Would love to hear more takes from queer accelerationists who have had to escape abusive/repressive families or communities on the concept of "exit"— Moe❤️Maximizing🧚♀️Superintelligence (@basedkei) January 20, 2018
Being queer and leaning heavily toward accelerationism, I decided to respond. My response was longer than I thought it would be, and so I've decided to republish it here with minimal editing.
I'm starting with the assumption that by 'exit', we mean the same type of exit that Nick Land talks about in his essay 'The Dark Enlightenment'. With that, a personal story, and then some reflections:
11 days after my 15th birthday, I was taken into 'protective' state custody. I was placed in a succession of queer- and transphobic environments where I effectively had little voice and little exit. In addition to being denied those rights, I was abused, mostly emotionally and psychologically, at those locations. Between the day I was kidnapped and the day I was released—354 days—my only exit at all was to report suicidal ideations and go in hospital. One of those stays lasted months in a mostly queer- and transphobic environment with little support for me (what little I had was confined to talking with the therapist or the psychiatrist) and no free exit.
When I finally was able to exit that place, I was placed in an even more abusive, even more queer-/transphobic environment where some of the staff were downright sadists. During the Christmas show, while I took a break outside with my visiting family, one staff member informed me that we had to watch the performance, which led me to a quasi-psychotic meltdown where I started screaming about how everyone there was inferior to me and that I was willing to kill myself and banging my head on the pavement. My grandmother called 911 and I was able to go in hospital yet again.
After being released back to the same place, I used the limited exit provided by spending time with my social worker there and one of his colleagues, both of whom were understanding of my identity, to maintain my sanity until I got out on my 16th birthday. Finally escaping, I felt like I was an Israelite walking out of Egypt
I feel that free exit is an immensely important right, even if I wouldn't go so far as Patri Friedman in declaring it the most important right and the only universal human right. Given that I was deprived of voice as well, I feel that voice is also certainly an important right.
I'd say from my queer/trans perspective that there are two types of freedom, one characterised by free voice and one characterised by free exit. If I had free voice even while deprived of free exit, I would've been able to avoid most (if not all) of the abuse and create for myself an environment in which anti-queer and transphobic voices didn't drown out my own. It might've even been a welcome break from dealing with my family while they sorted out their own issues. If I had free exit, I would've been able to choose the places I ended up in, thus also avoiding the abuse.
In fact, I'd say these two types of freedom are joined. It's not easy to separate using voice from using exit in that scenario. If I had voice, I probably would have also gained free exit. If I had free exit, then I probably would have gained free voice.
That's pretty much my entire take on it. Other than that, a synchronicity: 'The Dark Enlightenment' is divided into four parts, and 'exit' is mentioned 23 times. My birthday, the same day as when I exited, is 23 April—04-23.