In his report to the Eighth Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania, comrade Enver Hoxha stated, “The Marxist-Leninists are not conservative and fanatical, as the revisionists and the bourgeois charge. On the contrary, they are the most progressive people, resolute fighters against everything outdated and backward. They stand firmly on the positions of the new and fight with all their might for its victory.” It is in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism that every communist is duty bound to consistently learn, grow, change, and develop as the world itself changes and grows. Nothing is ever truly in a static state of being; everything is always in a state of motion, a state of becoming. The correctness of Marxism-Leninism as a social science does not come from a static dogmatic nature, but from the dialectical and materialist method that keeps Marxism-Leninism a living and active science for the proletariat to utilize for their own emancipation.
It has always been the duty of Marxists to struggle against the backwards, the reactionary, and the revisionist. This can be seen in the struggle Marx and Engels waged in the First International against anarchist deviations. This can be seen in the struggle Lenin, Stalin, and the Bolsheviks waged against the revisionists in the Second International. This can be seen in the struggle an entire generation of communists waged against the growth of fascism the world over. And it can be seen in the struggle against the emergence of Khrushchevite revisionism waged by the real Marxist-Leninist forces of the world. The revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist struggle against the reactionary, the backward, and the revisionist continues on today, and it must continue on to secure the complete and total liberation of the international working class.
Today, just as in the time of Lenin and Stalin, the revisionists cloak themselves in Marxist language and aesthetics, but they are not Marxists. They are the enemies of genuine Marxism-Leninism and of the working class. Lenin wrote, “The ideological struggle waged by revolutionary Marxism against revisionism … is but the prelude to the great revolutionary battles of the proletariat.” In the wake of recent attacks on LGBTQIA+ communities, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming comrades, waged by the bourgeoisie and reactionary elements within the communist movement, it has become evident that Marxist-Leninists must again engage in the struggle against a new, more contemporary form of revisionism. It is this task that this article aims to begin.
Section One: A Discussion on Human Sexual Behavior and Gender
Over the past several decades, especially since the turbulent period of the 1960s and 1970s, topics concerning human sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender have come to the forefront of medical, scientific, psychological, sociological, and even anthropological discussions. Many people make the assumption that the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights, the study of queerness, and the existence of queer people are a newer phenomenon that arose more recently in time and have not been with humanity since its inception as a species. Nothing could be further from the truth. Historical and anthropological studies into human society, culture, and even well-known historical figures from various cultures and historical epochs represent a rich history of LGBTQIA+ existence that has been purposefully sanitized and obscured by the historians of the modern era with anachronistic prejudices.
A Brief Overview of Human Sexual Behavior Throughout History
Historical, anthropological, and archeological studies illuminate that queerness has been interwoven with humanity from its earliest days. In Ancient Greece homosexuality was regarded as a normal aspect of life, yet the Greeks did construct their own codes as to how queer relationships could take place in their society. Homosexuality was also present in the Roman Empire and was fully accepted as a sexual behavior for free Roman citizens to engage in. Again, the Romans, like the Greeks, had their own socially acceptable terms for the allowance of queer relationships to exist, but the overt practice of homosexuality was not considered deviant and was thought of as a normal sexual behavior in which to engage. It was not until the introduction of Christianity into the Roman Empire that queerness became viewed as a deviant behavior.
Queer relationships and queer acceptance were not limited to the Greco-Roman sphere of influence in Europe but was also present as normal and accepted sexual behavior in several other parts of the world. Ancient China for example, especially in the Han Dynasty period, was extremely accepting of LGBTQIA+ relationships, even by the official courts. Japan, prior to the influence of the British, was also accepting of queer relationships and they were often represented in art, theater, and literature from all across Japan. India was also a country where queer relationships were accepted, celebrated, and depicted both in art and religious stories of the time. However, throughout the process of colonization by western European powers that were nominally socially conservative, many of the queer-accepting aspects of cultures across the world were restricted or outright eliminated.
More modern scientific studies into human sexuality and sexual behavior came from European doctors and scientists whose work was sympathetic to the understanding that other sexual orientations, such as homosexuality and bisexuality, existed and were part of a spectrum of human sexual behavior. Eventually, before the takeover by Hitlerite fascism, it was Germany which had the world’s first institute for academic studies on human sexual behaviors, the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sexology). Its studies, research, and findings were burned by the Nazis and the Institute itself was closed in 1933. This information is often overlooked by those who decree that sex and gender studies are the result of postmodern identity politics. As psychological and sociological studies and research continued in the post-war period the scientific understanding of queerness did as well, and in 1973 the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its diagnostic manual of psychological disorders, and queerness was officially accepted to be a natural variation of human sexual behavior.
