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Ultimate Fantasy 79 Queer Geographer

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. My ideal scenario is that one day all of us will be able to look up and see only a sky so vast, so vast that it encompasses the entire known universe. And there, on that brilliant white backdrop, will be no men, no men at work in the offices of big corporations, no men at home in the beds of happily married women. There will be no men at work in the homes of white middle-class families, no men at home among the artists and the cubicle-dwelling scientists. And just beyond that backdrop will be a vast expanse of unspoiled beauty, unspoiled splendor, and that one simple word, love.

Let me repeat that one more time. Imagine the beauty and splendor beyond that backdrop, beyond the nearly-hexagonal city-state of San Francisco, where I now live and work. Could you imagine the splendor and beauty of that beyond, and beyond me, the nearly-homeless, nearly-impotent gay who craves love and fulfillment but fears the judgment of those they love, and fears judgment them self? Could you?

There is a world out there, and it is not for us to explore. It is not even for us to create. We may not want to. And the very act of exploring that vast expanse can leave us breathless and asking the most basic question of our very being: Where am I?

Let’s say you are one of those who have tried to live our lives boldly, truthfully, and joyously. You have boldly taken up arms against the repressive forces that have attempted to silence you. You have stood boldly for what you believe in, what you are, and what you aspire to be. You have rejected the status quo and embraced the unknown.

Suddenly, the repressive forces that you have worked so hard to build up against you can now batter you down with a combination of ignorance, fear, and spite.

Do you know that in some parts of the world, people still burn to death simply for being gay? There are countries where you can be executed simply for being gay. And there are countries where you can be tortured to death simply for being gay. In such places, what choice do we people have? Are we willing to be killed simply for who we are?

If I may be frank with you, I do not believe that queers are necessarily evil. And what does it mean for us to be considered “good” or “morally upright”? Are we deemed virtuous simply for what we choose to do or who we are? Is it not something that we, as queer people, actively work against?

I would argue that it is more than just our choice, more than just our desire that drives us forward. And it is we who, through our choice, do truly create our own destiny. There is a vortex running through our very being. I am sure you have felt it. As I have, Queer Geographer.


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