Main | Sunday, February 22, 2015

NEW ZEALAND: Gay Group Says They Vandalized Auckland Pride GayTM

Via Gay Star News:
What is thought to be a homophobic attack on an 'GAYTM' which was installed on Ponsonby Road by ANZ Bank to celebrate Auckland Pride Festival this month may not be homophobic after all. The GAYTM was reportedly vandalized on Thursday night. A group calling itself  "Queers Against Injustice" posted a statement on Saturday saying they targeted the GAYTM "to draw attention to the commercialization of the Pride Festival" and to "the way ANZ is using GAYTMs to distract attention from the treatment of their workers." It said, "Associating queer politics with personal banking within a gentrified area reduces the queer subject to a bourgeois, cis-gender, white, male subject, and in doing so reproduces many of the intersecting injustices by which queer subjects are marginalized." The statement further mentioned the recent strikes by ANZ workers who were protesting against the bank's "attempts to implement demands for 'flexibility", in the form of irregular rostering and frequently shifting labor demands."
More from the group's statement:
We can understand the media’s interpretation of this as a homophobic act, because being an angry queer subject who disagrees with the co-opting of our identity is irregular in the face of Pride’s projected homonormative and aforementioned presentation of the queer figure. However, the immediate interpretation of our act as homophobic vandalism, rather than as critique from queer subjects themselves, reflects the heteronormative discourse that truly permeates our society. The media has assumed from the outset that we are not queer, an assumption we have become used to in the heterosexual society we are made to live, yet which we are also incredibly sick of. It is disheartening that the representation of our symbolic pinkwashing of the GAYTM has been manipulated into an act of hatred and complicity. This misrepresentation reinforces the image of tolerance that ANZ has spent a lot of money marketing to us.
Comments on the above-linked statement are not very supportive.

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