The Social Phenomenon of Gender
Marxist-Leninists, as scientific socialists, are guided by dialectical materialism which teaches that all social phenomena, their origins, expressions, practices and conflicts, are rooted in the social relations of any given mode of production of any society. In the case of the earliest productive stage of human society, primitive communism, where productive forces were relatively low, the division of labor in this historical epoch likely occurred based on physical characteristics. It is this initial division of labor, based on physical ability, that was most likely to lead to the initial conception of gender for humanity, meaning that gender originated as a social conception regarding the labor role a specific person or sex was to perform. Gender, like all concepts, has changed and evolved over time with the change of human social relations, the advances of science and the introduction of new machinery and productive forces. Of course, the gender expressions and roles of early primitive-communal economy were entirely different to that of slavery, to that of feudalism, with its patriarchy growing from late stage slavery, and to that of capitalism where the patriarchy initially predominated.
French anthropologist and Marxist Maurice Godelier spent years studying the indigenous tribes of Papua New Guinea, particularly the Baruya. Much of his research and data was compiled into his work The Metamorphoses of Kinship. The primary goal of this work was to address the non-static nature of human kinship relations, which itself includes a gender dynamic, and that economic relations were the determining factor in the development of kinship relations overall. Although this text is not explicitly concerned with gender as a social phenomenon, Godelier’s research has brought to light much information on the subject by default. The Baruya tribe that Godelier spent decades studying did exist in a variation of the primitive-communal system where productive forces had not developed to the extent that they had in the capitalist world. Godelier notes that in the socioeconomic relations experienced by the Baruya, “kin groups are at the same time units of production, of redistribution, [and] of consumption.” Godelier was also able to note that in the Baruya and other tribal societies there existed a “basis of the social division of labor between the sexes and generations.” Another very important observation that Godelier made in his work is that “all of the transformations that occur within a kinship system always lead to the establishment of another kinship relation.” All of this data on the development of humans in a primitive-communal mode of production is of paramount importance to the study of gender and its origins.
Gender, like all social phenomena, must have its basis, its origins, in the material experiences humanity has with the world and with ourselves. If, like Godelier suggests in his studies of the primitive-communal society that the Baruya existed within, the division of labor does in fact take part on the basis of “sex,” then what is occurring is that labor in the primitive-communal mode of production is divided based on physical characteristics and “generation,” in this sense meaning age. The division of labor is a social relation, as such, the labor roles that people inhibited in the given social relations of primitive-communal society that consumed their lives became the basis for the social conception of gender. As primitive-communal societies advanced with the creation of new instruments of production, so did their social relations. Initially these social relations were also kinship relations based upon the low developmental level and population level of the tribe, which is proven by the data collected by Godelier. As kinship relations morphed, it became apparent that socioeconomic relations changed as well. If the social relations were changing, so was the division of labor, and by extent, the social phenomenon of gender was also experiencing a change.
Eventually, like many social relations, gender experienced an alienation from its roots in the social division of labor, instead appearing as a conflation with human sexual designation. This alienation helps lead to the conception of gender as a “natural” static physical trait instead of the ever changing social phenomenon that it is. As productive forces develop, so do the social relations people inhabit. As social relations develop, so does the social phenomenon of gender in accordance with the culture, education, and expression that is intensified to a hitherto unforeseen extent, and thus leads to the loosening of material constraints on production with technological advancement while the social constraints linger and lag behind the material needs and wants of society at large.
Historical, anthropological, and sociological accounts of human sexual behavior and gender development is entirely at odds with capitalism’s status quo, with its institutions of patriarchal, cisgender, and hetero-normative social and political control, and just as much as some members of the capitalist class co-opt and “accommodate” the queer community, it is also in direct hostility to the full expression and liberty of that community. The “culture war” that is erupting in many countries today over human sexual behavior and gender is an artificial one, designed to neutralize the progress of class war. Unfortunately in the course of that war, the leaders of the exploited class of capitalism, the proletariat, have at times made considerable errors in regards to the LGBTQIA+ community, but only in relation to the developing birth pangs of a new, socialist society rising from the debris of crumbling capitalism. It is, however, the conscious elements of communist parties and organizations of the 21st century who absolutely cannot be forgiven for the same mistake.
Section Two: What is Queer-Antagonistic Revisionism?
