The text below is adapted from a gorgeous flier created by WSA – Southern California. This post is part of a series that ideas & action will publish in the run up to May Day 2012.
Queers have always had to fight for our rights, our dignity, our survival. It’s time to step up; it’s time to push the 1% out of the way and make Los Angeles ours.
Occupy Los Angeles has called for a mass strike, boycott, walkout and day of action on May 1st. This is our time to shine.
Queers are the the 99% and the 99% is queer! Despite what the leadership of the HRC looks like or what the characters on Bravo look like, most queers are not white and middle class. Class society was built on top of the divisions and oppression of gender and normative sexuality. Queers and gender rebels have felt the brunt of the attacks from the 1%, being pushed to the bottom of the economic pile since the very beginning. This makes it impossible to separate our struggle as queers from our struggle as the working class. And while wealthy, white gays and lesbians—the queer 1%—may have made advances into American capitalist consumerism, most of us remain on the outside, still dealing with the struggles that confront us as queer members of the 99%: the struggles to end discrimination against transfolk in the workplace, for better wages and more desirable jobs, for an end to the homelessness of queer youth, for affordable medical support for AIDS patients, for sex worker rights and organization, for immigration rights for our same-sex partners, to stop youth suicides… our list of demands is as long as our history of struggle.
The way we win our demands as the queer 99% is by recognizing the common political thread that unites every one of our individual fights: the struggle of the 99% to regain control of our lives from the 1%. Every one of us in the 99% is struggling to take the 1% out of the equation and start living our lives for ourselves and for our neighbors, not for our bosses and all the others who steal all of our waking hours from us. And getting rid of the division between the 99% and the 1% means getting rid of the divisions of gender and sexuality, and of race, class, and all the other things that make the 1% the 1%.
This is why we are participating in the May 1st general strike. The general strike brings together the struggles of all the members of the 99%—queers, workers, immigrants, students, prisoners, disabled, unemployed, parents…—while leaving us the space to organize autonomously. We pull ourselves together into one punch that builds power for all of us and brings all of us closer to meetings our needs, and closer to a future of queer liberation.