We have a number of items featuring the words of Anonymous Queers. Our "army of lovers" tee and tote, and a reproduction of a patch originally created in 1991. The current political environment reminds us the strength and power behind these words and we wanted to put them out there again for a younger generation and all those unfamiliar with the words. Similar to the "rattlesnake uterus" graphic we are running supporting Planned Parenthood, the badge features the the words "DON'T TREAD ON ME".
The t-shirt features an excerpt from the manifesto "QUEERS READ THIS", a broadsheet distributed at pride march in NYC, the full manifesto is linked to above and was published anonymously by Queers in June 1990. The excerpt titled "AN ARMY OF LOVERS CANNOT LOSE" was printed on pink paper and handed out to attendees of the parade. 10% of proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will be donated to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
"AN ARMY OF LOVERS CANNOT LOSE Being queer is not about a right to privacy; it is about the freedom to be public, to just be who we are. It means everyday fighting oppression; homophobia, racism, misogyny, the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred.(We have been carefully taught to hate ourselves.) And now of course it means fighting a virus as well, and all those homo-haters who are using AIDS to wipe us off the face of the earth. Being queer means leading a different sort of life. It's not about the mainstream, profit-margins, patriotism, patriarchy or being assimilated. It's not about executive directors, privilege and elitism. It's about being on the margins, defining ourselves; it's about gender-fuck and secrets, what's beneath the belt and deep inside the heart; it's about the night. Being queer is "grassroots" because we know that everyone of us, every body, every cunt, every heart and ass and dick is a world of pleasure waiting to be explored. Everyone of us is a world of infinite possibility. We are an army because we have to be. We are an army because we are so powerful. (We have so much to fight for; we are the most precious of endangered species.) And we are an army of lovers because it is we who know what love is. Desire and lust, too. We invented them. We come out of the closet, face the rejection of society, face firing squads, just to love each other! Every time we fuck, we win. We must fight for ourselves (no one else is going to do it) and if in that process we bring greater freedom to the world at large then great. (We've given so much to that world: democracy, all the arts, the concepts of love, philosophy and the soul, to name just a few gifts from our ancient Greek Dykes, Fags.) Let's make every space a Lesbian and Gay space. Every street a part of our sexual geography. A city of yearning and then total satisfaction. A city and a country where we can be safe and free and more. We must look at our lives and see what's best in them, see what is queer and what is straight and let that straight chaff fall away! Remember there is so, so little time. And I want to be a lover of each and every one of you. Next year, we march naked." Anonymous Queers ©1990
One of our favorite things to share in the Provincetown shop is this manifesto. It never ceases to stop people and force them to read the full text. The majority of customers are unfamiliar with it and are blown away by the strength of the words written in 1990.
We are grateful to all the activists who fought so hard for all the rights we enjoy today and are blessed to be able to share these words with so many in Provincetown and ensure the message is passed on to the next generations. Provincetown's destination for so many LGBTQ+ people has ensured this message continues to be shared. A few seasons back when Pete Buttigieg visited Provincetown one of our regular customers managed to get a pic with Pete and Chasten while wearing this shirt.
"We are an army because we have to be. We are an army because we are so powerful. (We have so much to fight for; we are the most precious of endangered species.) And we are an army of lovers because it is we who know what love is. Desire and lust, too. We invented them. We come out of the closet, face the rejection of society, face firing squads, just to love each other! Every time we fuck, we win."