LGBTQ+ for socialism: ‘We want to live!’

By Minnie Bruce Pratt
June 7, 2022

We are still grieving for the 10 people of Buffalo, New York’s Black community killed there May 14. We are still grieving for the 21 people — children and teachers — killed in Uvalde, Texas, May 24.

And for so many others killed by hatred and bigotry in the past — Black people worshipping at church in Charleston, South Carolina; LGBTQ+ people dancing at the Pulse Bar in Orlando, Florida; Asian women working at health spas in Atlanta — too many to name and number here. Millions, all the way back to the foundation of this country, to the massacres of Indigenous peoples and the torture and deaths of Black people held in enslavement.

This is a country steeped in the blood of conquest and exploitation — which has never ended. Some of that death is from guns — and some of that death is from laws and state rulings that legitimize persecution and death.

The legal targeting of oppressed people continues with yet another attack on trans lives coming out of Florida. The state’s Agency for Health Care Administration announced June 2 that it was canceling all coverage of gender-affirming care, including hormone replacement therapy and surgeries, for recipients of Medicaid, adults as well as children.

This vital health care is a necessity for continued survival for many trans people. Florida’s DeSantis administration — the same administration that vetoed mental health funding for survivors of the Pulse mass shooting and passed the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill prohibiting school discussion of sexuality and gender — continues to attack LGBTQ2S+ people “legally.”

Capitalism cannot be reformed

Throughout the U.S., state legislatures have recently introduced or passed hundreds of laws that attack the lives and ability to survive of working and oppressed people. The laws criminalize abortion; some forbid it even in cases of rape or danger to the pregnant person’s life or threaten with prison those who choose or assist abortion. Some laws make it illegal to teach about LGBTQ+ people; others prohibit teaching histories of resistance to enslavement, racism and exploitation. And on and on, the punishing laws pile up.

Meanwhile, white-supremacist “lone wolves” who gun down people of color are arrested without a scratch by cops, cosseted with water or hamburgers. Unarmed Black people, other people of color, disabled people are murdered by cops — as they sleep in their beds, daydream in their car waiting for fast food, go to the convenience store for cigarettes.

The recent massacres, the hate legislation, the murders by cops — all this death-dealing — is a wake-up call for anyone who still thinks capitalist “democracy” is a system that can be reformed or somehow made “better.”

“Officer Bob” is not our friend. The police are not our friends. The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are not our friends. The capitalist state is not our friend.

We who are workers and oppressed are at war — class war — with this system and all of its representatives.

Every day the capitalist state places all its authority and all its weight behind both the legal assault and the extralegal gun violence directed against us. Federal and state legislatures continue to refuse to pass laws that limit gun ownership or stop the sale of assault weapons in even minimal ways. On the contrary, legislation is passed to keep individuals from suing gun manufacturers for deaths and injuries caused by their guns — even as corporations reap obscene profits from domestic sale of weapons created for imperialist soldiers on the battlefield.

These tactics exist to hold in check and fragment the massive power of the people of the U.S. — the working people, the oppressed people of many nationalities, abilities, sexualities, genders — to keep us from joining together and exerting our unstoppable grief and rage to make change. Which we have made before. Which we are still making now.

The collective power of working and oppressed people can overturn this system based on inequality, exploitation and death. We understand that repression is intensifying now, because new generations of people are rising up with a clear understanding that capitalism is killing us and that socialism is no longer a word but a world to be won.

As workers are “the union” when organizing at a job, so grassroots and direct organizing by working and oppressed people is the force that will ultimately overturn the capitalist death machine.

Our cry is for Pride in struggle: “We want to live! Down with capitalism. On to a socialist future.”