“I want a dyke for president,” reads the rendering for a 20-by-30-foot public artwork in downtown Manhattan. “I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.”
Zoe Leonard’s iconic 1992 poem, titled “I want a president,” will soon be installed as a giant billboard on the High Line, New York City’s elevated park in the neighborhood Chelsea. The bold words, presented by Friends of the High Line beginning Oct. 11, will appear just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, drawing a stark parallel between Leonard’s lines from the ‘90s and the uneasiness many voters still feel today.
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