Last updated on: 11/5/2012 | Author:

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Biography

Writer and gay rights activist
Con to the question "Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?"

“Though I am a queer person living in San Francisco, I will not be celebrating the California Supreme Court decision overturning the ban on same-sex marriage. Nor will I join those who say, ‘I would never choose to get married, but I think everyone should have the right.’…

…[T]he push for gay marriage has shifted advocacy away from essential services like HIV education, AIDS health care, drug treatment, domestic violence prevention, and homeless care — all crucial needs for far more queers than marriage could ever be. And this pattern will undoubtedly continue, as millions of dollars will be spent fighting an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment proposed for the November ballot, at a time when social services are being scrapped across the country, and especially in California.

The spectacle around gay marriage draws attention away from critical issues — like ending U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, stopping massive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across the country, and challenging the never-ending assault on anyone living outside of conventional norms.

While many straight people are reaping the benefits of gay liberation and discovering new ways of loving, lusting for and caring for one another, the gay marriage movement is busy fighting for a 1950s model of white-picket fence ‘we’re just like you’ normalcy. And that’s no reason to celebrate.”

“Why One Queer Person Is Not Celebrating California’s Historic Gay Marriage Decision,”, May 27, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Writer, gay rights activist, editor, artist, filmmaker, and critic
  • Columnist and Reviews Editor, Make/shift (feminist magazine)
  • Blogger,
  • Co-director with Gina Carducci, All That Sheltering Emptiness (short film), 2010
  • Creator, Lostmissing (public art project), 2009
  • Articles published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bitch, Utne Reader, Time Out New York, AlterNet, Bookslut, Gay & Lesbian Review, and The Stranger
  • Activism has included work for ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), Fed Up Queers, Gay Shame, and other groups
  • None found
  • Named by Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World
  • Has occasionally gone by the name Matt Bernstein Sycamore
  • Lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Identifies as “gender queer”
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?