on being asked to write something on lgbtqia+ and the small press
except of course when it’s in the big press. and then when it’s in the big press, and you buy it, and it’s nice to hold, you feel guilty because the other lgbtqia+ that are kicked out of their homes or kicked into the gutter or dead and dying or starved and starving don’t have the big press. but they don’t even have the small press. so you feel guilty when it’s in the small press too, especially when that is even nicer to hold, and especially especially when it’s you that’s in there. and it was hard for them (the small press) to pay you (the lgbtqia+) the small fee. sometimes the big press doesn’t even pay the small fee. so you give it to emergency housing for homeless queer. you give it to top surgery fundraiser for suffering boi. you give it forward to blackmarket oestrogen patches for next trans femme. you post to your story. you retweet with comment. you please share widely.
something on lgbtqia+ and the small press. some small thing on the lqbtqia+ press. the small press on some lgbtqia+ thing. press on the small lgbtqia+. lgbtqia+ on the small press, the small press on lgbtqia+, something something something.
maybe you are the small press. maybe you were the small press before you were the lgbtqia+. maybe there are people who knew you were the small press before they knew you were the lgbtqia+. maybe the small press is only good for a privileged few lgbtqia+. maybe it’s been good for you. maybe you get some validation from the small press, more than you get from the lgbtqia+. maybe you need that to cope, and maybe coping is harder to do when you’re the lgbtqia+. maybe that’s a cop-out. maybe you only really care when the lqbtqia+ reads you in the small press. maybe when the nice and polite and better-off non-lqbtqia+ reads you in the small press and says nice things and regards it positively, you are a little bit disgusted inside with yourself. maybe you know this is wrong and so it’s not exactly the sort of thing you can say in public, or in the small press, which is maybe not exactly public. maybe you try to find your people and write for them. maybe sometimes the people who are most your people, who come through, are the small press, and therefore not (or not only) the lgbtqia+. maybe sometimes the lgbtqia+ have been pretty horrendous to you. maybe sometimes it’s harder not to be horrendous to people when you’re the lgbtqia+. maybe that’s even more of a cop-out. maybe this sometimes makes you feel like you’re writing for the wrong ‘your people’. maybe (for instance) there’s a writer who got famous by being in the small press and being a really good writer and getting in the big press in the face of a lot of systemic oppression, but also has a lot of advantages that you think they don’t entirely recognise, and maybe now they’re the lgbtqia+, except maybe they don’t really understand what that means (oh, and you do?), and maybe they said some pretty horrendous shit to you around it, but maybe you’re no better in other ways. maybe you deserved it. maybe you deserve it still.
write something, lgbtqia+! "on the small press?" on the small press! write something lgbtqia+ on the small press. something small. write "lgbtqia+" on the small press. and the small press will write something on the lgbtqia+.
there are those lgbtqia+ who would rather be called ‘faggots’ than ‘nonbinary’ or ‘gender diverse’ or ‘theydies and gentlethems’. because they look deep into the smiling eyes that are saying ‘they’ and ‘them’ and ‘their’ and what they are hearing there is ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’ they’ve walked down the street and heard ‘faggot’, been stopped by the cops and heard ‘faggot’, been thrown out of home and heard ‘faggot’. you think about what they hear when they read the lgbtqia+ in the small press and you think that maybe when they turn the pages with each swish of nice heavy paper they hear ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’ and maybe they take the small press on the bus and they’re reading it on the bus minding their own business with their headphones in but there’s teens laughing about something else, almost certainly, but whatever they’re saying, the lgbtqia+ is hearing ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’ and maybe that would happen if they were reading the big press anyway. but sometimes in the big press there is no lgbtqia+ and so it’s farther away, that ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’ but they know it’s still there, and it might be louder, and more violent, and more dangerous for being farther away. so maybe you should know that people are saying ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’ maybe you are a faggot. maybe you’re making love with your lover and they lovingly call you a faggot, and you wouldn’t give up being a faggot for anything. but somehow that doesn’t help when you pick up the beautiful object of art that is giving the small press such prestige, and such pleasure, and you’re still hearing ‘faggot. faggot. faggot.’
this faggot kills fascists. this small press kills fascists. this small press kills faggots. this faggot small press kills fascists. this fascist small press kills faggots. this faggot small press kills faggots.
Sublimated Activism | An Interview with Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press
Since its establishment in 1985, Peepal Tree Press has been committed to publishing major works of Caribbean and Black British writing. Abram Foley spoke to founder and director Jeremy Poynting about publishing, political hopes, and telling the truth.