Friday, October 24, 2014

Embodying dissent: An interview with Beatriz Preciado and Teresa Forcades

By Andrea Valdés (English translation by Rebel Girl)
El Estado Mental
June 2014

Before this interview, Teresa Forcades (Barcelona, 1966) and Beatriz Preciado (Burgos, 1970) didn't know one another personally. If we put them in touch, it's because they are, in their respective contexts, an "anomaly", a word they contest, for cramping a heteronormative, patriarchal and racist system.



At a time of huge imbalances, where the government doesn't hide its alliance with the market and the crises feel like biblical plagues, their political dissidence is striking because it's physical as well as intellectual dissidence and they practice it within the system. Teresa Forcades specialized in internal medicine at the State University of New York. After studying theology at Harvard University, she entered the Sant Benet Monastery. Once she had her doctorates in Public Health (University of Barcelona) and Theology (Facultad de Teología de Catalunya), she went off to Berlin to study and give classes at Humboldt University. Beatriz Preciado, on the other hand, studied modern philosophy and gender theory at the New School for Social Research in New York and then got a doctorate in the Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. Until recently, he was teaching at Paris 8 University and starting next term, he will be teaching at New York University.

So much cum laude hasn't stopped them from being the object of many attacks. It's what comes with talking about dildos and vaccinations, pornography and abortion, Hugh Hefner and Hugo Chavez, without getting married to anyone. But behind these statements, there is research. While Teresa Forcades incorporates the concept of subjectivity from contemporary anthropology (Lacan, Žižek, Butler ...), updating the theological notion of the individual, Preciado, with contrasexuality and criticism of what she (or he) calls the "pharmacopornographic regime," invites us to explore other lifestyles that evade the current system and its main claim. Namely: that male and female are the only two natural, and therefore possible, states. From the two bodies of work, a political issue with huge potential for change is unleashed, hence we wanted to put them in dialogue with each other.

After a long exchange of emails, we attended the inauguration of the Queer Theology School which took place at Francesca Bonnemaison in Barcelona at Teresa Forcades' invitation. In Catalonia, she has great media presence. She became known in 2009 with a video in which she attacked the pharmaceutical industry and, although she has written several books (La Trinitat, avui, La teología feminista en la Historia), most remember her for her critical attitude towards the Church and, more recently, for her civic call for the right to choose a model of government, a project she is steering with Arcadi Oliveres. Beatriz Preciado is better known abroad than in Spain. His books, Manifiesto contrasexual, Testo Yonqui ("Testo Junkie") and Pornotopía, have been translated into English, French, German, even Turkish, and are part of university curricula today. In Catalonia, from the MACBA Independent Studies Programme that he directs, Preciado has made "radical pedagogy" a form of political activism.

ANDREA VALDÉS: We know you have a complicated agenda. What led you to accept this proposal?

TERESA FORCADES: I'd never met Beatriz personally but a couple of years ago in a course on queer theology I gave in Berlin with Ulrike Auga, we used Manifiesto contrasexual to encourage the students to think about this new way of looking at the human and identities, the limitations in those identities and opening them, which is something I'm working on from theological anthropology.

BEATRIZ PRECIADO: About four years ago I heard her speak for the first time and then tuned into the revolutionary energy of her work. Despite the distance, there were times when I said to myself that in another life, had I been a nun or rather a priest, I could have been Teresa Forcades. Then I was interested in her criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, which is something that's at the core of my work. I found it very interesting that coming from such different worlds and working on the regimes of sexual, racial and gender domination that promote hegemonic arguments (of the Catholic Church, the scientific or economic establishment), such a genuine connection came about.

VALDÉS: Teresa, you once said that on reading the Gospels in adolescence, you felt you had been cheated of 15 years of your life because you hadn't found them earlier. Your approach to religion seems incidental and friendly. Beatriz, on the other hand, mentions a really suffocating Catholic milieu. Were the situations in Catalonia and Burgos so different in the 70s?

FORCADES: I think that in Catalonia, in the seventies, there were also very suffocating spheres in the religious environment. I don't doubt it, although I discovered them later because if I had known then, well, who knows?...

VALDÉS: You would have thought twice?

