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Ultimate Fantasy 85 In Our Own Backyard

Let me begin by telling you my ultimate fantasy. Queer theory and practice have come a long way in the past thirty years, but where do we go from here?

As we look to the future, I think many of us would do well to remember that we are a long way from where we started. I am hopeful that we will continue to build queer theory and praxis into bodies of work that can be put into practice. But first we have to make some hard decisions. Can we continue to marginalize those of us who are queer? Can we continue to deny the very possibility of queers being anything more than what we are? I worry that our very raison d’tre may be political.

Can we still love? I keep seeing my mother dressed up as Lady MacBeth. I keep seeing the ritual in my church of burlesque performances and masquerades. I am left wondering, Who is this woman masquerading as me?

I don’t want to go back to the days when Lady Chatterley was Queen. Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about being a queen.

Let’s face it, queers aren’t sexy.

There are aspects of queer life that I absolutely loathe. For instance, in my experience, the queens that I admire most in burlesque are queens in name only. They’re effeminate, gluttonous, and frankly, downright dangerous. My sense is that many of the men who put on the show don’t even want to be queens, much less be in love with the women on the show.

I think we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that the only reason a certain queer group of folks might want to dress up as a certain image of a certain gender, or even certain bodily part of a certain body, is that it might please a certain white, heterosexual man. It’s not at all what I believe about queers; it’s just not something that appeals to me.

You just might be one of those men.

In any case, what I am most frightened of is that within our very own borders. There, in our own backyard, we can all get it on. We can all get it on in front of a live audience. One night, maybe not even in front of a live audience, but somewhere between the casting couch and the punch line, a live queer can put her cards on the table and announce that she’s a lesbian, and the house will come to know just what kind of home they’ve lost. It could be a Randy Orton moment, and it would be wonderful. I would want it. I do.


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