Most of the information about there encourages us to think about 'sexual orientation' as something that is just true about people. Instead, I think that 'sexual orientation' is a lot like the State. Both depend on representation (speaking for other people, telling them who there are, what they want or how they should live), borders and policing. Here are some resources that I think are useful for questioning the value of 'sexual orientation' and of 'democracy', where we tell each other how to live. Neither these things are easy to question because they are so taken for granted. But, you may find questioning them deeply rewarding and helpful for thinking about what you want your life to be like. I certainly have. Enjoy!



The PhD thesis, from which this website sprang, is avaiable online. Being a piece of academic writing, it does use jargon, though I tried it keep it to a minimum. If you want a jargon-lite overview of the whole thing, you can just skip to the five-page conclusion.

Leaflets & Pamphlets


  • Clune, Jackie (2003) My crime against the lesbian state. For 12 years comedian Jackie Clune was gay - it shaped her life, was a staple of her stand-up act. Then she decided to go straight. It worked for her. So why did friends think she'd sold out?

  • Heckert, Jamie (2001) Maintaining the Borders: identity & politics. Identity is the process of creating and maintaining borders, creating different kinds of people. This keeps the world packaged in tidy little boxes. These boxes, in turn, are necessary for the violence and domination of hierarchical societies [...]

  • Heckert, Jamie (2004) Problems with Sexuality. This is the text of a short to I gave at a medical conference that provided an overview of the project without using any silly sociological/poststructuralist words.

  • Rubin, Gayle (1993 [1984]) 'Thinking Sex: notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality' (published in various anthologies including Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality and The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader). This is a great introduction to thinking about myths and hierarchies of sexuality. Highly recommended.


  • Bornstein, Kate (1996) Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us. This book will always have a warm place in my heart because it helped me question the whole idea of gender.

  • Califia-Rice, Patrick (2000) Public Sex: the culture of radical sex. A fantastic collection of essays from an influential activist thinker. Available from AK Press

  • Dark Star Collective (2003) Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader A nice book of essays examining the overlaps of anarchism and feminism, two traditions that have deeply inspired me. Available from AK Press.

  • Harper, Clifford (1987) Anarchy: A Graphic Guide. This is a wonderful book. Beautifully illustrated, it provides a very readable history of anarchism. As he puts it, "like all really good ideas, Anarchy is pretty simple when you get down to it -- human beings are at their best when they are living free of authority, deciding things among themselves rather than being ordered about." Available from AK Press

  • LeGuin, Ursula K. (1999 [1974]) The Dispossessed. A classic novel describing the contrast between the everyday domination of archist society and an anarchist utopia gone dogmatic. The child of anthropologists, LeGuin has a wonderful capacity to create worlds. I have read this book four times and look forward to reading it again and again.

  • May, Todd (1994) The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism. This the book was a key inspiration for my analysis of the relationship between sexual orientation and the State. It is very accessible as far as poststructuralist theory goes, but that might not be saying very much for some. But, I liked it. You might also be interested in an important criticism of this work by Jesse Cohn and Shawn P. Wilbur.

  • Notes from Nowhere (2002) We Are Everywhere: the irresistible rise of global anticapitalism (Verso, 2003) is neither academic thesis nor art book, neither agitprop nor critical analysis, neither inspirational document nor DIY manual - but all of these, woven together using innovative graphic design and photographs. Texts, images and interviews with activists merge in both printed word and this website, creating a lively, polyphonic insight into the ideas and activities of the movements against capitalism and for life. We hope the result proves to be an inspirational, authentic document of insurrection. Available from AK Press

  • Piercy, M. (2000 [1976]) Woman on the Edge of Time. Like The Dispossessed, this is another classic anarchist novel. This one describes if potential future society where people govern themselves without profit or domination, and where neither sexual orientation nor compulsory monogamy exist.

  • Roseneil, S. (2000) Common Women, Uncommon Practices: the queer feminisms of greenham. A great piece of activists history describing the radical changes in the lives of women who lived at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp. Militarism, state authority, fixed hierarchies and and compulsory heterosexuality were all challenged by women deciding for themselves how to live together.

  • Sheehan, S. (2003) Anarchism. This is a very nice introduction to anarchism, ranging from contemporary protests against global capitalism to examples from literature, philosophy and the politics of sexuality.

  • Starhawk (2002) Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising is a call to reconceive our political and economic systems at the very deepest levels. Writing from the front lines, Starhawk chronicles the global justice movement sparked by Seattle's 1999 anti-World Trade Organization protest. An activist in many of the major peace and justice movements of our times, Starhawk continues to be deeply involved as a direct action participant and trainer in the anti-globalization movement. Includes writings from her participation in various protests as well as a more theoretical section. Available from Word Power

  • Ward, Colin (1973 [2001]) Anarchy in Action. A classic introduction to anarchism, focusing on the application of anarchist principles in daily life.

  • Ward, Colin (2004) Anarchism: a very short introduction. This is another great introduction to anarchist thought. Ward emphasises the positive contributions anarchism has made to labour struggles, sexual freedom, education and many other areas of life we take for granted.

  • Warner, Michael (1999) The Trouble with Normal: sex, politics and the ethics of queer life. A controversial and provocative meditation on the limits of asking nicely to be included in the dominant (sexual) order.

  • Wilchins, Riki (1997) Read My Lips: sexual subversion and the end of gender. This book was one of the influences that helps me rethink my commitment to identity politics. It is a shame that Riki has become just another lobbyist, but I still like this book.
Please consider buying books from independent and radical booksellers (see below) rather than supporting the profits of corporations.


  • The Edukators (2004, 130 min, Germany/Austria, Hans Weingartner). A story of love and anti-capitalism.

