Frank M. Sutcliffe, Natives, c. 1890
Water is the quintessential queer element. We are everywhere, in everything, like water.
Tides ebb and flood, linking continents. Blood circulates, continually replenished. Rivers flow to the sea, carving canyons into mountainsides. Water is constantly moving, and it is always there, as persistent as the inexplicable existence of same-sex love. Water flows to fit any shape. Its movement continues around, above or below any obstacle. At all times, in all conditions, we persist in our loving. We have no beginning. We have no end.
Water is threatened and endangered: ditched, diked, dammed, drained, poisoned. Yet nothing can live without water.
Water reflects and evokes our double, the watery one we ache for and cannot have. It is a symbol of this thirst. Water is the home of the great sea goddess, an angry lesbian image, and the salmon, whose impossible journey across the ocean and up the river is a homecoming that being queer proclaims. Rain nourishes the earth. Earth and water meet and mix in wetlands, the origin of life. The aquifer is an underground reservoir of cold, clear water.
Being queer, we stay close to the ground, like water. Water is our kinship with all life.