Caffo: In your book manifesto contrasessuale (fandango) you read a lot of philosophy under the light of heterosexual bias. could you explain the meaning of this bias? what is a transsexual philosophical thought?
Preciado: When I talk about heterosexuality here I am not speaking about a sexual practice or what psychology calls an “orientation”. I am speaking, like Monique Wittig, about heterosexuality as a political regime that still considers that the reproduction achieved though the penetration of a bio-penis into a bio-vagina is “the” natural form of reproduction and that this way of reproducing grants legal and political hegemony to certain bodies and practices over others. I don’t believe in heterosexuality and homosexuality. I don’t think we can survive politically in contemporary world using only these notions to refer to our complex sexual subjectivity. I don’t speak from the point of view of a transsexual philosophy. I am transsexual according to the medical dominant discourse. But I define myself as a dissident of the binary gender-sex epistemology. I would say that the core of my philosophy comes from the realization that we need a new epistemology to think the living being that will not be reduced to the gender binary, nor to sexual differences or racial taxonomies.
Caffo: in your book Terrone anale (fandango)- you argue that the ignorance about the anus as a center of pleasure and thought create a bad interpretation of the history of philosophy. what do you mean?
Preciado: A good part of modern Western philosophy can be read as a discourse legitimizing certain bodies that have been granted sovereignty over others: the body of the father, of the patriarchal representative; the white colonial body. Historically women and non-white bodies have not been considered able to produce philosophical thinking because they were reduced to their wombs, to their reproductive functions. We can say that modern western philosophy is a legitimation of colonial patriarchy, and in this respect, is very much a philosophy centered around the penis (not the phallus, but really the penis) and what keeps the patriarchal penis erected and (re)productive. We could say that philosophy has been like conceptual Viagra for patriarchal reason. In Terrore Anale, I use the anus to decentered this hegemonic position of the heterosexual patriarchy. In the Manifiesto, I use the dildo. These are not to be seen as absolute positions, or simply as anatomic places or physical objects, but as conceptual strategies to decolonize and depatriarchalize philosophy.
Caffo: your “from f to m” story is also an intellectual story (testo tossico, fandango). why queer thinking put the body at the center of the philosophical debate?
Preciado: I look at sexuality and subjectivity as political field. The are my workshop, so to speak. The space where I intend to produce a new kind of grammar, another language. The problem is that psychology, and most particularly psychoanalysis has completely capture the domain of sexuality and has transformed it into a field of diagnosis. We need to re-appropriate sexuality as a collective language against power and institutions. As a contemporary philosopher I cannot think of a better political and conceptual experiment that the one provided by the so called sex-change process.
Caffo: what are the priorities of the qlgbti movement in this Moment?
Preciado: The problem, on my view, is that the glbtqi movement has dedicated the last 40 years to politics of identity and politics of integration within dominant heterosexual society. As a result, we have produce more identity and more normalization, but not more freedom, radical emancipation o radical transformation. The goals of the movements in the last years have been coopted by the demands of gay marriage and rights to reproduction. I think we have, on the contrary, to abolish marriage, an institution that legitimize monogamy, property, and to fight against reproduction as the main goal of sexuality and relationships. In this respect, I am at the antipodes of the lgbtqi movement.
Preciado: I think that now the goal is to profoundly depatriarchalize and decolonize society and our technologies of government. Probably the biggest urgency is to deconstruct the epistemology of binary gender difference and to stop gender assignation at the moment of birth. This will already create an earthquake within political and social institutions. I would also stop this way of talking about the lgbtqi movements, and I would rather talk about a somatopolitical planetary revolution constituted of a multiplicity of movements and critical alliances instead of reducing the complexity of movements to a series of identity politics claims, where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, etc..have each of them clear frontiers and different aims and goals.
Caffo: Paul, you work with art, philosophy, activism … is it necessary to hybridize Also our concept of knowledge? Also the methodology of thought will become a queer methodology?
Preciado: Absolutely. Like with gender, I am not interested in transdisciplinarity, but rather in in-disciplinarity. It is not a question of doing philiosophy, art, and activism, but to show that activism already produces a form of critical knowledge, that philosophy is always direct action and that inventing a new epistemology is a poetic act.