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Quotable GLBTs

The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballet, et al., don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world.  The white race is the cancer of human history, it is the white race, and it alone - its ideologies and inventions - which eradicates autonomous civilization wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself.

(Susan Sontag in Partisan Review, 1967)


There is a loving way with words and an unloving way.  And it is only with the loving way that the simplicity of language becomes beautiful.

(Margaret Wise Brown - author of Goodnight Moon)

The Right is desperate because we - queers and feminists - represent the most serious obstacle to its efforts to achieve a theocratic state.

(Urvashi Vaid - American gay rights activist)

Best advice I ever got was an old friend of mine, a black friend, who said you have to go the way your blood beats.  If you don't live the only life you have, you won't live some other life, you won't live any life at all.  That's the only advice you can give anybody...

(James Baldwin, in response to a question from Village Voice reporter Richard Goldstein in a 1984 interview as to what advice he would give a gay man just coming out.) - from Out of the Past by Neil Miller.

I do not wish them to have power over men; but over themselves.

(Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - 1792)

To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries.  Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions--there we have none.

(Virginia Woolf)

Susan knows
she is a Siren --
and that at a
word from her,
Emily would
forfeit Righteousness --
Please excuse
the grossness
of this Morning --
I was for a
moment disarmed --
This is the
World that opens
and shuts, like
the Eye of the
Wax Doll --
(Emily Dickinson - Open Me Carefully)

The day I saw a poster declaring the existence of an organization of Gay American Indians, I put my face into my hands and sobbed with relief.  A huge burden, the burden of isolation and of being defined only by one's enemies, left me on that enlightening day.  I understood then that being Gay is a universal quality, like cooking, like decorating the body, like singing, like predicting the weather.  Moreover, after learning about the social positions and special offices fulfilled by Indians whose tribes once picked them for the tasks of naming, healing, prediction, leadership, and teaching precisely because they displayed characteristics we call gay, I knew that Gayness goes far beyond simple sexual/emotional activity.  What Americans call Gayness not only has distinct cultural characteristics, its participants have long held positions of social power in history and ritual among people all over the globe
(Judy Grahn, Another Mother Tongue)
People may find it more comfortable to listen to us if we equivocate, but in the long run only words that discomfort them are going to change our situation.
(Barbara Deming)

I don't know why people don't just embrace the truth. Strength comes out of that.
(Alexis Arquette - American actor and drag performer)
To lie, even with the best of intentions, is a deadly sin, for every time we tell someone a lie...We not only forfeit for ever the right to his faith in us; we undermine his faith in all men and all speech.
(W.H. Auden)
It is worse to mistrust people than to be a sucker.
(Stephen Fry - British comedian, writer, and actor)
Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
(Walt Whitman)
We know that priorities are amiss in the world when a man gets a military medal of honor for killing another man and a dishonorable discharge for loving one.
(Charlotte Bunch)
It's funny how heterosexuals have lives and the rest of us have "lifestyles."
(Sonia Johnson)
The tribal attitude said, and continues to say, that Gay people are especially empowered because we are able to identify with both sexes and can see into more than one world at once, having the capacity to see from more than one point of view at a time. And that is also an Indian way of seeing.
(Judy Grahn)
No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody.
(Rita Mae Brown)