As some folks may know, I have been touring around the United States .with the new book, Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage. I edited this anthology which contains critical work from some really wonderful voices in queer and trans activism including Kate Bornstein, John D'Emilio, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Dean Spade, Kenyon Farrow, Yasmin Nair and many more
Touring with the book has meant many things. Sleeping in the back of my truck, driving insane distances every day, barely eating meals, depending on the kindness of old friends for shelter, delivering a lecture (sometimes two!) daily, talking and strategizing with enthusiastic students and community members, racking up insane credit card debt, worrying about my dog back home, and pissing off a good number of the gays.
During my most recent tour stop at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I spoke to about 40 students from numerous area colleges and universities, giving an hour and a half lecture and q & a. The lecture focused on breaking down the affective and rights-based rhetoric of the national gay marriage campaigns here in the states. Towards the end of the lecture I am always sure to contextualize the gay's unrelenting desire to marry amongst the other systems and institutions we'd likely be better off abandoning than participating in.
Marriage, the military, and hate crimes legislation (aka never ending prison expansion) makes up this holy trinity of desperate inclusion, a platform that looks remarkably similar to the ongoing media stunt known as Lady Gaga. Jokingly I suggested that Lady Gaga was evil, a heterosexual ruse distracting us from keeping our eyes on the most fantastic, transformative queer and trans futures imaginable, not mere inclusion in the heterosupremacist status quo.
And what happens? Some piss poor sensational blog article with the title "Lady Gaga Called 'Evil' By Gay Activist Ryan Conrad" appears on the internet. It's like I can spend an hour providing a materialist critique of marriage, twenty minutes contextualizing it amongst other issues, and take five seconds making snarky comments about Lady Gaga and that's all they can write about. It's a primary example of why students should pay more attention in their journalism classes, no?
To top it all off, 48 hours later I receive a flurry of somewhat humorous and sort of pathetic death threats in my Facebook inbox (Yasmin got some too, be assured she will be writing about it soon!). This one takes the cake:
ARGH!!! Ughh!!! There is absolutely nothing more disgusting, vomitting and repuslive than watching some ugly urchin dumped covered pig vomit ranting and promoting against equality! Typical white trailer trash with a mind of a squrriel! Listen inbreed, I doubt anyone would take some festering, bowl of disgusting pus like you seriously! After you finish rolling in your own filth, disgrace and whipe of all that urine and crap off of you, you'll be doing more bottom feeding that trash you call family, and you're going to know who runs the damn show around here and that is me and those who know how to run the show correctly! Don't you ever show that ugly, disformed, down syndrome face on Facebook or any social site ever again! Understand!?
The Most Dominate Male,
PS. I should chop you up into pieces and stomp you at the bottom of the dumpster!