Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

I've been thinking about how behind every shelf of publications on gender and sexuality, every course offered in queer or gender studies, lie thousands of ghostly sheaves: leaflets, letters, pamphlets, mimeographed bibliographies, little magazines, posters, movement anthologies, some now preserved in archives, others reduced to landfill. Behind every academic program or lectureship under the rubric of queer studies stand lives that were participant in radical ideas about freedom and justice-- movements that moved, in nonlinear ways, in and out of each other. In those movements, queer women and men, unknown at first unless to each other, invisible to their otherwise-comrades, emerged to declare a gay and lesbian politics, because the idea of inclusive justice is-- was then-- contagious and irresistible. The names Bayard Rustin, Barbara Deming, Lorraine Hansberry, Harry Hay, Martin Duberman, Audre Lorde, Joan Nestle are a few that flash immediately to mind. And, of course, I think of the queer pioneers, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, The Ladder, the Daughters of Bilitis, the Mattachine Society, the early queer underground; the publicly gay, anarchist, antiwar poets Paul Goodman and Robert Duncan. I think, in short, of many lives of defiance and creation.--- Adrienne Rich, "'Candidates for my Love': Three Gay and Lesbian Poets"

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