On a hot June night in 1969, LGBTQ folk said “no” to state repression, fighting back against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn. The ensuing uprising, led by drag queens and street kids, ushered in a new, more radical, era of activism against homophobia. While earlier efforts, such as those organized by the Mattachine Society, had used a “we’re just like you” approach, pleading for rights within the existing system, the Gay Liberation Front and other post-Stonewall organizations made common cause with other liberation movements in seeking to fundamentally restructure power relations.
In the decades since, the degree to which the movement for LGBTQ rights has demanded such restructuring, rather than pleading for a place at the existing table, has waxed and waned. Recent drives for military inclusion and marriage equality have seen success in part because they are consistent with, rather than opposed to, culturally dominant values such as militarism and monogamy.
While VINE strongly supports marriage equality (and hopes that the Vermont marriage of Cheryl and Kathy will be federally recognized soon), we also recognize the need for a truly queer liberation movement that works in conjunction with other liberation movements to undermine culturally dominant, but destructive, ideas and practices—including the binary gender system, mandatory reproduction, and the exploitation of bodies for profit.
We know for sure that speciesism is a bedrock upon which many forms of oppression among humans have been built and that those oppressions, in turn, compound and cement speciesism. We know that homophobia hurts nonhuman animals too and that mistaken ideas about animals have helped to fuel homophobia. We also know that awareness of the biodiversity of animal sexuality and gender expression can help us come to better terms with our own diversity of both sexual orientation and expression of the personality characteristics now mistakenly attributed to one gender or the other.
And so, during the month of June, we will be tweeting and posting fascinating facts and thought-provoking ideas related to the intersection of homophobia and speciesism as well as the linkages between queer and animal liberation. At the same time, we’ll be conducting a donation drive, with the goal of getting at least 100 donations of $10 or more to fund our education and advocacy work. As we reported earlier this year, the vast majority of our funds are dedicated to direct care of animals, including feed, bedding, and veterinary care as well as staff to clean the barns, maintain the premises, and tend the residents. But brochures and bus rides to events also cost money.
If you support our efforts to bring the animals into the conversation among environmental and social justice activists (including LGBTQ liberationists) and to bring heightened awareness of social and environmental injustices to the animal rights movement, or if you simply recognize how much harder it has been for us (as an organization started and run by people who lack the very real material benefits associated with heterosexual privilege) to found and grow what has become one of the largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the country, please show your support by helping us reach our Pride Month Pledge Drive goal.
Use the button below to make your Pride Month Pledge Drive donation today!