tirsdag, november 28, 2006

David Wojnarowicz raser ut

”’If I had a dollar to spend for healthcare I’d rather spend it on a baby or innocent person with some defect or illness not of their own responsibility; not some person with AIDS…’ says the healthcare official on national television and this is in the middle of an hour long video of people dying on camera because they can’t afford the limited drugs avaliable that might extend their lives and I can’t even remember what this official looked like because I reached in through the t.v. screen and ripped his face in half and I was diagnosed with Arc [AIDS related complex] recently and this was after the last few years of losing count of the friends and neighbors who have been dying slow vicious and unnecessary deaths because fags and dykes and junkies are expendable in this country ”If you want to stop Aids shoot the queers…” says the governor of texas on the radio and his press secretary later claims that the governor was only joking and didn’t know that the microphone was turned on and besides they didn’t think it would hurt his chances for re-election anyways and I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america and I’m carrying this rage like blood filled egg and there’s a thin line between the inside and the outside a thin line between thought and action and that line is simply made up of blood and muscle and bone and I’m waking up more and more from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in ’infected blood’ and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or government healthcare officials or those thinly disguised walking swastika’s that wear religious garments over their murderous intentions or those rabid strangers parading against Aids clinics in the nightly suburbs there’s a thin line a very thin line between the inside or the outside and I’ve been looking all my life at the signs surrounding us in the media or on peoples lips; the religious types outside st. patricks cathedral shouting to men and women in the gay parade: ”You won’t be here next year – you’ll get Aids and die ha ha…” and the areas of the u.s.a. where it is possible to murder a man and when brought to trial one only has to say that the victim was a queer and that he tried to touch you and the courts will set you free and the difficulties that a bunch of republican senators have in albany with supporting an anti-violence bill that includes ’sexual orientation’ as a category of crime victims there’s a thin line a very thin line and as each T-cell disappears from my body it’s replaced by ten pounds of pressure ten pounds of rage and I focus that rage into non-violent resistance but that focus is starting to slip my hands are beginning to move independent of self-restraint and the egg is starting to crack america seems to understand and accept murder as a self defense against those who would murder other people and its been murder on a daily basis for eight count them eight long years and we’re expected to pay taxes to support this public and social murder and we’re expected to quietly and politely make house in this windstorm of murder but I say there’s certain politicians that had better increase their security forces and there’s religious leaders and healthcare officials that had better get bigger dogs and higher fences and more complex security alarms for their homes and queer-bashers better start doing their work from inside howitzer tanks because the thin line between the inside and outside is beginning to erode and at the moment I’m a thirty seven foot tall one thousand one hundred and seventy-two pound man inside this six foot frame and all I can feel is the pressure all I can feel is the pressure and the need for release”
- Tekst fra David Wojnarowicz verk Untitled (Hujar Dead), 1988-89

mandag, november 27, 2006

Pass på med det! Ta pengene - ikke blodet!

Vi er ikke helt trygge, vi. Vi homoer. Vi menn som har sex med menn. Noen steder i samfunnet har de passet på at det advares mot oss. Mot oss litt skeive. Oss litt farlige. Se bare på Norges Røde Kors' Blodprograms side www.giblod.no. Her er vi ikke en del av selskapet:

Vi kan altså ikke gi blod. Det er vel ikke så merkelig at en av samfunnets risikogrupper ikke kan gi blod. Vi får jo HIV og AIDS bare vi ser hardt på hverandre. Slapp av, det gjelder visst kun oss altså, ikke dere. Dere kan gi blod. Masser av blod. Og det trengs. For Norge mangler blod. Men pass på! For har du "gjort det" med en av oss er du med i vi'et for alltid. Sånn er regelen. Vi er virkelig mange slik. Så pass på, for hvis du ikke har "gjort det" med oss, har du kanskje bodd sammen med oss? Du skal nok passe deg. Vi kunne jo ha vært HIV smittet, ikke? NB: "Følgende personer skal i en periode avstå fra blodgivning:" Men kanskje har du ikke bodd sammen med oss. Hvem vet? Vet du? Du skal altså passe på. Ja, for bare å være venner med en av oss er farlig. Vi er levende infeksjonsbomber. Mer enn noen andre i samfunnet. Vi er kilder av bakterier og viruser. Hvor er varselstrekanten?
Men så er vi jo samtidig så pene. Så velholdte. Husk det. Vi bare elsker jo klær og utseende og sånn. Vi, altså. En stund var jo dere også litt med på kjøpet, men så ble jo metroen ut og retroen inn igjen. Vi er en kjøpesterk gruppe. Vi er milliardbuissness. Vi er ikke bare i pink, men vi er pink dollars!

Glem det der med blodet, for alt i alt er vi jo innbringende! I hvertfall for København kommune. De elsker oss jo, rett og slett:
København er wonderful. Ikke mindst for de homoseksuelle. Det signal forsøger Københavns Kommune, Wonderful Copenhagen, Copenhagen Gay Life og en del andre aktører at sælge til det såkaldte homosegment.

København har fundet ud af, at bøsser og lesbiske på mange måder er ganske vidunderlige turister. Alene i USA er deres rejsebudget på 55 milliarder dollar om året, også kaldet ’pink dollar’, som den danske hovedstad gerne vil have omsat til lyserøde kroner.
Dette stod det om oss i "København skal være en pink by" i Politiken sist fredag. Dere blir kanskje litt misunnelige over vår rikdom og kjøpekraft? Det forstår seg. Men kanskje er ikke vi oss allikevel. Kanskje er vi et litt guffent ord.

