Queer Ecology

Queer Ecology

Queer is a relationship with nature that contradicts capitalism and colonialism. The capacity for transformation, that brings us from expected modes of life to who we are, brings us into alignment with the transforming world – flowing rivers, flowering plants, and dramas of metamorphosis, birth and rebirth. Queer means we challenge borders and erase boundaries. We transform established patterns, live and thrive where it seems we cannot. The extraordinary persistence of same-sex passions, throughout history and around the world, is evidence not of reproduction, but of magic. 

Western culture deprives people of magic, just as it cleaves them from place. Separated from the earth and one another, they lose the capacity for storytelling, shape-shifting, tracking animals or talking to them. Nature is seen on TV, through a car window, or confined to parks. Wild is a resource and a refuge, never a home. Both the culture which rewards exploitation of nature and the resistance culture of the environmental movement are shaped by this view of nature as other. Being queer allows us to dream and to live a more intimate relationship with the natural world. Queering nature may mean that instead of preserving or protecting, observing or extracting wildness, we can come home. Mythic, magic, medicinal knowledge of the wild world is part of every human culture that is rooted in place. Coming home means recovering these powers in a community that includes every form of life. Home is an idea of nature that admits a place for human capacities and needs, and tells stories of human loyalty and love for plants, animals and water. With queer as our premise and viewpoint, we cannot see humans as irrevocable enemies of wildness, any more than we can see the wild world as a territory to conquer, or a series of resources to extract. To queer nature is to claim a kinship with all life, embracing the world’s diversity and interconnectedness. We are wild and wild is us. 

Ecstatic Belonging: This is a program that is rooted in queer ecological imagination. Learn More

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