Posts Tagged ‘Polari Prize’

I am utterly honoured to have been interviewed by the inimitable Madame Arcati this week. Not unlike me, she is a bit of a trouble-maker, a character and a lover of the literary arts. Arcati asked me about my recent ‘outing’ by Paul Burston and Julie Bindel, a voodoo spell they arranged for me, and my interest in homosexuals, especially my fascination with a certain Metrodaddy.

This is a selection of Madame’s questions and my responses:

Q: He [Paul Burston] described you as a troll and an anonymous blogger who was ghastly about ‘feministas’ such as Suzanne Moore. A troll in my dictionary is someone who is repeatedly abusive and threatening on the internet – is that you QRG? Has it come to this? And what’s wrong with Suzanne? She has great shoes, loves a glass at night and has a big heart, doncha think?

I was born out of the womb of feminism, back in 1970. And ever since then I have been told it is the only way to look at men, women, and gender relations. It took me forty years, but I finally realised it’s not the only dogma in town. And Suzanne Moore once said in the Guardianthat she is a feminist because ‘men do horrible, horrible things’. Which I think is a bit mean to men. I’m not a troll (whatever that is). I am just someone who annoys the media establishment. And takes some pleasure in that.

Q: But you do mention [redacted] a lot on Twitter – and he’s blocked you from his website and Twitter account. Are you trolling the poor mite? Are you trying to push your way back into his affections? You can tell Madame (where to go…).

My subconscious may be trying to get back into [redacted] affections, but consciously no. I have found his work on metrosexuality – men’s ‘desire to be desired’ – to be the most exciting theory I’ve read in years. And I do go on about [redacted] quite a lot it’s true. I also helped him publish his 2011 book Metrosexy , so I have my uses.

Q: Are you quietishly riotous?

Yes, and sometimes not so quiet.

Q: Are you a cunt-cocker or a cunt-cunter or a cunt-cocker-cunter or a cockless-cuntless cunter? Just asking.

I’m a proud cocksucker.

Q: Now I know you’re a conceptual sexual sit-down activist of some sort with an interest in the work of Michel Foucault – you’ve even written a novel that has Foucault’s name in the title. Now, I get confused. Plainly you’re fascinated by queers yet you fall out with a lot of male queers. What’s the story?

My novella is called Scribbling On Foucault’s Walls, and it is about what might have happened if Michel Foucault had had a daughter. Sometimes I think in a previous life I might have been an old-school homosexual, like the marvellous Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey. Much of my interest in homos is identification. But I’m a girl so they (apparently) don’t identify with me. And this can cause resentment on my part.

Q: Do you have a cat?

A cat? No, I’m not a lesbian.

Q: Would you say there is a male queer conspiracy in the media as distinct from a male cock-cunting media conspiracy to turn the world into one big stereotype? (Personally I’ve always felt outside all groups and associations – but I love the word queer)

I think the gay men of the London media set (and their equivalents like Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan in America) are feeling very insecure at the moment, bless them. Because the fact is people don’t care as much as they used to about who has sex with whom, and how. We actually live in quite open-minded times, and this is not very good for gay men’s sense of being special and specially oppressed. I love the word queer too but that is too subversive for many. And Suzanne Moore actually wrote to me once saying that ‘queer bollox’ (sic) belonged in the 90s where it came from.

Q: Do you like flowers? Which are your favourite?

I’m a big fan of pansies.

You can read the full interview here!

The Polari First Book Prize 2012 is still open for entries.

I am currently attempting to enter this ‘queer’ literary prize but it is so far not proving straightforward.

I have just taken down most of this post as I wrote something about the previous winner of the prize that he objected to.


The latest edition of Games Perverts Play, the anthology I curate/edit, is out and it’s called Paraphilia!

I chose the theme Paraphilia to highlight how many aspects of people’s sexualities are not only considered ‘perverse’ but are also treated as symptoms of mental illness. So paraphilias have a whole section dedicated to them in the psychiatrists’ bible: the DSM. As I say in the introduction:

‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines paraphilias as:

recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving 1) nonhuman objects, 2) the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or 3) children or other nonconsenting persons that occur over a period of at least 6 months.

The DSM only specifies nine paraphilias (exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, transvestic fetishism, voyeurism, and a final category of “other” paraphilias).

The writers featured here cover many of the paraphilias listed by the DSM, but what they do that the medical establishment fails to do, is to put into question how we draw the line between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ sexuality and psychology. They also manage to make the ‘abnormal’ seem quite beautiful in places.’


I am particularly proud of Games Perverts play, as a whole, not just because it features such great writers as Penny Goring, Elliott Deline, Marc Nash, Dan Holloway and Mark Simpson. But because it throws not only the DSM, but also our preconceptions about defining sexuality out of the window. This is not a ‘gay’ anthology, or an ‘S and M anthology’ or a ‘sex positive’ anthology, or even a ‘sex’ anthology. It is a collection of writings about some of the most base but also most profound aspects of our selves as humans.

I am writing this during the run-up to the announcement of the winner of the  Polari First Book Prize, which is supposed to be awarded to a writer who expresses the ‘queer experience’ most effectively. But Polari is billed as a ‘gay and lesbian’ literary salon, and its founder and host, Paul Burston, writes a very gay ‘Gay and Lesbian’ column in London’s Time Out Magazine. He recently blocked me from commenting under his precious gay column. I guess I am just not gay enough. The fact that Mark Anti Gay Simpson will be reading at the Polari Prizegiving just makes me smile a little wanly. I wish he’d actually read from Anti-Gay itself, as I’d love to see the looks on those gay faces if he did.

I don’t think you can get much ‘queerer’ than the pieces here at GPP (one of the writers is in fact in the running for the Polari prize -James Maker- but not for the piece of writing he has included here).  Would most of our work be considered  ‘queer’ according to a ‘Lesbian and Gay’ literary salon? I very much doubt it. And I am glad about that. Because I think my -and everyone’s- sexuality defies categorisation. Games Perverts Play constitutes a spirited challenge to the sick  ‘joke’ of sexual identity itself  (Steve Zeeland).


Here is the opening to my story in Paraphilia.


‘There is never a good time to have a breakdown in communication. Some times are worse than others.

I was naked except for his collar and chain, attached to the chrome leg of the small desk in his hallway. It made for an efficient use of space. My arse was stinging from his blows. My head was heavy. The combination of anticipation, wine and a thorough beating was affecting my ability to think clearly. When he spoke to me I answered in monosyllables. It was all I could manage.

‘Do you like it when I hit you, bitch?’ he asked.


‘Yes what?’

‘Yes sir’.


You can read the whole story, and the rest of the contributions Here