sustance

what makes a king:
As I stand next to you offering up my crown, I ask you: what do you offer in exchange
What precious jewels of wisdom you bring to the stage
What sacred text of hope do you wish to engage
What hidden medals of honor do you have to bring change
What chariots of knowledge do you have in your visual range

Because too long have I been prepositioned by false kings,
Hidden in colorful tapestry to hid their void of true things
Because too long have I been called upon by the parasites of our times
Wishing to leech off of my castle until every fruit is dry
Too long have I awaited, for the true substance that bequeaths of a king
Only to have his understudy attempt to thwart the real thing
So it is with this understanding I ask you

What do you offer in exchange for this ring
What fields of love lie in the recesses of your heart
What mountains of valor creep through your abdomen
What battle scars from loving fall upon your temple
What moments of peace lie in the cradle of your arm

For too long it has been a King that I have been waiting on
For too long it has been jesters keeping my patience drawn
For the surface and flesh, grows weaker with time. Which is why I ask
What substance do you offer that makes you a King

—  original spoken word piece by Rosemary Mwaura

After all, it was drag queens, Black drag queens, who fought the police at the famous Stonewall Inn rebellion in 1969. Years later, a group of nouveau-respectable gays tried to construct a memorial to Stonewall in the park across from the old bar. The piece consisted to two white clone-like thin gay men and two white, young lesbians with perfect noses. They were made of a plaster-like sustance, pasty and white as the people who paid for it. Some of us were furious. Chris called together all of the black gay and lesbian groups in the city and Feminist News for involved in the fight for a full color statue of a black drag queen throwing a brick at a cop. We didn’t get it, and frankly, I’d rather have nothing. At least that way you know what you’ve got.

- Sarah Schulman, The Sophie Horowitz Story (via Hugh Ryan)

She wrote this in 1984.