Homonationalism Exists, And It Kills

Last week, dating app company Hornet published a dubious survey of 10,000 gay men on the 2020 US election.  I say dubious because it was a self-reported survey, not scientific: those who were willing, motivated, had time to participate, and knew about and use Hornet, not gay men in general or a random selection.  And I suspect the respondents were predominantly white and English speaking.  Even so, the numbers are similar to official polls, and I suspect similar to the attitudes of cisgender gay white men.  (Given how rampant racism and ableism is in the gay dating scene I can guess the disparity of pro- and anti-trump voices.)

Hornet Asked 10,000 Gay Men to Weigh In on the Upcoming U.S. Election, Donald Trump

On Sept. 4, just shy of two months before the 2020 U.S. election, Hornet asked 10,000 queer men from every continent to weigh in on their candidate of choice, Donald Trump or Joe Biden, and also polled their level of support for Trump and his term in office. The survey’s results offer valuable insights — not just into how a subsection of the American queer male community says it will likely vote come November, but they also act as an ‘international report card’ of sorts on Trump’s time as president.

Of the 10,000 men Hornet surveyed, 12% identified themselves as U.S. citizens. Of those 1,200 American men, 51% answered they would be voting for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election, while 45% — just shy of one-half — said they would be casting their ballot for Donald Trump. Asked about their level of support for Trump’s term as president, 49% responded, “I do not support him at all”; 11% responded, “I disagree with him on most issues”; 9% responded, “I disagree with him on some issues and agree with him on others”; 11% responded, “I agree with him on most issues”; and 16% responded, “I fully support him.”

This data on the self-reported, self-predicted voting habits of American queer men is interesting when compared to national U.S. poll data, which as of September 2020 place Biden’s support between 49–51% and Trump’s support between 42–43%*. While the percentage of Biden-supporting queer men who took Hornet’s survey falls within that range of national polling, the percentage of Trump-supporting queer men who took the survey is higher than what’s seen in national polls. This percentage of Trump-supporting queer men is also higher than what Hornet saw from queer men worldwide; among all 10,000 Hornet users surveyed, 66% support Joe Biden and 34% support Donald Trump.

Emphasis in the text is mine.  Much more below the fold.

Some are pushing back against the claims of the survey.  The Washington Blade claims:

Survey finding 45 percent of gay men back Trump is ‘clickbaity, sloppy journalism’

Jason Turcotte, an associate professor of communication at Cal Poly Pomona, said via email the survey produced “an interesting finding,” but at the same time is “unlikely to be representative of the broader LGBTQ community.”

“To hold up this poll as evidence that the LGBTQ community is somewhat split on its support for the presidential candidates is like someone saying the users of Farmers Only represent the ideological spectrum of all farmers or that Christian Mingle users represent the ideological spectrum of all Christians,” Turcotte said. “To tout a Hornet poll as evidence of LGBTQ support for Trump is clickbaity, sloppy journalism.”

But we’re not talking about LGBTQIA people in general, only cisgender gay white men (CGWM) and perhaps cisgender lesbian white women.  As we’ve seen with the likes of Peter Thiel, Richard Grenell, Pete Buttigieg, Pim Fortuyn [correction], Andrew Sullivan, Leo Varadkar and Milo Pedophilo, many CGWM are right leaning, racist and exclusionist.  They see themselves as having “made it” in society and willingly participate in the exclusion of and discimination against others based on racism, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.

Washington Post: The long history behind Donald Trump’s outreach to LGBTQ voters

Last week, the Trump campaign released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that LGBTQ advocacy groups identified as alarming and terrifying for LGBTQ rights.

But the president’s campaign is also targeting LGBTQ voters, hoping to attract their electoral support. The campaign has named Richard Grenell, Trump’s former acting director of national intelligence, as senior adviser for this purpose. In addition, the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest LGBTQ Republican organization, has launched OUTspoken, a multimedia platform to produce pro-Trump content. Its first video features Grenell calling Trump “the most pro-gay president in American history,” a claim swiftly dismissed by The Washington Post as “absurd.” That didn’t stop Trump from tweeting the label was his “great honor.”

