Lambeth-Bible-Ruth-Naomi-12Lambeth Bible, Ruth and Naomi, mid 12 century, MS3 Folio 130, Lambeth Place Library, London.

Space is the fifth element, where earth, air, fire and water transform into gold, the standard of worth, the measure of value.

To be homosexual is to have no space; inextricable with the notion of homosexuality is its exclusion from both private and public realms. The streets are too dangerous; the wilderness is too demanding; the single-family dwelling is too devoted to reproducing the nuclear family it structures and scrutinizes. Queer liberation is tied to spatial claims, expressed in spatial metaphors: Come out of the closet! We’re here; we’re queer! We are everywhere!

Sanctuary is space – safe and sacred place, where wild life in all its forms can flourish. Bars, parks, homes, and back alleys can be doorways, opening to another country where we are welcome and unafraid. And there is the space between us, shifting as eyes lock in recognition. Shared sensibility connects us, changing the meaning of the world. Becoming queer, we cross a threshold which queers the world around us. All gender-marked and homosocial spaces are infused with energy and light.

Space is the magic of cities, restored to life by the beloved community. Space is wildness, restored to life by love. We use the transgressive capacities of homosexuality to escape conformity, while still enjoying the pleasures of invisibility and sameness. We make mythic space out of our personal experience. Banished to the margins, we become the circumference.