Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Fagburn: On Gay Orientalism

Old dreams of empire fade so slow
Oh Russia
Arabia, Iran
When will you learn
we must own you?

"The foreigners are at it again
when will they learn to fight like our men?"*
We know what's best
The West is the best
To boycott or to bomb?
Fuck you.

Some neo-colonialist balls about The Gays in The Guardian.
Some neo-colonialist balls about The Gays on Queerty.
Other recent examples of gay Orientalism too numerous to list...

“Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate."

Edward W Said.

* Robert Wyatt.

PS We live in age of "We must do something" hysteria.
Usually involving doing as little as possible.
We ignore the voices of LGBT activists in other countries that our actions may only make things worse there, as their politicians love grandstanding that they are resisting Western interventions.
Remember the Hippocratic oath; "First, do no harm."

Update: New Amnesty International release on human rights abuses in Western Europe and the US.


  1. I't's queer internationalism NOT neo-colonialism, you ideologically-threadbare, intellectually-lazy fuck.

    1. Which counter-productive gestures are your favourites, pls?

  2. Dear "Anonymous" - I haven't posted your last comment because it's libellous, without foundation and you're a bit of a stuck record.


  3. We have activists from Russia right now saying all sorts of different things, as we have had before in Africa. We have had activists from all sorts of places urging boycotts, aid withdrawals and the like - there are real and credible claims that Western pressure has stopped the 'Kill gays' bill in Uganda for example - and others decrying this and saying you're making it worse.

    Like most things it is complicated. Just over using 'orientalism' as you do is actually about shoving their complex communities and activism into your own, Western pigeon-holes. As is picking and choosing which people you choose to listen to.

    This does not mean that Western involvement may not make it worse, in some cases we can see it has. Just that this isnt always the case and we know that as well. For example, I just read that the statement via the IOC that Russia won't enforce the anti-gay law at Sochi is being seen as hypocrisy within Russia and people are asking whether the law is a joke.