Arts & Culture / Convergence / Politics / Vol 3. No. 1

Imagining Liberation

Charles Frederick, the lake she owned

Image Credit: Charles Frederick, the lake she owned (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Our cry for the right to love (and be loved) is the fiercest and most radical revolutionary demand anyone could make. It is the demand for the complete liberation of the human body and spirit (with carnal fullness) into the transcendent capacity of our human existence, socially and personally. Love is where eternity is fully expressed in each real moment of passion, and connection throughout creation overwhelms the individual human, drowning us in life giving ecstatic connection with the wholeness of all things.

Yes. This is the true extent of what we demand when we demand the liberation of love and body in the pursuit of love. And we demand the right to find ourselves in love, as we come to imagine ourselves in love, the rightness of self and body (and body construction) and expression only ours–each of us–to determine and re-imagine over and over, nothing predetermined. There will be no sex or gender or other external restricting codification of body or how our bodies (the extant presence of our souls) should be or should appear.

It is not marriage and its privileges of property we demand–although we have the right to any ritual performance of our relationships we choose, available within any community where we have adherence (wherever we live must become free places to live). We have the right to all freedom of motion throughout the world, finding companions and locations of our desires, to share existence with anyone as long as we do not hurt or injure or seek to dominate those we come upon, nor to force ourselves upon anyone, while wishing them to be our partners. We may attempt to seduce anyone who is willing to entertain our attentions or presence (we never have the right to force our passion on them).

Love is always a mutual recognition (lasting the length of time of a glance, or for a brief–even back room–connection, perhaps most of a life, we may even think, forever) with, between or among free persons, however much it may first be initiated from an individual, even secret, epiphany of recognition. But while hearts may always be broken (even as an expression of love), our bodies should never be broken or humiliated or punished because we have felt love by those outside who will call us monsters and outside the category of human when we are exactly expressing the radical essence of our capacity as human: to love others, even beyond whatever before we had thought to be ourselves. (Hate is not our essence, it is our enemy, it is the distortion and thwarting of our radical human potential.)

We also have great responsibilities as we free Love from the prisons of hate. Love must be liberation from all oppression: all the false names of racism (white supremacy), xenophobia, patriarchal domination, misogynistic punishment are foolish (and even mortal) oppressions of others which love cannot recognize nor exist within. We will have no “gay” soldiers, when our love will not admit war. We will have no racist lynching police or blood sucking landlords or exploiting capitalists, no ecocidal masters of the universe. We will have no gay bosses when our love will not allow class inequality. We will not allow destruction of the earth, what should be the safe bed for the pleasure of our love. (And we will see no others in calamity or misfortune and not feel it directly as our own. Love has its magnificent costs.)

Our liberation is actual and real and continually examined and made free again in the concrete material conditions of love as it has been and is now in human history (whenever and wherever we find prohibition, we will make new freedom, love is the constant new discovery of humanity, the constant new eradication of oppression and inequality). It is only in the realities of human history that we can make freedom and equality and a common prosperity–all the fundamental conditions (and simultaneously: expressions) of love, so we can have the freedom to explore our transcendence. Love is not an idealism; it is the consummate realism (and struggle) of our collective human existence.

We have not been revolting over the millennia of human existence to become free to love, to imagine our ecstatic potential, to accept any limitation to that freedom, particularly of our own making. We will struggle and struggle until every way we might love and make love will be the common and free treasure for us all.

(Years ago, when the terror of HIV/AIDS was at its greatest, when we were fighting Church and State and Society and other Hating human beings, in that long, dark night of such anguish, I said in a speech what I still hold to be true: what makes them so frightened of us is not that we are everywhere. It is that we are everyone. Love is our human destiny.)

New York City

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