The Relation of LGBTQIA+ Peoples to the Working Class
The recorded history of LGBTQIA+ workers in the class struggle against capitalism stretches back decades. Some of the historical records of queer workers engaging in unionization struggles are collected in Michelle O’Brien’s essay, “Trans Work: Employment Trajectories, Labour Discipline and Gender Freedom,” which can be found in the anthology work Transgender Marxism. In O’Brien’s essay they recount the struggle of queer workers in unionizing the ocean liner labor force of the 1930s. At the time much of the work being done on ocean liners was considered to be “feminine” reproductive work. It was here that American racism also played a part and many of these jobs were given to or taken up by Black and Chinese workers who were thought of as lesser and “already considered feminine” compared to white male workers. O’Brien goes on to note that “It is here that gender-nonconforming [and] effeminate men managed to get a foothold in the industry… Over workplace struggles through the 1930s the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union bridged these feminized Black men, Chinese men, and white queer men into the Communist Party aligned militant labor union. These militant workers organized under the slogan ‘No Race-Baiting, No Red-Baiting, or Queer Baiting!’”
In the case of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, the abandonment of the LGBTQIA+ community by the Reagan administration was implicitly tied to the President’s plan to deregulate Social Security and the healthcare sector to pursue a policy of austerity. The more the onus of healthcare spending was put on private, for-profit insurance companies, the less investment was freed up for research into the causes of the virus and the development of a cure, never mind basic palliative and legal support for all of the victims of the epidemic. In 2022, nearly 4.2 million young people face homelessness, with 40% of that figure identifying as LGBTQIA+, and queer people are at a 120% higher risk of facing homelessness. In this way, the capitalist state scheme of austerity and deregulation, particularly in the fields of healthcare and social housing, is sure to negatively impact marginalized communities who face discrimination in employment, credit, housing, medicine, and so on. The practical opportunities of organizing with a community exploited so intensely is of tremendous benefit to the working class movement as a whole, for in such clear terms are the brutality and negligence of the capitalist class and state laid bare.
Over the years LGBTQIA+ peoples have increasingly found themselves among the working class and in direct struggle against reactionary anti-labor and anti-queer policies and legislation.
In 2018, former president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, noted that “for many LGBTQ[IA+] Americans, a union card is their only form of employment protection.” In the US there is no federal law that protects LGBTQIA+ workers from being fired or discriminated against at their workplace. As of 2019 the unemployment rate for transgender and gender-nonconforming workers within the US is estimated to be 16%. The National Center for Transgender Equality records that one in four transgender workers have lost their jobs from discriminatory practices and around 30% of transgender and gender-nonconforming workers experience harassment in their workplace. Transgender workers also experience unemployment rates that are three times higher than the rate for cisgender workers. Transgender workers of color experience unemployment rates that are four times higher than cisgender workers.
Information and data collected by the Human Rights Campaign show that LGBTQIA+ peoples in the United States “are significantly more likely to be living in poverty than their straight and cisgender counterparts.” It is estimated 16% of adults in the US live in poverty, but this number increases to 22% for LGBTQIA+ adults. The portion specifically of transgender members of the queer community is significantly higher with nearly 30% of transgender people within the US living in conditions of poverty. It has also been found that within the US alone, full-time workers who are LGBTQIA+ only earn 90 cents per every dollar that a non-LGBTQIA+ worker makes. This can be broken down further by race/ethnicity, gender, and sex, with workers of certain races, sexes, and genders being paid an average of 72 cents per dollar compared to their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts. Queer workers not only face discrimination in the economic field but in the social sphere as well. At least 32 transgender people were murdered in hate crimes committed in 2022 — and with many such deaths going unreported, or news outlets and police reports misgendering the victim, that number is undoubtedly an undercount. According to the same report, at least 15 transgender individuals have been murdered by police while incarcerated in jails, prisons, and ICE detention facilities since 2013, which again is likely to be an underestimation. It is worth noting here that 64% of Americans support protecting transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, in public spaces, and in housing.
In his work What is to be Done?, Lenin argued that revolutionary communists:
“…should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.”
Lenin asserted that the gathering of all progressive political forces under the hegemony of the working class movement, itself led by an organized detachment of that same class, was the surest means of building a revolutionary movement. Protecting LGBTQIA+ workers from discrimination is, through a Marxist-Leninist analysis, an active association with an oppressed and marginalized community under capitalism, it is resistance against economic disparity and state and interpersonal violence that only serves to strengthen reactionary organizations and movements. Every victory in the struggle against workplace discrimination and for human rights is a victory for the working class struggle and a victory against the reactionary rule of capital.
Defining and Identifying Queer-Antagonistic Revisionism
The history of LGBTQIA+ rights in previous socialist states is incredibly complex and requires a nuanced and instructive understanding and study. In some former socialist societies, same-sex relations were initially viewed as examples of “bourgeois decadence” and considered unnatural. This belief was based primarily on the then-prevailing psychological view that queerness was a psychosexual disorder. At the same time, as will be explored below, many of these socialist states were still profoundly progressive relative to the generally underdeveloped scientific and social understanding of LGBTQIA+ issues, and would continue to establish rights for queer people that predate even the half-hearted “progressive” rulings of bourgeois democracies today, up until the point that revisionism and reaction prevailed.
