Against Equality is an argument in support of those who dare to be different, a collection of essays that stand in stark contrast to an ever-growing LGBT mainstream working towards assimilation, and, arguably, cultural erasure. Never ones to shy away from a fight, the authors included in this timely collection address the trifecta of political rifts within the LGBT community: marriage, the military, and prisons.
“Equality” is a concept inextricably linked to positive social progress, but as the authors collected here suggest, it’s a concept that often functions as a smoke screen to hide a world riddled with systemic injustice. Take marriage, for instance: is the right to marry whomever we want really a worthy goal for the queer community? What if this perceived “right” is actually a wrong? Against Equality suggests that seeking inclusion in a system that’s based on institutional and economic exploitation is an unacceptable path forward.
How will the ability to fight in wars of imperialism help to liberate and empower LGBT people around the world? The striking down of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” only makes a larger population complicit in a system that treats queer bodies, both nationally and internationally, as less than human. With contributions from Kate Bornstein, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, John D’Emilio, and others, this book is designed to stir debate.
Bill Andriette, Jack Aponte, Sébastien Barraud, Kate Bornstein, John D’Emilio, James D’Entremont, Kenyon Farrow, La Gai, Larry Goldsmith, Imani Keith Henry, Jamal Rashad Jones, MJ Kaufman, Cecilia Cissell Lucas, Jason Lydon, Erica Meiners, Liam Michaud, Katie Miles, Yasmin Nair, Tamara K. Nopper, Josh Pavan, Therese Quinn, Liliana Segura, Bridget Simpson, Dean Spade, Eric Stanley, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and Craig Willse.
Advance praise for Against Equality:
“From tracing the ways the hate crimes legislation helps embolden our primary predators -police and other carceral agents- to providing a compelling alternate set of priorities for queer and trans movements for liberation, Against Equality: Queer Revolution Not Mere Inclusion offers a critical intervention in the current LGBT political landscape. A necessary read for anyone desiring to build a liberation movement for that returns to its revolutionary roots.” – Reina Gossett, writer, activist, and co-creator of STAR People Are Beautiful People
“Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion issues a radical call for social transformation. Against and beyond the ‘holy trinity’ of pragmatic gay politics—marriage, militarism, and prison—the queer and trans voices archived in this collection offer radical left critiques of neoliberalism, capitalism, and state oppression. In a format accessible and enlivening, equally at home in the classroom and on the street, this book keeps our political imaginations alive. Prepare to be challenged, educated, and inspired.”–Margot Weiss, author Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality
“This exciting collection is a must read for those who are yearning for incisive critiques of biopolitical social normalization and domination. The essays are emboldening as they offer crucial rationales for resisting a range of assimilationist projects that hinge on state regulation of gender and sexuality in the service of specific racial and class formations linked to oppressive neoliberalism and capitalist models of belonging. With analyses that expose the symbolic and material stakes in “inclusion,” the authors offer radical alternatives that have decolonizing potential, while offering renewed visions of queer liberation.” – J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, author Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity
“In an era when so much of the lesbian and gay movement seems to echo the rhetoric of the mainstream Establishment, the work of Against Equality is an important provocation and corrective. There is much to argue about and disagree with in this collection, but it is also a collection that burns with a passionate belief in the original idea of Gay Liberation, namely that we cannot be truly free while others remain oppressed. I hope this book is read widely, particularly by the people who will most disagree with it; in the tradition of the great political pamphleteers this collection should spark debate around some of the key issues for our movement.” — Dennis Altman, author Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation
“Is anything missing from a world in which gay life means family values, military service, religious observance, and being the same as everybody else? Is it odd that access to contraception, voting booths, and labor unions is getting harder, while gay marriage is becoming easier? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you will want to read this book: you may not find all the answers, but you will know you are not alone.” – David Halperin, author How to Be Gay