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Ultimate Fantasy 78 Red Waterfall

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. I have a beautiful red waterfall in the middle of a peaceful meadow. There is a clearing in the middle of the clearing where the three hundred laurel wreaths are set. And in the middle of the clearing there is a basin, and in the middle of the water there is a pedestal. And at the top of the pedestal is a golden crozier. And it is said that the powers that be at Disneyland will come and take one look at that and say, “That’s a boy! That’s a boy!” and wonder, “Is that really him? Or is that really him sitting there doing the dishes? No. That’s really him mounted on top of a unicorn, and he’s taking orders!”

Let me show you my idealized version of that red waterfall. Imagine that I am you. You are twenty-three years old, with an easygoing personality, a sense of humor, and an eager appetite for physical fulfillment. You are conscientious and competitive, but above all you are devoted. You have a beautiful sense of humor, which allows you to turn your intense needs into playthings. You are outgoing and curious, always ready for a conversation to end. You are sexually naive, but only just now do you have the curiosity to try things out on someone else. You are insecure and frightened, but above all you are wild. You float your idealized fantasy of the life you want to lead on the back of a unicorn. I have chosen you.

Now that we have talked about you a little, let’s talk about you being gay. Let’s start with the physical aspect. I have never been so sure of a person’s sexual attraction than I was when I was in high school. It was all so new to me. There was no such thing as premarital sex, no such thing as a gray area about which one could safely say or do something. It was all so murky. In those days, even talking about sex was considered wicked. At that time, no one was safe from the judgment of anyone in their bed. I remember once blurting out to a group of eighth graders, who had just learned about AIDS, that I had tested positive for AIDS. Not one bead of sweat separated me from the rest of the group. No one could stand up to me. Imagine my surprise when, the next day, I found that every single one of my classmates, male and female, openly acknowledged my diagnosis. And no, it wasn’t because one of the boys mentioned my sexual abstinence. No, it wasn’t because one of the girls proudly announced that she’d had sex with a boy just a few weeks earlier. No, it wasn’t even because one of the older boys volunteered to have sex with me. Instead, it was the simple act of being gay that got them all riled up. Imagine my relief when, the next day, the Principal of that very high school came crawling out of her classroom to offer me her resignation. I was dumbfounded. For the first time in my life I understood why people hated me. I was finally being believed.


What does it mean for sexuality to be lived as oriented? What difference does it make what or who we are oriented toward in the very direction of our desire? If orientation is a matter of how we reside in space, then sexual orientation might also be a matter of residence, of how we inhabit spaces, and who or what we inhabit spaces with. After all, queer geographers have shown us how spaces are sexualized. If we foreground the concept of “orientation,” then we can retheorize this sexualization of space as well as the spatiality of sexual desire. What would it mean for queer studies if we were to pose the question of the orientation of sexual orientation as a phenomenological question?

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. . .



Prompt adapted from Queer Phenomenology by Sara Ahmed

· queer, GPT-2, RunwayML