Friday, July 12, 2019

Why There Will Be No Gatekeeping Within the Pink Pistols

Gatekeeping: When someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity.

I'm going to explain why gatekeeping hurts us and why I and the other mods won't tolerate it here, and I'm going to use queer dynamics to illustrate it.
  • Gay and Lesbian people think that Transgender people shouldn't be under the LGBTQ tent because "being transgender isn't a sexual orientation, it's a gender issue".
  • Yet Transgender people say that Gays and Lesbians have it easy because they don't stand out in everyday life, and besides it's socially acceptable to be homosexual these days, so if anything trans folks are more oppressed and deserve more representation, not less.
  • And I could point out that Gays and Lesbians don't actually get along, but I'll go one step further and tell you that subcultures within each don't even get along. For example, we have Bears (masculine homosexual men) who deride Twinks (feminine homosexual men) for being "too faggy", and we have Lipstick Lesbians (feminine homosexual women) who look down on Dykes (masculine homosexual women) for being "too butch".
  • Meanwhile, practically everyone hates Bisexual people due to a combination of unfounded fear that the Bi person will be unsatisfied with only one type of genital and cheat/wander/leave their SOs, and jealousy that a bi person can adopt a hetero-normative lifestyle and reap all the benefits without suffering any of the ill effects.
  • Then there are the Trans people who pass ("go stealth") who just want to be thought of as men instead of transmen/women instead of transwomen, and they are called cowards by the "out and proud" Trans people who feel that trans acceptance will only happen if we are visible to the world. The stealthers regard the outers as attention whores and drama queens who are setting back trans acceptance by being outrageous.
  • (In fact, there's an amazingly accurate parallel between stealth vs. loud and concealed carry vs. open carry.)
  • Then there are the Aces (asexuals) and Aros (aromantics) who no one really knows what to do with because "What kind of social oppression do they face?" Apparently, if they aren't being victimized for their sexuality then they don't "count" as authentically queer to some people.
  • Want to refine it even further? Let's bring race into the mix. QPOC (that's "queer people of color") have to deal with being a racial minority as well as being a gender and/or sexual minority, so all of us with racial privilege should let them do all the talking.
  • How about class? If you're poor and you're trans you're going to have a much harder time transitioning (if you can transition at all) because therapy and hormones and surgery take more money than they can afford.

I could continue, but you get the idea.

The moment we start gatekeeping is the moment this group fractures around identity issues and an ever-tightening death spiral of ideological purity. If we say "Only queer people are allowed in the Pink Pistols" then that inevitably results in statements like "You vote Republican, you're a traitor and not truly queer" or "You're Bisexual, you can live a heteronormative lifestyle, you're not truly queer" or "You're a heterosexual stealth Trans, you don't belong here, you aren't properly queer" and so on until there's only one person left standing who is "authentically queer" and the rest are just posers and traitors.

So we, the mods and admins of this page, say NO to this self-destructive course of action and instead encourage people to find ways to live with each other.
This is a group for pro-Second Amendment queer people and those who support them. It will always be that way. The only thing we ask is that if you are not queer in some manner that you be queer-positive. We won't throw you out if you aren't (but we will if you're abusive to our queer members), although we warn you that making statements like "I don't believe in your lifestyle, but..." will earn you as much popularity and acceptance as people who say "I believe in the Second Amendment, but..."

So to reiterate and reinforce:
  • We don't gatekeep against heterosexual people who consider themselves Pink Pistols.
  • We don't gatekeep against cisgender people who consider themselves Pink Pistols.
  • We don't gatekeep about race, or class, or religion, or anything else.

All of these inherently divisive positions must be set aside in favor of what we all have in common: Our desire to have the right to keep and bear arms and the right to use those arms to defend ourselves. Everything else is irrelevant to our mission.

Or, put more pithily, "Teaching queers to shoot does not imply that only queers can teach them, or that we can't have straights in the organization."

Which brings us to the word "ally". Some of us (specifically Gwen Patton and myself, but there may well be others) want to take the term "ally" out behind the woodshed and treat it like the rabid dog it is. The only "allies" we have are from other organizations that do not consider themselves to be members of our organization; anyone inside the organization is one of us, period.

When someone is labelled "ally", the assumption is that the person doing the labeling is stating "I'm the REAL member here. You're just an ally, a second-class citizen." It's divisive, derisive, and demeaning, and it belittles those members who support us 100%, regardless of race, orientation, sex, gender, kinks, relationship structures or lack of the same, by telling them that they're still outsiders here. That just reinforces the attitude that they're not one of us and the pernicious idea that because they're not us, we should exclude them, mock them, ignore them, neglect them or even hate them.

Our straight members aren't just here to get us coffee, bow, and scrape. They're 100% full members, just like us.

This is how it was when Doug Krick founded the Pink Pistols 20 years ago.

This is how it was when Gwen Patton was First Speaker.

This is how it will be with me as National Coordinator.


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