in stories featuring aliens, they’re always like “on my planet this never happens!” or “in my culture, this differs from your human culture.” and that’s neat and all because i like worldbuilding and all that jazz but wouldn’t it be fun if they just. couldn’t do that?
i want a story where humans encounter an alien who frustrates them because they don’t know enough to tell them anything concrete
like humans will ask “tell us about politics in your planet!” and the alien’s all “uh… hold on it’s been a while since i took gov. um….”
"what sorts of plants grow on your planet?"
"i dunno i grew up in the suburbs. they’re like… purple? idk what you want me to say"
"tell us about the culture on your planet!"
"do you have any idea how many fucking countries are back home, i don’t even know where to begin"
"your planet is obviously much more scientifically and technologically advanced than ours. is it possible for you to enlighten us on certain matters concerning space travel, or would that be a form of interference you must avoid?"
"naw it’s cool, it’s just that, um, i’m a philosophy major"
You’re Always Coming Out
Recently, I started thinking about the moments of being openly gay that I never see in fic. This was supposed to be a list of those.
Ever since we moved to this house, I’ve gone to the same pharmacy several times a month to pick up prescriptions. In the beginning, the earthling was with me in the sling, and later he’d accompany me walking on his own feet. There was a cashier, Maria, who always talked to him and me, who was friendly and remembered us and grabbed our prescriptions before we even got to the front of the line.
One day about a year ago I went to the pharmacy after the earthling was in bed. “Oh, where’s your son?” Maria asked.
"He’s at home with my wife. It’s after his bedtime."
"…Oh," she said.
Since then, when I go, she still recognizes me, earthling or no, but she’s all business. No chat, no talking about how big the earthling has gotten, no asking me about my day. There are a thousand possible reasons for this. At least. Most of them have nothing to do with me. Maybe she got yelled at for chatting with customers too much. Maybe she’s been having a bad year. It could be anything. I know that.
But I will always wonder if it’s because I’m queer. I can’t not wonder. My queerness inflects every interaction I have like this, whether I acknowledge it (“my wife”) or avoid it (“my partner”). And because queerness is not visible, cannot be known until I make it known, I often have situations like this, where there was a before and there is now an after and things are different. This is one of the minor costs of being openly queer: the voice in the back of your head that is always going, is this because I’m gay?
part of my doubt when I read any interesting fandom speculation about the future plot of any show is simply “the writers aren’t thinking this hard about it”
hell the fan theories to make canonical plot trainwrecks make sense are impressive and show more thought, too
Queerness, to me, is about far more than homosexual attraction. It’s about a willingness to see all other taboos broken down. Sure, many of us start on this path when we first feel “same sex” or “same gender” attraction (though what is sex? And what is gender? And does anyone really have the same sex or gender as anyone else?). But queerness doesn’t stop there.
This is a somewhat controversial stance, but to me queer means something completely different than “gay” or “lesbian” or “bisexual.” A queer person is usually someone who has come to a non-binary view of gender, who recognizes the validity of all trans identities, and who, given this understanding of infinite gender possibilities, finds it hard to define their sexuality any longer in a gender-based way. Queer people understand and support non-monogamy even if they do not engage in it themselves. They can grok being asexual or aromantic. (What does sex have to do with love, or love with sex, necessarily?) A queer can view promiscuous (protected) public bathhouse sex with strangers and complete abstinence as equally healthy.
Queers understand that people have different relationships to their bodies. We get what it means to be stone. We know what body dysphoria is about. We understand that not everyone likes to get touched the same way or to get touched at all. We realize that people with disabilities may have different sexual needs, and that people with survivor histories often have sexual triggers. We can negotiate safe and creative ways to be intimate with people with HIV/AIDs and other STIs.
Queers understand the range of power and sensation and the diversity of sexual dynamics. We are tops and bottoms, doms and subs, sadists and masochists and sadomasochists, versatiles and switches. We know what we like and don’t like in bed.
We embrace a wide range of relationship types. We can be partners, lovers, friends with benefits, platonic sweethearts, chosen family. We can have very different dynamics with different people, often all at once. We don’t expect one person to be able to fulfill all our diverse needs, fantasies and ideals indefinitely.
Because our views on relationships, sex, gender, love, bodies, and family are so unconventional, we are of necessity anti-assimilationist. Because under the kyriarchy we suffer, and watch the people we love suffering, we are political. Because we want to survive, we fight. We only want the freedom to be ourselves, love ourselves, love each other, and live together. Because we are routinely denied that, we are pissed.
Queer doesn’t mean “don’t label me,” it means “I am naming myself.” It means “ask me more questions if you curious” and in the same breath means “fuck off.”
At least, that is what it means to me.—