27 May 2009

How To Legitimately Talk About Sex

We're rounding out a three day adventure to the gayest place on earth so my apologies if I've been delayed in writing a blog recently. Yet, this sublimation of a homosexual panic that 500,000,000 people have visited, reminds me of another issue currently in the news.

The whole Kho-Halili tragi-comedy. If you have ever read Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, vol 1. (and I recommend you suffer the nosebleed and read it), you learn that in the 19th century, there wasn't a general repression of sexuality but the opposite, an explosion.

While unbounded sexuality and its presence in daily life of earlier times ended, there was an explosion of bounded sexuality. Instead of a Marquis de Sade writing about polymorphous perversions of every variety in a celebratory tone, we had "doctors" writing about polymorphous perversions of every variety in a condemnatory tone.

19th century Europe found a peculiar way to fixate on sex -- talk about it in a scientific or legal manner. Yet, the net effect remains the same: talking and talking about sex. Sex, sex, sex.

I am somewhat amused by the fact Congress, senators, the NBI, MalacaƱang, the PDEA, the CBCP, etc., are fixated on every aspect of the so-called "sex scandal." Yet, the only scandal regarding sex is their fixation. Until this constant focus on the video, no one really cared. Now, the newspapers are overflowing with Senators and investigators fixation on the production, distribution, etc., of a sex video. They can't talk about their own needs for sex videos so they talk about other people's sex videos but in the appropriate discourse (Edu speaks of it in terms of the Optical Media Board, Zubiri in terms of legislative inquiry).

I'm so over it people. This is really just tsismosis at its extreme. Get laid and let's move on to some of the real problems facing the country like poverty and economic development.

20 May 2009

Movie Review: Mala Noche

I felt like, in some ways, I was watching parts of my late adolescences through one of those distortion filters in FinalCut Pro or Photoshop. I got it because as an adolescent I was much affected by My Own Private Idaho and liked Good Will Hunting and was interested to see his first movie.

Two different things in my adolescent came into a glittery combination which I found both disturbing and tragic.

The first is the white guy likes Asian or Latino guy phenomenon. The idea of older white men preying on younger Asian or Latino men always made me feel very uncomfortable. What made it more upsetting than just intergenerational couplings is that there seemed to be less social disapproval toward it -- legitimized child molestation! I once went on a date with this Taiwanese-Japanese guy who was a few years older than me and he lived off of the "allowance" that his older rich white boyfriends gave him -- even though his parents were very wealthy themselves. He had no feeling toward them except to collect a check and they had no feeling toward him -- he was an object they could molest.

In this movie, although the age difference is much smaller, there is still that element of a power differential played out through race and age. You have the white American guy who is legally in the country and has access to all of the goods in a convenience store using that access and his privileged position to seduce the younger, much poorer Latino guy into intimacy.

Then, you have the second aspect, the gay guy going for the straight guy. A clear dead end in terms of intimacy. There is no resolution or development of the main character's inability to develop any level of intimacy with a partner -- the whole story is cloaked in layers and layers of his power complex.

There is a scene where Walt, the main character, is locked out of his own car in the middle of nowhere with Johnny and Pepper, the two Mexican youths, driving the car forward away from him then stopping and opening the door and repeating the whole process and Walt chases after them. The whole movie is like this. Tragi-comic.

19 May 2009

Book Review: Reinventing the Male Homosexual

Robert Alan Brookey is an American Professor of Communications at Arizona State University. He wrote Reinventing the Male Homosexual: The Rhetoric and Power of the Gay Gene.

I was just beginning to blossom when LeVay came out with his theory of neuroendocrinological basis for heterosexual and homosexual difference and when Hamer came out with his theory of the gay gene. As an adolescent, the gay gene theory seemed to fit so perfectly into the idea that homosexuality is inborn and that I had no choice in the matter.

