Saturday, October 24, 2009

OutRage!ous Censorship of "Gay Imperialism"

The reader of Lenin's Tomb has long been familiar with the problem of Islamophobia in general and its unfortunate manifestations on the (broadly defined) Left in particular in the age of the "war on terror." The reader is also well acquainted with queer variants of it, such as attempts at gay-washing of Israel. Left-wing criticisms of these phenomena, especially by queers of color themselves, are indispensable to our struggle to displace the hegemony of liberal imperialism.

One such queer-of-color criticism of "gay imperialism," a collection of essays titled Out of Place: Interrogating Silences in Queerness/Raciality, however, is being censored in Britain, apparently by Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who evidently felt his sensationalist brand of activism and rhetoric ought to be above critical scrutiny and got the publisher of the book to take the book out of circulation. For more information about this OutRage!ous censorship, see:


How can leftists beat this censorship? In addition to the actions recommended by Aren Aizura, I suggest a couple more, in the short term:

  • Hold public forums to discuss the censorship of queer-of-color criticism of "gay imperialism."

  • Open up your journals, classrooms, and so on (if you work in publishing, education, and related industries) to discussion of this problem.

In the long term, though, we need to work on creating a Queer Left, informed of Marxist Feminism, capable of discussing such questions as religion and sexuality in proper historical materialist fashion (i.e., supplying missing materialist foundations to Foucauldian critique of the dominant discourse on sexuality).