Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Political Camp as Protest

A friend of mine shared a photo (photographer unknown) that for me demonstrates wit, glamour, and perseverance in the face of ignorance and hate, and brings back many memories of demonstrations I took part in organized by ACT-UP, WHAM!, WAC, and other groups that utilized subversive humor and camp to great effect. The moral ugliness of hate is here transposed breezily into the hideousness of poor fashion choices, bigots are as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside. If pathology and perversion are projected onto the bodies of queer people by homophobes, this is turned on its head by turning back the attention onto the horrid sartorial details of the hateful zealot. Taking the stereotypical image of the queer as fashion obsessed (guilty as charged!) and turning it into a sign of resistance, just one example among many of the power of camp as a political tactic.

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