Yet, as I went through college and graduate school, it became clear that the gay gene theory would not work. The consequences of it are highly problematic. Is there a gene that predisposes someone to watching May Bukas Pa or Wowowee? Doubt it.

Reinventing the Male Homosexual does a geneology of the discourses that have brought us to the gay gene. It's a little dry (he is analyzing scientific rhethoric after all) but if you have not been comprehensively studied the history behind the creation and formation of "homosexuality" as a distinct identity or constellation of behaviors, it's a really good foundational text.

Many people who attempt to historicize homosexual identity do it with lots of convoluted, poststructuralist jargon. This guy does quote Michel Foucault and is enamored by him but doesn't let the love fest with Michel get in the way of being clear and to the point. (I liked Jennifer Terry's An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society, but honestly, at somewhere after the page 200, 250 or 300 mark I wanted to shoot myself... way too much detail for a non-scientist!)

One detail that he didn't get into which I thought was very significant to American gay politics and the thrust towards finding homosexuality to be a "immutable characteristic." He discusses at the end, Frontiero v. Richardson, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case, that struck down an Air Force regulation that discriminated on the basis of sex under the Equal Protection Clause. In that case, the Court held that discrimination based upon immutable characteristics such as race, sex and national origin required significant justification by the government in order to discriminate. He argues that the "gay gene" movement has in some ways tailored its message to that.

However, United States v. Carolene Products, in 1938 the U.S. Supreme Court gave birth to modern Equal Protection analysis. Justice Stone indicated that Equal Protection was not a substitute for the normal political processes of government. It was there to protect "discrete and insular minorities" who lack the regular protections of the political process. Legislation aimed at these minorities required heightened scrunity. However, after the 1950s and 1960s, as the belief that race is biological became more rooted in the minds of Americas, other insular minorities had to find a biological origin which produced Frontiero's "immutable characteristics" analysis.

Brookey does not go into this aspect of American jurisprudence, but I think, in part, the move by some scientists to prove the existence of a biological cause of homosexuality is really attempting to solve a legal question by analogizing to race -- as though race is biological! The more thorough look at U.S. jurisprudence may have provided alternative openings for gay and transgender rights that looks at "discrete and insular minorities" without getting into the false debate regarding "choice."

The version I read was a 183 page hardcover published by the Indiana University Press (March 1, 2002) ISBN: 978-0253340573. The book is written in English. The lowest price was at the Indiana University Press website itself or abebooks.com.

18 May 2009

Angels and Demons

We went to see Angels and Demons last night, but I won't give away anything about it. I liked the movie. So this isn't a movie review, but I want to talk about a motif in Angel and Demons that always triggers a profound affective response from me -- the interregnum.

When I was a boy, I watched with many others as various segments of society began to bring food, pray and rally at Camp Crame. The whole world was watching and provided a reference point for modern peaceful revolutions. When I think about those fateful days in February, 1986, I still get goose bumps and chills down my spine. I own a copy of Dangerous Lives. It is still disturbing that most people my age have no or very little recollection of that moment in history!

Then the unthinkable. I remember the first picture above. Former PRC Premier and General Secretary of the CCP Zhao Ziyang warned students and workers in Tiananmen Square to disperse for the sake of their own lives. I remember it so clearly. I had such great hope that the Chinese pro-democracy students would be able to peacefully transform the Chinese government.

But that is not how that story ended. Zhao was arrested and the students and workers that had amassed in Tiananmen Square were mowed down and slaughtered and a new period of repression followed throughout the country.

In August of the same year, Estonias, Latvians and Lithuanians formed a human chain of 2 million people, 600 kilometer long, through the three countries protesting Soviet occupation. Shortly thereafter each country declared independence which was subsequently recognized by the Soviets.

The interregnum is such a powerful moment where the shift to the new paradigm is in a precarious position. One false move and the revolution will be lost. Imperceptible change is the revolutionary spirit. When it becomes perceptible, the revolution is afoot.

Love is the agent of revolution.

