‘I want a dyke for President’ poem blown up onto huge New York City billboard
The famed poem ‘I want a Dyke for President’ by Zoe Leonard has been blown up onto a huge billboard in New York City.
The poem, published in 1992, reads: “I want a dyke for president… I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.”
In the latest installation, Leonard’s full poem has been blown up to 20-by-30 ft.
It is presented by Friends of the High Line and will open on 11 October, weeks before the US goes to vote in the Presidential election.
The poem will also be read at the White House on 16 October.
“I am interested in the space this text opens up for us to imagine and voice what we want in our leaders, and even beyond that, what we can envision for the future of our society,” says Leonard in a statement.
“I still think that speaking up is itself a vital and powerful political act.”
The poem had been intended to be published by an LGBT magazine in 1992, but after the publication disappeared, the poem was passed around from person to person.
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Ahead of next month’s Presidential election, queer artist and musician Mykki Blanco also recited the powerful poem ‘I Want A Dyke For President’.
The poem appears in its original typewriter font form with corrections on the mammoth billboard.
The provocative poem, written by AIDS activist Zoe Leaonard in 1992, was recited by Blanco, who is HIV-positive, as part of a cover for Dazed.
The mag explains: “I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils. These are words published nearly 25 years ago by American artist and prominent AIDS activist Zoe Leonard in her poem I Want A Dyke For President.
“In 2016, as we watch Hillary Clinton and, unbelievably, Donald Trump battle it out for control of America, as xenophobic politicians helped the United Kingdom leave the EU, as Russian bombs drop on Syria, the poem – that aggressively questions the violent banality of our elected politicians – remains as relevant and striking as ever.”