Alia MacKenzie stood outside the Vermont Statehouse in a bright red sun hat Wednesday morning holding a sign that read “Anal Sex” in large lettering. She posed for photos snapped by passing lobbyists and didn’t seem to mind questions about the poster.
“It’s a celebration of the First Amendment, which covers freedom of speech,” she said.
MacKenzie was in Concord, N.H., Tuesday and Albany, N.Y. before that. Her one-woman journey through state capitals follows days of picketing outside of the White House in Washington, D.C., in April.
“I’m going to go on a little tour,” she said. “A free speech party.”
The performance artist recently moved away from Washington State and said the tour is also an effort to find a new place to live.
The tour is “a lot of things,” she said. “It’s turned into sex education, a study on implicit bias, just seeing what people's reactions were. What are they thinking when they see the sign? You can tell.”
MacKenzie said the most memorable interaction of the tour was “getting shoved by some Catholic guy in front of the White House,” or perhaps getting hit with an umbrella by a different man.
“Yesterday, somebody told me in Concord that I should be shot,” MacKenzie said. Even so, she said New Hampshire seems like a nice place to live.
As passersby continued to gawk at the sign, MacKenzie clarified that it isn’t necessarily advocating for any particular sexual activity.
“It’s a First Amendment thing,” she said, “but I’m transgender and I don’t have a problem with anal sex.”
The point of the demonstration, MacKenzie said, is to hold a sign that says “anal sex” on it because she can — and to have fun in the process. She said in that regard, the free speech party is going well.