Thursday 06/21/12 7:30PM
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Conversations · Exhibition-Related

Against Equality: Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars

Part of Thursday Night Programs

Cover Image:

Image courtesy Chris E. Vargas

New York launch of Against Equality’s second anthology, Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars, and Disastrous Inclusion: Critical Reflections on the Legacy of DADT, the Spring 2012 issue of We Who Feel Differently Journal, featuring a reception and discussion with editor and Against Equality co-founder Ryan Conrad.

Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars collects pieces by contemporary radical voices critical of the mainstream gay community’s uncritical approach to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). It features an introduction by the inimitable Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore and essays by writers—Bill Andriette, Kenyon Farrow, Larry Goldsmith, Jamal Rashad Jones, Cecilia Cissell Lucas, Erica R. Meiners, Mr. Fish, Yasmin Nair, Tamara K. Nopper, and Therese Quinn—from Against Equality’s digital archives on LGBT investments in militarism. This archival anthology asks why the historically left/radical anti-war critique of war does not extend to DADT and the issue of queers in the military.

“Against Equality: Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars” provides a hitherto unavailable set of critiques on a subject that has rarely been approached with as much candor and nuance. Defying the prescriptive logic of “gay is good” that permeates mainstream gay politics, it seeks to interrogate the place of the military in a queer imagining of the world and simultaneously challenges the mainstream left to question its signing on to the damaging militarism of contemporary gay politics.

Copies of the new anthology, as well as the collective’s first anthology Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage, will be available for purchase at the event. Proceeds from book sales subsidize our books-into-prisons policy of providing Against Equality books at no cost to LGBTQ prisoners.

Disastrous Inclusion: Critical Reflections on the Legacy of DADT, the Spring 2012 issue of We Who Feel Differently Journal, features a combination of five new and archival texts reflecting on gay and lesbian investments in militarism in the United States, from the early days of DADT to the present moment in the Spring of 2012. Texts by: Karma Chávez, Ian Finkenbinder, LAGAI, Tamara K. Nopper, and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Guest editor: Ryan Conrad

Ryan Conrad is an outlaw artist, terrorist academic, and petty thief who recently expatriated to Montreal from a mill town in central Maine. In 2009, he co-founded Against Equality, a digital archive, publishing, and arts collective, and he has edited the group’s two anthologies, Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage and Against Equality: Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars. His other written and visual work is archived online at He is currently pursuing a PhD in Sexuality Studies at Concordia University.

Against Equality is an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers, and artists, they are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation.


The presentation of this exhibition is made possible through the following partnerships:

Museum as Hub is made possible by

Museum as Hub and public programs are made possible, in part, by

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David and Hermine Heller.

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