“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 poemI Want A Dyke For President. In 2016, as we watch Hillary Clinton and, unbelievably, Donald Trump battle it out for control of America, as xenophobic politicians helped the United Kingdom leave the EU, as Russian bombs drop on Syria, the poem – that aggressively questions the violent banality of our elected politicians – remains as relevant and striking as ever.
Who better to read Leonard’s seminal call to arms than Mykki Blanco, a unique artist who truly embraces queerness, who through his art demands something different, something new? As Dazed celebrates its 25th birthday, we’re questioning freedom – who has access to it, does it still exist and if so, how is it obtained? The American Dream is the ultimate testament to a faux idea of freedom, the false notion that anybody is eligible to run the country, the “ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American”. The world feels on the precipice of genuine change, but there are still power structures and prejudices in place that need destroying.
Watch Mykki Blanco powerfully recite I Want A Dyke For President by Zoe Leonard in a new Dazed film directed by Adinah Dancyger.