Queer Issue 2014
Clyde Petersen is an artist, filmmaker, musician, and activist living and working in Seattle. Look for his show Boating with Clyde this August at Bumbershoot.
What's the question you'd most like a journalist to ask about trans issues?
I would like to know why we have a gay mayor who insists on selling out our city to capitalist developers and corporations who have terrible records on workers' rights. I'd love to know why we have a gay mayor who insists on selling the gay community out. Is it too much to ask of a gay mayor to push a queer agenda, push for queer safety and for queer spaces? Transgender people are killed all over the world all the time. Queer people are harassed in Seattle every fucking day. What's it going to take?
If you could change one thing about cisgender society, what would it be?
I can't even pick one thing. It's so boring. Are you a boy or a girl? How fucking boring is that? Creativity and difference are the enemies of the power structures that currently exist. Tolerance is not enough. It's not a word that conveys respect. So many communities have fought to change the tone from tolerance to respect. That's an enormous challenge.
If you could change one thing about the trans community, what would it be?
I would just love to see people fired up, angry, fighting for equality and respect. And I'd like to unlock this language that says, I'm a man in a woman's body, or a woman in a man's body. That shit is old and out of date.
What is the source of your greatest joy?
Dancing up front to bands at shows is one of my favorite things in the world. I'm totally going to be (maybe I already am?) that weird old dude at the front of the show, doing my best Calvin Johnson impersonation. I love playing shows for queer folks. I love when things are so fucking gay that it's horrifying. Like rainbow Jell-O shots served by a person dressed up like a unicorn, shooting pride rings out of their anus or something.
What's the last great movie you saw?
Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson, about an amazing New York activist, which you can watch on YouTube right now.