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The Rumpus Room Manifesto

Originally written in February 1994.

I tend to feel disenfranchised, outcast, eccentric. I’ve got feminist sensibilities that make me feel guilty because I’m a man. I feel like my manhood is skewed because I’m not a straight man, so I can't buy into the whole straight, white male cultural elite mindset. I feel alienated from the gay community because I can't fathom or play the social/power games I see all over it, I bristle at a lot of its affectations, and can't understand its rituals and customs. I feel separated from my friends for being too weird or not weird enough. I have no lover, so I don't feel like I belong to a cozy twosome. At work I feel too young or too powerless and impatient.

My vision of the Rumpus Room . . . is to define my place, my sensibilities, my ideas. Ideally, others will respond, but this project is too personal for me to make concessions for the sake of popularity. I want to use Rumpus Room to explore my philosophy, my humor, my politics, my aesthetic, my abilities.

My vision for the magazine (my marketing vision, my conceptual vision) is to give other people a chance to respond to what's in Rumpus Room, not allow it to become so half-assed that it becomes accessible to the lowest common denominator.

The rumpus room is a place to gossip, to gab, to argue, to tell jokes, to watch TV, and to play cards and stuff. It's the rec room, the family room, the living room.

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