The bizarre world of gender wars politics is fraught with self aggrandizement, melodrama, grandstanding, betrayals, and violence…much like the one (A)narchists inhabit. The two frequently find themselves in the same company or merged. The juvenile schoolyard dynamics are obvious and deplorable. A sample from a g@y (A)ctivist blog (www.glitur.org) follows which encapsulates much of the deficiencies prominent in said circles that continue to marginalize its participants from the mainstream of public consciousness.
GLITUR would like to take a second to let all of those in our different communities know of a recent situation and to ask for support around it, as well as to let CIRCA know that they are unwelcome at any of our events. In the aftermath of Pride, an allegation was made against a member of GLITUR (MG) regarding a confrontation that took place at the Pride parade by members of Salish CIRCA, and an individual (LC). This incident was recorded on video, and initially CIRCA made a public call-out on Facebook that they had been the victim of a sexual assault and that GLITUR must respond and involve members in an accountability process for the Unicorn in question. When we refused to engage them online, especially in light of the toxic thread that accompanied their demands, a coercive threat was made in which a member of CIRCA stated he would release the video unless accountability was actively pursued “in the next 24 hours.”
Even though it was requested multiple times by Unicorns that this discussion take place in person instead of online, a highly problematic argument broke out on Facebook that included some very disturbing rhetoric on the part of persons both in CIRCA and supporters of CIRCA. Several Unicorns were threatened with physical violence, the alleged assailant (who was accused of exposing herself) was maliciously mis-gendered and had her legal name released online by LC. In order to calm the situation, and with full willingness to engage in accountability for inappropriate behavior, two members of GLITUR agreed to meet with the owner of the video to view the incident and strategize what to do next… for which they were very glad, as the video told another story entirely. In the video, members of CIRCA harass and goad the alleged assailant, calling her (a person of color):
2. A traitor.
3. A “bitch.”
Also, when she informs them that by taking up space at the Pride parade they are appropriating her struggle, the individual filming states that she is “playing the transgender card, just like the race card.” As she disengages the situation, she does indeed lift her skirt (from over 30 feet away) as she rounds the corner, an action for which she has agreed must result in some form of accountability and work on her part in order to prevent such behavior again. It is our opinion however that while this action was inappropriate (and she agrees), this was definitely not “sexual assault” and to attempt to characterize it as such is an extreme insult to anyone who has actually experienced that.
Also, the claim of “card” playing buys into the myth of reverse discrimination, which is a method of oppressive peoples to deny and/or mitigate their own privilege. This critique was offered and though he listened and appeared to take some responsibility for escalating the situation through his goading language and unwillingness to not simply go a couple of blocks away; the member of CIRCA (GM) then seemed to attempt to diminish his privilege by claiming that “white straight cis-men” actually are “not on this pillow up here”. Also, while agreeing that intentionally mis-gendering the person in question in the thread was unacceptable, he has since sent messages saying that he stands by his use of the term “bitch” since it is gender appropriate. This totally misses the patriarchal implications and disgusting use of it against any person, especially against a trans*-feminine person at a Pride parade.
Though incredibly angry and frustrated at the video’s contents since they were completely contrary to the monstrous way MG had been portrayed online, as well as the conversation had in person, we were able to come up with a way to proceed for the two groups. We agreed that following the video, there was not enough trust that both sides were on the same page, or that we shared a view of what accountability in this situation meant. And as such, GLITUR would take care of holding our own accountable and they were to do the same, especially given the patriarchal, transphobic and goading racist behavior that was in the video and on their Facebook page. There was also to be a complete No Contact Agreement. It was agreed that if either the Unicorn in question or any of the clowns and LC saw each other they would disengage. Even if either party spoke to the other, it was agreed that both sides would walk away. We also agreed that all parties would disengage from discussing this issue online and cease making attacks on the internet. And if there was any future conversations that needed to be had, they would be in person face to face.
Unfortunately, the conflict did not end with this meeting. Later that same day, Saturday July 6th, members of CIRCA attended a barbecue at the Wildcat and proceeded, with 2 members of GLITUR present, to smear and threaten the two Unicorns who had met with GM. Misogynist language, such as “bitch” and “cunt” were used in reference to them, and threats of violence were made against them. Also, one of the Unicorns, who identifies as genderqueer, was repeatedly mis-gendered. None of this was known to the two people being slandered until later, and this all happened while a supposed “no contact” agreement was in place.
The next day, GM also contacted one of the Unicorns (assigned male at birth) and stated his unwillingness to work with the female-assigned Unicorn that had met with him. He repeatedly denied his privilege, and stated that the queer woman that had met with him was “aggressive”, in effect buying into theaggressive scary lesbian cultural meme that is decidedly anti-feminist and patriarchal.
The following Monday at a prison solidarity rally, a clown and the alleged assailant were present. Although neither of them spoke with each other, the CIRCA member stated she felt that she was being followed (at a rally with a circular picket line). Two different people have stated that there was no communication between the two, but obviously there is no way to see every interaction. No attempt was made by CIRCA to reach out to GLITUR though multiple members were present at the event (including one of the people who had been at the meeting to view the video and was well-versed in the situation and agreement). There was ample opportunity to address any perceived problematic behavior with them at that time, which would have been in accordance with the agreement reached at the GLITUR/CIRCA meeting. Obviously face to face contact would have been much better security culture around this topic and things worked out in person are always more preferable than the escalation that happens when one is behind a keyboard. We are all going to be at the same events from time to time and we need to have a way to deal with this effectively, which is through avoidance (by the main parties involved) and communication (if an incident does happen – with supporting members), not violence.