FORCADES: Yes, yes ... or three times. It is also true that the announced end of the Franco regime and the idea of a society that would finally get up to date after so many years of waiting coincided in Spain with the aggiornamento of Vatican II, which meant entering into dialogue with modernity. It's true that the modernity thing lasted only a few years... (laughs). In 1966, when it seemed we were entering alleged postmodernism, the church goes and gets into a dialogue with modernity. Great timing! In any case, after a long wait, in which all you could see was opium, a great wave of people was generated who were willing to question many things and keep what is essential. That is, the assertion of the inalienable liberty of human beings, their constitutive relatedness and, above all, the idea of social justice. I went to a parish that was in Montjuïc and, although I don't come from a wealthy family, it was that context that made me discover the world of immigration and the working class. Christianity, freedom and social justice, to me, are inseparable.

PRECIADO: In my case it was almost the opposite -- an imposition. My family was very Catholic, with a tremendously dogmatic view of religion despite the fact that, for example, my grandmother was Catholic and anarchist, thus there were already "cracks" in my environment. But, for me, religion was the dominant way of thinking in the city of Burgos, and it was a way of thought related to military culture, to political repression. That is, I couldn't see Catholic discourse as a liberating discourse in any way. Although when I was little, one of the things I wanted to be was a priest. When I was studying with the nuns, when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "a priest". And they said: "No, by God, Beatriz, it's 'a nun', 'nun'..." And I said, "Not a nun, because nuns are quiet, they clean and make pastries, and I want to talk." I remember that in school there was very overt tension because I never experienced my sexuality as pathological or as a sin. I wanted to either be a priest or marry Marta. It was clear that my use of my body and life choices could not be included within the dominant language of Catholicism.

VALDÉS: But you ended up studying with the Jesuits.

PRECIADO: It's a bit of a strange story. My father didn't want me to study Philosophy. He wanted me to do Pharmacy, Law...a decent job. Since he wasn't going to pay for my studies, I entered a young philosophers' contest in Burgos and won first prize, which was studying in a Catholic university. Between Opus Dei and the Jesuits, I chose the Jesuits in Comillas. And it's true that I still have a very tight relationship with some of them like Juan Masiá, from whom I learned a great deal. After Ignacio Ellacuría and liberation theology, we would study Marx. It was economic theory that came almost directly from the gospel! Impressive. That allowed us to make a very detailed exegesis of his books. We read them like one reads the Bible. It was quite an experience, but of course, the possibility of interpretation stopped where it stopped. I was with Foucault's History of Sexuality, Derrida's deconstruction, feminism then, and wanted to explain my own dissent through a different language. As I went to United States to study Contemporary Philosophy and Gender Theory, everything changed. Staying in Spain, maybe I would have ended up in Montserrat, but I felt something that took me beyond myself, like a kind of utopian arm. Something that grabs you and says, "Come on, you can't stand idly by with what there is. You have to do something!"

VALDÉS: What you're calling the "utopian arm", would that be equivalent to Teresa's "calling"?

FORCADES: The vocation to being a nun is one thing, but what Beatriz is talking about is related to something broader. I'm not "me and me" but I'm "me and more." And that something more also tells me things, and I feel it challenges me directly...

PRECIADO: Obviously, but it's a challenge of history. With Walter Benjamin, for example, you learn that history has been written by the winners and, even though you're on the side of the vanquished, on the margins of that history, something says to you: "Come, you too can rewrite it since you can handle that argument." This might sound absurd but it makes me happy and even brings me close to those people who feel "called" except that, in my case, the call isn't transcendental. It's the need to collectively reconstruct history from the losers' point of view.

VALDÉS: I can understand that need, but relating it to the transcendental is harder for me. Teresa, are you sure?

FORCADES: Before reading the gospels, at 13 or 14, when I looked at the world I already felt a challenge, in a generic way. Later, with the first confirmation, at Sacred Heart they would say very enthusiastically, "that girl will become a nun," but I didn't feel like that at all. It even bothered me to hear it. It's true that later I studied medicine, but that being open to something beyond yourself was just one part. When I stayed at Sant Benet to study, I experienced something different, and the only name I can give it is that God was calling me. I know it can sound strange now; it was also strange for me when I experienced it...but all I can testify to is that what I experienced was something new for me that isn't confused in any case with what I felt yesterday or a few months ago.

SWEAT AND TEARS

VALDÉS: Teresa, you've commented that during the novitiate there was a transformation. You've talked about growing pale, losing weight, crying. Beatriz, meanwhile, mentions sleep disturbances, a change in sweating and other side effects from administering Testogel to himself. While one made a vow of chastity, the other multiplied his sexual appetite with a shot of hormones. To change things, is it necessary to go to this extreme, to make a break with "normalcy"?

