Abstract

Queer pioneers Gloria Anzaldúa, Marlon Riggs, and David Wojnarowicz provide twenty-first-century queers a life-giving model of embodied queer generosity, a model that centers material vulnerability and rhetorical resistance. Focusing on three canonical texts (Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, Riggs’ Tongues Untied, and Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives), this article describes how these three artists make manifest Anzaldúa and Moraga’s “theory in the flesh.” Reading these works through the lenses of Ahmed’s lesbian feminism, Hallas’s conception of witnessing, and Lorde’s demand for diversity and dialectic, I argue that Anzaldúa, Riggs, and Wojnarowicz’s insistence on the plural queer subject/coalition is necessary for queer survival, not only in the 1980s’ open season on queers but for contemporary queer futurity.

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