  • Hamam: The Turkish Bath (1997, 101 min, Italy/Turkey/Spain, Ferzan Ozpetek). The tale of a young Italian escaping from a constricted heterosexual middle-class life when he inherits a bathhouse in Istanbul.

  • Ignorant Fairies [Le Fate Ignoranti] (2001, 105 min, Italy, Ferzan Ozpetek) Guardian review

  • Music

  • Ani DiFranco is an anti-authoritarian feminist with a guitar, a powerful voice and a hell of a lot of talent. She has been inspiration for my work/life.

  • Chumbawamba are an anarchist collective band best known for their hit single Tubthumping. They have actually done a lot of other stuff, too. Their style ranges from early punk stuff through the pop of Anarchy and Tubthumper to English Rebel Songs: 1381 - 1984, an acoustic of traditional protest music from the Diggers to the Miner's Strike. They even have a song called Homophobia!

Websites: Alternative media

  • The A-Infos Radio Project was formed in 1996 by grassroots broadcasters, free radio journalists and cyber-activists to provide ourselves with the means to share our radio programs via the Internet. To our knowledge, the A-Infos Radio Project was the first grassroots media project of it's kind on the internet. Our goal is to support and expand the movement for democratic communications worldwide. We exist to be an alternative to the corporate and government media which do not serve struggles for liberty, justice and peace, nor enable the free expression of creativity. The archived material is available to anyone who wants it free of charge.

  • Greenpepper is an Amsterdam-based environmental and social justice magazine focusing on direct and autonomist action.

  • Indymedia Scotland is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

  • MediaLens is our response to the unwillingness, or inability, of the mainstream media to tell the truth about the real causes and extent of many of the problems facing us, such as human rights abuses, poverty, pollution and climate change. Because much modern suffering is rooted in the unlimited greed of corporate profit-maximising - in the subordination of people and planet to profit - it seems to us to be a genuine tragedy that society has for so long been forced to rely on the corporate media for 'accurate' information. It seems clear to us that quite obvious conflicts of interest mean it is all but impossible for the media to provide this information. We did not expect the Soviet Communist Party's newspaper Pravda to tell the truth about the Communist Party, why should we expect the corporate press to tell the truth about corporate power?

  • Mid Atlantic Newskiosk Anarchist, activist and alternative news.

  • SchNEWS A Brighton-based direct action newsletter, which is also seriously funny. Well known for 'crap arrest of the week'. Site has loads of good stuff on it.

  • ZNet Massive resource for news and information.

Websites: Alternatives to Profit and Power

  • Anarchist Studies is a list of links of resources for exploring anarchist ideas.

  • Corporate Watch is a small independent not-for-profit research and publishing group which undertakes research on the social and environmental impact of large corporations, particularly multinationals. We aim to expose the mechanisms by which corporations function and the detrimental effects they have on society and the environment as an inevitable result of their current legal structure.

  • Dissent! Taking action against the G8.

  • is a constantly growing resource for all people who wish to fight to improve their lives, their communities and their working conditions.

  • Power Inquiry discussion forums. One place you can talk to others about what Democracy should look like. You could also talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, lovers and strangers at bus stops.
  • Websites: Publishers and Bookshops

    • AK Distribution is a non-profit workers' co-operative anarchist book publisher and distributor. Their online catalogue includes a good selection of sex and sexuality related material. (UK)

    • AK Press is the US sister organisation of AK Distribution. Their online catalogue also includes a good selection of sex and sexuality related material. (US)

    • Black Books San Francisco-based publisher specializing in books and zines about underground culture. (US)

    • Cleis Press Publishes provocative books for smart readers of lesbian and gay studies, erotica, sex manuals, and sexual politics. (US)

    • Down There Press An independent publisher of sexual health books for children and adults. (US)

    • Freedom Press. Freedom is the world's oldest Anarchist publisher. (UK)

    • News from Nowhere is Liverpool's non-profit workers' co-operative radical & community bookshop. (UK)

    • Word Power is Scotland's independent and radical bookshop. Their online bookshop is an alternative to corporate bookselling chains and some online companies which ban trade unions. (UK)

    Websites: Sex/uality and Relationships

    • Alternatives to Marriage Project: provides resources, advocacy, and support to people who have chosen not to get married, are unable to marry, or are in the process of deciding whether marriage is right for them (US)

    • A web site devoted to women's sexual anatomy, pleasure and health.

    • The brainchild of sex worker/philosopher/artist, Seb Cox, this male-focussed site includes frank discussions of sexual identities and pleasures.

    • Intercourse: talking sex, is a non-profit organisation devoted to encouraging people to develop comfortable and positive ways of thinking and talking about sex, sexuality and relationships. Intercourse is organised by participants for participants. Anyone is welcome to get involved. (Transnational)

    • Queer by Choice offers information and discussion on the argument that people can choose to be queer.

    • an internationally relevant Website where alternative/radical/disenfranchised queers can exchange information, network, organise, inspire and be inspired, self represent, challenge ourselves and each other, and learn about DIY ideas and ethics. (Transnational)

    • Scarleteen top teen sex ed site! (US)

    • Sexual Freedom Coalition Lobbies for sex law reform, organises events including the Sex Maniac's Ball and promotes a positive attitude toward sex. (UK)

    • Society for Human Sexuality One of the most complete sexuality resources on the Web!(US)

    Suggestions for resources are always welcome. Please note, web sites that are of a commercial nature must be exceptional to be considered. A profit-economy is a very effective way of keeping people controlled. is an anti-profit web site. However, radical and/or critical resources produced by independent businesses, especially workers cooperatives, aiming to open up discussion about sexual diversity may be considered.