PRECIADO: I suppose Teresa experiences it starting from theology. I experience it based on philosophy which, for me, is a discipline not of the individual body but of the collective one. When I decide to administer testosterone to myself, I don't do it as an individual whim because I'm given to that, but because I know this has specific social and political repercussions in a given historical and political context. What we might understand as "normality" is a set of specific disciplines, of normative uses of the body. For me, philosophy implies a break with those diciplines of body normalization and, if you will, the invention of a counterdiscipline.

VALDÉS: There's a sentence in which you say it very clearly: "I don't take testosterone to transform myself into a man or even to transexualize my body, but to betray what society has wanted to make of me."

PRECIADO: Precisely. Now, when I'm traveling around the world and I see the communities in different places, I realize there's a cosmopolitan queer diaspora that speaks a very similar language. They're people who share dissenting body practices and subjectification because the body isn't just the physical body. That's a fiction of medicine...The body is political subjectivity; there's no separation. It goes beyond the flesh. It's a political and cultural archive, or what I call a "somatheque" -- living political fiction. What I was getting to, and by getting into a conversation with Teresa, when I meet all these people -- transgendered, transsexual, queer -- I think we're like the early Christians, but in the context of global capitalism. Who would give a shilling for those crazy people? Imagine what the Roman Empire was then and suddenly a gang appears talking about some guy who appeared thereabouts talking about the resurrection, etc. and the possibility of tearing down all the legal and business practices that shaped that regime. What they were doing was inventing a practice of alternative subjectification. They chose to subjectify themselves not according to Roman ritual but starting from a language that even dissented with the Jewish religion. And there were only 14. Tremendous! By this I mean that I don't believe there are better or worse practices, but that it is absolutely necessary that we be able to collectively invent dissident or alternative responses to normalized subjectification, otherwise we are lost. And if, moreover, we are able to establish connections with "the other side" (which for me are the ancestors, history, the planet...) it would be great, because it would no longer be a leakage point but a tear in that sprawling net that is world capitalism.

FORCADES: For me, the body thing is less deliberate. My change didn't come from wanting to experiment with it, but as a consequence of a decision. Let's say that with the "calling" a possibility opened up for me where I was clear from the beginning that here I was to say yes or no, because however much of a calling there is, this does not imply a destiny. I knew that when saying yes, I would have to give up a number of satisfactions, of possibilities ... things that affected my identity and understanding. So a question opened up that's still there, but it's different now because at first everything was unknown to me. This question is reopened every time I fall in love. Although there is a very negative discourse about sexuality in Catholicism, I don't experience it in a stable manner. It's not something that has closed but a constant challenge. It's also true that seeing the older nuns of the monastery as attractive women helped me a lot. Had it not been so, then perhaps I would not have fulfilled my vocation. At 90 or 100, they have a sense of humor and an inner freedom I think are fantastic. And finally, I liked the idea that since the 13th century there has been a tradition of women living in community. It's not an ideal coexistence, we have our problems, like everywhere, but that continuity impresses me and I thought maybe it could be part of it. Nor did I have to decide on the first day. In fact, they made it hard for me. I remember that, once the pallor phase was over, the novice mistress asked me, "Teresa, do you you see yourself painting pottery ten years from now?". I said no. She replied, "Well that's what we do."

VALDÉS: But something happened. Now there's a web page and you've even begun classes on queer theology.

FORCADES: I answered that there were two possibilities here: either God would change me -- He made us dynamic for a reason -- and in ten years I would be delighted to be painting pottery, or God would change you. In which case, we could still do something more than pottery.

VALDÉS: What nerve! (laughter)

FORCADES: Yes, that's how it was. The mistress told me that from a logical perspective I was right, those two possibilities existed, but that I should remember that they had been painting for 1,500 years. Since pottery made my back hurt, they finally let me devote myself to more intellectual issues...And here we are.

PRECIADO: Recalling that, it's interesting to note the eccentric position of women who haven't entered into the social rites of heterosexual production. They are unused biopolitical uteruses...

FORCADES: And voluntarily, moreover. Yes, I admit that has potential.

PRECIADO: Precisely. There's potential that must be managed in a specific manner. In fact, nuns, prostitutes and lesbians are three very conspicuous positions and historically close, I would say. The deviation from the reproduction circuit of heterosexual capitalism leads to a curious labyrinth of nuns who are also lesbians, lesbians who become prostitutes, and prostitutes who end up becoming nuns. What happens is that I'm afraid the powers that be might try in some way to go back to managing this dissident female body. Perhaps the only way to resist is to do what you're doing -- be a dissident within the Church, just as I am within lesbianism.

