GOD BLESS AMERICA
I attended a performance workshop at the New Museum that culminated in a performance titled “Exhibit Q: Queer Bodies.” We worked in groups of three, each giving a three minute performance and directing the other two to perform while we did our piece.
My piece was based on censorship and fear of museum policies. When I joined the workshop, I became a member of the New Museum. They sent me an emailed invite to their White Party, but I didn’t bring anything white with me. I invited my friend Robert Appleton to attend with me, and he suggested we use white Hazmat suits from Home Depot. We decided it was so hot that we should just change in the museum. When we approached it, we saw all the hipsters in their white Prada outfits modeling and standing and were not sure if we wanted to go inside. But, it was gay pride week, DOMA had been overturned as well as Prop 8 and the drinks were free so we wanted to celebrate our new freedom.
When we were changing, the suits were pretty transparent and looked stupid over our clothes, so we stripped down to our skivvies. Robert’s were white and looked good, but mine were black and still looked stupid, so I used the respirator as a jock. Robert put his on backwards with the zipper down to his ass and tore a hole in the front of the hood for one eye and his lips, then put on white makeup and a wiglet. I just happened to bring a white fetish female blow up doll mask with me and wore that. When we went upstairs, we were ignored. Two girls eventually came up to have their pictures taken with us. When they did, the head of security went ballistic, yelling, “You have violated the museum mask policy! Remove those outfits immediately!” He was red-faced and trembling. I had to beg him to let me go down the stairs. I thought he was going to push me as he “escorted” us to the bathroom, and I could feel his breath on my neck. When we were changing, I asked Robert, “When did New York become so conservative and paranoid? Why can’t they let us celebrate our new freedom and the death of Doma and Prop 8?” Robert just looked at me and said, “Girl, how many times must we be set free?”
For my performance, I reenacted this verbatim, stripping and changing into Robert’s attire and then donning my mask. As I was doing this, Wendy and Manda were parading and modeling. They pretended to have their picture taken with me and then scattered when the guard approached. I stripped back down to nothing but my mask and took it off as I said “How many times must we be set free?” Now naked, I used the mouth of my penis as a puppet and sang “God Bless America,” with the ending line a sarcastic “My homo sweeeeeet homo!”