An interesting book has been released recently by Pat Glaros, a Lesbian journalist holding US passport. In ‘A Proposal for Homosexual Emancipation’, which is her first work, the author suggests that it is time for the Gay people in USA to start thinking about separation from the United States, taking their tax base along with them. Through this proposal, Glaros hopes to raise awareness about Gay rights and facilitate dialogue on the relationship between Gay and straight people. Depicting the story of her own ordeal within the homophobic society, she argues that this relationship between the two peoples is grossly disturbed and would be best handled by separation.
The book consists of two parts, which are distinctive in their subject and their writing styles. One third of the overall text volume, namely the 5-page introduction, the first 23 printed pages, and the 2-page conclusion can be attributed to the author’s thoughts on Gay separatism. The remainder of the text is an autobiographic report of a Lesbian mother being subjected to injustices of a prejudiced legal system and eventually loosing the custody of her child. The stylistic breach would certainly appear unusual in a purely artistic work, but seems justified with regard to the difficulty of treating a legal proposal and a narrative in the same work. Both parts are worth of reading, even if for different reasons.
The scholar of Gay nationalism will be interested in reading the 30-page strong section dealing with issues of Gay separatism. The author takes a look on the daily realities of US Gays, and finds these realities grossly out of step with the founding mythos of the American nation, the very pretence of the right for „Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“ Glaros’ analysis and a novel interpretation of several passages of US constitution amount towards the suggestion of political secession from the United States through forming a separate union.
Addressing the victim mentality, unfortunately so wide-spread in the community, the author rightfully asks:
„Why are we, as adults, requesting permission to marry? ... We are entitled to the same rights and privileges as our heterosexual counterparts. If we must, we could claim ourselves separate, as this government does. We then have the right to establish our own governing body.“
Pat Glaros basically adopts the principle of „no taxation without representation“ and suggests a break away, „taking our tax base with us.“ The proposal goes towards achieving financial and political autonomy for US Gays, and is apparently thought of to be realized within the legal framework of the United States. This way, the otherwise confusing amalgamations of American and Gay identities can be justified und excused. It is obvious that while suggesting the „separation from the union,“ Glaros actually has in mind something not as radical as a territorial secession, but a kind of special citizenship status for the US Gay population.
This approach is a legitimate one, considering the precedence of the First Nations peoples in Canada, the Moslem community in Greece and the Aboriginal tribes in Australia. This form of parallel coexistence of two peoples on the same territory might lack the ideological elegance of Bakunin, but is certainly worthy of further consideration. It would require a careful analysis of the US legal system to assess the actual chances of the suggestion.
Although Glaros falls short of recognizing the national unity of the Gay people across the borders, her suggestions for sovereignty go into the right direction.
As other reviewers have noticed and mercilessly criticised, the author has apparent difficulties with math. One per cent of 300 millions US citizens most assuredly make 3 millions individuals, not 1 million. A suggested contribution of 100 USD, provided by 1 million individuals, will inevitably yield 100 millions, not 1 billion USD. Granted the underestimated actual percentage of Gays in the US population (which this reviewer tends to estimate as 6 per cent), the pay of attorney would eventually amount to slightly more than half a billion USD — very poor arithmetic, but qualitatively not entirely wrong.
The benevolent reviewer will overlook the few weak spots and concentrate on the essence of the text. Pat Glaros’ proposal is, of course, not a scholarly work by a studied legal expert, but rather a suggestion, formed out of her personal experience and innate sense for justice. Pat has first-hand experienced the evident maltreatment of homosexual citizens in private and public life, and formed her views out of these experiences.
On the literary side, the text would certainly gain profit from more patience in writing and more accuracy in editing, but for the first shot of a beginning author, the quality is absolutely acceptable and those minor imperfections should not be overrated. The story is interesting, and the author might well consider making a significantly more copious work out of it.
However, the ultimate value of this book is defined not by its artistic merits, but by approaching some of the causalities of the many miseries Gays are suffering as a people. One can only commend her for recognizing and addressing the political self-determination as the only way for the Gay people to advance socially and culturally:
„There are so many reasons why we need our sovereignty, the first being our own honor. We all know by now that if we do not respect ourselves, no one else will. ... We owe it to ourselves, and to the future, to stop the cycle of disrespect to our community. We deserve to live the way we want to. If we are going to create the future we want, than we will have to form our own union.“
„We Don't Need Permission: A Proposal for Homosexual Emancipation“
Publisher: Authorhouse (2007)
Softcover, 112 pages
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