What happened in the thingira?
To ask this question is to inject a note of perverse curiosity regarding this ostensibly homosocial space, this space in which a young man trained himself in the erotics of becoming a mature man. It is to ask what young warriors do when they are alone with their spears and swords. It is to note the beauty of the firm, high young buttocks of young men as they pose in profile in colonial pictures.
Circumstances force me to say what I do with ethnicity or tribe, whichever term one prefers.
I Queer it. Always.
I attend to the perverse, the peculiar, the gender-breaking, identity fragmenting, subject-deforming, pleasure-laden, pain-driven, inconsistent, incoherent, embarrassing, and shameful moments of ethnicity and I privilege them as sites of knowledge production and community re-construction and de-structuration.
When I discuss ethnicity or tribe I read for the queer and as a queer. Always.
Should I write of love, I write of queer love, strange love, perverse love. Not the embrace of the mythical bosom of identity but the admission that the boy desires his mother, his father, his brother, his grandfather. That his fantasies would frighten them, intrigue them, perhaps seduce them, always unsettle them.
I take every single use of my writing as a hearty endorsement of queer politics, queer rights, and queer culture, ranging from s/m and all forms of kink to public sex, be it in parks or bathrooms.
I take every single use of my writing, acknowledged or unacknowledged, as a critique of heteronormative institutions and ideas, including the nation, the state, and the family.
I take every single use of my writing, acknowledged or unacknowledged, as an admission that queer critiques are not only right and valid, but that queer practices of perversity deserve to be disseminated and shared.
I take every single use of my writing, acknowledged or unacknowledged, as a shared queer project, dedicated to dismantling heterosexist and heteronormative forms of being and belonging.
And I strongly caution those who use my writing without my permission or acknowledgment, that they enter into what Fanon termed “homosexual territory” at their own risk.
It’s queer here.