I’m excited to report that The Pox Lover has arrived at the distribution warehouse – and is soon en route to readers who pre-ordered the book. I got to see my galleys this weekend – what a special thrill to hold a book that has finally taken shape for others to read. Chouette!
Note: Big Discount til June 27 – official pub day. Here is the pre-order link:
Click on CART icon on right side of online book page to order. USE PROMO CODE AA064 for 30% DISCOUNT UNTIL JUNE 27.
I’m also excited by the coming together of my 10-city national tour, In Bed With the Pox Lover. First the West Coast, then the East Coast, then the Northwest by summer’s end, with planned fall tour dates in the Southwest and Midwest.
Public Conversations: I’ve thought a lot about what a wonderful opportunity this book and the tour offers to engage with longtime colleagues – journalists, activists, artists – who I’ve known since the 80s and 90s, and also to meet newer millennials – lotsa new dynamos out there.
That’s why I’ve set up the tour as a running public conversation – a collective journey with my bigger activist and social circles– from Act Up in New York to Paris and beyond. From the feminist and LGBTQ organizing that saw my friends evolve, like me, from peace movement protests in the early 80s to anti-nuke protests (Seneca Peace Camp, remember that? – Greenham Common?) to the first gay pride rallies, to ACT UP die-ins, to the Dyke Marches with the Lesbian Avengers and other groups that transform our cities every summer with wild celebration.
When I read through my diaries to prepare this book for publication, I thought: I really moved through some zeitgeist moments. The people I met in the 90s changed our world – and they continue to. I wonder what they’ve done since the 90s, how they’ve survived, what art they are making, what bloggers they read, what they are carrying forward, what matters most to them now. I want to find out and I’ll report back in this blog.
The Pox Lover, as you’ll read, is a book of unfurling connections: how one moment leads to the next in our organic journeys of life, including our protest lives. Today, AIDS continues to be a challenge and a lesson and a kind of teacher – a social and political and deeply personal battle waged by many of us for the bulk of our adult lives now. We have learned a lot fighting AIDS. We’ve learned a lot fighting hate and homophobia. We’ve learned to love ourselves, to love our sexual selves and celebrate our rainbow culture. And that learning has continued to manifest in other overlapping social and protest movements that mark the frontlines, from #Occupy and #Ferguson, to #NoDAPL and #BLM. I’m not surprised to find longtime LGBTQ leaders at the forefront of all these movements, and that includes the feminist queer women.
I’m so jazzed already with the early tour lineup of colleagues who are joining me for these conversations – fab activists and thinkers and creatives. I anticipate lots of dish, debate, laughs and strategic reflection on how to move ahead.
On Friday (June 2) I’m headed to Los Angeles – first leg of the tour. Fittingly, I’m starting with a party, and I hope to have a party at every stop of this summer tour. (Invite me; throw a Pox Lover after party – we’ll all come). That’s how we survived the 90s: with humor, and fun, and dancing. So I invite you to join me in the fun ahead.
First stop: Plummer Park, Friday night, 7 pm, for the launch party of Lesbians To Watch Out For (LTWOF), a twinned exhibit of LA queer women’s 90s activism, and the traveling Avenger 25 exhibit marking the 25 year anniversary of the Lesbian Avengers, a direct action (and spunky fun) group I cofounded with old pals I’ll see in New York soon, and some in LA, too. I can’t wait to see the zines and photos and posters the many LA groups, some from the Mazer Archives (thank you Mazer board & staff!) , one of the cosponsors, along with the City of West Hollywood (a special thank you to Mike Che and Andrew Campbell, of WEHO Arts).
Gotta give a special thank you and shout out to graphic designers Sergio Gomez (LA LTWOF) and Lutzka Zivny (Avenger 25) for helping us visually present this exciting history!
Then on Saturday, June 3, I’ll head over to the arts and lit Beyond Baroque bookstore in Venice at 1 p.m. to chat about girls, sex, and the eternal pleasure of being a flaneuse in Paris – one who strolls – with Renate Stendhal, author of Kiss Me Again, Paris, a collection of sexy affairs from her life there in the 1970s and 1980s. We’ll both be reading short pieces. It’s a pre-tour fun event.
After that I head back home for the official Bay Area (Oakland and SF) book launch events – on June 17 at Laurel Book Store, and June 20 in the Castro, at the GLBT Museum – a public conversation and a panel with writers and activists about what we make of our shared history, our current difficult times, the future we will cleave with our collective protest, our art, and our vision for a brighter future.
And before I go, I want to especially invite all readers and visitors to join the tour via the internet. Do share your 90s experiences, pictures, thoughts, losses, loves, views, lessons – with us all. I’ve created the Pox Lover Readers Blog - Rants & Raves for that purpose, so that I can see how our stories might be connected and where they diverge, to show the world more of our splendid Poxed Generation. You can directly share that here. Let’s especially honor and celebrate our fallen comrades.
As I write in The Pox Lover, the 90s are over; the 90s live on. Let’s talk about what worked before, what can be done now, and what we hope to look back on in another twenty years – long after Trump is gone….
So now, what are you waiting for? Let’s get this party started….