At the present moment, there is a question of vital importance to study: the theoretical phenomenon of queer-antagonistic revisionism. By this we refer to two forms of revisionism that go hand-in-hand. The first form is a historical revisionism that leads to the isolation, invalidation, and rejection of the LGBTQIA+ community’s existence over history, treating queerness as a modern outgrowth of bourgeois identity politics (which has been addressed in section one of this document); and the second is a form of Marxist revisionism that ignores or obscures the past advancements made by socialist societies in the direction of queer inclusion and liberation.
Queer-antagonistic revisionism as a phenomenon has come into existence for a variety of reasons: the attempts of some communists to defend perceived existing socialist states (which itself is unnecessary given the unsung popular victories detailed below); the socially regressive attitudes of specific cultures, nations, and peoples at the present moment; and the opposition to the opportunistic parasitism of Trotskyism, social democracy, and liberalism, which have historically and wrongfully been lumped together with the politics of queerness as one and the same. Marxists of the last century have, in general, responded differently to the increasing visibility and activity of queer workers and are not themselves fully aware of or receptive to the gains of that community under socialism. In this way, all manner of bigotry and ignorance are camouflaged by the Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Stalin writes in Dialectical and Historical Materialism:
“There are different kinds of social ideas and theories. There are old ideas and theories which have outlived their day and which serve the interests of the moribund forces of society. Their significance lies in the fact that they hamper the development, the progress of society. Then there are new and advanced ideas and theories which serve the interests of the advanced forces of society. Their significance lies in the fact that they facilitate the development, the progress of society; and their significance is the greater the more accurately they reflect the needs of development of the material life of society.”
It is not just the perseverance of “old ideas” that the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement is now having to contend with, but a struggle to protect the progressive from the backward must also be made. There are more insidious maneuvers at play here as well that are harming the growth of a united working-class movement. There are many revisionist parties, such as the Marxist-Leninist Party (Communist Reconstruction) of Spain, that are openly hostile to queer people, and in particular the transgender community. This queer-antagonistic revisionism can also be found in similar initiatives and lines from the reactionaries in the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
Such parties and their ilk justify their positions behind metaphysical conceptualizations of gender and sex. The CPGB-ML, for example, maintains an incredibly vulgarized and static view of human sexual designation and the false idea that gender and sex are one and the same. In their article The Reactionary Nightmare of ‘Gender-Fluidity,’ the CPGB-ML uphold the discredited and anti-scientific idea that sex and gender are synonymous. Their position here is that questions about gender-fluidity are anti-materialist in nature and that the concepts of sex and gender are one and the same, but in taking this stance the CPGB-ML refuses to acknowledge the social scientific consensus that sex and gender, while related, are two distinct phenomena; and the dialectical materialist understanding that gender, as a social phenomenon, has evolved differently throughout various cultures and ethnicities around the world which has led to the creation of multitudes of gender roles and identities. They instead take the position of political idealism, subjecting and bending social science to meet their preconceptions, rather than adjusting their understanding of the world to scientific evidence, which is the materialist method. Through this idealism also arises social-chauvinism. If, as the CPGB-ML argue, gender is synonymous with human sexual designation, then they have eliminated the multitude of cultural distinctions in gender across generations of human development and have universalized their own understanding of gender, as it exists in Great Britain, as the only gender dynamic possible. This is social-chauvinism and vulgar materialism at its finest.
For the PML (RC), they are more brazen in supporting what they believe to be more “traditional Spanish culture” of their country. As such they are opposed to what they see as the “perversion” of Spanish culture. It needs not be said that the PML (RC) is a reactionary element infiltrating the historic communist movement of Spain. They mirror the fascist right’s strategy of eliminating the class struggle in favor of a “culture struggle” and they do this in communist colors, which makes their actions even more malevolent to the development of the working class movement.
The human societies of today are qualitatively different from those societies in which gender first developed. Social relations have undoubtedly advanced, as is evident by the existence of different modes of production, giving rise to new gender dynamics over time. Our various conceptions of gender today (which still vary widely across cultures) could be unrecognizable hundreds of years from now as social relations continue to develop. Any attempt to identify a single gender dynamic from any point in the history of human societies as a universal and immutable definition of gender is a metaphysical and anti-dialectical notion, the most covert of denials to the Marxist-Leninist world outlook. As social relations continue to develop so will our understanding and conceptions of ourselves in relation to our engagement with each other and the material world. The opportunism of queer-antagonistic revisionism is an open betrayal to the working class of all backgrounds.
