Pedro Lemebel

Pedro Lemebel, the Chilean activist, essayist, and provocateur passed last week of cancer. With memorials beginning to appear in the English speaking press almost a week later (see today’s article in the New Yorker link to the text below) Lemebels death is a loss. With a legacy of opposition he was a voice who represented those deemed in the periphery – addressing the marginizalization of gays, lesbians, and trans folks in Chile. With his most powerful work  intersecting citizenship and heteronormativity Lempel’s work challenged the public gaze and looked at those who were excluded from the parameters of middle class heteronormativity to include the poor and the ill. Surprisingly Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet, lauded the political agitator a “tireless creator”.  With a legacy of opposition against all forms of injustice including Pinochet’s dictatorship. neoliberal consensus of Chile’s government, also against resistance from Marxists who referred to homosexuality as a vice and dismissed those suffering of AIDS. Lempel was a queer activist who fought against those he thought profited from the invisibility of those who were not found in statistics (poor, queer, illegal etc).


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