"We Will Not Protect You" skrev ACT UP/New York under Gay Parade i 2005. Ti tekster om oss, eller rettere, "oss". Her er et forløsende utdrag:


It's true that we have more queer "things" than ever before - from Will & Grace on network TV to Queer as Folk on Showtime; from the West Village to all-gay cruises to Gay Day at Disney World; from Queer Studies in colleges to our very own cigarette ads. The problem is, having all of these "things" hasn't changed the way the world sees queers. We are still relegated to subhuman status in the minds of so many middle Americans and high level politicians. Need evidence? Look at the virulently homophobic elected officials who are in office right now because they promised the public that they would protect the "Sanctity" of Marriage from Gays and Lesbians.

Having "things" has only given us a false sense of safety from the very real dangers of having no claims to civil rights inside or outside of all of those bars, clubs, Gay Days, or gender theory classes. […]

We can buy a rainbow coffin but we can't buy our way out of it because, when it comes down to it, being a target market will not protect you.

It never has. And it never will.

lørdag, november 25, 2006

Masturbation Machine

Few homosexuals use their real names, they generally go by aliases choosing first names with a sexual connotation; Harry, Dick, Peter are the most favoured. One drops to his knees, the other unzips his pants and a few moments later it's all over. No names, no faces, no emotions. A masturbarion machine might do it better.

Most homosexual find their man-to-man sex unfulfilling, so they masturbate a lot. Much of their masturbation centres around the anus. The question, of course, is what to use for a penis. The answer is often found in pantry. Some of the routine items which find their way into the gastrointestinal system of homosexuals via the exit are pens, pencils, lipsticks, pop bottles, ladies' electric shavers and enough other items to stock a small department store.
- Doctor David R. Reuben Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, 1971

Frontier Medicine

The man in the chair in the blacked-out room is a homosexual. There is a projection screen before him. On it flashes a picture of a male model with a fine physique. Seconds later, as the photograph lingers on the screen, an electric shock races through the body of the watcher. As the sensation passes, the picture of the male is replaced by the image of an attractive woman. The sequence is repeated again and again and again. The image of the man is thus linked with displeasure and that of the female with pleasure. This is a brief summary of a form of treatment for homosexuality known as aversion therapy. In a way it is frontier medicine.
- "The Men Apart" Evening Chronichle, 1965

onsdag, november 22, 2006


[Hagiografi: fra gresk hagios og grafein, «å skrive om hellige» betegner studiet av helgener, med fokus på enkeltpersoner.]
So let me make it official. I may not have worshiped Foucault at the time I wrote One Hundred Years of Homosexuality, but I do worship him now. As far as I'm concerned, the guy was a fucking saint.

Not that I imagine Foucault to have led either a sexually or a morally perfect life. In fact, I know almost nothing about his life beyond what I've read in three recent biographies [...] I never met Foucault myself. I never even laid my eyes on him. My relation to him is indirect and secondary: like my relation to virtually every other great writer, ancient or modern, that I have ever studied, it is entirely mediated, imaginary, and – why bother to deny it? – hagiographical. (s.6)

– David M. Halperin Saint Foucault - Towards a Gay Hagiography.
Halperins beskrivelse av den hagiografiske forskeren er ytterst presis. Man sitter der og skriver om fantastiske og overskridende kunstverk med disse uungåelig medierte, fantasmatiske og imaginære bildene av kunstneren i hodet. Hvordan kan man unngå at glorien begynner å lyse over bildet? Jeg sier det som Halperin "As far as I'm concerned, Felix Gonzalez-Torres was a fucking saint!"

tirsdag, november 21, 2006

Return of the Real

Dagens rapport 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update fra UNAIDS - the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - er nedslående. Her er et utdrag fra pressemeldingen:
According to the latest figures published today in the UNAIDS/WHO 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update, an estimated 39.5 million people are living with HIV. There were 4.3 million new infections in 2006 with 2.8 million (65%) of these occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and important increases in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where there are some indications that infection rates have risen by more than 50% since 2004. In 2006, 2.9 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

Illustrasjonen er fra den 90 sider lange rapporten som kom i dag - det er viktig og deprimerende lesning.

mandag, november 20, 2006

Roskilde Festivalen er ikke over!

Nå er det igjen grunn til å reise til Roskilde! Christian Yde Frostholms installasjon Turbo på ordet kjører på Roskilde Universitetsbibliotek i to uker! Det er så flott så flott. Flere bilder her!

lørdag, november 18, 2006

Se her Sune Nordgren! Kanskje noen elsker deg?

torsdag, november 16, 2006

An Archive of Feelings

Det er fire og tyve år siden AIDS fikk navnet AIDS. Selve termen AIDS er dermed ett år eldre enn meg. Det er ikke så altfor lenge siden jeg fant ut hvilke ord som egentlig gjemte seg bak akronmyet AIDS, ei heller siden jeg fikk kjennskap til den fantastiske aktivistiske kampen mot AIDS i bl.a. USA og de amerikanske myndigheters neglisjering av epidemien i dens første tiår. For dem som kanskje fortsatt ikke kjenner til historien, tok det tid før definisjonen falt på plass. Etter å ha gått under betegnelser som "gay plague" i amerikanske medier, og GRID - Gay Related Immuno Deficiency blant leger, falt man ned på HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) og AIDS (Aquired Immune Defiecency Syndrome). AIDS er med andre ord ikke et virus, men et syndrom. En viktig distinksjon.

