Beginning with her open use of the word â€śfaggot,â€ť Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore makes even SFR a little uncomfortable, but weâ€™re fine with her method of telling it straight (no pun intended) and knocking people off their pedestals.
â€śWhether theyâ€™re at the opera or sucking cock through a glory hole, [gay men are] all the same,â€ť Sycamore tells SFR.
A transgender female concerned that gay men have conformed too much to be accepted, Sycamore has written and edited several books on the the topic of gay assimilation, including the recent, overtly antagonistic anthology Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform.
â€śThe book is an intervention to the disaster of gay culture,â€ť she says, adding that Why Are Faggots So Afraid is a call to challenge the â€ścorporate consumer gay lifestyle of Pottery Barn and pec implants.â€ť
The desire for individuality and acceptance, Sycamore says, may manifest as an â€śI am the right kind of faggotâ€ť self-righteousness, yet the gay community is as prejudiced as the straight community. When â€ścruisingâ€ť on one of the many gay websites, she notes that â€ślying is a given,â€ť and users create an abundance of acronyms for things like â€śNo Asians or Blacks,â€ť â€śNo Fattiesâ€ť or â€śHIV-only.â€ť Gay men who donâ€™t have these prejudices are considered to be flamboyant.
However, for Sycamore, flamboyance means rejecting the norm, and its ugliest aspects, without shame. She also has some ideas on how the gay community can resist assimilation with the corporate consumerist version of homosexuality, returning instead to a solidarity movement, but for those youâ€™ll have to attend her book launch.
Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: 2 pm Sunday, Jan. 15. Op. cit. Books, 930-C Baca St., 428-0321
Where: op.cit. books
500 Montezuma Ave., Ste. 101