16 May 2009

Burma Will Be Free

A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities. - HH the XIV Dalai Lama

15 May 2009

14 May 2009

Book Review: No Future

Be forewarned, I really didn't like American Professor of English Lee Edelman's No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (of Tufts University). He reduces the symbol of the "child" to "the linchpin of our universal politics of 'reproductive futurism.'"

I found Lauren Berlant's classic Queen of America Goes to Washington City to be spot on in many instances and if you're interested in how popular American culture utilizes the symbol of the child for neocon propaganda, read her book. She predicted through her analysis of Forest Gump, George Bush II's election. If neocons could they would elect a fetus as president and Dick Cheney as vice president. And they got close with George Bush II.

I am not into fetishizing children in an intellectual way or otherwise. Children are children. I think fetishizing children creates the conditions for systemic child molestation in real life, as James Kincaid wrote in Erotic Innocence. I also think that in someways it either exposes an infantilized collective consciousness or a drive to infantilize society. Some have expressed not liking May Bukas Pa on these grounds.

I didn't enjoy Edelman's Freudian style also -- schizo-affective is perhaps the correct word. The only feeling I got from his writing was anger and hate toward children and society's projections on children. If you hate it, you need it (in a unconsciously negative way). His book reminds me of God Hates Fags. When I read No Future, I had not yet seen Children of Men. But he spares no words in expressing his highly intellectual hate for it. In his description, I saw him opposing the symbol of creativity and renewal and calling it pro-natalism and child fetish. He confused the symbol of renewal (as in the birth of something new) with the concrete birth of a child. That was only an intuition when I read his book with a feeling of nausea and the urge to vomit.

I subsequently saw Children of Men -- which I really liked -- and it confirmed what I felt about Edelman's twisted point of view. Edelman is simply wrong. Queer theory doesn't need to assassinate the archetypal struggle for renewal to support a theoretical framework or a safe space for sexual minorities. I don't agree with his main point. The queer is not positioned in opposition to the child. Edelman's simply can't integrate the Child archetype that has apparently appeared in his life with the rest of his psyche. One of the problems of this is that it has made him overly intellectual to the point where he has no feeling in his writing. Perhaps he has a negative mother complex?

Marie von Franz said in Problems of the Feminine in Fairytales:
If the dominant principle of collective consciousness is worn out, then the children would be the promise of the new thing, the new principle[.] The principle of consciousness in a single human being is tiring. There is need for renewal and this is the dangerous moment; one fears the breakdown which is absolutely necessary for renewal, one fears to give up and to be for a short time faced with nothing. But cowardice or ambition in conscious life tend to cling to the old ways and to prevent renewal, and so evil gets in. (p. 119)
Think of it this way, in many stories, the king marries a country/provincial girl. They are to have a child, but the evil step-mother of the girl or someone like that wants to take the child and kill it. The whole story is allowing the child to develop and grow into an adult. I see this motif in a story as the story of renewal of human consciousness. The king represents the dominant way of thinking, which is tired. He marries someone from the country/province (who is not part of the dominant way of thinking) and they produce something new (the king's son who will replace him when he grows up). Yet, there are elements that need to thwart the renewal, like a negative mother complex, represented by an evil step-mother.

Edelman, however, calls the protecting of the child and warding off the threat of elements designed to sabotage this renewal as pro-natalism or part of Berlant's fetus-fetish. He has created a theory which makes him like an evil step-mother. He ends up identifying with the evil step-mother and theorizes that anyone that wants the child to succeed is really thinking like a religious conservative! That is what is so crazy about the book. (I write at length, though, about the point of child fetishing because our culture does have a problem with that. We infantilize and over do it the other way which ends up stopping the maturation process of the psyche.)