Section Three: A Brief Overview of LGBTQIA+ Struggles and the Communist Movement
It would be historically and materially incorrect to argue that the international communist movement has always held, as a whole, the correct line on the social status, rights, and existence of queer people and LGBTQIA+ communities. However, it would also be historically revisionist to deny that there have been comrades within the communist movement since its earliest days who have sided with and supported the struggles of LGBTQIA+ peoples for liberation and equality. The first recorded instance of a Marxist opposing discrimination towards the queer community comes from German communist leader August Bebel, who on January 13th, 1898, gave a speech on the floor of the Reichstag building opposing the anti-sodomy statute of the German state. Bebel based his stance on research conducted by the Wissenschaftlich-Humanitäre Komitée (Scientific Humanitarian Committee), the world’s first openly active homosexual rights organization. A section of the speech given by Bebel is cited:
“Gentlemen, the penal code exists to be enforced — that is to say, so that the authorities who have the primary responsibility for maintaining compliance with and respect for the law should be dutifully watchful for violations and act accordingly. But there are provisions of our penal code, some of them contained in the motion before us, where the authorities, although fully aware that these provisions are systematically violated by a great number of people, men as well as women, only in the rarest cases bother to call for action on the part of the prosecutor. Here I have particularly in mind the section with the provisions of Paragraph 175 — it has to do with ‘unnatural fornication.’ It will be necessary, if the Commission is elected — and I do urge that one be, because in my opinion this bill cannot become law without the Commission’s recommendation — that then the government of Prussia be specifically requested to remand to us certain material which the local Berlin vice squad has at its disposal, so that on the basis of an examination of the same, we may ask ourselves whether we can and should retain the section with the provisions of Paragraph 175, and, if we should, whether we should not have to expand them. I am informed by the best sources that the police of that city do not bring the names of men who commit offenses which Paragraph 175 makes punishable by imprisonment to the attention of the district attorney as seen as they have become aware of the fact, but rather add the names of the persons involved to the list of those who for the same reasons are already in their files.
The number of these persons is so great and reaches so far into all levels of society, that if the police here scrupulously carried out their duty, the Prussian State would immediately be compelled to build two new penitentiaries just to take care of those offenses against Paragraph 175 that are committed in Berlin alone.”
Nearly two decades after Bebel delivered this speech, the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, headed by Lenin, the Bolshevik Party, and the Russian working class, created the world’s first successful proletarian dictatorship and by extension nullified the Tsarist penal code in its entirety. This included the striking down of Tsarist anti-homosexuality laws which legally decriminalized homosexuality within the whole of proletarian Russia. As the proletarian dictatorship transformed itself into the world’s first socialist state it began setting up its own legal and penal codes. Oftentimes, opportunists and queer-antagonistic revisionists will cite Article 121 of the Soviet Penal Code to prove that the Soviet Union was intolerant toward the queer community. However, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia however states:
“Soviet legislation does not recognize so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest … while recognizing the incorrectness of homosexual development … our society combines prophylactic and other therapeutic measures with all the necessary conditions for making the conflicts that afflict homosexuals as painless as possible and for resolving their typical estrangement from society within the collective.”
While the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia is itself extremely problematic and reactionary, it is important to note something that is often neglected in this passage. While other bourgeois countries like Great Britain and the United States were outlawing homosexuality and forcing people convicted of the crime to undergo chemical castration, the Soviet Union officially only criminalized the assault of minors, not homosexuality overall, and focused on “therapeutic” measures for queer people instead. While today modern psychologists and medical professionals understand that human sexual orientation is a spectrum of behavioral patterns, at the time of the writing of the Soviet penal code, homosexuality and queerness were thought to be psychosexual disorders that afflicted people throughout their lives, and while the “therapeutic” treatments to eliminate “conflicts” faced by queer people would be considered backwards by today’s medical standards, at the time they were less severe than much of the bourgeois “treatments” for queer peoples in the capitalist world. It is here that it will be noted that the Great Soviet Encyclopedia’s 1979 edition does list homosexuality as “a sexual perversion consisting in an unnatural attraction towards the same sex. It is encountered among individuals of both sexes. Criminal law in the USSR…and some bourgeois states have established a penalty for homosexuality (sodomy).” It is unclear when this change in Soviet law was enacted as concrete evidence could not be found in the research time permitted, but it is worth noting that this change in the Soviet approach towards queerness seems to have transpired during the revisionist period of the USSR when the transition to capitalism had already begun.
