HOUSTON VOICE/AUGUST 16, 1996 25
A Statement from the Lesbian
The following was presented for publication in the Houston Voice. It concerns
the firing of Pearland High School Softball coach Holly Nuber after the state
championship win of the Lady Oilers.
Nuber maintains that one reason for her
firing was her "alleged" sexual orientation. The Lesbian Avengers
responded by writing with weedkiller in
the grass the words "Hate Kills" outside
the Administration Building and
"Homophobia High" next to the school
building. Nuber runs a lawnmowing/
landscaping business in the Summer and
had been thought to be responsible for the
STATEMENT by THE LESBIAN
It has been brought to our attention that
many consider our choice of tactics
(regarding the Pearland ISD action in
particular) to be (at least) questionable: and to some, counterproductive or
just plain wrong.
In light of these questions, we would like lo
clarify the position that we are taking on
this action, to wit: that the struggle
against homophobia has yielded many
small 'victories' in the form of some small
concessions by the dominant culture,
but—none which—even begin to provide
the protection and security which are
supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution. We are not protected from hate
crimes; we can still lose our jobs, our
homes, or our children and have no legal
recourse; we may not marry or adopt; and,
in many states, the physical expression
of same-gender sexual love is punishable by law.
In light of these facts, the 'victories'
obtained through four and more decades of
homosexual organization seem like
nothing so much as crumbs from the table of
heterosexual privilege, and the user-
friendly techniques of our predecessors in this movement appear as a noble
attempt to do things the "right" way, an
attempt which operated on an assumption
of mutual respect for basic humanity on
both sides. It is with regret that we conclude that to continue to extend this
respect to our oppressor is impractical
in the face of said oppressors continued
failure to surrender his position of
The Lesbian Avengers recognize that
our options within the system are being
exhausted at an alarming rate; and that the
highest achievement of this approach,
Bill Clinton's claim of support, was
eventually revealed to be no more than a
political expedient to be immediately
forgotten upon inauguration.
It has become obvious to us that new tactics are necessary, and that these might
not be comfortable, legal, safe, or
polite. This is not a struggle; it has to be a
war; and as our armies are outnumbered
ten to one it would be ingenuous to attempt
this battle on open ground. Guerrilla tactics are not adopted just for the hell of it, or
out of any particular affection for mischief, vandalism, or sneakiness in general.
As concerns the Pearland action—if our
oppressor has so little respect for us as to
(allegedly) deny one of our (alleged) own
her means to life and livelihood, why
should we respect the integrity of their
lawns (purchased with the tax dollars
which are the asking price of our government for our citizenship, which continues to be withheld by said government)'?
We killed their grass. Some say we should
have tried ... What? a picket? A petition? A
boycott? No. The Lesbian Avengers are
saying: "Enough! Enough of this
respectful requesting of our oppressors: Please be nicer to us! Please let us be
people, too. Enough!" We killed their
grass. The Lesbian Avengers saw an
injustice occurring and moved to confront it as we thought appropriate. If our
actions are seen as damaging to the public image of our community, all I can say is
that there was plenty of room out there in
Pearland for anyone else who cared to act
in any other way which might be considered more palatable. If any think that
there was a better way to represent the
concerns of our community, all I can say
is that they should have been there.
To Holly—one of our foremost concerns
in formulating this action was that it not
reflect badly upon you or your case. We
regret that we did not know about your summer business. We tried to make it very clear
through the flyers posted at the weedkill
sites that we were reacting to homophobia
in general and independently of any connection to you or your appeal except as it
served to reveal the prejudice of Pearland ISD. It could have been anything that
set us off, from textbook censorship to
student hazing and so on. We are very
sorry for any inconvenience which we
may have caused to you.
The September SPIN
This month in SPIN Magazine
•AIDS: WORDS FROM THE FRONT-
HOME ALONE" —Anyone who walks inlo a
drugstore will soon be able lo lesl themselves for HIV with a personal kit anil an 800
number—privately and anonymously.
Staff writer Celia Farber examines the
process by which Ihe kit was approved and
some potentially serious problems with
the concept. The kit, sold under the brand
name Confide by lohnson & Johnson, was
approved by the FDA in May 1996 and wdl
soon be on shelves. The obvious benefit is
that buying a kit is much less int.midat-
ing than a visit to the clinic. But the absence
of direct counseling for those who test
positive could prove to be questionable
health care. "By far the gravest concern,
however, is the isolation factor," says
Farber "What if people simply hang up
and commit suicide? A home test for pregnancy is one thing, but a home test for a vrrus
believed by most Americans to be the
equivalent of a death sentence?"
"REBEL GIRL" —It took her critically
acclaimed portrayal of would-be assassin
Valerie Solanis in this year's / Shot Andy
Warhol for actress Lili Taylor to be fully
recognized for her stable of weird, ugly
and homicidal characters. Taylor has
played Ihe obsessed ex-lover in Say Anything . River Phoenix's entry into an "ugly
date" contest in Dogfight . and the Queens
B-girl mom in Girlstown . which comes out
in August. After years of forsaking the
Hollywood routine for more challenging and complicated roles, Taylor's
career is finally on the rise. "So many
female roles in commercial movies are
just devices, not a lot of energy, not a lot of
fun," says Taylor. "I always wanted to be
the detective or the pirate, not just the girl
by his side."
focus group - WAnteb
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