FORCADES: And in academia.

PRECIADO: Of course. I'm also considered a dissident in that sphere.

FORCADES: In fact, I've experienced less freedom in the academic sphere and the hospital than in the monastery. Freedom in the sense of finding people who are able to take individual positions, outside the mainstream. In the end, for fear of the consequences, you end up censoring yourself and, in the university, that's sad.

PRECIADO: But, Teresa, beyond the monastery I imagine there's pressure from the ecclesiatical establishment not to say what you're saying.

FORCADES: Perhaps it will no longer be thus tomorrow but in my context, which is the monastery, there's diversity. We aren't a clan. Before publishing my letter against the criminalization of abortion, for example, I asked the community to discuss it, because there would be consequences for them too. More or less half of them told me they didn't support my position, and the other half, that they didn't understand it...The abbess told me, "I'm not sure whether I'm in the first group or the second but, in any case, we're all in favor of anyone being able to say what they think without fear, so go ahead." Then there's the Diocese of Barcelona which during my time in the monastery was divided into three. It's assumed that to diminish Montserrat's ecclesiastical power, it was awarded the belt of Sant Feliu del Llobregat, which is the most chastized area, which has ended up being a blessing. Rome is now more distant and, yes, they did send me a letter which I answered. I try to give my opinion without attacking anyone directly. The bishops don't matter to me. I'm more concerned about other things.

THE INCARNATION

VALDÉS: Beatriz often speaks of the audiovisual industry and, specifically, pornography as a means of production and control of gender and sexuality, but maybe we should deal with the incarnation, which represents the moment in which the divine takes human form. That is, is embodied. Again, representation. I'll propose this phrase to start with: "I have no doubt that Christ was male, but I don't think we ought to wait for 'Crista' to come to save women, since everything I am as a woman is assumed in Christ, except sin." Teresa, what do you mean?

FORCADES: In my theological anthropology that question is key. Knowing whether there's a male human modality and a female human modality, and what "masculinity" and "femininity" mean in my understanding of anthropology and humanity. This "Crista" thing isn't mine, it's from Rosemary Radford Ruether but she bases it on patristic theology where this phrase is an axiom: "That which is not assumed in Christ is not redeemed."

PRECIADO: That would mean that women are not redeemed.

FORCADES: Right. And all the Christological discourse is like that. God is not alien to the human, but one possibility of the human. The fullness of the human is deification. Although there are interesting theories that point out that if Christ was born of Mary, he should be chromosomally XX, I don't question whether he was male because I don't care to and, in any case, if I did, we wouldn't gain anything either because if he had been a woman unbeknownst to us, what about men? They would be left out too.

PRECIADO: Unless you get away from dualism.

FORCADES: Precisely. It must be said that in Christianity, the duality discourse is modern. The classic one was even worse. It only recognizes one fullness of the human: males, which it matches with the figure of Jesus. In the Gospel of Mary from the third century, the female becomes male to enter heaven. She becomes virtuous, which comes from virility -- vir (man). Since the argument of unity through the male wasn't bearable, with John Paul II two paths of fullness are distinguished -- female and male -- but creating artificial dualities based on gender or identity isn't persuasive to me either. There has to be something more open. Although I think gender duality -- or sexual dimorphism, as Margaret Mead would say -- is not only cultural, but transcultural, it is only as an anthropological starting point, i.e. in childhood. Very succinctly: you have the figure of the mother and, with respect to her, you have the girl who identifies with her and the boy who breaks away from her. In my view, the error of patriarchal society is continuing this pattern, which is an infantile model, into adulthood. There has to be a caesura in adulthood, subjectivizing oneself according to a point of reference that is no longer the mother. It may be truth, goodness, a rock, or God, you choose, but not the mother, because then you're just reproducing this dichotomy but not developing as a person. I match the phrase in Galatians 3:28, "in Christ Jesus there is neither man nor woman" (in Greek, neither male nor female) with the conversation with Nicodemus, when it talks about being born again and he says, "How can an adult go back to his mother's womb?". To which Jesus replies, "No, no ... You must be born of water and the spirit." I understand that as adult subjectification.

VALDÉS: You're using a language between biblical and psychoanalytic.

