By Manish Vaidya, November 2005
The United States Empire continues to roll out its genocidal warfare against people of color abroad. With half  of US prisons containing Black men, many for drug-related offenses, a slower genocide occurs within the ever-expanding borders of the Land of the Free. It should come as no surprise then, that queer people of color activists in the country I (abashedly) call home have called on me with urgency to drop what I am doing, step up and be a leader in the fight for none other than… “marriage equality.”
What in gay hell? People are being murdered, the planet can’t handle the perpetual barrage of human-caused devastation, and I’m being asked to work for the right to eat legitimized three-tier wedding cake? Is revolution going to come before or after the champagne toast? And why would anyone, particularly radical South Asians, support this nonsense?
I thought about this during a recent trip to Pennsylvania, where I visited my parents and the conservative town where I grew up. My upper middle class parents, staunch Democrats, seem to be the odd ones out in a largely Republican South Asian community. They vote, contribute money to Democratic campaigns, and my mother even did jury duty. They are proud to assimilate to the culture of the Empire that oppresses them. It makes sense that my father is an engineer, my mother is a medical administrator and my older brother is a doctor.
I tell friends it makes perfect sense that I, a radical, fluid, queer, third wave feminist activist, got my start through the fundamentalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh. Perhaps my experiences in these fascist groups ignited a spirit of resistance that I use to drive me to work for racial justice and queer liberation. My identity seems to be an overt challenge to the rabid monster of assimilation. I fuck who I want to fuck – with their consent; work to bring out radical political activism in South Asian youth, and I fight against gay marriage.…click to read more