AIDS er jo langt fra over, selv om mye har forandret seg siden 1980-tallet. Den representasjonelle boomen rundt AIDS mot slutten av 1980- og begynnelsen av 1990-tallet er derimot passé. Historien har mistet sin nyhetsverdi, spesielt ettersom det ikke lenger er i Hollywood eller på Manhattan problemene er størst, men snarere i land som ikke har den samme interesse i Vesten.

Historieskrivingen om AIDS aktivismen i USA på 1980-90-tallet har begynner å vokse, og det er en viktig og mangefassettert historie. En av de bøkene jeg nå nettopp har lest er Ann Cvetkovichs An Archive of Feelings. Boken kretser rundt forholdet mellom representasjon og traumer, med vekt på incest, butch-femme binarismen og AIDS. Det er derimot et uventet perspektiv vi her møter, ettersom historien om AIDS aktivismen er sett fra de lesbiskes deltagelse i den innflytelsesrike aktivistgruppen ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) – med fokus på gruppens New York avdeling. Cvetkovich har intervjuet en rekke lesbiske kvinner i ACT UP/New York som stod i gruppens frontlinje i kampen mot AIDS, (og mange av dem er fortsatt aktive i AIDS aktivisme og arbeid). Cvetkovich retter fokuset mot kvinnene som kjempet mot AIDS og som har blitt utelatt fra den foreløpige historieskrivingen, som hun skriver: ”watching ACT UP’s history become prone to disappearance and misrepresentation has made me wonder about how other activisms have been (mis)represented.”

I intervjuene med de lesbiske aktivistene som deltok og stod sentralt i ACT UPs demonstrasjoner, gateteater, intervensjoner og møter, trer nye aspekter ved AIDS aktivismen frem. Hennes ambisiøse mål med prosjektet beskriver hun som følger:
My goals has been to use interviews to create political history as activist history, a history that captures activism’s felt and even traumatic dimensions. In forging a collective knowledge built on memory, I hope to produce not only a version of history but also an archive of the emotions, which is one of trauma’s most important, but most difficult to preserve, legacies.
Det er derfor en anderledes historiefortelling man møter her. En historiefortelling som viser utfordringene med å skrive "gay and lesbian history":

Lesbian and gay history demands a radical archive of emotion in order to document intimacy, sexuality, love, and activism – all area of experience that are difficult to chronicle through the materials of traditional archives. Furthermore, gay and lesbian archives adress the traumatic loss of history that has accompanied sexual life and the formation of sexual publics, and they assert the role of memory and affect in compensating for institutional neglect.
Cvetkovichs bok er et interessant og godt eksempel på hvordan den personlige muntlige fortellertradisjonen kan taes opp i "queer etnography" og skape nye viktige perspektiver på historiefortelling og historiekonservering.

Intervjuene med de fantatsiske kvinnene i AIDS-aktivismen er både morsomme, vonde og lærerike. De minner en om at ens teoretiske forestillinger om aktivisme ofte skiller seg fra erfaringen med aktivisme i virkeligheten, som Kim Christensen uttaler: ”It’s funny because people think movements happen when there is despair, but they don’t happen when there’s despair, they happen when there’s hope.”

Heidi Dorow peker blant annet på hvordan AIDS aktivismen representerte muligheter som var unike:
The thing I began to think over time, in ACT UP, was that this dying thing that people were doing was an opportunity. It was an opportunity to be intimate with people, as someone who had a lot of obstacles or barriers to be intimate and not a lot of skills to do it. This race to death, to fight off death, or to stop death, was an opportunity to be intimate with people, to share with people, to talk to people, to be close to them in a way that was humanly possible in my small world, but never going to be humanly possible in a regular world.
Kunstneren Jean Carlomusto påpeker at det er viktig at ACT UP’s visuelle historie blir formidlet i en ordentlig form, og bekymrer seg over at deres visuelle materiale blir ”used as wallpaper. Whenever you want to talk about activism, just throw in some protest footage, even if it’s not about the action you’re referring to.” Hun har et godt poeng. Ser man på kunsthistorien er det nettopp slik AIDS aktivismen blir portrettert. En illustrasjon av en ACT UP plakat her og der, uten noen form for nyansering eller historisk kontekstualisering av deres visuelle materiale. En nyansert historiefortelling om AIDS aktivismen også fra et kunsthistorisk perspektiv er derfor viktig.

Cvetkovich dokumenterer mange morsomme anekdoter fra AIDS aktivismen, som viser det unike med nettopp denne bevegelsen som bar preget av gruppens ekstremt heterogene sammensetning. En gruppe der sivil ulydighet var en viktig og fruktbar strategi i kampen mot AIDS. Les bare denne anekdoten fra aktivisten Maria Maggenti:
”We went through these photos and we started laughing so hard. Half the people are dead, unfortunately. That’s the sad part. But little details, like – this is just a classic. We were in a paddy wagon. We had been arrested. We were on our way to jail, and David Falcone decides to give himself a manicure. He whips out the little manicure thing, starts clipping his nails, fixing everything. I think he even had a hair tweezer for the nose. And David Gipp, who is very upright and Dutch, is in absolute shock at what he is seeing. And David Falcone says, ”Well, we have a little while before we get to jail, so let’s get some personal hygiene taken care of.” You could only have that kind of moment when you have a totally free group where any freak of the street can just walk in and say, ”I want to fight AIDS.” Its so brilliant.”

onsdag, november 15, 2006


Det er ikke alltid
like lett å være pave
sier paven
Han gjemmer seg under bordet
og roper hunden til seg
Der sitter han til det er mørkt
og alle har sluttet å lete
Når alt er stille
i Vatikanet
kryper ham fram
fra under duken
og gir hunden
rent vann i skålen
Så spiser han bokstavkjeks
ved vinduet

– Gro Dahle Audiens

tirsdag, november 07, 2006

Drep en sodomitt for 26 000 kr?

