Manifesto (I Speak For My Difference)

By , and | 1 May 2015

I’m not Pasolini asking for explanations
I’m not Ginsberg expelled from Cuba
I’m not a fag disguised as poet
I don’t need a disguise
Here is my face
I speak for my difference
I defend what I am
And I’m not so strange
Injustice stinks
And I suspect this democratic dance1
But don’t speak to me of the proletariat
Because to be poor and queer is worse
One must be tough to withstand it
It is to avoid the machitos2 on the streetcorner
It is a father that hates you
Because his son is a queen
It is to have a mother whose hands are slashed by bleach
Aged from cleaning
Cradling you as if you were ill
Because of bad habits
Because of bad luck
Like the dictatorship
Worse than the dictatorship
Because the dictatorship ends
And democracy comes
And right behind it socialism
And then what?
What will you do to us, compañero?
Will you tie us into bails by our braids, destined to arrive in some AIDS-ridden
quarter of Cuba?
Put us on some train to nowhere
Like general Ibáñez’s ship
Where we learnt to swim
Although no one reached the shore
That is why Valparaiso turned off its red lamps
That is why the whorehouses
Offered a black teardrop
To the queens that had been eaten by lobsters
In that year that the Human Rights Commission doesn’t remember
That’s why, compañero, I ask you
Does the Siberian train of reactionary propaganda still exist?
That train that passes across your eyes
When my voice becomes too sweet
And you?
What will you do with those memories of us as children wanking each other,
amongst other things, on holiday in Cartagena?
Will the future be black and white?
Day and night, without ambiguity?
Won’t there be a fag on some street-corner, destabilising the future of your new man?3
Will you let us embroider birds onto the flag of the free fatherland?
I will leave the rifle for you
The coldblooded one
And it’s not that I’m afraid
The fear wore away
Used to blocking knives
In the sexual underground where I used to be
And don’t feel offended
If I speak to you of these things
And look at your package
I am not a hypocrite
Don’t a woman’s tits make you lower your eyes?
Don’t you think that, all alone, up in the ranges, we might have gotten up to something?
Although you would hate me later
For corrupting your revolutionary morality
Are you afraid of life becoming homosexual?
And I’m not talking about putting in and taking it out
And only taking it out and putting it back in
I’m talking about tenderness, compañero
You don’t know
How hard it is to find love
Under these conditions
You don’t know
What it is to deal with this leprosy
People keep their distance
People understand and say:
He’s a fag, but he writes well
He’s a fag, but a good friend
I’m not cool
I accept the world
Without asking for coolness
But they laugh anyway
I have scars on my back from being laughed at
You think that I think with my ass
And that with the first electro-shock from the CNI
I was going to spill it out
Don’t you know that my manhood
Wasn’t learnt in the barracks
My manhood was taught to me by the night
Behind a street-post
That manhood that you boast about
Was stuffed into you at the regiment
A military killer
Like those that are still in power
My manhood wasn’t given to me by the party
Because they rejected me with laughter
Many times
I learnt my manhood by participating
In the toughness of those times
And they laughed at my fag voice
Yelling: ‘And it will fall, and it will fall’4
And although you yell like a man
You haven’t been able to make him leave
My manhood was the gag
It wasn’t going to the stadium
And starting a fight for Colo Colo5
Football is another hidden homosexuality
Like boxing, politics and wine
My manhood was to bear the mockery
Eating rage in order to not kill everyone
My manhood is to accept myself as different
To be a coward is much harder
I don’t turn the other cheek
Instead I present my ass, compañero
And that is my vengeance
My manhood waits patiently
For the machos to get old
Because at this stage of the game
The left sells its flaccid ass
In the parliament
My manhood was difficult
That’s why I’m not getting onto this train
Without knowing where it will go
I will not change for Marxism
That rejected me so many times
I don’t need to change
I am more subversive than you
I will not change
Because of the rich and the poor
Try that on somebody else
Nor will I change because Capitalism is unjust
In New York, fags kiss on the street
But I’ll leave that to you
Who is so interested
The revolution must not rot entirely
I’m giving this message to you
And it’s not because of me
I am old
And your utopia is for future generations
There are so many children that will be born
With a broken wing
And I want them to fly, compañero
And that your revolution
Gives them a red piece of the heavens
So that they might fly

  1. In the original, Lemebel uses cueca, which is the Chilean national dance and is also a genre of folk music.
  2. Lemebel uses here the diminuitive suffix -ito, implying that he is shrinking machos,> into little-machos.
  3. A reference to the concept New Man articulated by the socialist movements of the 20th century.
    The New Man is, in very general terms, the citizen that is formed as a result of the socialist milieu,
    shaped by the values and ideas of socialism.
  4. ‘Y va a caer, y va a caer, la dictadura va a caer’ – a popular protest chant, sung at protests against the military regime.
  5. A popular Chilean football team named after a historic Mapuche leader.
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