elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is a San Francisco-based author and activist. She has written two novels, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and Pulling Taffy.

In January, 2009, Sycamore initiated a public postering project called Lostmissing, which she describes as:
You know when you have a friend who you think will always be there -- no matter what, at least you'll have that friendship, right? Lostmissing is a public art project about the loss of that relationship, a specific relationship for me -- right now it's missing.
Sycamore was involved in ACT UP in the early 1990s and Fed Up Queers in the late 1990s. She was the host of the first Gay Shame event in New York, appearing with performer Penny Arcade, writer Eileen Myles, cabaret artists Kiki and Herb, and queercore band Three Dollar Bill held in Brooklyn, NY in 1998, which was captured in the documentary film entitled Gay Shame 98, by Scott Berry. She was one of the instigators of Gay Shame in San Francisco, which started in 2000 and became "a year-round direct action extravaganza dedicated to exposing all hypocrites."Sycamore was involved in the cultural center Dumba, and is a leading critic of assimilationist trends in gay culture.

Sycamore opposes the push among the GLBT movement for gay marriage, arguing that it distracts from more pressing issues like the securing of universal health care and housing security for all. Sycamore contributed to Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage, an anthology printed by the Against Equality in 2010. In 2008, Sycamore was named as a “visionary” as part of Utne Reader magazine’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World.”

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattilda_Bernstein_Sycamore

Further Readings:

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: AK Press (January 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1849350884
ISBN-13: 978-1849350884
Amazon: Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

"You may have thought you understood human nature before you read this book; after reading it you will be humbled by all you failed to grasp until now."--Edmund White

"These essays come like a plunge into a forest pool of revitalizing joy, honesty, and common sense. Read them. Now. No--not tomorrow. Now!"--Samuel R. Delany

Gay culture has become a nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. Whatever happened to sexual flamboyance and gender liberation, an end to marriage, the military, and the nuclear family? As backrooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture morphs into "straight-acting dudes hangin' out," what are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the assimilationist norms of a corporate-cozy lifestyle?

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? challenges not just the violence of straight homophobia but the hypocrisy of mainstream gay norms that say the only way to stay safe is to act straight: get married, join the military, adopt kids! Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore reinvokes the anger, flamboyance, and subversion once thriving in gay subcultures in order to create something dangerous and lovely: an exploration of the perils of assimilation; a call for accountability; a vision for change.

More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Tags: author: mattilda bernstein sycamore, in the spotlight

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