Queer Otherwise: Making Knowledge at the Boundaries of Academia and Activism




Margot Weiss is currently working on a book based on multisited ethnographic fieldwork with queer left activists in New York City, Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Montreal. Queer Otherwise: Making Knowledge at the Boundaries of Academia and Activism explores the possibilities and parameters of a radical political imagination at a time of economic crisis and precarity. The research was made possible through the support of a Wenner-Gren Post-Ph.D. Research Grant and Osmundsen Initiative Award and a CLAGS Joan Heller-Diane Bernard Senior Fellowship in Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Queer Otherwise is organized around the deceptively simple question: What is the relationship between sexuality and economic justice? As organizations like Queers for Economic Justice in New York City argue, at a time of economic precarity, LGBT and gender non-conforming people are particularly vulnerable—more likely to work in street economies, more likely to be homeless, more likely to survive through low-paying and non-unionized service work than their straight and cisgendered counterparts. Yet the gay and lesbian movement pays scant attention to poverty, much less class. An intervention into this impasse,Queer Otherwise focuses on networks of queer activists who are searching, often collaboratively, for new ways to articulate, redress, and imagine a just future. Queer Otherwise charts the ways activists make connections between sexual and economic justice in order to comprehend and transcend, rather than repeat, the often bifurcated scholarly analyses of queerness and capitalism, desire and class, and sexuality and economy.

Radical and Left Queer Organizations

Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) (closed). QEJ was a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation, with the goal of challenging and changing the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities, and promoting an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity.

Gender JUST (Justice United for Societal Transformation) develops the leadership and power of diverse Queer Chicagoans through a commitment to racial, economic and gender justice, and the vibrant resistance cultures of our communities!

Against Equality is an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers and artists, we are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation. We want to reinvigorate the queer political imagination with fantastic possibility!

 is a collaboratively organized summer festival that aims to make links across social justice groups, queer communities, and radical visions of pride. In a climate of corporatized gay agendas and whitewashed homogeneity amongst queers, Pervers/cité strives to provide a critical and accessible schedule of activities, designed to bring back the radical underpinnings to the pride movement.




Margot Weiss and Amber Hollibaugh. “Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence” New Labor Forum Vol. 24 Iss. 3 (2015). download

Queers for Economic Justice in collaboration with The Barnard Center for Research on Women, “A New Queer Agenda” issue on The Scholar & Feminist Online. link

QEJ, Tidal Wave: LGBT Poverty & Hardship in A Time of Economic Crisis. Report.

QEJ Shelter Project, organizing LGBTQ people in the NYC shelter system. Video.

Margot Weiss, “’Reinvigorating the Queer Political Imagination’: A Roundtable with Ryan Conrad, Yasmin Nair, and Karma Chávez of Against Equality,” American Quarterly 64.4 (2012): 845-849. download

Amber L. Hollibaugh on the future of the LGBT rights movement. Video

Panel discussion on Queering Prison Abolition at Wesleyan University, with Ryan Conrad of Against Equality, Reina Gossett, and Eric A. Stanley. Video here

Margot Weiss and Naomi Greyser, “Introduction: Left Intellectuals and the Neoliberal University” in “Forum on Academia and Activism,” ed. Naomi Greyser and Margot Weiss, American Quarterly 64.4 (2012): 787-793. link download

Margot Weiss, “Gay Shame and BDSM Pride: Neoliberalism, Privacy and Sexual Politics,” Radical History Review, 100 (2008): 87-101. Link