The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy


The author, a gay health activist and journalist, offers a progressive vision of democracy as an experiment, a process in need of constant renewal, as seen through the lens of the gay rights movement. The essays cover such topics as the right to privacy vs. the right to live openly in the world, the need to redefine the family to include the true nature of relations in modern society, feminism and gay porn, and the reinvigoration of what the author views as an all too moribund social democratic agenda now abandoned by the traditional left wing in the United States. Tucker has an effective, almost relentless gift for pushing the envelope of an argument, taking nothing for granted and questioning every position, including his own. This challenging, often provocative work by a distinctive voice of a newer, more radicalized left is highly recommended for academic and larger public collections.

Tucker engages with a wide range of queer questions debated within the last decades, from the political insights of the New Left to the gay-marriage debate. Tucker writes passionately about being a long-term AIDS activist and co-founder of Prevention Point Philadelphia, a syringe exchange and harm-reduction program for drug users and sex workers. He uses his own experience as International Mr. Leather to shed light on S/M culture and polymorphous desire. Whether the topic is sex or science, Bill Clinton pr Ralph Nader, Tucker argues convincingly and humanely for a society in which radical kinship, solidarity, and desire are part and parcel of a healthy civil society.

Scott Tucker is a writer and democratic socialist.  He was a founding member of ACT UP Philadelphia and of Prevention Point Philadelphia, a harm-reduction and syringe exchange program.  His book of essays, “The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy,” was published by South End Press in 1997.  Scott currently lives in Los Angeles with his spouse of 32 years, Larry Gross, a writer and teacher.

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