Ze: Queer as Fuck! – Compellingly Real

It’s hard to find fault with Michelle(/Ryan) Lunicke’s performance in the autobiographical piece, "Ze": Queer as Fuck! Amidst the political minefield of gender and identity politics, Lunicke’s voice is nothing but pure, personal, and honest to the point of nakedness. Lunicke’s life as presented in "Ze" is a journey from sexual repression to sexual acceptance, from society into the self, and from clarity to confusion and back.

I first encountered the concepts underlying genderqueerness in the book Feminism is Queer by Mimi Marinucci, but it was a different thing to see them unfurl in the fabric of a human life. Lunicke’s performance asks us: why must we assume that our categories are perfect, or that our membership within them is a constant? Human beings can be free of the constraint of simple categorization, of being told what is and is not okay for them to do based on the categories they fall into (man, woman, straight, not, etc.). They can, instead, embrace the uncertainty and flux within themselves and give themselves the freedom to evolve—and it all begins by transforming shame into pride.

I recommend "Ze": Queer as Fuck! to anyone who is curious about the complexities of identity. I also recommend it to anyone to whom the word “queer” brings a twinge of discomfort. It seemed to me that Lunicke does not judge anyone for being uncomfortable. Discomfort is an inevitable part of our endless struggle to understand one another. Maybe, amidst this hilarious, exuberant rollercoaster of a performance, "Ze" can give you a few tools for that struggle.

By Mattias Martens