BAN THE MILITARY! TRANS AND QUEER LIBERATION NOW.
Fuck your assimilation, I want liberation.
Trump has never given a fuck about queer people. If anyone from #Twinks4Trump is reading this I hope you choke on that white supremacist cock you're sucking. Today, Trump outlined his rationale for banning trans people from the military. He said that they “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” I have a lot of feelings to unpack here:
Fuck the military
Resist and rage because liberation is ours.
The rhetorical impact that Trump’s military ban has is dangerous. I worry for my trans siblings who choose not to get hormones, like myself; siblings whose performances fall outside of Western binarist notions of gender; and siblings of color, because we are the most visible. Fifteen trans black women and femmes have already died this year. He is legitimizing violence toward trans people, especially towards trans people of color, particularly black and brown ones. Semitonically, Trump is stating that trans people do not deserve rights. He is stating that trans people are a burden for performing their identity and legitimizing an ideology that trans-ness is “other.” Similar to the bathroom debates, it places transness as a site of nothingness. Trans subjects are abjected from civil society because of debates from the state about whether or not these liberal democracies can take on the “burden.” Trans people are placed in a temporal state in which quotidian violence is normalized. All of this is simultaneously occurring with the Department of Justice stripping Title VII protections from queer people, which super charges the violence towards queer people.
There is no burden for trans medical care! L'lerrét Jazelle Ailith, Black trans feminist, activist, and organizer wrote a fantastic article. The “burden” that trans people in the military would cause would be minimal. The cost of providing for trans service members would only be a 0.04% to 0.13% increase compared to "normal" serving officers. Giving trans military officers their promised medical services would only make up .018% of the DOD’s health expenditures. Out of the 1.3 million active duty officers, this would target and immediately effect 2,450 trans officers in service. So, what “burden” is this really placing upon the government?
The trans ban is fucked up, but also fuck the military! From a leftist perspective, I will not let myself or my identities be weaponized by the empire. We must not forget the violence the military has done in name of “security.” We must not forget Jennifer Laude. Laude, a Filipina trans woman, was brutally murdered by a United States Marine officer in 2014.
In court, U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton’s defense was “trans-panic.” Pemberton murdered Jennifer because he feared being “raped by a man.” Pemberton was convicted and sentenced to prison for 6-10 years. The military created the conditions for sexual tourism in South Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, and etc. We must not romanticize the violence the military brings and how it targets out communities.
I agree with L'lerrét’s apprehension with homonormative organizations mobilizing and co-opting queer liberation. This can empirically be seen with efforts pertaining to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” All of these military efforts can be understood through Jasbir Puar’s concept of “Sexual exceptionalism.” Sexual exceptionalism is about the diversification of queerness into liberalism while simultaneously excluding another group. In lay terms: you can be queer but only if you kill brown people. This type of discursive ideology is killing the radical potential for queer liberation by shifting our focal points. It masks queers’ radical potential for liberation by allowing neoliberals to come in to create structural adjustments in the status quo. We should be worrying about Trump, but we should also be worrying about how Trump has become a foil for equally violent liberals within the state. We must be thinking about the larger picture beyond the military, prisons, police, and the state.
Lastly, we can liberate ourselves. We must be militant at home. Puar writes, “Unraveling discourses of U.S. sexual exceptionalism is vital to critiques of U.S. practices of empire” (17), and that starts at home. We must divest from homonormative institutions, such as Twin Cities Pride. Domestic homonormative ideologies allow for the sexual exceptionalism to proliferate globally.
A queer insurrection is coming.
This week, the Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, an international radical queer anarchist guerrilla force, has come to Syria to assist in the fight for liberation. They have come to Syria to help fight ISIS in order to stop extremists and fascism around the world. They have not only sought to fight ISIS but also conservative Christians that continue to demonize our communities. Their divestments from the state and investment in their community are the type of radical politics that allow for new political imagination. We must take to the streets to get what we deserve! I can weaponize myself to create structural change!