After the end of the Second World War, in an effort to completely eliminate Nazi-era elements from state structures, East Germany decriminalized homosexuality in 1968 with the removal of the penal code that August Bevel had spoken against nearly a half century prior. Then, in 1987 the East German Supreme Court decreed that “homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, represents a variant of sexual behavior. Homosexual people do therefore not stand outside socialist society, and the civil rights are warranted to them exactly as to all other citizens.” By the 1980s the East German government was opening state–sponsored queer discos and mandating that the state’s official youth organization, the Free German Youth (FDJ), engage in educational sessions related to LGBTQIA+ studies. It is important to note that the German socialist and communist movement had never politically opposed LGBTQIA+ peoples and had a long tradition of being on the forefront of issues relating to sexual behavior and sexual orientation.
Issue 1822 of En Marcha, newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE), featuring the rainbow (LGBT+ pride) flag alongside the flags of Ecuador and the USSR, August, 2018.
In 1977 Socialist Albania decriminalized homosexual behavior with the removal of Article 239 from its Penal Code which gave Socialist Albania the most socially “liberal laws concerning homosexuality in the whole of Europe” at the time. It was the reactionary bourgeois regime that came to power after the defeat of socialism in Albania that re-criminalized homosexuality. It was this re-criminalization of queerness that led to the creation of a broad mass movement amongst the working people of Albania to force the reactionary bourgeois Albanian government to re-legalize homosexuality in 1995.
The decriminalization of homosexuality was also seen in revolutionary Cuba in 1979, and today it is the heroic and revolutionary working masses of Cuba that are leading the way for LGBTQIA+ rights within the state structure. Article 42 of the 2019 Cuban constitution has LGBTQIA+ rights enshrined within it. In 2008 Resolution 126 was signed into law which allowed Cuban workers seeking sexual reassignment/gender-affirming surgery to receive it free of charge, and most recently in 2022 the Cuban masses secured a major victory not only for queer peoples but all of humanity with the passage of their new family code which is widely considered to be one of the most progressive family codes in the world today.
Footnotes and works cited:
1 Enver Hoxha, (1981). Extracts from the Report Submitted to the 8th Congress of the PLA. Selected Works of Enver Hoxha, Volume 6. p. 447. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/ebooks/sw/vol6.pdf
2 Karl Marx, (1874). Extract from Conspectus of Bakunin’s Statism and Anarchy. Used to reference divisions faced by the First International. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1874/04/bakunin-notes.htm
3 Vladimir Lenin, (1915). The Collapse of the Second International. Used to reference struggle against reformism. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/csi/
4 Enver Hoxha, (1960). Reject the Revisionist Theses of the XX Congress of the Soviet Union. Used to reference the struggle against Khrushchevite Revisionism. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/nov1960.htm
5 Vladimir Lenin, (1908). Marxism and Revisionism. Used to refer to the danger of revisionism as outlined by Lenin. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/apr/03.htm
6 2023 Trans Legislation Tracker. Used to reference the multitude of recent anti-transgender legal attacks within the US. https://translegislation.com/
7 Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, (2022). Used to reference the obscuring of queer issues by academia. https://maxwellmuseum.unm.edu/news-events/blog/celebrating-pride-month-maxwell-museum-anthropology-i-queer-anthropology
8 Gayle Zive. A Brief History of Western Homosexuality. Used to discuss queeness in ancient Greece. https://www.csustan.edu/sites/default/files/honors/documents/journals/sexinstone/Zive.pdf
9 Abigail Hudson, (2021). Male Homosexuality in Ancient Rome. Used for reference of queerness in Roman culture. https://blog.bham.ac.uk/historybham/lgbtqia-history-month-male-homosexuality-in-ancient-rome/
10 Sara Prager, (2020). In Han Dynasty China, Bisexuality was the Norm. Used for reference for queerness in China. https://daily.jstor.org/in-han-dynasty-china-bisexuality-was-the-norm/
11 Mark McLelland, (2011). Japan’s Queer Culture. Used for reference to queerness in Japan. https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1277&context=artspapers
12 Aditi Yadav, (2021). A Brief History of LGBTQ+ in India. Used for reference for queerness in India. https://newsletter.sscbs.du.ac.in/a-brief-history-of-lgbtq-in-india/
13 Dr. Bonnie J. Morris, (2023). A Brief History of Lesbian, gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Movements. Used to explore the history of psychology and queerness. https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/history
14 Making Queer History. The Institute of Sexology. Used to reference the creation of the Institute in Germany and its studies. https://www.makingqueerhistory.com/articles/2016/12/20/institute-of-sexology-a-place-of-learning
15 Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. May 6 1933: Looting of the Institute of Sexology. Used to reference Nazi suppression of sex and gender studies. https://www.hmd.org.uk/resource/6-may-1933-looting-of-the-institute-of-sexology/
16 National Library of Medicine, (2015). Depathologizing Homosexuality. Used to reference the removal of queerness as a psych-sexual disorder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695779/
17 Maurice Godelier. The Metamorphosis of Kinship. Kindle ed. Quotation from the second chapter used to substantiate the thesis on origin of gender.