Det tilbyr ultraortodokse jøder på løpesedler i Jerusalem i disse dager. Det er nemlig Gay Parade der på fredag, og en slik markering i "den hellige stad" er ikke populært. Etter at tre ble knivstukket under fjorårets parade er sikkerhetsoppbudet stort, og politiet var lenge usikker på om de kunne garantere for sikkerheten til deltagerne. Ortodokse jøder har i de senere dager brukt mye tid på å brenne søppelspann og kaste stener og skitne bleier på politiet i protest mot arrangementet, men politiet har bestemt at paraden kan gå som planlagt.

Da World Gay Parade ble arrangert i Jerusalem i sommer var religiøse ledere mildt sagt lite positive til arrangementet.
Sjefsrabbien Rabbi Shlomo Amar skrev følgende i et fortvilt brev til pave Benedikt XVI: "The city, which the entire world looks up to due to its holiness and glory, is now being attacked by evil people who wish to violate its honor and humiliate its greatness with deeds that the Torah despises, as well as all other religions. There is no need to elaborate about their plans and evil actions that bring humanity's dignity to the ground." Hva Benedikt skrev tilbake er ikke til å vite, men det er jo ikke mange år siden Benedikt da han het Ratzinger så pent formulerte seg om hvordan homoseksuelle var "intrinsic evil"..
So much for love!

Så hadde jeg ikke skullet her på fredag, skulle jeg heller ha tatt turen sydover.

Mer om dette i den nye danske papirløse (!) gratisavisen

torsdag, november 02, 2006


Det er over seksten år siden Queer Nations manifest ble delt ut som en flyer under en Gay Pride parade i New York i juni 1990. Manifestet markerte ståstedet til den kortlevde aggresive aktivistgruppen Queer Nation, og hadde betydning for bevegelsen fra "gay" til "queer". Men dette provoserende manifestet har nærmest forsvunnet fra det som etterhvert begynner å ligne en queer-historie, der queer teoriens institusjonalisering i akademia begynner å bli et faktum. Man skal ikke glemme den aktivistiske queer-historien og jeg tenkte derfor det var på tide å la Queer Nations manifest få ny levetid og sirkulasjon, og kanskje vekke diskusjon:


How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother,
sister that your life is in danger: That everyday you wake
up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being,
you are committing a rebellious act. You as an alive and
functioning queer are a revolutionary.
There is nothing on this planet that validates, protects
or encourages your existence. It is a miracle you are
standing here reading these words. You should by all rights
be dead. Don't be fooled, straight people own the world and
the only reason you have been spared is you're smart, lucky
or a fighter.

Straight people have a privilege that allows them to do
whatever they please and fuck without fear. But not only do
they live a life free of fear; they flaunt their freedom in
my face. Their images are on my TV, in the magazine I
bought, in the restaurant I want to eat in, and on the
street where I live. I want there to be a moratorium on
straight marriage, on babies, on public displays of
affection among the opposite sex and media images that
promote heterosexuality. Until I can enjoy the same freedom
of movement and sexuality, as straights, their privilege
must stop and it must be given over to me and my queer
sisters and brothers. Straight people will not do this
voluntarily and so they must be forced into it. Straights
must be frightened into it. Terrorized into it. Fear is the
most powerful motivation. No one will give us what we
deserve. Rights are not given they are taken, by force if
necessary. It is easier to fight when you know who your
enemy is. Straight people are your enemy. They are your
enemy when they don't acknowledge your invisibility and
continue to live in and contribute to a culture that kills
you. Every day one of us is taken by the enemy. Whether
it's an AIDS death due to homophobic government inaction or
a lesbian bashing in an all-night diner (in a supposedly
lesbian neighborhood).


Being queer is not about a right to privacy; it is about
the freedom to be public, to just be who we are. It means
everyday fighting oppression; homophobia, racism, misogyny,
the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred.
(We have been carefully taught to hate ourselves.) And now
of course it means fighting a virus as well, and all those
homo-haters who are using AIDS to wipe us off the face of
the earth. Being queer means leading a different sort of
life. It's not about the mainstream, profit-margins,
patriotism, patriarchy or being assimilated. It's not about
executive directors, privilege and elitism. It's about
being on the margins, defining ourselves; it's about gender-
fuck and secrets, what's beneath the belt and deep inside
the heart; it's about the night. Being queer is "grass
roots" because we know that everyone of us, every body,
every cunt, every heart and ass and dick is a world of
pleasure waiting to be explored. Everyone of us is a world
of infinite possibility. We are an army because we have to
be. We are an army because we are so powerful. (We have so
much to fight for; we are the most precious of endangered
species.) And we are an army of lovers because it is we who
know what love is. Desire and lust, too. We invented them.
We come out of the closet, face the rejection of society,
face firing squads, just to love each other! Every time we
fuck, we win. We must fight for ourselves (no one else is
going to do it) and if in that process we bring greater
freedom to the world at large then great. (We've given so
much to that world: democracy, all the arts, the concepts
of love, philosophy and the soul, to name just a few gifts
from our ancient Greek Dykes, Fags.) Let's make every space
a Lesbian and Gay space. Every street a part of our sexual
geography. A city of yearning and then total satisfaction.
A city and a country where we can be safe and free and more.
We must look at our lives and see what's best in them, see
what is queer and what is straight and let that straight
chaff fall away! Remember there is so, so little time. And
I want to be a lover of each and every one of you. Next
year, we march naked.


