Monday, October 11, 2010


The United States still celebrates "Christopher Columbus Day," which makes a ton of sense to me. Columbus was a savage conquistador, after all, and the legacy of the conquistador is alive and well in the way the US perceives and treats the world.

So if we hate on that murderous bastard Columbus, we might equally hate on all conquistadors, regardless of where they killed and raped and infected and indoctrinated their way to bloody supremacy: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine. It's all the same.

A more recent celebration on the same day, initiated in the US but celebrated in a number of other countries, is National Coming Out Day, centered on awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and civil rights for LGBT people. Even in places touted as "tolerant" LGBT people still find themselves marginalized, harried, denied equal rights, and subject to violence. Recent events in the US attest to this sad fact.

I imagine that an individual from any marginalized group would feel a particularly intense hatred of conquistadors in all their guises. What are conquistadors anyway but madmen who run roughshod over the lives of others, attempting to subjugate or destroy populations they fear, rob them of their identities, livelihoods, lifeways? Whether the endgame for conquistadors is real estate or religion or bloodsport or politics, the attitude is the same.

I believe that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation (or race, or gender, or age, or nationality, or ethnicity, or creed, or physical abilities) have equal rights in - and similar obligations to - their communities. These may be usurped by force, but that does not obviate them. So I am always confused when marginalized groups fight passionately for their rights at the expense of others: when they succumb to the consciousness of their oppressors.

This is a very real issue for the gay community in the US, where people struggling to be free (from violence and to openly express themselves and to enjoy the same rights and benefits of society as others) also struggle for the right to join the US Armed Forces. The USAF is always a force for subjegation and violence, irredeemably so, always, always, always. To conquer others is wrong. To agitate for the right to do so is also wrong.

I am an ally to LGBT people struggling for liberty, and to all people struggling against the conquistadors.