Peter Thief…I mean, Thiel didn’t just support Cheetolini in 2016, he went all-in on racism, advocating the US turn to an apartheid system like South Africa’s.  (He may not be one of the 777s, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t as racist as Botha or other past leaders.)  I wonder why he doesn’t like living there anymore.

Peter Thiel Met With The Racist Fringe As He Went All In On Trump

Posted on September 11, 2020

Four years ago, billionaire venture capitalist and Facebook board member Peter Thiel made one of his biggest bets: He went all in on Donald Trump. The normally tight-lipped and enigmatic Thiel gave a very public imprimatur as a prominent speaker at the Republican convention, tying his reputation as one of the most successful figures in modern tech to a presidential candidate despised throughout Silicon Valley.

“Tonight,” he said in a nationally televised address at the convention, “I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump.” He made history as the convention’s first speaker to declare himself “proud to be gay” and he extolled Trump not as “a return to the past” but rather a return to “that bright future.”

[. . .]

BuzzFeed News can reveal that in at least one instance during the summer of 2016, Thiel hosted a dinner with one of the most influential and vocal white nationalists in modern-day America — [Kevin DeAnna] who has called for the creation of a white ethnostate and played a key role in an effort to mainstream white nationalism as the “alt-right.” And then Thiel emailed the next day to say how much he’d enjoyed his company.

[. . .]

Palantir, the data analytics company he cofounded, is flush with government contracts and rushing to go public ahead of the November election. Facebook, where he is a board member, counts the Trump campaign as one of its largest political advertisers, and partly avoided the ire that peers such as Google and Twitter have faced from the administration. The people Thiel helped elevate in government now oversee billion-dollar budgets and national security decisions.

Homonationalism was termed by Professor Jasbir K. Puar wrote about in her 2007 book Terrorist Assemblages, to describe cisgender white gay and lesbian support for extremist right wing views.  Quoting James Nichols from 2016 in the Huffington Post:

Understanding Homonationalism: Why Are There Gay People Supporting Trump?

As Nov. 8 looms even closer, the political landscape of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is becoming harder to comprehend.

In an election year where the GOP has adopted what’s been rightfully called the most extreme anti-LGBT party platform in history, some gay people ― notably white, cisgender, gay men ― are coming out of the woodwork to offer their support for Donald Trump and to display their disdain for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Some of these men carry weight in the entertainment industry. Others are actively campaigning for the GOP candidate through art showcases and others carry influence in the business world. Some of the most high-profile Trump enthusiasts, such as Milo Yiannopoulos, have become poster boys for the alt-right.

[. . .]

Homonationalism, coined by Rutgers University professor Jasbir K. Puar in 2007 is, to put it simply, the intersection of gay identity and nationalist ideology.

As gay people have become “normalized” in American consciousness through recent historical milestones like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010 and the legalization of same-sex marriage in June 2015, these victories have created space for the homonationalist American who abandons intersectional activism and advocates racist, xenophobic, capitalistic self-interest.

Homonationalism involves conceptually realigning the ideas invested within the realm of LGBT activism to fit the goals and ideologies of neoliberalism and the far-right. This reframing is used primarily to justify and rationalize racist and xenophobic perspectives.

In 2018, Evan Greer wrote about the origins of exclusionism in the 1960s, cisgender gay white men and lesbian white women demanding conformity with society (clothes, appearance, behaviour).  What began as “we’re like everyone else!” propaganda-by-appearance turned into ideological dogma and racist exclusion.  We saw evidence of this in 2019, when cisgender gay white men tried to silence Black Transgender Women and Transgender Women of Colour at the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Powerful gay rights groups excluded trans people for decades — leaving them vulnerable to Trump’s attack

The LGBTQ community needs to grapple with its history of ignoring its most vulnerable members

By Evan Greer

Oct. 29, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. GMT+8

An attack on marginalized people from the [Trump] administration behind family separation policies and Muslim travel bans is hardly a surprise. But there’s a reason the transgender community is in the government’s crosshairs. There was a target painted on our backs. And it was put there not just by the religious right and gender essentialist crusaders, but by the mainstream gay rights movement, which for the better part of the last century has repeatedly backed away from — and sometimes even fought on the wrong side of — the battles that most affect trans and gender nonconforming people.

