The ‘Masked Muskequeers’ are three trans graffiti artists spreading a message that being queer as fuck is totally cool.
All three have asked for their identities to be protected, but they spoke to Gay Star News in an exclusive interview.
The three ‘Muskequeers’ tags are QueerAF, Non-Binary Boy and Tranarchy.
They are all on the trans spectrum and part of the collective also identify as queer or gay too.
Aged between 22 and 26, this is not the first time the artists have dallied with graffiti.
‘We have long been into graffiti, admiring graffiti artists such as MSSD CNNCTN, Minty, and Keith Haring.
‘There is something about seeing graffiti that brightens your day. It can be the message, the artistic talent, or sometimes just the injection of color.
‘We like to think our graffiti might invade someone’s mundane walk to work in the morning.’
It’s designed to get people thinking and questioning gender norms.
The piece above is the ‘pink gender questioner’ who pops up with different thoughts bubbles – always with a different symbol.
The graffiti is turning up all over the UK.
From dark back streets in Brighton to canal tow paths in Birmingham.
The taggers said they’ve hit roof tops and even abandoned buildings.
‘Basically, anywhere that is quiet and lacking in CCTV.’
Their message is clear though:
‘Stay queer, be yourself. Don’t worry about what small minded people think.’
Their work has been LGBTI-phobically defaced
Gay Star News recently covered how one of the Muskequeer tags was defaced in the usually queer friendly southern UK city of Brighton.
Though a fairly new tag in Brighton, the radical, queer art was something people in the town identified with.
One local resident Oliva told GSN the graffiti was a ‘positive affirmation of queerness’. He was shocked and confused to find the word queer replaced with brainwashed:
So were the artists:
‘When we saw that the piece in Brighton had been edited, we were naturally disgruntled.
‘One would have thought queer graffiti would go down better in Brighton. The new meaning they gave it was somewhat confusing, but some people seemed to think it made the piece transphobic and/or homophobic.
But the artists remained defiant. And soon returned to the spot to put the message of their art back into the work.
‘We don’t want any spray paint we’ve paid for going towards spreading that kind of message, so we took it upon ourselves to go back and change it to something from which it would be harder to remove the original message.’
The artists who share the work on their Instagram posted a 9×9 grid of the updated work:
The queer revolution lives on
The Muskequeers say although they have grown up at a time where it’s easier than ever to be LGBTI, there is still much left to fight for.
And that’s what inspires the art:
‘We’ve got equal rights and same sex marriage on paper, but as adults, we’ve found there is still plenty of discrimination out there.
‘We thought the queer revolution was over before our time, however, in reality, we’re still in the last push.’
‘LGBT+ people still face discrimination, sometimes from within their own community.
‘So our work has meaning on two fronts. In one way, to support LGBT+ people.
‘Then on the other side, to rub queerness in the face of non-LGBT+ people. So when they meet queer people – they’re not as overwhelmed by how out of the ordinary they are.’
Ultimately, the graffiti tags are a form of activism for the artists. And that’s why they are tagging all over.
‘Activism doesn’t have to be changing a law, it can be something as small as talking to a bloke on the bus.’
Or for these taggers, spraying queer as fuck art anywhere they can.