The original source for this blackout poem was an infamous piece of '70s anti-gay propaganda created by the League Against Homosexuals entitled "Queers do no produce, they seduce!" I was first introduced to it during my graduate studies in a course called The Science of Sex and Sexuality, which I then later co-taught with my advisor. The pamphlet relies on disturbingly familiar rhetoric that frames queer bodies as unproductive, dangerous, and infectious. My students noted how hyperbolic the pamphlet sounds even to the point of farce, yet such inflammatory hate speech continues to circulate in anti-gay discourse today. After that teaching experience, I wanted to think about a literary form of resistance that could reappropriate hate speech into an unexpected pro-queer manifesto. Out of the grammar of hate can be made the grammar of liberation.
~ Travis Chi Wing Lau
This is a blackout poem.
Source: From 70s piece of anti-gay propaganda entitled Queers do not produce: they seduce!
Travis Chi Wing Lau recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania Department of English and is a postdoctoral teaching fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include 18th- and 19th-century British literature, the history of medicine, and disability studies. His academic writing has been published in Journal of Homosexuality, Romantic Circles, Digital Defoe, and English Language Notes. His creative writing has appeared in Wordgathering, Glass, The New Engagement, Nat Brut, Matador Review, Impossible Archetype, Rogue Agent, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology. He currently serves as an editor for The Deaf Poets Society and a reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly.