Writing, Identity, & Queer Studies

In & Out, Either/Or, and Everything In Between

Entering New Worlds

“We must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds” (Muñoz, 1).

Immersing oneself in the world, an endless activity that a person can spend their entire life experiencing. Immersion and opening the eyes to the endless possibilities of pleasure and enjoyment goes against social expectations, making it queer. People are expected to follow a certain route in life, to end up in a similar position as their parents did, and be content with it. Jose Esteban Muñoz combats this by promoting the “what if’s” of the future. He declares the present as a “prison house” (Muñoz, 1) that restricts human beings from reaching the most euphoric pleasures. We have limited ourselves as human beings to a tight schedule of enjoyment while so much more exists. We oftentimes cage ourselves because we fear society’s judgement, but society cannot stop one from dreaming. Muñoz wants us to imagine our future and fill it with whatever we please, devoid of restrictions. “Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport” (Muñoz, 1). The unfortunate truth is that most people do settle for that minimal transport. Thinking of Queerness as a mental key expands the mind, as it unlocks new ways of conceptualizing the world inside and around us. The mind should always be expanding, and queerness seems to make reference to the bridge between levels of consciousness. Questioning reality is a queer exercise of the mind that draws out what we see around us. The world works in very odd ways, and it’s important to wonder if everything is what it seems. Along with questioning our surroundings, we should imagine our futures in any way we’d like. We must dream infinitely, and aspire to transfer our thoughts into reality.

3 Comments

  1. westcoastbesttoast

    November 19, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I agree with both yours and Munoz’s analysis, but could we think even further as to how we (society) have created these confines in which we are afraid to go against? How did we normalize or allow this monolith and the mentality that comes along with it? While I concur with the concept of queerness and going against the monolith, I think it is important to get at the root of the question and examine how and why there is a dichotomy between the monolith and everything outside the monolith.

  2. Your argument that people are expected to follow a certain route in life, to adhere to a certain life cycle and be content with it automatically connected to Sarah McBride’s text in my head. She mentions how all her friends had at a certain point in life already accomplished certain “milestones” like marriage or children. For her, however, whose transition took up a huge time of her young adult life, these milestones were farther away. While maybe people should not settle for minimal transport – some people simply can’t because their life works differently to cultural expectations.

  3. “Thinking of Queerness as a mental key expands the mind, as it unlocks new ways of conceptualizing the world inside and around us.” I hadn’t thought of queerness like that before! The concept itself makes sense and is relatively easy to understand, but the way you worded it gets the point across and I appreciate that. Queerness is such a unique experience, whether we’re talking about it as a non-cisgender/non-heteronormative identity or just a non-normative one. Thinking of it as a key to unlock the mind as a function of its uniqueness makes sense, because it’s just so different from normative experiences. Once people begin to question reality and make an effort to look outside of their pre-existing notions about how they fit into the world, things like queer identity can finally begin to fall into place.

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