They’re coming for us… again.

You may or may not remember the NEA fights of 20 years ago. I do. Conservatives were able to damage arts funding in this country so badly that we still have not recovered. It took years before mainstream gallery spaces would again show overtly queer work without hesitation.

They are coming for us because we are queer. This is not about obscenity. This is about whose stories may be told in our most prestigious places.

Please read the letter below from Jenn Sichel and write an email. We can’t let them do this again.


Dear friends,

As many of you know, I spent several years in DC putting together a show at the National Portrait Gallery called Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. The show casts the history of American art through a queer lens, challenging our assumptions about what/how art means.
The show is not a reductive look at “gay” art but rather a look at how artists navigate around a complex set of codes that govern sexual expression, how they circumvent and/or use these codes to express their own silenced desires, how they’ve dealt with love and loss when AIDS ravaged the community, and how (more recently) artists complicate society’s imperative to identify as “gay/lesbian.”
The show is under serious attack from the right.  They demanded that a video by David Wojnarowicz be removed, and the museum caved with an hour.  I am outraged — almost 20 years after his death, Wojnarowicz is still being silenced! And now there is a good chance the entire show will be pulled.
Please help me in rallying behind the show.  We need an army of support.
What can you do?
Email NPG’s director, Martin E. Sullivan expressing your support for the show.  His email address is:
Forward this email to everyone and anyone who might care.
Write your congressmen/women.
Spread the word on facebook, twitter, etc.
In solidarity,

This entry was posted in politics, queer, WTF? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to They’re coming for us… again.

  1. Jenn says:

    Hi! Jenn Sichel here, thanks for reposting this.

    I want to add a few updates.

    In addition to Martin, please also email Richard Kurin (undersecretary for the arts and humanities) and Wayne Clough (secretary of the SI),

    Also, make sure to write/call your representatives (both liberal and conservative) to implore them to take a stand in support of Hide/Seek and against the homophobia that is fueling this issue.

    Also, join us on facebook at — where we’ve been updating regularly.

  2. Pingback: Body Impolitic - Blog Archive - » The New War on Art - Laurie Toby Edison: Photographer

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