Panel Discussion Queer Resistance

Queer as German Folk © chezweitz


The Center

208 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011

Panelists: Tatiana Cozzarelli (New York), Puelo Dier (Montreal), Alex Alí Méndez Díaz (Mexico City), and Andreas Günther (Berlin), 
Moderator: Jeffrey Masters

Until recently, successes in the fight for social equality seemed irreversible. With the emergence of neo-conservative forces being demonstrated by right-wing populist movements everywhere, it is again becoming socially acceptable to take sexist, homophobic and transphobic positions. This puts all that has been achieved in question. Are there useful and contemporary forms of resistance to these social developments? How can established middle-class queers be moved to active resistance and the liberal parts of majority society be moved to give them firm support? What experiences of queer and/or feminist resistance within and outside Western culture can be utilized globally? What is there to learn from the history of the past 50 years?

This panel is one of four itinerant conferences taking place in North America as part of Queer as German Folk: Queer Resistance (New York, June 20), Queer Culture (Toronto, June 21), Queer Diversity (Mexico City, June 22), and Queer Establishment (Berlin, September 15)

Tatiana Cozzarelli is an editor for Left Voice, a member of the DSA, a teacher at Hunter College and graduate student in Urban Education at CUNY. She comes from the Latin American Trotskyist tradition, having lived and done political work in Brazil. She currently studies the recent teacher’s strike wave in the US, Latin American politics with a focus on Brazil and Argentina, as well as socialist feminism. She is interested in building on the most radical aspects of the rights and resistance paradigms that are so prevalent in LGBT+ organizing to think through a revolutionary strategy for liberation.

Puelo Deir’s journey from high-priced party boy to activist began at the 1989 International AIDS Conference in Montreal, when he stormed the stage with other activists to protest government inaction on AIDS. A spark was lit and Deir went on to organize protests following the violent Montreal police raid on the Sex Garage party, widely considered to be “Montreal’s Stonewall” before he founded, developed and produced Divers/Cité, the weeklong LGBTQ2 cultural festival. Deir also created and co-produced the Just For Laughs Festival hit show Queer Comics and has written five plays, including the acclaimed 2013 queer coming-of-age ensemble piece Holy Tranity! 

Alex Alí Méndez Díaz is an attorney and the Director of Litigation at México Igualitario. He represents cases of same-sex couples wishing to marry, as well as transgender identity changes, sexual orientation discrimination, and access to health services for people living with HIV.  

Andreas Günther was born in Dresden and grew up in the town of Ilmenau in Thuringia, Germany. Before becoming Executive Director of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office in 2018, he worked as Director of the Department of International Policy for DIE LINKE (The Left Party) in Berlin. Andreas holds an M.A. in Classical Archaeology and Greek.

Jeffrey Masters is the Senior Editor of Special Projects at The Advocate and the host/creator of the interview podcast, LGBTQ&A. LGBTQ&A has been featured The New York Times, NBC, USA Today, Logo TV, People Magazine, Buzzfeed, and GLAAD. He's written for The Advocate (including the August 2018 cover story, HuffPost, INTO, Hello Mr., and PopSugar, and since 2014 has volunteered answering calls on the crisis hotline at The Trevor Project.