How homonationalism works:
1) The Inclusion Argument: Sexual minorities should call for inclusion in the state through liberal rights of the individual (e.g. gay marriage). The struggle for individual rights replaces the struggle for collective rights, collective resistance, or the transformation of asymmetrical power formations.
2) Good vs. Bad Queers: The call for inclusion is predicated on making the distinction between good queers and bad queers. These appeals argue that most sexual minorities are no different than members of dominant society, and thus that these queers deserve to be recognized as part of the mainstream. Here, bad queers are offered as the undesirable other to help sell the good queers to Canadian society, since bad queers are dangers to society or drains on state resources. They include racialized queers, people who are HIV-positive, poor and homeless queers, drug users, non-status queer migrants, etc.
3) Reinforcing the Social Order: Once the right kind of queers are welcomed into the state, these institutions can use the newly admitted ‘good queers’ as evidence that symmetry has been achieved, effectively dismissing larger concerns over the rights of those who remain marginalized and subjugated. Further, the inclusion of sexual minorities under the terms of individual rights is then used in propaganda by the state to demonstrate how civilized, modern, liberal, and democratic the West is, particularly in opposition to backward, pre-modern, and non-democratic states (such as in the Middle East) – a tactic rooted in Orientalism.
1. Kids don’t drop out of school, they’re pushed out because the knowledge is not meaningful.
2. Activism is not about convenience. I cannot be antiracist all day and then go home at 5 o’clock, put my feet up and be a bigot.
3. As a white person you can walk away when you get tired about talking about white privilege. A person of colour cannot walk away.
4. I can speak English. The gift of 200 years of colonialism: you come out of your mother’s womb speaking English.
5. I had an arranged marriage. I arranged it myself.
6. Language is not neutral. Language is political.
7. The Sharia Hysteria: if you want it you’re a Neanderthal, if you don’t want it you are a liberal.
8. Muslims do not have a monopoly on oppressing women.
9. I don’t get offended anymore. If I’m continually insulted I am frozen into inaction.
10. If I am the standard and you are different from me then I have the power.
11. When you get tired of anti-racism and social justice, remember those who cannot walk away. You’ve got to stand with them.
12. I don’t mind being an immigrant. But my children were born here — their imagination of home begins and end in Canada. I can go home to Pakistan but this is home to my children.
13. Pakistan has been colonized for 200 years but the colonizers went home. They left behind their cronies to watch over us.
14. I didn’t know I was being a feminist until I came here a week ago. I thought I was just a woman who liked to fight.
15. We have to fight together. We have been marginalized and oppressed and if we’re not careful we’re going to marginalize and oppress someone else.
16. Everyone wants to save the muslim woman. Some want to put the hijab on me and save me; some want to take hijab off me and save me; some want to bomb us and save me. Just give me a break man! I can save myself! I don’t need Western imperialism to save me or Western feminism riding on the coattails of Western imperialism to save me. I can save myself.
17. Just because we are doing social justice does not mean we are socially just.
18. We [immigrants and refugees] don’t come here to live in poverty. We don’t come for the weather and we don’t come for the food – we bring the food! We come for the democracy.
19. To hurt someone is to sin. To watch someone else get hurt and do nothing is a greater sin.
20. If you are a man you can be a feminist – if you are a man you
must be a feminist because if you’re not, you’re part of the problem.
21. I wish all I had to worry about was [my son’s] baggy pants and who he dates. I have to worry if he’s going to get arrested, if he’s playing basketball, out with his Black and Arab friends. This is part of mothering for black mothers, aboriginal mothers, and now it is true for Muslim mothers.