves its own self–

destruction.

~esides

the sub-dom contradiction {as we came to call it,

simply to avoid offensive terminology), one other question

kept recurring as a subject for discussion.

Mo~t

members of

Double-F {as we called ourselves because of a Janus-faced

double F that was our symbol) individually felt that the

very word "gay" trivialized homosexuals. We noticed how

women in Daughters of Bilitis and those splitting from GLF

(because of its anti-womanism) were both reaffirming their

right to the single proud word, Lesbian, to describe

themselves, even though this had once been used abusively

against them. We disliked the two-word phrase "gay men;"

it made clowns of us. And "male homosexual" was hard to

keep saying over and over. Then we learned that the word

"faggot" originated from our persecution in the Middle

Ages: when a woman was to be burned as a witch, men

accused of homosexuality were bound together in bundles,

mixed in with bundles of kindling wood (faggots) at the

feet of the witch, and set on fire "to kindle a flame foul

enough for a witch to burn in." So the enemy has known

all along the danger in strong women and gentle men, has

known that both present the same threat to masculine

domination. That's why we embraced "faggot" as

our

one

word description, complete with a piece of our buried

history unearthed, and accepted it positively as a tocil to

cut through our last ties to "passing"-those of us who were

in the privileged position of having such an option. We

called ourselves faggots in the name of Jacques DeMolay, in

the name of Bernard de Vado, tortured by fire applied to

the soles of the feet to such an extent that a few days

17