FORCADES: Yes, I use some concepts from psychoanalysis because if I used the language of Maximus the Confessor, no one would understand me. Lacan, on the other hand, now sounds more...(laughter)

PRECIADO: It's fascinating to me that you're trying to feminize, or offer a possibility beyond the male one for the incarnation of Christ, although I can't say much about that because, to me, it depends on an exercise in faith and, as a general rule, I'm interested in the words of poets or philosophers, not prophets and politicians. I'm interested in words that can desecrate. Maybe that seems horrible to you but by "desecrate", as Agamben says, I mean taking language reserved for the use of the divine and bringing it to the mundane, so we can give meaning to this sphere that has been confiscated from us. In that sense I'm fascinated that you're making this do-it-yourself project of signs in the theology environment which has been an environment that for centuries has only been accessible to certain types of men.

FORCADES: We're forgetting the women mystics who never came to dominate the discourse but who are a very important exception. Even, if I may be allowed, in "mystic" there's a striking use of language. How is it that [men] are called theologians and [women] mystics? Since it was assumed that they couldn't think for themselves, [the women] made recourse to "God has told me...". In Saint Thomas there is also revelation but he makes it his own through his words.

PRECIADO: Going back to the possibility of conceptual do-it-yourself projects, I'm saying that I can't say much about the incarnation of Christ. Now, with respect to anthropology I do distance myself. Where are the intersexuals, the transsexuals, the "others" in your theology? When you mention that in the Christian discourse of the first era, only masculinity was conceded to be a pure or essential form of incarnation, notice that this is consistent with the history of sexuality. We know that until the 17th century the notion of sexual difference as we know it didn't exist. Moreover, and with all due respect, I'm shocked that, having dual titles -- theological and medical -- you're working with the anthropology of sexual difference when we know it's anatomical and political fiction, and that if there's a place of epistemic violence, it's precisely in clinical prenatal diagnosis (boy/girl). I'm surprised that in your theology you've chosen to start from the male/female binary, which is a normative construct, rather than from the irreducible multiplicity of the body in all its variables, and if you will, to put it in your language, God could become incarnate in all of them.

FORCADES: Yes, for me that's the point of arrival. I mean, what I have to work on. Now, what's striking to me is the following: Where did that (male/female) dichotomizing that's being replicated over and over, come from? Where does gender violence and this idea of blaming women come from? -- I'm following Kristeva, here. Acknowledging the gender dichotomy from the start is the most powerful strategy I have to deactivate it later.

PRECIADO: But then the theology you're practicing can't be queer. If you're accepting Julia Kristeva, it doen't work...I would encourage you to not waste too much time trying to fit sexual difference into your incarnation language because we're experiencing a time of epistemic crisis, such as happened in the mid-17th century in which the verification apparatuses, that is the social and political regulatory systems we use to decide what's true and what's false -- which up to now has been what's male and what's female, are changing. There's more and more evidence, including in medical discourse they're saying that there are multiple morphological, genetic, and gonadal forms that go beyond the binary order. Fifty years from now perhaps we may have to accept the existence of four or five genders...to make the task of the incarnation of Christ more complicated for Teresa. Or not. Maybe it'll even be easier. For me, one of the problems of the Church is that it's working with an epistomology of patriarchal domination. I imagine that the main question is how to change this language into one of liberation and not domination, although I have a much more skeptical perspective on the history of theology. Lately I've been researching colonization and the involvement of theological arguments in that task, which supposedly was a task of evangelization. We know from Walter Mignolo and Aníbal Quijano that the secret agenda of that evangelical humanization was, to put it clearly, colonial exploitation. And I don't know, I understand your task and it's fascinating to me, but maybe I've given it up for lost in some sense. Although there are still underground theological arguments, which is what you're trying to recover...

FORCADES: That's it. In La teología feminista en la Historia ["Feminist Theology in History"] I presume that when there's a dominant discourse, there's another one that puts it into question, and in that sense feminist theology has existed since the beginning; it's not a 20th century invention. If it were, it wouldn't interest me. I'm thinking of Marie de Gournay, Van Schurman, and others. In fact, I always say that writing that book made me cry -- because if they already understood it in the 1st century, what are we doing with all this suffering twenty centuries later? -- and it also gave me much joy. What we need to do is provide continuity to this tradition which has progressed interruptedly.

POLITICAL ECOLOGY

VALDÉS: Coming back to the present, you have both been very critical of the capitalist system. What's your diagnosis?

