Through exclusive interviews with protagonists like Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, John Waters, and many more, alongside a treasure trove of never-before-seen photographs and reprinted zines, Queercore traces the history of a scene originally "fabricated" in the bedrooms and coffee shops of Toronto and San Francisco by a few young, queer punks to its emergence as a relevant and real revolution. Queercore gets a down-to-details firsthand account of the movement explored through the people that lived it—from punk's early queer elements, to the moments Toronto kids decided they needed to create a scene that didn't exist, to the infiltration of the mainstream by Pansy Division, and the emergence of riot grrrl as a sister movement—as well as the clothes, zines, art, film, and music that made this movement an exciting, in-your-face middle finger to complacent gay and straight society. Queercore will stand as both a testament to radically gay politics and culture and an important reference for those who wish to better understand this explosive movement.
“Finally, a book that centers on the wild, innovative, and fearless contributions queers made to punk rock, creating a punker-than-punk subculture beneath the subculture, Queercore. Gossipy and inspiring, a historical document and a call to arms during a time when the entire planet could use a dose of queer, creative rage.”
—Michelle Tea, author ofValencia
“I knew at an early age I didn’t want to be part of a church, I wanted to be part of a circus. It’s documents such as this book that give hope for our future. Anarchists, the queer community, the roots of punk, the Situationists, and all the other influential artistic guts eventually had to intersect. Queercore is completely logical, relevant, and badass.”
“This is a sensational set of oral histories of queer punk that includes everyone from Jayne County to Eileen Myles, from Vaginal Davis to Lynn Breedlove. The whole book works like a giant jigsaw puzzle that never offers a final or complete picture but at least scatters the pieces around to allow the reader to assemble some truly exciting scenarios. This is very possibly the best and only way that subcultural histories should emerge—namely as incomplete and incoherent, as a magnificent poly vocal roar, as sound, fury, rebel yells and screams. This does not just capture queer punk, it is queer punk.”
—Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure and In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives
“Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution delivers a deeply invested history of the forgotten roots of queercore. While to some, punk was inherently gay as fuck—the actual queer revolution came few and far between bands, scenes, and eras whose intersections were small, yet wildly significant. With voices ranging from Penny Arcade to Brontez Purnell, we hear a vast history from around the globe; echoing everything queer, dirty, and true.”
—Cristy C. Road, frontwoman of Choked Up and author of Spit and Passion and Next World Tarot
“Queercore is the unrelenting polyrhythm of a culture, chanted in varied waves of sensation, by some of its most essential voices. Zigzagging through generations of nostalgia and controversy faster than their own power chords, this is not just a record of queercore (the movement), but a theoretical discussion about the intersectional ideology of ‘Queer,’ as well as ‘Punk’ itself. Reading—not watching or listening to—this book gave me the absolutely necessary opportunity to reinvigorate my own punk, both as performance art and radical protest. This unflinching oral history of how a subculture begins and survives, tenaciously layered in the present, is a bridge over the gap, that I for one, have been waiting for.”
—JD Samson, musician, producer, songwriter and DJ (Le Tigre/MEN)
About the Authors:
Walter Crasshole is a journalist and editor in Berlin, for Exberliner. Yony Leyser is the writer and director of three award-winning feature films. Liam Warfield is a writer, editor, and educator living in Chicago. Lynn Breedlove is a writer, performer, musician, entrepreneur, and community activist born and raised in the SF Bay Area. Anna Joy Springer is the author of The Vicious Red Relic, Love, The Birdwisher, and A Murder Mystery for Very Old Young Adults.