Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gay Activist Sarah Schulman Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with gay historian, playwright and award-winning writer Sarah Schulman about her most recent must-read novel THE MERE FUTURE. Set in the not-too-distant future in New York City THE MERE FUTURE is about how the city has morphed into an idealized version of itself as the result of what the newly elected mayor calls The Big Change. Rent is cheap, homelessness is over and everyone works in marketing. Schulman invents a literature that reflects the lives we live right now while being funny, sexy and openhearted. With wit and provocative social commentary THE MERE FUTURE blows literary conventions right out of the water in this intriguing novel.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Schulman stated, “Actually I’m not interested in civil rights. I’ve spent my whole life as part of what use to be called the Gay Liberation Movement, which was an idea of transforming a society so that human beings have more freedom of movement and more freedom of expression. I find that the civil rights agenda, first of all it hasn’t succeeded, it also has been very limited. So in arenas in which we are acting exactly like straight people we do get some kind of nods. For example certain states do allow certain kinds of marriage laws but of course there are no federal rights. So when we’re in arenas where we’re very different than them (heterosexuals), in which we would need for example a federal antidiscrimination bill, then we can’t make any progress at all. So in a way the ‘rights’ agenda has channeled us into a very very narrow path and we’ve loss sight of our larger goals.”

In 1987 Schulman joined ACT UP. She and her producing partner of 25 years Jim Hubbard have produced of a feature length documentary UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP, directed by Hubbard. The documentary uses archival footage and interviews from Hubbard and Schulman's ACT UP Oral History Project to tell the story of the AIDS activist organization and how they used direct action to transform the AIDS crisis. The film will have its world premier at a major film festival (TBA) in Winter 2012. Sarah is also a distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. She is currently on THE MERE FUTURE book tour appearing Friday Oct 14th at 7:30P at Women and Children First, Chicago. Saturday Oct 22nd at 10A American Studies Association, Baltimore. Thursday Oct 27th at 7P Lincoln Nebraska annual LGBT dinner. Tuesday Nov 8th at 4P Columbia University Oral History Project, Saturday November 12th Viraroche 7P San Francisco, Monday Nov 14th Pegasus Books, Berkeley, Friday Nov 18th 6P MIX Festival 45 Bleecker St. NYC.

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