Saturday, November 8, 2008


There is a song that you may have heard. Performed by one Britney Spears, it is called "Toxic," and it is popular among certain crowds. I hate it.

On the evening of Wednesday, 5 November 2008, I was sitting in a little bar called Fiesta Cantina, located just east of the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente. "Toxic" came on the jukebox, and things crystallized for me. "Toxic" represents, to me, a vast swath of the homosexual population with which I want nothing to do. These particular young, white, male homosexuals (I generalize, but it's fairly accurate) are interested in nothing but themselves. They are the stereotypical queens, the ones who get the rest of us dismissed as inconsequential and shallow. I have been a defender of these queens in the past, at least in my head, as I understand the value of surfaces and the need to care deeply about oneself when society seems to be telling you that you're not worth it. I really do understand this mentality, and I sympathize.

However. This is a population that we could not mobilize before election day. This is the group I tried to engage, week after week, only to be ignored because the dance floor was calling. This is the group that woke up, in part, on that Wednesday, and got angry. Too. Fucking. Late. Where the hell were they on Tuesday? Where the hell were they before Tuesday? What was so important every Thursday night and Saturday night when I stood out on the street for hours trying to get them to give some time and they walked on by--hoping to get into the bars before the cover charge went up?

These toxic queers make me incredibly angry. As I sat in Fiesta Cantina on Wednesday, surrounded by the bitter, depressed people who had worked so hard and come so close to victory without the help of the toxics, I decided that I was done with them. I am done with the pleasure-seekers and the party animals. I am done with the barflies and even more done with the Sunday brunchers. A subspecies of the toxic queens, the Sunday brunchers are older (still white and male), largely past their toxic days, and their self-involvement centers on food instead of dance. I am dangerously close to being one of them myself, which is why I make this declaration here. I. Am. Done.

If you pointedly ignored my polite approaches for weeks leading up to the election, you have no right to join me in the streets now. I will not turn you away (how could I?), as we need all the bodies we can get to make some noise, but there is no solidarity there. You didn't get it last week; you didn't believe me every time I told you that it would be decided by one percent of voters. And now we all pay the price for your self-centered complacency.

Too many good people sacrificed too much for this cause. How dare you cheapen it with your Johnny-come-lately symbolic activism. You are the toxin the queer community needs to purge.

(OK, I know this is harsh. This is my catharsis. I need this outlet now, though I'm sure I'll mellow soon. Right now, my mood is pretty damn toxic too.)