"The strong sisters told the brothers that there were two
important things to remember about the coming revolutions,
the first is that we will get our asses kicked. The second,
is that we will win."
I'm angry. I'm angry for being condemned to death by
strangers saying, "You deserve to die" and "AIDS is the
cure." Fury erupts when a Republican woman wearing thousands
of dollars of garments and jewelry minces by the police
lines shaking her head, chuckling and wagging her finger at
us like we are recalcitrant children making absurd demands
and throwing temper tantrum when they aren't met. Angry
while Joseph agonizes over $8,000 a over for AZT which might
keep him alive a little longer and which makes him sicker
than the disease he is diagnosed with. Angry as I listen to
a man tell me that after changing his will five times he's
running out of people to leave things to. All of his best
friends are dead. Angry when stand in a sea of quilt panels,
or go to a candlelight march or attend yet another memorial
service. I will not march silently with a fucking candle
and I want to take that goddamned quilt and wrap myself in
it and furiously rend it and my hair and curse every god
religion ever created. I refuse to accept a creation that
cuts people down in the third decade of their life.

It is cruel and vile and meaningless and everything I
have in me rails against the absurdity and I raise my face
to the clouds and a ragged laugh that sounds more demonic
than joyous erupts from my throat and tears stream down my
face and if this disease doesn't kill me, I may just die of
frustration. My feet pound the streets and Peter's hands
are chained to a pharmaceutical company's reception desk
while the receptionist looks on in horror and Eric's body
lies rotting in a Brooklyn cemetery and I'll never hear his
flute resounding off the walls of the meeting house again.
And I see the old people in Tompkins Square Park huddled in
their long wool coats in June to keep out the cold they
perceive is there and to cling to whatever little life has
left to offer them. I'm reminded of the people who strip and
stand before a mirror each night before they go to bed and
search their bodies for any mark that might not have been
there yesterday. A mark that this scourge has visited them.

And I'm angry when the newspapers call us "victims" and
sound alarms that "it" might soon spread to the "general
population." And I want to scream "Who the fuck am I?" And I
want to scream at New York Hospital with its yellow plastic
bags marked "isolation linen", "ropa infecciosa" and its
orderlies in latex gloves and surgical masks skirting the
bed as if its occupant will suddenly leap out and douse them
with blood and semen giving them too the plague.
And I'm angry at straight people who sit smugly wrapped
in their self-protective coat of monogamy and
heterosexuality confident that this disease has nothing to
do with them because "it" only happens to "them." And the
teenage boys who upon spotting my Silence=Death button begin
chanting "Faggot's gonna die" and I wonder, who taught them
this? Enveloped in fury and fear, I remain silent while my
button mocks me every step of the way. And the anger I fell
when a television program on the quilt gives profiles of the
dead and the list begins with a baby, a teenage girl who got
a blood transfusion, an elderly baptist minister and his
wife and when they finally show a gay man, he's described as
someone who knowingly infected teenage male prostitutes with
the virus. What else can you expect from a faggot? I'm angry.


Since time began, the world has been inspired by the work
of queer artists. In exchange, there has been suffering,
there has been pain, there has been violence. Throughout
history, society has struck a bargain with its queer
citizens: they may pursue creative careers, if they do it
discreetly. Through the arts queers are productive,
lucrative, entertaining and even uplifting. These are the
clear-cut and useful by-products of what is otherwise
considered antisocial behavior. In cultured circles, queers
may quietly coexist with an otherwise disapproving power
At the forefront of the most recent campaign to bash
queer artists is Jesse Helms, arbiter of all that is decent,
moral, christian and amerikan. For Helms, queer art is
quite simply a threat to the world. In his imaginings,
heterosexual culture is too fragile to bear up to the
admission of human or sexual diversity. Quite simply, the
structure of power in the Judeo-Christian world has made
procreation its cornerstone. Families having children
assures consumers for the nation's products and a work force
to produce them, as well as a built-in family system to care
for its ill, reducing the expense of public healthcare


From homosexuality to birth control to abortion as an option. It
is not enough, according to the religious right, to
consistently advertise procreation and heterosexuality ...
it is also necessary to destroy any alternatives. It is not
art Helms is after .... IT IS OUR LIVES! Art is the last
safe place for lesbians and gay men to thrive. Helms knows
this, and has developed a program to purge queers from the
one arena they have been permitted to contribute to our
shared culture.
Helms is advocating a world free from diversity or
dissent. It is easy to imagine why that might feel more
comfortable to those in charge of such a world. It is also
easy to envision an amerikan landscape flattened by such
power. Helms should just ask for what he is hinting at:
State sponsored art, art of totalitarianism, art that speaks
only in christian terms, art which supports the goals of
those in power, art that matches the sofas in the Oval
Office. Ask for what you want, Jesse, so that men and women
of conscience can mobilize against it, as we do against the
human rights violations of other countries, and fight to
free our own country's dissidents.


