The Future is Queer!

Photo Credit: Dom & Ariel (thewordqueer on IG )

Sometime in February, I took myself to California to learn about sex and pleasure. INDEED! I bought a plane ticket, flew all the way from one coast of the United States to the other to nurture my budding queer brain on the vastness of pleasure and intimacy. Ticket prices were moderate as it was the first time the event was happening, so I gave myself some baby-girl treatment by bagging a VIP ticket. It only cost me the tip of my fingernail. COMPLETELY worth it! 

Throughout the entirety of the summit, we had guest speakers who shared about everything. Well, as much of EVERYTHING as time permitted. From erotic audio to romance novels, online dating and its ‘hunger-game’ like characteristics, the expansiveness of kink, polyamory, sex toys, THC enhanced pleasure and YES…Adventures From The Bedrooms of African Women represented at this event (whoop whoop!). An eighty-something-year old woman (I think) spoke about her experience finding sexual pleasure well over her sixties. Contrary to what society says i.e. after menopause your vagina dries up and you experience no pleasure, this grandma busted THAT myth and used her life as a living testimony to the goodness of menopausal pleasure. 

Amidst the laughter, giggles, cringes and other emotionally charged reactions, one guest speaker, after teaching about the Gender Breadman, said “the future is queer!”

The future is queer!





Meditating on these words, I have pondered what they meant when they said this and more importantly, how that translates to the context of Africa. This was a summit populated, and primarily hosted, by the North American community. I am an African in America whose work focuses primarily on Africa. This automatically means every time I encounter something profound outside of my preferred context, I must perform intellectual surgery to try to understand what that means for my preferred context. To visualize a queer future that goes beyond a North American sex and pleasure summit requires an expansive understanding of queerness.

To be queer is to be non-conforming. What is non-conforming? To be or be perceived as non-conforming requires an initial establishment of norms. What then, are norms? This is where Google university comes in handy. (Hold on while I go consult with Google university…. okay, I’m back). According to the professors at Google university, there are two definitions of the word ‘norm’. 

  • Definition one is given as, something that is usual, typical, or standard. SYNONYMS: standard, usual, normal, typical, average, the rule, predictable, unexceptional, par for the course, what one would expect expected, (only) to be expected. OPPOSITE: the exception
  • Definition two on the other hand is mathematical. It says the norm is the product of a complex number and its conjugate, equal to the sum of the squares of its real and imaginary components, or the positive square root of this sum.

I really wish the general definition of ‘norm’ was complex definition number two. At least this would mean for something to become a norm, it’ll have had to go through some rigorous existential gymnastics before it’s earned its establishment on the pedestal of normalcy. Regrettably, the general understanding of ‘norms’, falls under the first definition. Norms are expected, scripted, standard, basic, autopilot and my favorite, UN-fucking-EXCEPTIONAL. Norms are basic bitches! You find them every-fucking-where. 


Now I want you to imagine a monochromatic piece of painting sitting on an easel in a perfectly lit studio. A 16 by 20-inch canvas colored in multiple shades and tones of blue. The artist grabs a chisel edged brush and applies a streak of Cobalt blue. It blends in perfectly onto the canvas. The different shades of blue provide cold-like depth and dimension. Everything is kind of the same in their subtle differences. Familiar. Safe. Our artist stands in front of the painting, admiring it. They drop the blue tipped brush and pick up nail polish. Today they are feeling like sunflowers! Dipping the small brush of the nail polish into its jar, they mask their left pinky in sunflower yellow. The doorbell rings. They hasten to tend to it. They spin around too fast and, in their haste, leave a deep yellow streak on the blue painting. The spot where the yellow fades, turns greenish. The painter gasps. Instantly the painting queers. Yellow deviates from the norm. Yellow unsettles the familiarity of the blues. Yellow queers the blue and brings green along with it.


To be queer is to both intentionally and unintentionally say fuck your norms while enacting your ‘FUCK YOU’ norms. There is a difference. To say fuck your norms is recognizing that the default modes of operating may not apply to you. This oftentimes implies that you WILL stand out. The sunflower yellow streak on a blue painting.  A degree-holding outlier. Enacting your ‘FUCK YOU’ norms on the other hand is recognizing your outlier-ness and deciding to march to the shake of your tambourine. This might involve raising the middle finger to the larger norms of the societies in which you find yourself. Now imagine this on a worldwide scale! 

Visualizing a queer future requires first an expansive definition of queerness. One that transcends gender and sexuality. I can swear on my little toes that there is no person on this earth who can claim to be pure blooded anything. Just a few sneezes ago, different colored skinned people could not have children together, different ethnicities were banned from interacting. It was taboo for people of different religions or castes to engage with each other. Now while this phenomenon still exists, we cannot deny that the permeability of our world is annoyingly apparent. With intermarriages, acculturation, and the all-knowing World Wide Web beneath our noses, fingertips, and toes we are all gradually blending into this homogenic BLOB of what I’d like to believe is boundary defying. We are collectively queering. And that is FUCKING awesome. You know why? I don’t go to church anymore, but I remember the bible says there is “…a time to search and a time to GIVE UP, a time to keep and a time to THROW AWAY…” Ecclesiastes 3:6. I am excited because queering the future hypothetically means we might all be forced to foreground humanity first! Before we are anything, WE ARE HUMAN first. 

As this queer revolution evolves, the people who are going to cry blood are those who are hell-bent and in fact willing to risk their lives and the lives of others to maintain a certain purity which in reality does not exist. The people who are going to cry acid or those who are stuck in their ways of thinking and being, without realizing that there are a multitude of ways of being and thinking. The people who are most likely going to be destroyed first are those who do not open themselves to the beauty and the brilliance and the medley and the colorfulness of queerness. Through a rebuttal social script, queerness redefines. It tells you that you can be whoever you want to be. It raises the middle finger to binaries. And you see those boxes that systems like to create to categorize people? It merges the corners and edges of these boxes to create a beautiful mosaic. Indeed, queerness is the purest and most beautiful form of art. 

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