Interview with Cheddar Gorgeous on pronouns, social movements and what is to be done

Cheddar Gorgeous is, well, “Unicorn, alien, and Idealist. Anthropologist, producer and provocateur” who kindly agreed to answer some questions.  [Instagram here. TED talk here.]

Who is Cheddar Gorgeous, what pronouns are best?

Cheddar Gorgeous is me at my most spectacular, a version of myself that I use to make people look at the things I think they would not notice otherwise.

I do not use pronouns because I do think that they have any real usefulness. Categories always seem so violent to me, even when deployed strategically to further social justice. I believe the disruption of a system of categorisation is as necessary as asserting yourself within in it. Please use all of them for me or none of them.

What do climate campaigners have to learn from campaigns for gay rights/sexual freedom and beyond?

The LGBT rights movement absolutely involved violent resistance, suffering and uncomfortable confrontation. However, it also involved compromise, agreement and working with people who may not necessarily agree with everything you are trying to achieve. Change is always a process of resistance but also of compromise. We must stand against views that we feel are harmful to all people but also reach out to convince those on the opposing side that our way is of benefit to all.

You wrote in a tweet “Is wearing a mask down the shop and on the bus really that bad??…you should probably be more worried about the long-term implications of making it illegal to meet in private homes…meaningful movements towards progress and emancipation often begin in peoples front rooms.” – can you expand on that a bit – what movements are you thinking of?

The suffragettes, Black civil rights movements

Complete this sentence – “For Manchester to be more socially just and inclusive, and ecologically sustainable, the number one thing that campaigners and artists need to work together on is….”

For Manchester to be more socially just, inclusive, and ecologically sustainable, the number one thing that campaigners and artists need to work together on is agreeing with one another. The greatest threat we face is not being able to put our differences aside to tackle that which we cannot afford to compromise on.

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