Queers are under siege.
Queers are being attacked on all fronts and I'm afraid
it's ok with us.
In 1969, there were 50 "Queer Bashings" in the month of
May alone. Violent attacks, 3,720 men, women and children
died of AIDS in the same month, caused by a more violent
attack --- government inaction, rooted in society's growing
homophobia. This is institutionalized violence, perhaps
more dangerous to the existence of queers because the
attackers are faceless. We allow these attacks by our own
continued lack of action against them. AIDS has affected
the straight world and now they're blaming us for AIDS and
using it as a way to justify their violence against us.
They don't want us anymore. They will beat us, rape us and
kill us before they will continue to live with us. What
will it take for this not to be ok? Feel some rage. If rage
doesn't empower you, try fear. If that doesn't work, try


Be proud. Do whatever you need to do to tear yourself
away from your customary state of acceptance. Be free.
In 1969, Queers fought back. In 1990, Queers say ok.
Next year, will we be here?

I HATE ...

I hate Jesse Helms. I hate Jesse Helms so much I'd
rejoice if he dropped down dead. If someone killed him I'd
consider it his own fault.
I hate Ronald Reagan, too, because he mass-murdered my
people for eight years. But to be honest, I hate him even
more for eulogizing Ryan White without first admitting his
guilt, without begging forgiveness for Ryan's death and for
the deaths of tens of thousands of other PWA's --- most of
them queer. I hate him for making a mockery of our grief.
I hate the fucking Pope, and I hate John fucking Cardinal
fucking O'Connor, and I hate the whole fucking Catholic
Church. The same goes for the Military, and especially for
Amerika's Law Enforcement Officials --- the cops --- state
sanctioned sadists who brutalize street transvestites,
prostitutes and queer prisoners. I also hate the medical
and mental health establishments, particularly the
psychiatrist who conviced me not to have sex with men for
three years until we (meaning he) could make me bisexual
rather than queer. I also hate the education profession,
for its share in driving thousands of queer teens to suicide
every year. I hate the "respectable" art world; and the
entertainment industry, and the mainstream media, especially
The New York Times. In fact, I hate every sector of the
straight establishment in this country --- the worst of whom
actively want all queers dead, the best of whom never stick
their necks out to keep us alive.

I hate straight people who think they have anything
intelligent to say about "outing." I hate straight people
who think stories about themselves are "universal" but
stories about us are only about homosexuality. I hate
straight recording artists who make their careers off of
queer people, then attack us, then act hurt when we get
angry and then deny having wronged us rather than apologize
for it. I hate straight people who say, "I don't see why
you feel the need to wear those buttons and t-shirts. I
don't go around telling the whole world I'm straight."
I hate that in twelve years of public education I was
never taught about queer people. I hate that I grew up
thinking I was the only queer in the world, and I hate even
more that most queer kids still grow up the same way. I
hate that I was tormented by other kids for being a faggot,
but more that I was taught to feel ashamed for being the
object of their cruelty, taught to feel it was my fault. I
hate that the Supreme Court of this country says it's okay
to criminalize me because of how I make love. I hate that
so many straight people are so concerned about my goddamned
sex life. I hate that so many twisted straight people
become parents, while I have to fight like hell to be
allowed to be a father. I hate straights.


I wear my pink triangle everywhere. I do not lower my
voice in public when talking about lesbian love or sex. I
always tell people I'm a lesbian. I don't wait to be asked
about my "boyfriend." I don't say it's "no one's
I don't do this for straight people. Most of them don't
know what the pink triangle even means. Most of them
couldn't care less that my girlfriend and I are totally in
love or having a fight on the street. Most of them don't
notice us no matter what we do. I do what I do to reach
other lesbians. I do what I do because I don't want
lesbians to assume I'm a straight girl. I am out all the
time, everywhere, because I WANT TO REACH YOU. Maybe
you'll notice me, maybe we'll start talking, maybe we'll
exchange numbers, maybe we'll become friends. Maybe we
won't say a word but our eyes will meet and I will imagine
you naked, sweating, openmouthed, your back arched as I am
fucking you. And we'll be happy to know we aren't the only
ones in the world. We'll be happy because we found each
other, without saying a word, maybe just for a moment. But
You won't wear a pink triangle on that linen lapel. You
won't meet my eyes if I flirt with you on the street. You
avoid me on the job because I'm "too" out. You chastise me
in bars because I'm "too political." You ignore me in
public because I bring "too much" attention to "my"
lesbianism. But then you want me to be your lover, you
want me to be your friend, you want me to love you,
support, you, fight for "OUR" right to exist.


You talk, talk, talk about invisibility and then retreat
to your homes to nest with your lovers or carouse in a bar
with pals and stumble home in a cab or sit silently and
politely by while your family, your boss, your neighbors,
your public servants distort and disfigure us, deride us
and punish us. Then home again and you feel like
screaming. Then you pad your anger with a relationship or
a career or a party with other dykes like you and still you
wonder why we can't find each other, why you feel lonely,
angry, alienated.