18 Transgender Marxism, (2021). A collection of studies related to transgender and gender-nonconforming workers, their experiences, and their history. Used for the purpose of sourcing information related to queer union organizing. Specific essay used was Michelle O’Brein’s “Trans Work: Employment Trajectories, Labour Discipline and Gender Freedom.”
19 Aaron Lecklider, (2012). On Board With Queer Labor and Racial Solidarity. Yes! Online Magazine. Used for the purpose of supporting statements concerning queer union organizing. https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2021/06/17/queer-labor-racial-solidarity-marine-cooks-stewards
20 Working Class Pride in the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, (2021). Online article used to help substantiate evidence of radical queer union organizing. https://www.ueunion.org/ue-news-feature/2021/working-class-pride-in-the-marine-cooks-and-stewards-union
21 Austin Frakt, (2018). Reagan, Deregulation and America’s Exceptional Rise in Healthcare Costs. The New York Times. Used for the sourcing of historical events and data concerning the Reagan years. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/upshot/reagan-deregulation-and-americas-exceptional-rise-in-health-care-costs.html
22 National Network for Youth. LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness. Used to source data on queer youth poverty and homelessness. https://nn4youth.org/lgbtq-homeless-youth/
23 Kim Kelly, (2019). How LGBTQ Union Activists Transformed the Labor Movement.Teen Vogue. Used here to source quotes from former AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/lgbtq-union-activists-transformed-the-labor-movement
24 National Center for Transgender Equality. Used to source statistics on discrimination faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming workers. https://transequality.org/issues/employment
25 Kim Kelly, (2019). How LGBTQ Union Activists Transformed the Labor Movement. Teen Vogue. Second usage of article to source statistical information. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/lgbtq-union-activists-transformed-the-labor-movement
26 Human Rights Campaign. Understanding Poverty in the LGBTQ + Community. Used to source information concerning poverty rates among queer workers. https://www.hrc.org/resources/understanding-poverty-in-the-lgbtq-community
27 Human Rights Campaign. The Wage Gap Among LGBTQ+ Workers in the United States. Used to source information on economic disparity for queer workers. https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-wage-gap-among-lgbtq-workers-in-the-united-states
28 UCLA, (2022). Pathways Into Poverty: Lived Experiencess Among LGBTQ People. Study by UCLA used to source data on poverty breakdowns concerning the queer community overall. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Pathways-Overview-Sep-2020.pdf
29 Hannah Schoenbaum. (2022). Report Says at Least 32 Transgender People were Killed in the U.S. 2022. Used for the purpose of sourcing statistics and data on violence experienced by transgender communities. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/nation/report-says-at-least-32-transgender-people-were-killed-in-the-u-s-in-2022
30 Kim Parker, (2022). Americans’ Complex View on Gender Identity and Transgender Issues. Pew Research. Used in order to cite statistics related to support American communities have towards transgender and gender-nonconforming protections. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2022/06/28/americans-complex-views-on-gender-identity-and-transgender-issues/
31 Vladimir Lenin, (1902). What is to be Done?. International Publishers. Page 80.
32 National Library of Medicine, (2015). Depathologizing Homosexuality. Used to source the removal of queerness as a disorder and the advancement of social science to understand queerness as normal sexual behavior on a spectrum. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695779/
