I'm a genderqueer artist & educator based in Brooklyn. Call me he, call me she, but, please, don't call me by your name. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh by two writers who named me Dante, after that guy who wrote about the Inferno. For what it's worth, my last name means fire in Italian. 

 

Coming out in 2016 meant coming into disruption. I create art that recovers my her-story and interrogates how my his-story elided it, often using play, humor, and absurdity to defang this self-excavation. I traffic in the very forms I long avoided, for fear they would un-masc me. Solo performance, playwriting, drag, home video, movement, singing, poetry—these mediums are un-mascing me, in that they are undoing the shame and silence that once bound me. Having come out in my mid-twenties, I exploit binaries that plagued me when I "was" a cishet man—good/bad, boy/girl, straight/gay—as a way of softening into the both-and dialectics I uncover. Thanks in part to my other life as a restorative justice practitioner, I believe everyone suffers and inflicts cruelty as much as I refuse to accept this as destiny, entertaining instead the prospect of healing: What if, by reckoning with our shadows, we could dance in the light that casts them? 

 

©2020 by Dante Fuoco.