Vice: The World Today Was Built on Queer Bodies

Posted on June 29, 2020

We had the enormous honor of writing a piece for Vice’s PRIDE issue, for which the theme was “Queers Built This.” From the minute we were approached to pitch for the issue, we knew exactly what our take was going to be. It’s something we touched lightly upon in the writing of Legendary Children, but we deliberately left it undeveloped as a further thought or thesis, because it felt like a topic so weighty it could have derailed the entire book. It’s not a revolutionary thought nor is it something we came up with ourselves. You can find similar sentiments in a lot of Queer or Black liberationist writing; namely this: the first tool an oppressed people have to use in their fight against their oppressors is always going to be their own bodies.

Queer people have historically offered up our bodies to force the reality of our existence on a society that did everything it could not to look at us. From these physical confrontations, new art forms were created, people protected one another from violence and bigotry—and, occasionally, justice was served in the face of political discrimination.

If you ask us to pitch a piece on the theme of queers building something, us being us, we’re gonna come back with “The world. Queers built the whole damn world.” What can we say? We’re nothing if not grandiose. But we also think we can back that wild assertion up with quite a few examples, from the world of art to the world of drag to the world of politics and protest, LGBTQ people have been driving the conversation in one direction for the last half-century-plus, and largely using their own bodies as the icebreakers. Go and read the whole piece. We’re ever so proud of it.

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