33 Joseph Stalin, (1938). Dialectical and Historical Materialism. Kamgar Prakashan. Page 23.
34 Link to official Party website. https://reconstruccioncomunista.es/.
35 Link to official Party website. https://thecommunists.org/
36 The Reactionary Nightmare of ‘Gender-Fluidity’. Official CPBG-ML stance on issues concerning gender. Used for the purpose of identifying and analyzing the queer-antogonisitic revisionism with the CPGB-ML. https://thecommunists.org/2019/03/23/news/the-reactionary-nightmare-of-gender-fluidity/
37 Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos. Sociology of Gender. Used for the purpose of proving the view that gender and sex are synonymous incorrect as far as modern social science is concerned. https://othersociologist.com/sociology-of-gender/
38 Paola Guiliano, (2017). Gender a Historical Perspective. National Bureau of Economic Research. Used for the purpose of referencing the fact that gender did evolve differently across cultures. One important factor in this study is that it also ties gender development to economic production. https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w23635/w23635.pdf
39 Article by the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) that discusses the chauvinistic tendencies of the Marxist-Leninist Party (Communist Reconstruction). https://pceml.info/actual/index.php/actualidad/articulos/1176-bordada-en-rojo-la-deriva-nacionalchovinista-del-p-ml-rc
40 Post on Twitter in reference to the Party line of the MLP-RC. Many of their more reactionary statements end up online and not officially on their Party website. The reason for this occurrence is unclear. https://twitter.com/JustoFernndezL2/status/1650442895311134721
41 Post on Twitter in reference to the Party line of the MLP-RC. https://twitter.com/RobertoVaquero_/status/1642595370684366851
42 August Bebel, (1898). On Homosexuality and the Penal Code. Marxist Internet Archive. https://www.marxists.org/archive/bebel/1898/01/13.htm
43 Alfonso Casal. On homosexuality in the USSR. The Red Phoenix. Used to source Article 121 of the Soviet Penal Codes. https://redphoenixnews.com/2023/05/08/on-homosexuality-in-the-ussr/
44 Peter Tatchell Foundation. Alan Turning and the Medical Abuse of Gay Men. Used to source the medical abuse faced by queer men in Great Britain. https://www.petertatchellfoundation.org/alan-turing-the-medical-abuse-of-gay-men/
45 It is unknown to the authors of this work when this change in Soviet Penal Code to criminalize queerness was enacted. Proper and concrete source information could not be found. We would simply note that queerness was in fact criminalized in the USSR in 1979 which does place this criminalization in the period of capitalist restoration.
46 Samuel Huneke. Gay Liberation Behind the Iron Curtain. Boston Review. Used to source information about the East German policies regarding the queer community. https://www.bostonreview.net/articles/gay-liberation-behind-iron-curtain/
47 The Gay and Lesbian Movement in East Germany. University of Massachusetts. Used to source information about the queer rights movement in East Germany. https://www.umass.edu/defa/sites/default/files/The%20Gay%20and%20Lesbian%20Movement%20in%20East%20Germany.pdf
48 Samuel Huneke. Gay Liberation Behind the Iron Curtain. Boston Review. Second usage of this article for the purpose of sourcing information about queer rights in East Germany. https://www.bostonreview.net/articles/gay-liberation-behind-iron-curtain/
49 1977 Penal Code of Socialist Albania in Albanian. Cited to show the removal of Penal Code 239 which decriminalized homosexuality in Albania. It is worth noting here, that Article 98 and Article 137 both refer to the crime of “pederasty” which was often times equated to homosexual behavior but was meant to refer to the sexual assault of children and minors. The removal of Penal Code 239 did legalize so-called “unnatural” sex in Socialist Albania for relationships between men and women, and for relationships between women and women. Conceivably, this means that sexual relationships between men and men were still illegal based upon the conflation of “pederasty” with male homosexual behavior but concrete evidence to support this was not found.
50 Report of the Eastern European Information Pool, (1983). HOSI Magazine. A report into homosexual rights in Eastern European countries that listed Socialist Albania to have the most liberal laws in Eastern Europe concerning homosexuality and queerness. This issue confirms a report that they previously issued. https://cb65b51b-c150-4b9e-875d-05ed09f9e8c9.filesusr.com/ugd/90d4c0_6e068484fbcd4a2b906ec0bfaf2b4d1d.pdf
51 UCL. Albania. Organizational research that notes the re-legalization of homosexual behavior in Albania in 1995. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/research/research-guides/lgbtq-eastern-europe/albania
52 2019 Cuban Constitution. Article 42 reads: “All people are equal before the law, receive the same protection and treatment from the authorities, and enjoy the same rights, liberties, and opportunities, without any discrimination for reasons of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnic origin, skin color, religious belief, disability, national or territorial origin, or any other personal condition or circumstance that implies a distinction injurious to human dignity.” https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Cuba_2019.pdf?lang=en
53 National Library of Medicine, (2018). Transexuals’ Right to Healthcare? A Cuban Case Study. Used to source the information that Cuba does perform gender-affirming surgery free of charge to all peoples in need or desiring of said procedures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293354/
54 Full pdf of new Cuban family code passed in 2022 (in Spanish). https://www.gacetaoficial.gob.cu/sites/default/files/goc-2022-o99.pdf
55 Hyperlink of the official Twitter page of the Trans Obrera Sindicalista. Used to show interaction between them and the PCE (ML). https://twitter.com/TransObrera?t=TwDW5Yu_Kim1jpURBLH_uA
56 Hyperlink to Instagram page showing video reports celebrating Trans Day of Visibility. https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoA0WDyJ6LY
57 Hyperlink to issue 32 of Unity and Struggle. Dominican Party Article, page 80. https://cipoml.net/en/?p=82