Friday, December 09, 2011

"Don't Ask Us to Fight Their Wars" – I wrote the intro for the new Against Equality publication, a delicious little book showcasing queer challenges to militarism…

Here's an excerpt from my intro:

It is no coincidence that the obsession with gay inclusion in the US military emerged from the AIDS crisis. In the late-‘80s and early-‘90s, facing the deaths of lovers, friends, and sometimes entire social networks due not just to a new disease, but the old diseases of government neglect and structural homophobia, queers built systems of care that were breathtaking in their immediacy, shared vision, intimacy, and effectiveness. Out of rage and hopelessness came not just the brilliance of ACT UP, but a generation of incendiary art and brave visions for community-building.

As a 19-year-old queer activist surrounded by grieving, loneliness, desperation and visionary world-making in 1993, I'll admit that I held some hope that universal healthcare might become a central issue for queer struggle. What could have built more beautiful and far-reaching alliances, what could have held a greater impact not just for queers, but for everyone in this country? My hopes for a broad struggle based on universal needs were dashed at the March on Washington, which felt more like a circuit party than a protest: a circuit party with a military theme. Except that this wasn't just drug-fueled bacchanalia or straight-acting role play – brushing aside the ashes of dead lovers, the gay movement battled for the right to do its own killing.

More info on the book, here

6 comments:

Nick said...

That last line is particularly chilling.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Nick :)

Love--
mattilda

Nick said...

PS - The upcoming anthology shouldn't be called Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots?

It should be called, Why Do Faggots Put Up With Faggots Instead Of Burning Their Bullshit Condos To The Ground And Liberating All Their Offensive, Colonialist Papua New Guinea "Artwork" On The Concrete Street Outside?

Can you tell I just got home from the worst house party ever?

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, no – that doesn't sound like a house party, that sounds like a visit to the dark side, for sure -- oh, these faggots!

Love –
mattilda

davka said...

mattilda, thank you for all the important things you say and sometimes seem to be the only person saying. it must be lonely sometimes to have such a genius. i know this sounds cheesy, but i don't care. you really tie so many things together that are supposed to be understood that way but some of us, including me, just wouldn't have understood those connections without you.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, Davka, thank you so much, tears in my eyes…

Love –
mattilda