dyke for president

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I WANT A DYKE FOR PRESIDENT (1992) by ZOE LEONARD

“I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place that is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air conditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed, laid off and sexually harassed and gay bashed and deported. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth, someone who has eaten hospital food, someone who cross dresses and has done drugs, and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss, and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.”

Quiero a una persona con sida para presidente y a un marica para vice presidente. Y quiero a alguien sin seguro de salud, y quiero a alguien que creció en un lugar donde la tierra esté tan saturada de desechos tóxicos que no tenga otra opción que vivir con leucemia.  Quiero un presidente que hubiera abortado a los 16, y quiero un presidente que su último amor tuviera VIH y hubiera muerto de eso, y que lo vea cada vez que se acuesta a dormir y que lo sostuviera en sus brazos mientras sabía que estaba muriendo.  Quiero un presidente que hayan violado, que hayan deportado, que se haya quedado sin empleo. Quiero alguien que haya amado y haya sufrido, alguien que respete el sexo. Alguien que haya cometido errores y haya aprendido de ellos.  Quiero una mujer negra para presidente.  Quiero alguien con dientes feos, alguien que haya comido alimentos de hospital, alguien que se haya travestido, alguien que haya consumido drogas y haya estado en terapia.  Quiero alguien que haya cometido desobediencia civil.  No quiero más un “Jhon” , quiero una prostituta.   No quiero más un Jefe, quiero un trabajador.

- Zoe Leonard’s 1992 poema ‘I Want A Dyke For President’

I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place that is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air conditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed, laid off and sexually harassed and gay bashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth, someone who has eaten hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs, and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss, and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.

- Zoe Leonard, I want a Dyke for President 

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Mykki Blanco performs  Zoe Leonard’s poem “I Want A Dyke For President”

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“I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils”. These are words published nearly 25 years ago by American artist and prominent AIDS activist Zoe Leonard in her poem I Want A Dyke For President. In 2016, the poem – that aggressively questions the violent banality of our elected politicians – remains as relevant and striking as ever.

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Mykki Blanco reciting “I want a dyke for president” by activist/artist Zoe Leonard.

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Watch Mykki Blanco perform ‘I Want A Dyke For President’

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Mykki Blanco performs Zoe Leonard’s piece “I Want a Dyke for President.”

I share the piece by Zoe Leonard every election year. It was written in 1992 and is still so fucking relevant. And Mykki Blanco’s performance of it makes it even more powerful. I seriously got chills and teared up.