Your life is in your hands.
When I risk it all to be out, I risk it for both of us.
When I risk it all and it works (which it often does if you
would try it), I benefit and so do you. When it doesn't
work, I suffer and you do not.
But girl you can't wait for other dykes to make the world
safe for you. STOP waiting for a better more lesbian
future! The revolution could be here if we started it.
Where are you sisters? I'm trying to find you, I'm trying
to find you. How come I only see you on Gay Pride Day?
We're OUT, Where the fuck are YOU?


A crowd of 50 people exit a gay bar as it closes.
Across the street, some straight boys are shouting "Faggots"
and throwing beer bottles at the gathering, which outnumbers
them by 10 to 1. Three queers make a move to respond,
getting no support from the group. Why did a group this
size allow themselves to be sitting ducks?
Tompkins Square Park, Labor Day. At an annual outdoor
concert/drag show, a group of gay men were harassed by teens
carrying sticks. In the midst of thousands of gay men and
lesbians, these straight boys beat two gay men to the
ground, then stood around triumphantly laughing amongst
themselves. The emcee was alerted and warned the crowd from
the stage, "You girls be careful. When you dress up it
drives the boys crazy," as if it were a practical joke
inspired by what the victims were wearing rather than a
pointed attack on anyone and everyone at that event.
What would it have taken for that crowd to stand up to
its attackers?
After James Zappalorti, an openly gay man, was murdered
in cold blood on Staten Island this winter, a single
demonstration was held in protest. Only one hundred people
came. When Yuseuf Hawkins, a black youth, was shot to death
for being on "white turf" in Bensonhurst, African Americans
marched through that neighborhood in large numbers again and
again. A black person was killed BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK, and
people of color throughout the city recognized it and acted
on it. The bullet that hit Hawkins was meant for a black
man, ANY black man. Do most gays and lesbians think that
the knife that punctured Zappalorti's heart was meant only
for him?
The straight world has us so convinced that we are
helpless and deserving victims of the violence against us,
that queers are immobilized when faced with a threat. BE
OUTRAGED! These attacks must not be tolerated. DO
SOMETHING. Recognize that any act of aggression against any
member of our community is an attack on every member of the
community. The more we allow homophobes to inflict
violence, terror and fear on our lives, the more frequently
and ferociously we will be the object of their hatred. Your
immeasurably valuable, because unless you start believing
that, it can easily be taken from you. If you know how to
gently and efficiently immobilize your attacker, then by all
means, do it. If you lack those skills, then think about
gouging out his fucking eyes, slamming his nose back into
his brain, slashing his throat with a broken bottle --- do
whatever you can, whatever you have to, to save your life!

reeuQ yhW

Ah, do we really have to use that word? It's trouble.
Every gay person has his or her own take on it. For some it
means strange and eccentric and kind of mysterious. That's
okay, we like that. But some gay girls and boys don't.
They think they're more normal than strange. And for others
"queer" conjures up those awful memories of adolescent
suffering. Queer. It's forcibly bittersweet and quaint at
best --- weakening and painful at worst. Couldn't we just
use "gay" instead? It's a much brighter word and isn't it
synonymous with "happy?" When will you militants grow up and
get over the novelty of being different?


Well, yes, "gay " is great. It has its place. But when
a lot of lesbians and gay men wake up in the morning we feel
angry and disgusted, not gay. So we've chosen to call
ourselves queer. Using "queer" is a way of reminding us how
we are perceived by the rest of the world. It's a way of
telling ourselves we don't have to be witty and charming
people who keep our lives discreet and marginalized in the
straight world. We use queer as gay men loving lesbians and
lesbians loving being queer.
Queer, unlike GAY, doesn't mean MALE.
And when spoken to other gays and lesbians it's a way of
suggesting we close ranks, and forget (temporarily) our
individual differences because we face a more insidious
common enemy. Yeah, QUEER can be a rough word but it is
also a sly and ironic weapon we can steal from the
homophobe's hands and use against him.


For anyone to say that coming out is not part of the
revolution is missing the point. Positive sexual images and
what they manifest saves lives because they affirm those
lives and make it possible for people to attempt to live as
self-loving instead of self-loathing. As the famous "Black
is beautiful" slogan changed many lives, so does "Read my
lips" affirm queerness in the face of hatred and
invisibility as displayed in a recent governmental study of
suicides that states at least one third of all teen suicides
are Queer kids. This is further exemplified by the rise in
HIV transmission among those under 21.
We are most hated as queers for our sexualness, that is,
our physical contact with the same sex. Our sexuality and
sexual expression are what makes us most susceptible to
physical violence. Our difference, our otherness, our
uniqueness can either paralyze us or politicize us.
Hopefully, the majority of us will not let it kill us.


Why in the world do we let heteros into queer clubs? Who
gives a fuck if they like us because we "really know how to
US FEEL ALL THE TIME! They make out wherever they please,
and take up too much room on the dance floor doing
ostentatious couples dances. They wear their heterosexuality
like a "Keep Out" sign, or like a deed of ownership.
Why the fuck do we tolerate them when they invade our
space like it's their right? Why do we let them shove
heterosexuality --- a weapon their world wields against us -
-- right in our faces in the few public spots where we can
be sexy with each other and not fear attack?
It's time to stop letting the straight people make all
the rules. Let's start by posting this sign outside every
queer club and bar:


1. Keep your display of affection (kissing, handholding,
embracing) to a minimum. Your sexuality is unwanted
and offensive to many here.
2. If you must slow dance, be as inconspicuous as possible.
3. Do not gawk or stare at lesbians or gay men, especially bull
dykes or drag queens. We are not your entertainment.
4. If you cannot comfortably deal with someone of the same
sex making a pass at you, get out.
5. Do not flaunt your heterosexuality. Be Discreet. Risk
being mistaken for a lezzie or a homo.
6. If you feel these rules are unfair, go fight homophobia in
straight clubs, or:
7. Go Fuck Yourself.