I think fetishizing children and the attitude of infantilizing everything and arresting psychological development is a problem. But this does not put children in opposition to a sexual minority. Religious conservatives have attempted to make this case to "save the children" from sexual minorities. Their attempts to oppose children and sexual minorities is their own opposing renewal and change into a new ay. They haven't got the monopoly on the symbolism of the child yet Edelman just reacts to that.

I would not recommend buying or reading this book. The version I read was a 208 page paperback published by Duke University Press (December 2004), ISBN-13: 978-0814735855. It is written in English. Don't buy it, it's not worth it, really!

Note: Edited May 15, 2008 at 2:58 AM per Mr. Scheez's request for clarification/explication.

12 May 2009

If They Were Gay.... A Post Script

In addition to my response yesterday and continuing my avoidance of work, there is one more fantasy coupling -- please read my disclaimer regarding this totally fantastical and not-reality-based make-believe coupling of famous totally-straight stars into well appointed gay couplings:

Victor Basa and Mark Herras

Please see the correction posted more recently.

If They Were Gay....

As I avoid doing work today, I decided to post a non-cerebral, non-nosebleed adolescent post about some amusements I have starting with the fiction that some of the famous actors of our time were gay.

Please be clear: I understand and know full well that they are all totally straight and heterosexual and the thought of making love to another man has NEVER EVER crossed any of their minds. This is totally a make-believe post, would never happen in real life at all and should not be considered such.

Feel free to offer your own suggestions.

John Prats and Dennis Trillo

Piolo Pascual and Jericho Rosales

Luis Manzano and Jake Cuenca

Marvin Agustin and Gerald Anderson

Jon Avila and Zanjoe Marudo

Dieter Ocampo and Coco Martin

Please see the post script and correction posted more recently.

11 May 2009

Movie Review: Beautiful Mystery

Do not watch this movie unless you are looking for low quality early 1980s Japanese soft porn. The only reason I kept watching after the first ten minutes is my abiding interest in some aspects of the effects of a mostly middle-class society and the threads of militaristic nationalism that continue to pervade Japanese society. The movie wasn't a total waste and the main reason why I'm writing this review is my hope that when someone decides to tackle this particular kind of historical theme -- they tackle it versus having it tackle them and then rape them.

That being said, this ended up in my netflix queue when I went through netflix to see which Asian gay films they had that I had not yet watched elsewhere. Nakamura Genji's Beautiful Mystery was one of them.

Let me divert again and tell you a short little snippet about a famous dead Japanese writer, pictured above at the age of 15, named Yukio Mishima. Mishima was a famous Japanese nationalist after the Japanese lost World War II. He joined the paramilitary force in Japan and in 1970 staged a take over of the office of one of the commanders of the paramilitary. It was unsuccessful and he and his friends committed seppuku -- although it took a few whacks to behead him apparently. He was hated by the political left in Japan for his nationalistic samurai-worship and by the regular nutty Japanese nationalists for insisting that Hirohito should have abdicated and taken responsibility for the war dead.

So now you know about Yukio Mishima, let me present to you what netflix told me I was going to be watching:

Adult themes saturate this film about impressionable teenager Shinohara, who eagerly joins Makio Mitani's (Ren Osugi) muscle-bound private army and eventually discovers the men engage in more than just military training. In between all-night orgies and heavy drinking, Mitani's men prepare to fight in an upcoming coup against the government.

See, the movie is really about Yukio Mishima just before his failed coup. And, had it been more than a lot of simulated rape and gay sex scenes, it had the potential to go somewhere. At the end, (and I won't spoil it here so keep reading), you learn the person who wrote the film was a Mishima-styled nationalist who was deeply conflicted by his own sexuality and what that means for patriarchical militarism. Now, every other movie site I've looked at in preparation for writing this review provided this alternative synopsis:

Inspired by the life and death of writer Yukio Mishima, film employs the facts of the case as the pretext for a series of fetishistic scenes that stress the physical enticements of male bonding.

