Should queer people really demand that their allies support causes that do not directly have anything to do with the rights of queer people? Reynir Þór Eggertson voices his opinion on the matter.
OPINION A few weeks ago I had an online discussion – call it an argument, if you will – with a Facebook friend who claimed it was hypocritical of a certain diva to support gay rights while also wearing fur and other animal skins.
I might be willing to agree – as might the reader – with that it may be hypocritical to support one good cause and not another, but should queer people really demand that our allies support causes that do not directly have anything to do with the rights of queer people? And should we just say “NO” to the support from such “hypocritical” people?
I know many queer people are supporters of animal rights and see humans as just another species of animals. I agree myself; we are not better or above other animals. However, I am not vegan and neither are all other queer people; many may even choose to wear leather and fur. Can we expect our allies to be any different from ourselves in those matters? And does this demand really benefit our queer causes?
If your answer is yes, then I have to ask again: Which causes should be attached to the fight for our rights as queer people? And also, who should have the right to decide those causes?
Can our allies be pro-life or must they support free abortion? Can they be supporters of the death penalty? Are they allowed to support privatisation of the health and education systems, or do they have to be socialists? What about their attitude to the environment? Immigration issues? Taxes? Religion? And so on, the causes we can add to the mix are endless.
Queer people have all sorts of views and opinions on all sorts of issues, but what unites us are our common experiences as queer people. No-one of us has the right to claim to have the correct queer opinion on non-queer matters. The moment we start calling out our allies on their views on or behaviour in unrelated matters, it is only a matter of time until we stand alone. We will always find some fault with each and every one of them.
“The moment we start calling out our allies on their views on or behaviour in unrelated matters, it is only a matter of time until we stand alone.”
Not only that, we may alienate members of our own community who don’t agree with our views. Instead, we should focus on our shared causes, embrace our allies and strengthen the bond with them. The enemies of queer people are out there, abiding their time, and they will strike once they feel attitudes are shifting in their favour.
This does not mean that queer individuals can’t call out other queer or non-queer people on their views on other issues. Everyone is free to fight for any cause they want to as individuals. It should just not be done in the name of queerness.
Note: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of the editorial staff of www.gayiceland.is.