Clementine Morrigan is a socialist-feminist writer.
As well as writing essays and zines around the themes of culture, politics, sexuality, and trauma, Clementine also has a podcast which she co-hosts with her partner, Jay Lesoleil. In the podcast, appropriately named ‘Fucking Cancelled’, they challenge cancel culture, identitarianism, and social justice orthodoxy in order to ‘build an effective and organised Left based in solidarity.’
A passionate believer in independent media and being unafraid to write about the controversial, Clementine has built up a large following on social media off the back of her unapologetic, fearless style of writing.
An absolute powerhouse, I was so excited to have the opportunity to chat with her on all things writing and politics-
here is some of our conversation.
Clementine! Hello! Could you introduce yourself for anyone who isn’t already familiar with your work?
My name is Clementine Morrigan.
I use she or they.
I am a writer, podcaster, leftist, and public intellectual.
I started writing as a kid. I have pretty much always been telling stories in some form even before I could write. I made my first zine at the age of 13.
What is it about zines that you favour over more ‘traditional’ books?
I started writing zines because they were a lifeline.
Anyone can make them and you don’t have to wait for someone else’s permission.
What inspired you to start writing about such deep topics? Was it an active decision to write so unapologetically?
From the beginning, I’ve always been writing zines about queer sexuality, trauma, and other topics that felt important to me. I have found that writing plays a very important role in my recovery.
In zines I found an unapologetic culture where you could be messy and honest and say things you weren’t allowed to say elsewhere. I really embody that ethos in my work to this day.
I write because I need to.
I need to tell the truth and make sense out of my experiences.
How much does being queer influence what you write about?
I came out of the closet in 2002 when I was 15. I experienced a lot of homophobic harassment. I moved to Toronto and went to a small alternative school for queers.
I write a lot about being queer. I also think being queer shapes my thinking about a lot of things.
Queer culture is highly social justice oriented. I think this comes out of our long history of resisting oppressive forces so we could be who we are.
I don’t exist inside heteronormativity and so I don’t have the assumptions that come along with heteronormativity.
Do you have any advice for people who want to share their art with the world, but are worried about being ‘cancelled?’
Unfortunately we have gone from believing in free expression to policing people’s thoughts and demanding conformity.
It sucks to live in fear, being dishonest about who you are and what you believe.
There are many people who oppose cancel culture and being honest is the best way to find people who share your principles and boundaries.
The quote and name of one of your zines ‘Fuck the police means we don’t act like cops to each other’ packs so much into such a short statement. Did you have any idea, when writing it, that it was going to ‘blow up’ as it did?
I had no idea, but I was scared to write it.
Before it was a zine it was just a one sentence post on Instagram. Someone I love was being cancelled by an ex and I was mad and felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I could express myself through writing. At first the post was very popular and went viral, then I started getting called out for it. Later, it became a whole zine.
Do you have any writing ‘rituals?’ Any places you go to for inspiration?
thinking my thoughts,
feeling my feelings.
Any more projects on the way?
Always! I’m about to release a perzine called riverbed. We’ll see what happens after that!
Final question, (and it’s a big one), favourite book of all time?
To stay up to date with Clementine’s writing, you can subscribe to their website: ClementineMorrigan.com (it’s free). You can also access her podcast and zines via the link above.
& if you don’t already, I highly recommend following Clementine on Instagram, linked here.