After the event, in an effort to prevent further escalation, a member of GLITUR contacted the CIRCA member involved and they agreed to re-initiate the No Contact Agreement, with the further stipulation that if they felt that the Unicorn was not respecting their side of the agreement (and vice-versa), they (or a comrade they trust) would let a member of GLITUR know immediately. Despite GLITUR’s efforts to de-escalate the conflict, and despite the fact that the person involved in the supposed breach of accountability had agreed to re-initiate the No Contact Order, two different members of CIRCA contacted GLITUR members (via Facebook PM and text) stating that because of the incident at the rally, “accountability had failed,” and that they were no longer willing to work with GLITUR. They then stated that the alleged assailant needed to leave the city of Seattle or face consequences. One of those members (RS) then threatened the alleged assailant with physical violence as well as threatening to lie to the authorities about them in a Facebook thread, in an effort to get them incarcerated. Additionally in a text conversation with a GLITUR member, the male-assigned person who was engaging as a liaison between CIRCA and GLITUR was also threatened by RS, who stated “tell that bitch I am counting the days till I run into that piece of shit…” Disturbingly, the next day, RS verbally attacked and threatened that same male-assigned Unicorn at Black Coffee, with several members of CIRCA as well as LC standing guard outside, presumably to aid in the intimidation of that Unicorn. RS was removed and has agreed not to approach them in that space.
These online and in person threats of violence are ridiculous and must stop. The Unicorn in question has committed to taking steps to behave more appropriately to the satisfaction of her comrades around this matter. Additionally, we will acknowledge that this person has admitted to previous cases of inappropriate behavior, and we are engaging in accessing resources for the issues that she and her comrades think she needs to be held accountable for. However, it will be the community to which she belongs who will be the ones to assist her in making better choices in the future; steps we were already taking before this incident and attempts to blackmail us into some sham process. And to be quite honest, we are all very aware that CIRCA has had its own group accused of alot more than flashing on multiple occasions and it would probably serve the community well to focus on addressing the behavior of your own comrades in a real, non-dismissive way.
If we all truly seek an existence outside of the state, the fact is that there are going to be lots of different situations that we will need to figure out how to address together. GLITUR in no way claims to have all the answers, but CIRCA and the others involved will not recreate this system as self-appointed judge, jury and executioner of every single problematic behavior that this Unicorn has ever engaged in. Additionally, when groups of people who engage in bullying behaviors attempt to take measures like these, they in fact make it much harder for individuals who have been victims of inappropriate sexual advances to come forward and have their individual needs met. Threats, harassment, and polarizing rhetoric around this issue make actual, effective accountability very difficult. We will not be moved by harassment and threats, and we will not serve her up for punitive and vigilante action. Any attempt to engage with a Unicorn in this manner will not be tolerated. We will not instigate violence with any of the parties in question because that sort of solution to this particular problem will not solve anything in a substantive way. We will however defend ourselves if need be, as we do daily with our queer, trans* and female bodies, just for existing.
Mis-gendering and the releasing of privileged information regarding someone’s birth sex-assignment are unacceptable. Threatening violence against members of GLITUR is also completely unacceptable. Just because there is a QPOC leading the charge for violence against us, does not obscure the transphobia, racism, ableism and patriarchy rampant throughout this whole ordeal.
Therefore, GLITUR is banning members of Salish CIRCA as well as other individuals involved with them from events organized by GLITUR. These individuals include:
Furst Lewtenant Gonzo.
Rocco C. Sleigher.
Maj’r Anne Arcky.
(All of these people made all of these accusations and more on an open Salish CIRCA Facebook page accessible to anyone, openly giving their names for all to see. In light of this we do not feel it is necessary to anonymize their identities)
They are unwelcome in our spaces until they can show a commitment to reversing their previous oppressive and harassing behaviors. They are not to contact the person in question, nor are they to harass members of GLITUR who do not consent to speaking with them on the issue.
GLITUR also urges radical spaces and collectives to discuss and consider the inclusion of these people in their spaces. Given their habits of risky and non-present security culture, as well as their oppressive behaviors and rape apologia, these individuals pose a definite risk not just to themselves but to all those they organize with. Groups like CIRCA do not contribute to a culture of liberation, but instead foster reactionary and harmful rhetoric and actions that are counter-revolutionary and damaging. Given recent anti-trans* violence occurring in Seattle, to include two individuals requiring reconstructive surgery in order to recover from violent attacks, these behaviors must stop. And the fact that a person who works with homeless queer and trans* youth and is quite familiar with this trend of late in Seattle (LC) was the one guilty of using mis-gendering as a weapon, as well as openly threatening MG with violence from “allies on Capitol Hill” should give everyone pause about the kind of ethics and politics this person has.
Some Members of The Grand Legion of Incendiary and Tenacious Unicorn Revolutionaries
– An “organization” which is incidentally more like a non-organization. We are a bunch of people who participate to varying degrees, which is fluid over time, sometimes attending events and at other times facilitating meetings. We have no structure. We are friends who get together to swim, dance, and throw the occasional party or clothing swap. We are a chosen queer family which is there for each other in good times and bad, creating our own safe space in a hostile world. We are all autonomous individuals who are queer and like to support each others projects. These attempts to characterize us as any sort of an organization with leaders or a PO Box who has any sort of power over people who like to call themselves part of GLITUR is ridiculous. And the fact that individuals have been targeted for nothing more than being MG’s friend and not agreeing to give her to an angry mob to get her ass-kicked is completely outlandish and bullying.