The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, two of the first formally organized gay and lesbian rights organizations in the United States, actively discouraged members from engaging in “deviant” expressions of gender and sexuality. Rather than challenge the rigid and repressive gender roles of postwar America, they embraced them in the interest of political gain. For example, their “Annual Reminder” pickets for gay rights in the late 1960s had a strict dress code: Men had to wear white shirts and slacks, and women had to wear dresses. They fought against discrimination on the grounds that they were “normal homosexuals,” and trans people did not fit under that rubric. These groups thought that conforming to societal standards would advance their singular cause: acceptance.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, white, middle-class, cisgender gays and lesbians made advances in both legal protection and social status. States started decriminalizing homosexuality, the American Psychiatric Association declared that it was not a psychiatric disorder, and Elaine Noble, the first openly lesbian or gay legislator, took her seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. But those outside the mainstream continued to live in untenable conditions. For gender-nonconforming people, it was nearly impossible to find steady employment, and police routinely raided bars and establishments where they gathered.

[. . .]

Overt anti-trans sentiment came from the top down of the burgeoning gay rights movement. The predominantly white, cis, gay male leadership saw trans people as a threat to their slowly but surely growing social and economic power. It was echoed among some lesbian leaders who painted trans women as impostors and mentally ill, even as they fought against these labels for themselves. Some lesbian leaders even claimed that trans men were traitors to their sex. These attitudes have persisted within the movement.

When Rivera took the stage at a 1973 rally that would later be seen as a predecessor to Pride, she faced boos from the crowd and was referred to as a “man in a dress” as she spoke about the daily brutality faced by trans and gender nonconforming people on the street, in prisons, and at the hands of police. Later that year, Rivera and Johnson were banned from participating in the New York City Pride parade. In interviews, Johnson recalled organizers telling her that they gave the movement “a bad name.”

Despite their marginalization, trans people helped lead powerful LGBTQ organizing in direct response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and early ’90s. Leaders like Miss Major Griffin-Gracy provided direct health-care services, while others became prominent voices in groups such as Act Up that forced the issue onto the national stage when the U.S. government was trying desperately to cover it up. But the upper crust of national gay rights leaders continued to silence and ignore trans voices into the next decade. In 1993, the organizing committee of the National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington voted to keep the word “transgender” out of the official name for the march. While trans people fought for and gained more power and visibility within the movement and in society as a whole in the early 2000s, our advances continued to lag behind our cisgender gay and lesbian counterparts.

In 2007, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, infamously threw trans people under the bus by cutting a deal that left gender identity protections out of the Employment and Non Discrimination Act after promising trans activists that they’d fight for their inclusion in the bill.

The reality is that cisgender white gays and lesbians have behaved exactly the same as second wave feminists: They got what they wanted for themselves, then abandoned those whom they had begged support from to get where they are (i.e. white feminists telling Black women “don’t be divisive!”).

They didn’t just turn their backs on Transgender, Non-Binary, Intersex and other people.  They turned on them and became bigots once they were accepted as part of the oppressor class.


  1. robert79 says

    “As we’ve seen with the likes of Peter Thiel, Richard Grenell, Pete Buttigieg, Geert Wilders, and Milo Pedophilo, many CGWM are right leaning, racist and exclusionist”. I think you may be confusing Geert Wilders with Pim Fortuyn. As far as I’m aware, Wilders is not gay, while Fortuyn was flamboyantly so.