Thursday, February 16, 2017
Week 6: When We Were Outlaws
Cordova’s memoir is a beautifully and emotionally written work. It is interesting and easy to follow as a reader. I love how personally and detailed she writes about the situations in her life. It is inviting as a reader and beautiful to experience.
The first event that caught my attention was in chapter two when Cordova got to quickly speak to Angela Davis. She asked her whether or not she would say she were gay if she were gay. This followed Huey Newton’s declaration that the Gay Liberation Movement was a friend of the civil rights struggle. I found it interesting and saddening to read Davis’s anti-gay sentiments, as I didn’t know about this before. But I also found it saddening to read Cordova’s perspective. She remarks that “no white woman could have said what Davis said and still have an audience” (16). She also remarks that racism and economic exploitation are better than gay discrimination, oppression, and violence (21). This sounds really complicated and potentially problematic. This is something I have to sit with and analyze in more depth. Cordova is a person of color, so for her to be so dismissive of racism seems unbelievable, but potentially telling of certain privileges she may have that insulated her from a racism that at least equals that of the homophobia she may have faced. These could include class or light-skin privilege. These potentially anti-black racist sentiments make me wonder and put me at a weird place in my thinking.
The second event that interested me was when Cordova and other lesbian workers were fired from GCSC with no prior warning. This immediately made me wonder about the nature of homophobia at this workplace. I wonder if the workers were fired because they were lesbian, so because they experienced the intersection of both misogyny and homophobia.
The third event that was of interest was the FBI’s investigation into Cordova’s interview with Joseph Tomassi. They demanded tapes and threatened her with arrest if she didn’t comply. Tomassi’s involvement with Marxism and Communism was of governmental interest and investigation during this time. This made me wonder about the current climate surrounding such political identities, and whether the government of today takes this as seriously and criminally.