The Making of a Gay Hero and Queer Remembrance After 9/11
Keywords:queer, Mark Bingham, Marsh P. Johnson, transgender, LGBTQ, 9/11
In this article, the author recounts some of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, when four doomed airlines crashed after being hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists, resulting in the deaths of 2,977 people in New York, New York, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and on an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is at this latter location, where United Flight 93 crashed killing everyone onboard, including 31-year-old Mark Bingham, an openly gay businessman and member of a small group of people who, it is believed, wrested control from the hijackers and brought the plane down. In the years post-September 11, Bingham has become known as a modern-day hero by the various queer communities, while also garnering a high level of notoriety among many mainstream people as well. The author maintains, however, that Bingham’s hero status simultaneously contributes to the dismissal and erasure of countless other queer people, primarily Black, Brown, and transgender, who have also performed heroic acts throughout modern U.S. history. Without diminishing the actions Bingham and the others took on board United Flight 93, the author questions why this particular gay man is remembered, while countless other queer/trans people of color remain largely unknown.
Copyright (c) 2021 J. B. Mayo, Jr.
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