I have friends. Some of them are straight.
Year after year, I see my straight friends. I want to
see them, to see how they are doing, to add newness to our
long and complicated histories, to experience some
continuity. Year after year I continue to realize that the
facts of my life are irrelevant to them and that I am only
half listened to, that I am an appendage to the doings of a
greater world, a world of power and privilege, of the laws
of installation, a world of exclusion. "That's not true,"
argue my straight friends. There is the one certainty in
the politics of power: those left out of it beg for
inclusion, while the insiders claim that they already are.
Men do it to women, whites do it to blacks, and everyone
does it to queers. The main dividing line, both conscious
and unconscious, is procreation ... and that magic word ---
Family. Frequently, the ones we are born into disown us
when they find out who we really are, and to make matters
worse, we are prevented from having our own. We are
punished, insulted, cut off, and treated like seditionaries
in terms of child rearing, both damned if we try and damned
if we abstain. It's as if the propagation of the species is
such a fragile directive that without enforcing it as if it
were an agenda, humankind would melt back into the primeval

I hate having to convice straight people that lesbians
and gays live in a war zone, that we're surrounded by bomb
blasts only we seem to hear, that our bodies and souls are
heaped high, dead from fright or bashed or raped, dying of
grief or disease, stripped of our personhood.
I hate straight people who can't listen to queer anger
without saying "hey, all straight people aren't like that.
I'm straight too, you know," as if their egos don't get
enough stroking or protection in this arrogant, heterosexist
world. Why must we take care of them, in the midst of our
just anger brought on by their fucked up society?! Why add
the reassurance of "Of course, I don't mean you. You don't
act that way." Let them figure out for themselves whether
they deserve to be included in our anger.
But of course that would mean listening to our anger,
which they almost never do. They deflect it, by saying "I'm
not like that" or "Now look who's generalizing" or "You'll
catch more flies with honey ... " or "If you focus on the
negative you just give out more power" or "you're not the
only one in the world who's suffering." They say "Don't
yell at me, I'm on your side" or "I think you're
overreacting" or "BOY, YOU'RE BITTER."

They've taught us that good queers don't get mad.
They've taught us so well that we not only hide our anger
from them, we hide it from each other. WE EVEN HIDE IT FROM
OURSELVES. We hide it with substance abuse and suicide and
overarhcieving in the hope of proving our worth. They bash
us and stab us and shoot us and bomb us in ever increasing
numbers and still we freak out when angry queers carry
banners or signs that say BASH BACK. For the last decade
they let us die in droves and still we thank President Bush
for planting a fucking tree, applaud him for likening PWAs
to car accident victims who refuse to wear seatbelts. LET
YOURSELF BE ANGRY. Let yourself be angry that the price of
our visibility is the constant threat of violence, anti-
queer violence to which practically every segment of this
society contributes. Let yourself feel angry that THERE IS
we are not targeted for hatred and attack, the self-hatred,
the suicide --- of the closet. The next time some straight
person comes down on you for being angry, tell them that
until things change, you don't need any more evidence that
the world turns at your expense. You don't need to see only
hetero couple grocery shopping on your TV ... You don't
want any more baby pictures shoved in your face until you
can have or keep your own. No more weddings, showers,
anniversaries, please, unless they are our own brothers and
sisters celebrating. And tell them not to dismiss you by
saying "You have rights," "You have privileges," "You're overreacting,"
or "You have a victim's mentality." Tell them "GO AWAY FROM ME,
until YOU can change." Go away and try on a world without the
brave, strong queers that are its backbone, that are its guts and
brains and souls. Go tell them go away until they have spent a
month walking hand inhand in public with someone of the same sex.
After they survive that, then you'll hear what they have to say about
queer anger.
Otherwise, tell them to shut up and listen.

(A leaflet distributed at pride march in NY Published anonymously by Queers, June, 1990)
Det var Tiina Rosenbergs gode bok Queerfeministisk agenda som gjorde meg oppmerksom på Queer Nation Manifesto, og det er trykket som et appendiks i boken.

Ettersom manifestet ble publisert anonymt og sirkulerte rundt på gaten, antar jeg at ingen vil dømme meg for manglende copyright.

Om politisk kunst

Chantal Mouffe:
—One cannot make a distinction between political art and non-political art, because every form of artistic practice either contributes to the reproduction of the given common sense — and in that sense is political — or contributes to the deconstruction or critique of it. Every form of art has a political dimension.
Rosalyn Deutsche:
—That’s why I, like many artists and critics, avoid the term “political art”: Precisely because it asserts that other art—indeed art per se or so-called real art—is not political, “political art” is a powerful political weapon, one that is routinely deployed to ghettoize art that avows the political. Similarly, the term “feminist art” insinuates that art itself is free of sexual politics.

Fra "Every Form of Art Has a Political Dimension", en samtale mellom Chantal Mouffe, Rosalyn Deutsche, Branden W. Joseph og Thomas Keenan i Gray Room nr. 2/2001, som kan leses her!