PRECIADO: I think one of the utopian arms I mentioned earlier, and perhaps the most important one, is political ecology. I don't see how a contemporary theology couldn't wonder what we're doing today or what the plan of modernity is. And I'm with Foucault. Modernity has been a thanatopolitical project, in the sense that the only things we have used are techniques of death, and the concepts of normative sexual difference, normative heterosexuality, race production, the exploitation of the planet come in here...

FORCADES: I understand what you're saying and I'm also working in the ecology field. I'm looking at thinking of the world as a whole creation which is also the body of Christ but I should say that, for me, this is not the same as making humanity in its uniqueness disappear. I'm responsible for the tree; the tree is not responsible for me. That responsibility is very tied to our freedom. In that sense, caesura goes back to being essential to me.

PRECIADO: Of course the tree is responsible for you when it makes photosynthesis and transforms light and water into the oxygen you breathe! Before you were talking about the concept of relatedness, which for me is more powerful than voluntaristic freedom, because freedom is in understanding that there is no life apart from a set of relationships that go beyond the human.

FORCADES: Here we're now getting to my doctoral thesis which is a response to Karl Rahner. In the 60s, he came to say that we have to change the theological language of the Trinity. We can't call the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit a "person" because a person, in modern times, is an autonomous being which has nothing to do with those three. To which I replied, "No, no, what we have to do is question this notion of a person as an autonomous being who conceives of himself independently from his relatedness." If I seriously believe that being a person is being made in the image of God, I will take up my notion of God and based on it, question the notion of the modern person. For this, I'm drawing on St. Augustine: Esse in would be the dimension of distinctive irreducibility (personal freedom) and Esse ad, the relational dimension, and, in my theology, it's not that they complement each other, but that they're two aspects of the same reality. They are radically simultaneous, constitutive dimensions of the human, that cannot be divided into female (more relational or loving) and male (more free and independent).

PRECIADO: My notion of subjectivity, on the other hand, doesn't presuppose individual freedom. Either as origin or destination. As pretentious as it sounds, perhaps it would be easier for you to work with my notion than with yours. I start with a subject who is fundamentally vulnerable, relational, not virtuous at all. Historically, we have construed subjectivity as individual sovereignty based on necropolitics, on the politics of war and domination, claiming that only "man" could be an agent of history. But there is another philosophy, which is weaving networks so that vulnerable life can continue to exist, to be viable. And I think the part of mystical tradition you claim goes that way, and it doesn't specifically demand an autonomous heroic actor, but a relational agent, always dependent.

FORCADES: No -- yes, I understand your position -- but it's that I don't want to renounce that irreducibility. The problem, as I see it, is that not everyone in the world has access to that personal freedom which allows us to individualize ourselves, because our social structure always tends to generate "second class" citizens, be they women, blacks, etc...Also, it seems very suspicious to me that just when we all start to have access to that space -- the autonomous subject -- either it's no longer seen as something positive or it becomes an illusion.

VALDÉS: Oops! It looks like they're calling us...

PRECIADO: I don't think we're so far apart, Teresa, but you're playing some cards against which the queer activist can't play. When I'm not paying attention, you bring out the Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, God!.... (laughter). I don't have metaphysical cards to put on the table, simply the need to change the world by critically taking responsibility for our own history. My answer can't come from Theology because I don't believe anyone is going to come to save us. We need a different Earth policy and I don't think we can make it by putting the arrogant dominating myth of the human at the center again. We need to learn from the tree more than from God.

FORCADES: "I said to the almond tree, 'Speak to me of God,' and the almond tree blossomed."...

At this point, we left the room. Teresa Forcades had to inaugurate the Queer Theology School with Ulrike Augia and Lisa Isherwood. It must be said that being somewhat hoarse, she had to whisper during the interview such that her words took on the weak tone of the counterargument she makes so often. But make no mistake, in her next intervention, she took out a bottle of Condis black pepper. "They say it's good for the voice. I'll try a little and see what happens..." After that mini-performance that won over the audience, Forcades went on to update the parable of the Good Samaritan so that the assaulted one was a woman who had been raped and before whom neither women professors nor politicians stopped, but rather an immigrant prostitute. She agreed with Beatriz Preciado that the "excluded" have a lot of courage to share and they will do it. For a start, a sector has turned an insult ("queer") around to change it into a critical tool. And here we are, taking notes.

Translator's note: The use of masculine pronouns in this article when referring to Beatriz Preciado is not a mistake; it's what he prefers.