f 70 TODD R. RAMLOW(white, class-privileged, heferonormafive) culfure and mainstream(white, class-privileged, lesbian, and gay) sexual minority cultures,among others.I bring Wojnarowicz and Anzaldtia fogether fhrough bordertheory, queer fheory, and disability studies for several reasons.First, they share an alliance in terms of sexuality and disability.Throughout Anzaldua's
Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration,
both authors detail their lives on the sexual periphery and, as weshall see, both authors' experiences of sexual difference are tied folarger notions of bodily difference that connect to the work ofdisability sfudies and activism. Second, their connection todisability is not merely one of metaphor or political coalition.When Anzaldua died of "diabetes related complications" on May
2004, she was certainly intimate with long-term illness, chronicpain, and disability, jusf as Wojnarowicz was before he died ofAIDS related illnesses on July 22, 1992.^ Wojnarowicz, inparticular, dealt expficitfy with disability in regards to HIV/AIDSthroughout his visual arts and writings. In
Close to the Knives
Wojnarowicz details the disabilities brought on by AIDS in hisdescriptions of the death of his mentor and former lover PeterHujar; this anticipates Wojnarowicz's own illness and disability,and the text ends with an increasingly disabled David haunted byHujar's death. Third, despite, or perhaps because of, their vastdifferences of fife, identity, and embodiment, bringing Anzafduaand Wojnarowicz together through the conjunction of bordertheory, queer theory, and disability studies will enact anddemonstrate the possibility of precisely the kinds of allianceacross, through, and within the borderlands that Anzaldua calls forin
A seemingly unlikely, certainly non-Latina/o, ally,Wojnarowicz's life in an abstracted borderlands fulfills Anzaldua'sassertion that "[w]e have come to realize that we are not alone inour struggles nor separate nor autonomous but that we—whiteblack straight queer female male—are connected andinterdependent" ("Forward"
The fife and work ofWojnarowicz amply demonstrates the sort of alliance building, or"bridging," called for in Anzaldua's text, as well as the two radical