There is something twisted in the logic of militaristic nationalism and how it is related in many ways to a number of problems for the development of a male psyche: infantile sexuality, Don Juanism, puer eternus complex, Flying Dutchman syndrome, etc.,. But the film doesn't really take you from point A to point B. Instead, it shows you point A raping point B, then point A having an orgie with the rest of the letters, then the letters spending a day engaging in military training exercises, and then more letter orgie scenes.

The ending was a disaster and reminds me of some really poorly written "gay" themed movies out of Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- no movie about "gay" themes would be preferable to this subgenre. I do think the linking of socially acceptable forms of homosexuality to extreme, violent hyper-masculinity is a present-day transcultural theme. However, instead of analyzing that, the movie presented it as though that link is natural and preferrable. Boo to nationalism and boo to militarism.

08 May 2009

Book Review: In a Queer Time and Place

Judith Halberstam is an American Professor of English and also has written Female Masculinity and The Drag King Book. In A Queer Time and Place discusses a number of topics involving sexuality and queer subjects. One of the topics of her book that I found interesting related to her discussion of metronormativity.

Halberstam takes Michael Warner's heteronormativity (Fear of A Queer Planet) and reshapes it to describe the "normalizing" of urban sexual identities while abnormalizing rural sexual practices and identities. She takes the stories of several tragic FTM transgenders, like Brandon Teena to show how urban LGBT identities have allied with urbanism to create the belief that rural = homophobic. Halberstam shows how the movie Boys Don't Cry ended up changing Brandon Teena's story into one where she lacked any choice in her life -- a passive victim of rural homophobia/transphobia. Halberstam points out, though, that Teena moved to the rural Falls City, Nebraska town and was not forced to live there.

Halberstam inverts the metronormative binary to show that, for Brandon Teena, the benefits of the small town outweighed the drawbacks and that there is more to rural life than just homophobia. Halberstam then moves on to discuss female masculinity in modern art and I found the rest of the book to drag on -- perhaps because I'm not that really into modern FTM or lesbian visual art?

One area that Halberstam didn't really put much effort was describing all of the reasons why someone might avoid a big city that would have a more supportive environment for FTM life than a rural backwater like Falls City, Nebraska. Most young people who do not quite fit in in the province move to the city to take refufe from the social imprisonment of rural life. She does not really analyze what would motivate someone from a bigger town or city moving to a rural village.

In Teena's case, where it appeared that some level of deception by Teena was afoot, the dynamics that motivates some to move to a more rural insular life help shed more light on the connection between the mode of production (social and economic) and the cultural life of LGBT communities. I don't think Halberstam got there and it would be interesting, particularly in the Philippines and other countries where rural life is really a question of agricultural production while urban life is not. (And maybe how those different mode of production affect gender.)

The version I read was a 213 page paperback published by New York University (January 1, 2005), ISBN-13: 978-0814735855. It is written in English. . The least expensive copy of the book can be found at abebooks.com.

05 May 2009

Movie Review: The Curiosity of Chance

I rarely watch American gay cinema anymore. Most films in this genre fall into the nothing but second-rate, trying hard copy cats of the Gregg Araki variety -- which I have discussed in more detail in my review of Hey, Happy -- or fail to do anything creative and give us made-for-cable-television out-of-the-box ready-made plots. The last two films, Save Me and Rock Haven, that I watched, I actually enjoyed perhaps because they were different and they related to books I happened to be reading regarding gay identity and religiosity.

With that preface, I somehow put The Curiosity of Chance into my netflix.com queue six months ago and forgot about it. I found the movie poster curious and the description of a 1980s set high school student coping with being the only openly gay student at school was also interesting. Netflix synopsized the movie as follows:
John Hughes meets John Waters in this offbeat comedy set in the 1980s. Tired of dealing with the homophobic school bully, out-of-the-closet teen Chance Marquis (Tad Hilgenbrinck) enlists two disparate friends -- a flashy drag queen and the hunky school jock -- to help him crush his tormentor. A favorite on the festival circuit, this quirky film co-stars Brett Chukerman, Aldevina Da Silva, Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze and Chris Mulkey.
There were mixed reviews on netflix -- some accusing it of corny "after school special"ism and others loving it. I myself enjoyed the "after school specials" when I was a child so I decided to get it.

