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"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. America invented identity politics but here those identities have been multiplied and articulated as never before."—Edmund White

WHY ARE FAGGOTS SO AFRAID OF FAGGOTS?
Edited and with an introduction by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform
Gay culture has become the ultimate nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. 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 confronts the assimilationist norms of a corporate-cozy lifestyle? In this collection of essays and experiences, edited and with an introduction by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Jason Lydon and Mishael Burrows expose homophobic prison norms, Kristen Stoeckeler encounters gender policing in gay bars, Ali Abbas confronts gay mythologies of homophobic Arabs, and Tommi Avicolli Mecca shows us the scene for queens and their critics/admirers on the streets of 1970s Philadelphia. 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! Whatever happened to sexual flamboyance and gender liberation, an end to marriage, the military, and the nuclear family? This anthology 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. Advance praise for Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?:
"Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? is a collection of esays that not only examine the intricacies of the current socio-political climate within the realm of the gay/queer/trans world, but also show how important it is for us to interface and aggressively seek to inform the world view of the culture at large... Thanks, Mattilda, for the insights, intellectual rigor, and the glittering ammunition with which to destroy and rebuild."—Mx Justin Vivian Bond, singer, songwriter, and author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels "This book plumbs the most important question facing queers in the 21st century: how the hell did we go from forming a crucial part of the '60s "lib" rainbow, only to end up creating for ourselves a world of martial and marital law every bit as sterile, constricting, and amoral as the world we once fled like the plague?"—Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men "Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's coruscating eye and clear head is what queers need if we are to survive as anything other than a tamed branch of consumer society, based on assimilation, repression, and despair. 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, author of Times Square Red, Times Square Blue Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, called “startlingly bold and provocative” by Howard Zinn, and described as “a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda” by the Austin Chronicle, is undoubtedly one of America’s most outspoken queer critics. A writer, activist, artist, filmmaker, and social critic, Sycamore is the author of two novels, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008) and Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003), and the editor of four nonfiction anthologies, most recently Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007) and That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2008). Sycamore writes regularly for a wide variety of publications, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, AlterNet, Bitch, Bookslut, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Stranger, and Make/shift, where she is a columnist and the reviews editor. Sycamore has lectured at universities across the country, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, NYU, and UCLA. In 2008, Utne Reader named Mattilda one of “50 Visionaries Changing Your World.” ∫ Mattilda and contributors will be touring throughout North America in February-May of 2012 ∫

WHY ARE FAGGOTS SO AFRAID OF FAGGOTS? Ed. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore ISBN: 978-1-84935-088-4 FEBRUARY 2012 6 x 9, 232 pages $17.95 SOCIAL SCIENCE/ GAY AND LESBIAN STUDIES

For more information or to request a review copy, please contact:

Jessica Lewis jessica@akpress.org p (410) 878-7706 3500 Parkdale Ave, Building 1, Suite 3 Baltimore, MD 21211 http://www.akpress.org
Please send any and all reviews to the addresses above.

WHY ARE FAGGOTS SO AFRAID OF FAGGOTS?:
Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform
AK Press (Jan. 31, 2012) | 674A 23rd St Oakland CA 94612-1163 | www.akpress.org ISBN-10: 1-84935-088-4 | ISBN-13: 978-1-84935-088-4 | [Paperback: 224 pages] Anthology of Critical/Creative Essays on Anti-Assimilationist Queer Counterculture; Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Editor (cf. http://mattildabernsteinsycamore.com) and feat. “IT GETS BETTER?” (a queer personal history essay) by Matthew D. Blanchard Available for Immediate Release on Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/FaggotsAfraid

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
A distinctive collection of essays by gay and transgender activists, performance artists, and scholars embraces the subversive aspects of queer identity and rails against its “sanitized, straight -friendly version.” Some essays are personal observations of lives on the margins, such as Ezra RedEagle Whitman’s attempts to reconcile his homosexuality with Native American conceptions of manliness, or Booh Edouardo’s experiences as an autistic transgender man interacting with mainstream gay peers. Others focus more on general trends in gay culture, such as Michael J. Faris and ML Sugie’s discussion of racial preferences and prejudices on hookup sites, or George Ayala and Patrick Hebert’s examination of the role of the arts in building community among HIV positive men. Some stories are disheartening, like Matthew Blanchard’s reflections on his hospitalization and disfigurement after many years of drug-fueled indiscriminate, unsafe sex. Others are much more hopeful, like Kristen Stoeckeler’s observations on drag queen and king performers and their playful yet serious blurring of the lines between male and female. Just as the battle for LGBTQ civil rights continues, these essays — alternately moving and sprightly, contemplative and outraged—display the power of presenting an alternative to the mainstream: a world of greater tolerance, acceptance, support, and creativity.
Book Review. “Nonfiction Review: Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, Edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. AK (akpress.org), $17.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-84935-088-4,” Publishers Weekly, Sep 12 2011. http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-84935-088-4 (accessed: Jan 23 2012).

PRE-PUBLICATION PRESS
This book plumbs the most important question facing queers in the 21st century: how the hell did we go from forming a crucial part of the ‘60s “lib” rainbow, and from mastering, refining, and successfully deploying nonviolent resistance with ACT UP, only to end up creating for ourselves a world of martial and marital law every bit as sterile, constricting, and amoral as the world we once fled like the plague? I'm very grateful that this brave book exists to help us figure out how to return to liberation. – Andy Bichlbaum, of the Yes Men Mattilda has again provided us with a collection of urgent, intimate, powerful essays that upend the horrifying hyper-visible and invisibilizing bandwagon of today's promilitary, marriage-obsessed white gay politics. These essays excavate masculinity, unearthing complex and pervasive structures that police and construct it and exposing the beautiful resilience of its self-avowed refusers and failures. These pieces telescope between analysis of the structures of gendered racialization that produce body norms and the daily physical and emotional traumas and toils of surviving and resisting, providing complex and badly needed ways to imagine and re-imagine faggotry. – Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law This anthology is full of gloriously fresh writing and startling stories, by turns anguished and funny. I was galvanized by the shocking honesty of these accounts. 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. America invented identity politics but here those identities have been multiplied and articulated as never before. – Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story

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