#DownInTheDM: Muslim, Trans, Drag Queen??? Mx Qwerrrk Interviews Sex Positivity Icon ZAKARIA (NSFW)
Mon, 19/03/18 – 15:00 | No Comment

One of the most OUT and raved about Muslim queens we know is Zakaria. She’s not afraid to show off her emboldened beauty, tatts and boddee oddee all over IG, regardless of the usual connotation associated with her Islamic faith. WOWlebrity Mx Qwerrrk had a little #DownInTheDM chat on QwerrrkOut with the bearded beauty about being Muslim, […]

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Interview: LGBTQI Activist JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) Says Queers’ & Feminists’ Misogyny Elected Donald Trump

Submitted by on Tuesday, 31 January 2017No Comment

Musician, activist and LGBTQI advocate JD Samson has been a leader and an outspoken voice in our community ever since joining ‘underground electro-feminist performance artists’ Le Tigre in 200o. She subsequently started her own band and production company MEN in 2007 with bandmate Johanna Fateman, after Le Tigre took an extended break. The sociopolitical trio recently reunited to release single I’m With Her, in support of Hillary Clinton’s run for president, a track that Samson says was highly criticized by individuals whom they thought would be supportive of their efforts, and Clinton. I spoke with Samson about her thoughts on the election, Donald Trump’s patently offensive first week in office, the misogynistic divide in the queer “community”, and how we can begin to mend a country that is seemingly being torn apart politically, and on the verge of civil war. (photo by Tyler Joe)

Paisley Dalton: Were you surprised that Donald Trump won the election?

JD Samson: It’s hard for me to separate my own understanding of what happened with the election and everybody else’s. That might be because I’m completely co-dependent with my community. Within my immediate family and friendship group there was some surprise at the level of support Donald Trump got from people all over the world. With that surprise, we keep getting slapped in the face. In the beginning, it was ‘He’s never gonna get passed the primaries…he’s never gonna win’. There was that hope that we all somehow maintained. To me, that’s completely insane! This is exactly what I thought was gonna happen. It was hard to rally people around that idea when we were rallying ourselves so hard. I blame internet bullying and misogyny, our own internalized misogyny within the queer and feminist community.

Were we too arrogant as a community…thinking that every one of us is prepared and willing to address the exigencies of the current political climate?

There’s a selfish apathy that we all caught. It’s a Western problem that has to do with capitalism. It has to do with the internet. I’ve been bullied on the internet a lot. I felt legitimized in a certain way when I watched Hillary Clinton being bashed online by liberals, and then seeing how that affected the election and will affect the future of our country for people mostly from our community. I understand how she feels. I’m not hopeful at all; but, I do think that this shows us that the two-party system is antiquated. In order to make change, we need to stop being apathetic and get into office. That should be our goal. If we care so much, we need to make the changes ourselves.

Can we, as a community, be effective in the fight if we can’t get our own shit together? Don’t we need to address our own moralistic issues first…our own internalized homophobia, our own misogyny…our own constant supplication to exploitation?

Entitled people are entitled people. There is a lack of empathy. There’s a lack of interest in supporting people that aren’t like you. I’m happy that in the last year more people have shown up for more communities that don’t necessarily reflect who they see in the mirror. For me personally, as someone who promotes queer events, I had a party that I moved to a queer space that is owned by women and no men came! It was heartbreaking! It was a political decision. I felt that if I did the right thing, people would come. It didn’t work. That was so sad for me. My community wasn’t supportive of women’s spaces. My community wasn’t interested in that political decision. It’s like nothing has changed. There were so many articles in queer and gay magazines last year about tech house and house music parties, not one of those articles included an even put on by women! And there are women’s parties…there’s Pat in NYC, Smartbar in Chicago. It’s depressing!

All of my hopes and dreams have been shattered this year. A lot of feminists feel that way. That’s why there was a Women’s March. In the beginning, I felt that calling it a women’s march was terrible, and that it shouldn’t be just for women. But it wasn’t just for women. It spoke to the idea of feminism, which is an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of other things. They did a great job!

The misogyny surrounding Clinton’s campaign was devastating. My bandmates [from Le Tigre] Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman suggested that we do a song for her, and I was terrified about what would happen when we did that. I knew we were gonna get so much shit. We ended up doing I’m With Her. It was the most punk rock thing we could do..and we got stoned by our community again. I was hurt! I couldn’t believe all these people who supported us for so long were saying all this horrible things about Clinton. She’s the most qualified person to run for president ever!

Should there be a rebranding of queerness…a neo-queer movement for this millennium? What does it even mean to be queer today?

It’s important for me because it’s part of my identity. My feminism, my radical politics and my queerness go hand-in-hand. But right now, I’m not thinking of each one of those things specifically. I’m thinking about other people. Right now, we’re talking about immigration, a wall going up between Mexico and the United States, and us having to pay for it. That doesn’t really affect me that much, but that is where I am. I’m not thinking about queerness. I think that’s how a lot of my friends have changed their way of fighting for freedom right now. People were thinking, ‘What exactly can Donald Trump do in the first three days?’ This is exactly what we knew he could do! So we tried to figure out what we could do to help these people that would be affected. Those were the presents I gave for the holidays…supporting groups that advocate for groups of people affected by Trump’s impending policies.

Is it daunting to be a woman in today’s patriarchal society, one that subscribes primarily to heterosexual hegemony?

Of course it’s daunting! That just means that women don’t want men to exist, rather than lose power to them.

Is that the utopian future…an all women’s world?

…and transgender people…and non-gender conforming people. That’s my dream! It’s not about a person’s body. It’s about a person’s socialization. We all exist on a binary of gender expression. Some people want to fit into the roles and expectations of their families and their history, and the history of gender expression. Some people don’t. The real future is that we don’t give a shit about those words anymore. It sounds like wishful thinking…but I don’t think it is anymore. I don’t give a shit what you are! I don’t give a shit what I am! I identify as a woman and a feminist. I consider myself trans too, because I’m not following the binary system.

What can we do now, on the ground, to move forward as a community, as individuals, as a queer-identified person?

Each person needs to figure out what their focus is in protest, whether it be immigration, abortion rights, etc. They should spend time researching and knowing the facts. The most important thing is that we find leaders within this new movement. It’s not just about marching. It’s about changing the laws. It’s about impeaching Donald Trump!

The president is suppose to reflect the people…and he does! He’s narcissistic, apathetic, a fame monger. Isn’t that what most people want now? Everybody wants to be seen. Everybody wants to be famous. Why is everybody surprised that they created a self-aggrandizing effigy of themselves?

Our selfish apathy is the greater issue. It’s our current societal standard. This is why he won. We need to re-teach…starting with kindergarten. A lot of children don’t know how to have emotions anymore.

JD Samson is currently working an a book- an experimental memoir, with a mix of fiction an non-fiction. She also continues to DJ and produce music. I’m With Her single available now on iTunes.


I contacted JD Samson once more, regarding Donald Trump’s recent immigration ban. She had only this to say: “I’m sitting here crying my eyes out! This is a crisis. I agree about the civil war you mentioned. I’m angry and scared.








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