The movie is geered toward younger people (like the under 40 crowd). The movie involves the development of the main character, Chance, including his foray into the drag scene. There are a few scenes that I think go a little overboard presenting American high school life but overall, the movie accurately portrayed the experience of a out teenager in an American high school in the 1980s and 1990s.

One of the things it is able to portray convincingly is the sort of cocky sass that young out gay teenagers (when they are the only or one of few) in an American high school have to create in order to protect themselves from harm. When I was in high school, there were no other openly gay students -- some really effeminate baklas but they claimed they were straight! One of the limits of this "protective" attitude though is that it also has/had the tendency to alienate and limit the ability to make connections and relations with some people.

In my second to last year in high school, I participated in "Friendship Day" where a "friend" would get a Hersey's chocolate kiss in exchange for a kiss on the lips. Naturally, all of my female friends had no hesitation in participating and it was interesting that almost all of the males in my class (that I wanted to kiss me) ended up finding the courage, even if it was during a class period in the stairwell on a bathroom pass, to kiss me for a Hersey's kiss. Yet, when the last year of high school started (and I was out), I don't recall participating in "Friendship Day," in part because I had drawn a line in the sand that no other boy wanted to or was able to cross.

At the beginning of the year, I had developed a quick tongue and would turn every homophobic joke into a cloud of suspicion over the head of the guy making the joke. I remember walking to the bathroom once and this one guy yelled: "[my name] likes it up the ass." I turned around and looked at his friends and said, "I thought we agreed last night that we wouldn't talk about sex at school. I don't want to give anyone any ideas about how well you suck cock." A couple of those encounters and it stopped. Yet, that became the iron wall between me and "the guys."

This movie depicts the dynamic of how insecurities with gender and sexuality (among everyone involved) in adolescence end up pushing people away from each other instead of drawing them together and it shows how that centripedal force can be overcome in a humorous way.

04 May 2009

Movie Review: Hey, Happy!

My adolescence was marked by watching Gregg Araki's independent films like Totally Fucked Up!, Doomed Generation and then Nowhere. For someone growing up on a small rural island province, the films really expressed the mysterious and almost meaningless excitement of the big city. (Especially Nowhere where James Duvall's "Dark Smith" character discovers his love for Nathan Bexton's "Montgomery" character and the surprise ending). Even Gregg Araki's meaningful and tragic Mysterious Skin captivated my heart and was able to better show the meaning behind the seemingly meaninglessness of the other three films.

I got Hey Happy! because it was on someone's list of must see Asian gay cinema. I was suspicious because of netflix.com's synopsis:

DJ Sabu scratches apocalypse in his mythic quest to sleep with 2000 guys. His quest finally ends with Happy, a paranoid UFOlogist to whom aliens promise to appear (as his love child). Spanky, an evil hairdresser and self-proclaimed "biggest wench in the world," is trying to foil Sabu's mission at every turn. The action unfolds at a series of raves on old Garbage Hill in a strange place we call Winnipeg.

DJ Sabu is Jeremie Yuen. Yes, he's a hottie Eurasian guy but that is about the only interesting thing in the movie. Having gone through adolescence with Gregg Araki, I am well qualified to judge strange and unusual postmodern films from crap. I ended up putting the DVD on 1.4 speed to get through it and then read a few magazines along the way. That is how awful it was. I'm shocked it got into Sundance. However, I can see how someone who didn't emotionally relate to Gregg Araki's trilogy would not be able to differentiate between Hey, Happy! and Gregg Araki's films and mistake it for being in the Araki genre.

