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Queer Liberation, Not Rainbow Capitalism: A Reading List

The following are a series of articles published in Left Voice addressing queer liberation and the fight for socialism.

Left Voice

June 27, 2020
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Socialism and Queerness 

Whither Queer Liberation?

No other group has gone from such marginalization to capitalist assimilation so quickly. In just fifty years, the cops went from beating, raping, and arresting us to marching in our parade. Since its inception, the LGBTQ+ movement has been divided on the question of assimilation: Do we want to fit into the current system, or do we want to change the whole thing? Here, revolutionary socialists can make an important contribution, with a strategy to beat capitalism and to fight all forms of oppression.”

Desire, Repression, Revolution: Jean Nicolas and “The Homosexual Question”

In the 1970s, Jean Nicolas, Trotskyist militant and activist of the French Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action, published “The Homosexual Question,” a brilliant analysis of the history of the oppression of “homosexuals” and the struggle for liberation, as connected to the struggle for socialism and new human relations.

Queer Oppression is Etched in the Heart of Capitalism

LGBTQ+ oppression is inscribed in capitalist production and reproduction. Only socialism can create the context for queer liberation and sexual liberation for all.

Pete Buttigieg and the Folly of Identity Politics

Pete Buttigieg is positioning himself as an ally of queer liberation because he is the first openly gay man to run for president. However, down the road of identity politics lies only cooptation, not liberation. 

Trans Liberation

Marxism and Trans Liberation

It is impossible to achieve trans liberation, or the liberation of any oppressed sector of society within the framework of capitalism. We need a revolution to overthrow it.

When Workers Went on Strike to Defend a Trans Colleague—and Ended Up Occupying Their Factory

Should the left fight for workers’ demands? Or for the rights of trans people? Workerism or wokeism? These struggles are often presented as mutually exclusive. But a factory from Argentina shows that when workers fight for equal rights for everyone, they are fighting for their own interests.

From Brazil to the US, Fight for Trans Rights

So many of my LGBT brothers and sisters are so scared right now. I imagine many of you are scared too. But as a revolutionary, I have to fight the immobility of fear. Bolsonaro wants us to bow our heads and hide the pride in ourselves and each other that we fought so hard for. I think of Stonewall almost 50 years later, and I know that Marsha and Sylvia must have been scared too. But like them, I know the only way forward is to fight. Its time for more marches, more organized rage. It’s time for a new generation of Sylvias and Marshas: new leaders who will make history.” 

Trans Migrants: Defying Borders and Binaries

The first people in the migrant caravan to reach the US border was a group of LGBT migrants. How do we fight for the rights for trans migrants?

Trans Liberation is Only Possible If We Overthrow Capitalism

On Transgender Day of Rememberance, let us honor the Trans* lives that have been stolen by a rotten and oppressive system. The only way to ensure true liberation is to end the oppressive system of capitalism.

Abolish Cops, Abolish ICE 

Trans Rights Have No Borders: Johana and Roxanna’s Lives Matter

Immigrants’ rights are an LGBTQ+ issue.

Rainbows on Their Cars But Blood On Their Hands: No Cops at Pride

The police force that locks up and harasses people of color and working class people wants to portray themselves as gay-friendly for the Pride parade.We cannot be deceived by rainbows on their cars—cops are the enemies of the vast majority of LGBT people.

Stonewall Uprising 

Stonewall was a Riot

Pride month is a celebration of the Stonewall Riot in 1969. Now uprisings are breaking out all over the country. Wealthy, white gay men today might be opposed to “violence,” but the history of the LGBTQ+ movement shows that riots of oppressed people are about liberation.

Queer Struggle, Class Struggle: Reflections on Stonewall at 50

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The riot against police violence will be commemorated with radical demonstrations, but also with “parades” including police, corporate floats and speeches by capitalist politicians. What happened? Has queerness lost its revolutionary potential?

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Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Gender & Sexuality

A trans flag flies above a protest

Trans Day of Visibility 2024: Organize With the Working Class Against The Far-Right

Trans Day of Visibility this year comes in a context of an insurgent far-right. To defeat this right we will need to rely on our own power and join with the working class.

Sybil Davis

March 31, 2024

Berlin Police Attack an Anti-Imperialist Feminist Demonstration on March 8

On International Women's Day, there were numerous demonstrations in Berlin, including: a union demonstration, an anti-imperialist demonstration, and a supposedly "leftist" demonstration in solidarity with Israel. As you would expect, police only attacked one of the three.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 14, 2024
Mobilization for trans rights at Brooklyn, June 2020.

The Working Class Must Fight for Trans Rights

As new anti-trans bills are introduced in the United States, it is imperative to take up the fight for trans rights using working-class strategy and methods.

K.S. Mehta

March 11, 2024

Rise in Forced Pregnancies Shows the Need for an Independent Movement for Abortion Rights

Post-Dobbs, research shows that many people in states where abortions are banned have been unable to get them. We need a movement to fight for free, safe, legal abortion on demand.

Molly Rosenzweig

December 19, 2023

MOST RECENT

Thousands of Police Deployed to Shut Down Congress on Palestine in Berlin

This weekend, a Palestine Congress was supposed to take place in the German capital. But 2,500 police were mobilized and shut down the event before the first speech could be held. Multiple Jewish comrades were arrested.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 12, 2024

Liberal Towns in New Jersey Are Increasing Attacks on Pro-Palestine Activists

A group of neighbors in South Orange and Maplewood have become a reference point for pro-Palestine organizing in New Jersey suburbs. Now these liberal towns are upping repression against the local activists.

Samuel Karlin

April 12, 2024

“We Shouldn’t Let this Stop Us”: Suspended Columbia Student Activist Speaks Out

Aidan Parisi, a student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, was recently suspended and has been threatened with eviction from their graduate student housing for pro-Palestinian activism on campus. Aidan talked to Left Voice about the state of repression, the movement at Columbia, and the path forward for uniting the student movement with the labor movement and other movements against oppression.

Left Voice

April 11, 2024

Fired by a German University for Solidarity with Palestine — Interview with Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne canceled a guest professorship with the philosophy professor from The New School. In this interview, she speaks about Germany dividing between "Good Jews" and "Bad Jews," her politicization in the civil rights movement, and her time in an Israeli kibbutz.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 10, 2024