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Being LGBTQ Doesn't Mean You Have to Hate Israel

Israel

By banning Israeli flags, the D.C. Dyke March proclaims that anyone who disagrees with them is a heretic.

I won't say that what happened at the D.C. Dyke March surprised me all that much. I mean, it seemed inevitable really, and for it to not have happened would seem anti-climactic. No, I'm not talking about the mass panic at D.C. Pride over the shooter scare, though that was inevitable, too. I'm talking about the D.C. Dyke march banning pretty much any expression of Jewish identity because of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Somehow one of the most complex socio-geopolitical issues in history became part of LGBTQ issues because... reasons. This was an inevitability, but it's also an absurdity because it requires one to subscribe to a particular set of beliefs that are not a certain truth, but merely an ideology, one that to me and my set of beliefs is incredibly flawed.

Now, I'm not going to get into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Jesus Christ, are you insane? The top political minds of the past three generations haven't straightened this out and you think I can come close in one op-ed? Please. I'm not even Jewish or Palestinian so it's not like I even have a personal stake in that fight, though if you follow the beliefs of the people who organized the D.C Dyke March and the Chicago Dyke March a few years ago, you do as an LGBTQ person even if you aren't and you're supposed to side with the Palestinians and assume the Jews Israelis are bad. Only correct-thinking LGBTQ people agree with this, and you're a bad gay if you disagree.

At least that's what they're telling us. And it's wrong.

Look, at no point in history has being LGBTQ, a woman, handicapped, black, Latino, Asian, left-handed, Catholic, Buddhist or whatever obligated you to believe or support anything. Never. Never ever. Being gay just means you have sex with people of the same gender and being trans means you're not cisgender. That's it. It bears no relevance to your views on warfare, law enforcement, carbon emissions, the infield fly rule, or wearing white after Labor Day. It never has, and it absolutely never will.

You think being gay means you have to be a Marxist/Maoist intersectional anti-racist queer feminist? Bullshit. I mean, how many articles in The Advocate and every other LGBTQ media outlet have you seen that were screaming at Milo? Y'all remember Milo, right? Is this where I remind you one of the most brutal Nazis, Ernst Rohm, was like the epitome of a uniform fetishist butch gay? How often do we run articles and talk about the biases against Asian men in the gay community? What about the racism towards black people? What about the flagrant shallowness of our youth-centric, appearance-based culture? All of this is wrapped up in the fetishistic materialism and brand whoring that has defined our culture? Marketing companies didn't make us like that. We made ourselves like that. Why? Because that's who we are. Not uniformly across the board in all ways, but that's who many of us are in one way or another.

What the D.C. Dyke March -- and the political ideology that made it -- has become is the end result of a type of politics that weaponizes identity. That you aren't a "good gay" unless you believe like we do. It's the no true Scotsman fallacy as political ideology. By casting a wide net of what are certainly a type of leftist views through the lens of "If you're queer, you're not being a good queer unless you check these boxes." It goes well beyond supporting LGBTQ issues into things that have little to nothing to do with LGBTQ identity, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, socialism, capitalism, and more.

There is no certainty that being LGBTQ means you have to think or believe anything else outside that identity to be LGBTQ. Just look around the community you are in now, much less into the depths of history. All around you are people who are queer and run the gamut of beliefs from "ban all guns" to the Pink Pistols, oligarchic capitalist to anarcho-communist, virulent atheist to bible-thumping Christian, racist authoritarian to anti-racist antifa. Why? Because being queer is just one part of our identity that shapes who we are, and does not dictate everything else about us.

Where these groups fail, is that in their attempt to politicize LGBTQ identity for other ends, they end up marginalizing LGBTQ people. This is where you get such things as the cop in San Diego who helped organize the Transgender Day of Remembrance events and then was asked to leave the LGBTQ community center by a straight ally for being a cop and people throwing American Jewish lesbians out of a lesbian Pride march because of something straight Israeli Jews did. They end up creating a "correct way to be gay" which really has nothing to do with being gay, but with other socio-political beliefs. Now, its one thing to say, "hey don't be racist, we don't like racism" because that's a view held by everyone except, you know, racists. But it's an entirely different thing to say, "You as a queer person can't be in queer spaces because we disagree with your beliefs on economics or religious affiliation."

To me, this is disturbing because I can see its parallels in other authoritarian movements. Individuals graft political beliefs into an identity, be it gender, race, ethnicity, or class, and declare that only the true members of this group believe in a certain political philosophy and all the rest are heretics and dissidents. There is almost always less concern for the group, be it gender or race or religion, than there is for the gaining of power for a political or philosophical ideology.

What the final result of the D.C. Dyke March and others who espouse these sorts of ideas is not actual intersectionality, but the recreation of rigid ideas of oppression through their own schools of thought. They create an orthodoxy of believing the "right" things and supporting the "right" causes are the only "right" way to be, identity be damned. Anyone who disagrees is a traitor, who can definitely not sit, or march, with them.

Amanda Kerri is an Oklahoma-based writer and comedian, a regular contributor to The Advocate,and a former board member for Oklahoma City Pride. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda_Kerri.

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