If you are really interested in watching a gay independent movie that is unusual and strange, I'd pick up Nowhere (if you want a gay tragedy) or Doomed Generation (if you want a silahis-style tragedy). If you like movies that make up for a dull plot with strange two dimensional characters, are a budding Director of Photography or are interested in electronica music, then watch this movie.

02 May 2009

Flight of the American Manananggal

Time to send some bags of salt to the U.S. pig corporation in Mexico!

I received an e-mail article from truthout.org. It describes how the swine fever outbreak's "point zero" pig farm was an American industrial pig farm that moved to Mexico after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s. The health rules in the U.S. were too strict to make the kind of profit the U.S. agricorporation wanted so it moved its pig husbandry to Mexico.

So, although the outbreak seems to have started in Mexico, it really came from the U.S. through a combination of frankenstein science and unrestrained destruction of trade barriers. It may be true from an economic point of view that trade barriers are bad to over all economic development. However, there are non-economic benefits that trade barriers create like slowly or stopping epidemics before they start. But usually when trade barriers are destroyed, economists don't calculate these non-economic benefits.

And now, the American manananggal has taken flight. To see if she has attacked your neighborhood, check out the Swine Fever Map (it takes a little while to load, first posted on Disappearednews.com).

01 May 2009

Book Review: Selling Out, The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to the Market

Alexandra Chasin is an American professor of literature and LGBT studies. Chasin's book is a fascinating and damning account of how market forces have fundamentally altered (and destroyed in some ways) the revolutionary potential of LGBT movements.

From the beginning (if there ever was one), LGBT movements have called for a fundamental rethinking of gender, family, and eros. In the U.S., until the 1990s, these movements were local and fragmented in nature, goals were similar but local LGBT groups dealt with local communities to tackle problems of discrimination, etc.,. Local bars funded local LGBT publications.

As noted in Fetner's How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism, the direction of these movements in the U.S. became unified and nationalized in the 1980s. Fetner describes how the religious rights' unified and nationalized political activism ended up pushing local LGBT activism into a nationalized cause. For Chasin, the nationalization of LGBT magazines in the early 1990s in the U.S. signaled the transformation.

Chasin's work which came out in 2000 explored how LGBT-targeted market forces -- such as the LGBT press, advertisement industry, boycotting, and the funding of LGBT NGOs -- has created a form of identity-based consumption and politics that stand in opposition to economic and social justice for all.

Chasin shows how economic boycotts convert demands for social justice into "one buck one vote" and how economic boycotts only work if the wealthier classes are involved. She write:

Boycotting masks the fact that choice -- that highest liberal value -- is always invisibly and radically constrained by the options presented, is not supremely embodied by individual consumers, and is, above all, exercised by the class of people that benefits from unrestrained corporate activity. Even if corporations can be made to change policies unfavorable to gay men and lesbians, even if they make contributions, their primary function is still to amass capital in the hands of a few, mostly already rich white men.

She also goes into detail about how the LGBT activism's move into the NGO word has altered its revolutionary potential by the strings that attach to continued funding. This has been further developed for all social causes by the INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence's book The Revolution Will Not Be Funded.

Chasin uses the well-known case of Lamba Legal Defense and Education Fund and New York's Lesbian and Gay Community Center's Miss Saigon fundraiser. Asian Lesbians of the East Coast (ALOEC) and Gay Asian and Pacific Islanders Men of New York (GAPIMNY) met with these two LGBT NGOs to discuss withdrawing their planned Miss Saigon fundraiser (because it negatively portrayed Asians). The Community Center withdrew, but Lambda insisted. Chasin showed how Lambda's response exposed the classist and racist dimension of national LGBT NGOs and their refusal to participate in broader social justice movements.

The version I read was a 368 page hardback published by Palgrave Macmillan (June 2, 2001), ISBN-13: 978-0312239268. It is written in English. Definitely worth reading if you are involved in LGBT activism and social justice movements. The least expensive copy of the book can be found at abebooks.com.