We're also gonna throw it out there that some of the straights Ships organizers have noticed "infiltrating" the party might actually not be straight. Many feminine-looking queer women read as straight, and many non-flamboyant queer men read that way too. Unless Ships is taking detailed histories of its patrons' genital exploits, no one can be certain who is straight. But that's not really the point.

Despite the supposed inclusivity of the LGBTQQIA community — as evidenced by the ever-expanding acronym — queers have a long and sordid history of policing and excluding each other's sexualities, identities, and politics. "Can't we all just get along?" is not a strategy oft-embraced by queer political correctness. Perhaps the most obvious example is how fractioned Pride has become. Lesbians thought gay men were taking over and started Dyke March. Trans people felt marginalized by both groups and started their own march, too. Queers of all stripes thought too many straights were in attendance, and boycotted the whole thing. And bisexuals continued to be ignored by everyone in the sexual spectrum and are day-drinking alone somewhere as we speak.

The strangest part of this whole debacle is that it is somehow being packaged as not prejudice or discrimination, even though discrimination is defined as "the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people." Ships is hawking the same kind of prejudice and discrimination historically leveraged against queers and minorities, without the faintest hint of irony.

Some partygoers don't want to twerk with 1,000 Justin Biebers, and that's fine, but recognize that preferential treatment for one group over another and crying "straight privilege" is a similar move to the homophobic bakers denying gay couples cakes and crying "religious persecution." Exclusion, in-fighting, and claiming that one kind of prejudice is okay out of "political righteousness" aren't viable solutions to Ships' problems, and we think it's especially sad in the context of who gets to booty-bounce while drinking overpriced Miller High Lifes.

Ships is hosting a forum to hash out some of these issues at the Bay Area Queers Talking Race Community Forum (QTR) on Sat., March 9 at 2 p.m., at 3405 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

Clarification: The folks at QTR would like you to know that the forum was not created to air Ships concerns, but since Ships organizers are collaborating with QTR for this forum, some of the issues mentioned in this article will be discussed. More information can be found on their Facebook event page. They also claim the time and location of the forum might change.
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