In 1992, artist and AIDS activist Zoe Leonard wrote the now-famous poem "I Want a Dyke for President."
This election season, the work has been making the rounds on Facebook as a progressive call to arms. Voters are using the poem to demand politicians with lived experience reflecting that of their constituents. For some voters, misogynist Donald Trump and career politician Hillary Clinton just don't cut it.
This week, queer rapper Mykki Blanco, who came out as HIV-positive last year, gave voice to Leonard's words in a video posted by Dazed and Confused, reading the poem including the line "I want a person with AIDS for president."
The piece aims to question "freedom — who has access to it, does it still exist and if so, how is it obtained?" according to the publication.
Read Leonard's complete text (styled as originally written) and watch Blanco recite her words below in a video directed by Adinah Dancyger.
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 that is so saturated with toxic that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air conditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed, laid off and sexually harassed and gay bashed and deported. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth, someone who has eaten hospital food, someone who cross dresses and has done drugs, and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss, and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.