Derek Jarman
Quotations


The slow-witted approach to the HIV epidemic was the result of a thousand years of Christian malpractice and the childlike approach of the church to sexuality. If any single man was responsible, it was Augustine of Hippo who murdered his way to sainthood spouting on about the sins located in his genitals.

I’m not afraid of death but I am afraid of dying. Pain can be alleviated by morphine but the pain of social ostracism cannot be taken away.

The modern queer was invented by Tennessee Williams. Brando in blue jeans, sneakers, white T-shirt and leather jacket. When you saw that, you knew they were available.

The queers of the sixties, like those since, have connived with their repression under a veneer of respectability. Good mannered city queens in suits and pinstripes, so busy establishing themselves, were useless at changing anything.

All men are homosexual, some turn straight. It must be very odd to be a straight man because your sexuality is hopelessly defensive. It’s like an ideal of racial purity.

These names: gay, queer, homosexual are limiting. I would love to finish with them. We’re going to have to decide which terms to use and where we use them. . . . For me to use the word “queer” is a liberation; it was a word that frightened me, but no longer.

An orgasm joins you to the past. Its timelessness becomes the brotherhood; the brethren are lovers; they extend the “family.” I share that sexuality. It was then, is now and will be in the future.

One of the joys our technological civilisation has lost is the excitement with which seasonal flowers and fruits were welcomed; the first daffodil, strawberry or cherry are now things of the past, along with their precious moment of arrival. Even the tangerine -- now a satsuma or clementine -- appears de-pipped months before Christmas.

Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision and you have no rights in our lovemaking.

I wouldn’t wish the eighties on anyone, it was the time when all that was rotten bubbled to the surface. If you were not at the receiving end of this mayhem you could be unaware of it. It was possible to live through the decade preoccupied by the mortgage and the pence you saved on your income tax. It was also possible for those of us who saw what was happening to turn our eyes in a different direction; but what, in another decade, had been a trip to the clap clinic was now a trip to the mortuary.



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