British actress Tilda Swinton covers
this month's issue of gay glossy Out.
The 55-year-old Swinton told editors
she attended the funerals of 43 friends in one year at the height of
the AIDS epidemic.
“When many of our friends became,
often mortally, ill, and then the reactionary right wing started
their ominously oppressive campaign of violence on the culture,
well-being, and civil rights of the LGBT community and the wider
diverse life of the entire country, we joined the vanguard of a
resistance movement that needed to be highly active,” she said.
“This is an extremely defined time in my memory. In 1994 alone, the
year [director Derek Jarman] died, I attended 43 funerals. The
Thatcherite Clause 28, which sought to prosecute and suppress queer
culture – against which we campaigned in outrage – was an attack
on the civil liberties of us all.”
She also talked about her queer
aesthetic and how she feels sexuality comes in second to spirit.
“I have lived for my entire adult
life closely integrated into a queer aesthetic, occasionally in
situations where I may have been – for months at a time – either
the only cis woman present or the only person in a heterosexual
relationship, without particularly questioning why it might be
strange for me to be included. The issue of sexuality is a secondary
one to the issue of spirit,” Swinton said.
“Queerness is an attitude that, when
acknowledged as shared, can bring more people together than could
ever be divided by it being used as a term of rejection. I think this
attitude is what I carry above my head, without any effort or
influence,” she added.