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About the Author
Larry Mitchell was born in 1939 in Muncie, Indiana and died of cancer in 2012 in Ithaca, New York. He is the author of many works of fiction that explored queer life and radical politics in New York City's Lower East Side and East Village in the 1980s and 90s. Mitchell founded Calamus Press, an early small press devoted to gay literature, and with Felice Picano and Terry Helbing, co-founded Gay Presses of New York in 1981. Mitchell received a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, and was a professor at the College of Staten Island for 25 years. In addition to The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions (1977), his novels include The Terminal Bar (1982), In Heat (1986), My Life as a Mole and Other Stories (1988), which won a Lambda Literary Award, and Acid Snow (1993). He helped form multiple communes, including one on Staten Island--which collectively wrote the Great Gay in the Morning: One Group's Approach to Communal Living and Sexual Politics, published in 1972 by Times Change Press--and one outside of Ithaca, NY, called Lavender Hill, which is the subject of a 2013 documentary by Austin Bunn.
Ned Asta, born in Brooklyn, New York, has been a member of the Moosewood Restaurant Collective in Ithaca, New York since 1980 and was a founding member of the Lavender Hill Commune. Asta was a member of the New York City queer theater troupe Hot Peaches in the late 1970s, and later co-founded the Breast Cancer Alliance of Ithaca, with Andi Gladstone.
Tourmaline is an activist, writer, and filmmaker living in New York City. Along with Sasha Wortzel, Tourmaline wrote, directed and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha! a short film about legendary trans activist Marsha P Johnson starring Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor. Other films include The Personal Things about iconic black trans activist Miss Major. Along with Eric Stanley and Johanna Burton, Tourmaline is an editor of the New Museum anthology on trans art and cultural production published by MIT Press in 2017.
Morgan Bassichis is a performer living in New York City. With TM Davy, Don Christian Jones, Michi Osato, and Una Osato, Morgan adapted Larry Mitchell and Ned Ast''s 1977 fairytale-manifesto The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions for performance for the New Museum's 2017 exhibition, Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon. Morgan has presented work at MoMA PS1, the Whitney Museum, and Danspace Project, where Morgan recorded a live album concert recording called More Protest Songs! in October 2017.
Oppression births art, hatred inspires love, and revolutions bring change. It would be easy to say that these are the main ideals Larry Mitchell had in mind when he created the astounding, dangerous, oppressive, and fantastical world of The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions--but there is so much more to discover inside the book's pages, including playful, erotic illustrations by Ned Asta.--Ernest Macias, Interview Magazine
Inspired by Mitchell and Asta's life in communes such as Lavender Hill in Ithaca, New York, the book feels like a small treasure, a care package from another era providing a witty blueprint in creating chosen family and world-making outside of dominant institutions. Though it was out-of-print for years, The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions was certainly never out of circulation, exchanged between friends and lovers throughout the years.--Emily Colucci, Filthy Dreams
Beauty is currency; sexuality is sustenance. But more valuable than that is friendship--which usually involves some degree of sexual intimacy. Pleasure will keep you going. So will humor, possibly more effectively.--John Russell, Slate
First published in 1977 by Mitchell's own Calamus Press, The Faggots has circulated in PDF form in recent years, shared across the Internet as both queer consolation and fuel for fighting. Nightboat Books has now brought it back into print with introductory essays by filmmaker Tourmaline and performer Morgan Bassichis. Not quite speculative fiction, not quite allegory, and not quite polemic, The Faggots surveys a dystopian empire called Ramrod in its twilight years, where state agents struggle to enforce heteropatriarchal discipline as their kingdom crumbles around them.--Sam Huber, The Nation
"It's 1977. The faggots, the women, the fairies and the queens have each other for love, sex and inspiration. They have the natural world, music, the body, feelings, crannies of cities in which to be, believe, touch, dance, dream, fuck, and grow. This was the liberation vision of Larry Mitchell from another time, another consciousness. With this new edition of The Faggots and Their Friends we can remember the collectivity of fun and pleasure and the necessary faith of silly hope as part of our legacy and wish for survival."--SARAH SCHULMAN
"Oh! This book is so delicious and timeless! Open the pages, enter the fantastical, familiar empire of Ramrod, and hear someone whisper to you: here are the ways to survive. This is how we have always survived, swallowing every aspect of each other, holding on to each other, becoming more fabulous together. This book instantly awakens in the reader our inner faggots, strong women, queens, queers, fairies...even our men. We are held accountable for how free we are being in our lives, and then we are invited, no, required! to open even more to our own power, our own pleasures, our own revolution. This cult classic is in the lineage of pleasure activism - you must read it and then pass it along to someone who needs to be reminded that their freedom is necessary for all of us. This is a guide and an escape, whimsical and practical. Hit this pipe. Again."--ADRIENNE MARIE BROWN
"Arrayed so earthly and erotically against the men, and the Man, and his world; but also before them, and beside them, to show them how to be beside themselves beside the women, the faggots & their friends fuck and style and till and dig so deep down through the sterile danger between revolutions that revolution comes to flower every day, before and after itself, as absolute embrace, a continual folding and holding in their arms. Just imagine what's real: that there is such a time and place. The faggots & their friends say right here, right now. Larry Mitchell says, say it again!"--FRED MOTEN
"We need this book so badly. The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions invites and models the deep grieving, mutual care, love, play, commitment to pleasure, and frivolity that is so essential right now, as we face existential political and environmental crises, increasing numbness, and disconnection. Faggots & Their Friends brings to life the spirit of collective, mirthful invention in the face of dire circumstances that characterized radical experiments of the 1970's, and brings longed-for inspiration to today's fruits and nuts. Best of all, this book is fun, and moving, and sexy. It cultivates our imaginations for surviving the current disasters and creating ways of being together that we desperately crave. This gift from the past is arriving right on time, right when we need it."--DEAN SPADE