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Welcome to the first seance session of Queer Beastiary. Feel free to hold our hand as we take you on a transhistorical, transgender, transgressive, transspecies, transcultural, transponder, transformative and transborder journey through the overwhelming power of some fantastic images that have been whispering in our ear for a while. From here on, we will act as mediums and let all those creatures we see speak through the hypersensitive bodies in which we live and with which we claim our right to be monsters. Shhh, silence. Hold on tight, we can almost hear them now. Four riders on horseback are approaching, announcing a bestial apocalypse.
We doused all the ropes with water so that when you try to tie yourselves to the mast, the ropes rot and you succumb to our chorus of radical tenderness. You represented us as threatening hybrids in epic tales, on carved columns, and in all kinds of atlases and maps. You have pinned us down, classified us and sentenced us to the abyss to try to protect yourselves from the wild possibility of becoming a mere threshold. Siren-bird, siren-fish, siren-centaur. Ah, but friends, everyone knows that fear is the flip side of fascination and curiosity. Whenever we can, we lean over a cliff to feel a sense of nausea. That is why we want to inhabit a bestiary, for this type of medieval illustration, a seemingly tranquil classification, displays at the same time the wonder of their authors, that is, their desire to seek shadows, territories where, once again, everything we fear and desire happens. And we sirens are full of desire, which is why we long to be part of a bestiary that not only embraces the wonder of its authors, but also instils enchantment in its readers. When you open the volumes of a bestiary, you are moved by the excitement of discovering blurred territories, of mutating and evolving bodies, invisible creatures that reveal themselves. What a joy, for finally we can sing together with our beautiful trans-siren sisters: Lía García, the siren bride; Coco Guzmán, the siren with a mustache, big tits and uneven nipples; Linn da Quebrada, the asphalt siren; or Daze Jefferies and Celeste González, Atlantic Ocean sirens. We don’t want to drown nor to take you down, either, we want to share our humidity and a much more fluid world, like the one that our sisters, the hermaphrodites, have always created.
We are hermaphrodites on horseback, and we have trotted around the world in non-binary narratives and androgynous, organic, hybrid bodies. We were born from an embrace, from the limitless mud and the sunny night, but then you cut us down, split us in half, and sent the rebel angels to hell. And that has always been your punishment and your sentence. Until now, when we are summoned again: Laura Vila Kremer riding on stages, Mer Gómez organizing fallen angels, Del Lagrace Vulcano preparing attacks, Breyer P-Orridge and Forrest Bess becoming original bodies. “We are a horde of hermaphrodites on horseback. Within our panties we have a landscape that grows, expands, dilates, that transforms everything. Our bodies, intersex bodies, hack the binary structure of the world. Our bodies multiply the possibilities of desire. They make it flexible. They melt it. They transform it. And to transform desire is to transform the world. So I ask: What will happen if we do it?” Fragment from the theatrical work Hermafroditas a caballo o la rebelión del deseo (Hermaphrodites on Horseback or The Rebellion of Desire), created by the collective Que no salga de aquí.
Hey, look up, here we are! You know exactly who we are, no introductions are needed, but please stop saying you are the granddaughters of those of us they didn’t burn. We engender sisters, not babies, which is precisely why the bonfires were lit. If we became witches back then it was because of our obsession with life, our stubbornness to remain and cling to the horizontality of the world that had bewitched us. Malefactors, you called us, but it was our hedonism that truly disturbed your inquisitive gaze. Our supernatural joy, our interconnected sensitivity and our atavistic knowledge bother you, but we never stopped you from enjoying along with us. First they tried to wipe us out in Europe and then we were the ones in the colonies, but they forgot about the images that were left here and there to warn the blessed people of how dangerous we are. Oh, innocents! You should have known that our deepest powers come from there. Thanks to the engravings and paintings we have survived and we have managed to set fire to the gaze of thousands of desiring bodies desirous of insurrection. It is because of this imperceptible genealogy of evil that we can exist today and continue to make the revolution irresistible. Follow the sobs among the laughter of the teenage witches of The Craft, the sound of heels on the altar of the witch-stripper Judi Werthein, the shocking invitation of Jesse Jones to inhabit darkness, the orgasmic and noisy hybridization of Quimera Rosa y Transnoise;. Practice Linda Stupard ’s spells and Veronika Eberhart’s choreography, stir the cauldron with Britney,, confound your algorithm by entering WitchTok, join the erotic flight of Marianne y Heloïse. We are here to support all lovers wherever you go, you only need to look at us, if you dare.
At a gallop, we Amazons arrive like missing lovers. Perched on horses, brooms, goats, motorcycles and the occasional man, sweaty but with firm legs, we make our way among humans. Get out of the way, the horse, the bitch, the diva, the filly has arrived. Astride, squatting or in reverse cowboy, we horseback riders have been socialized within a genealogy of perversion that has forced us to learn to live within a tremulous trot. I want to ride you and when you finish listening to me you too will yearn for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, my succubus. Once I, Phyllis, climbed upon the back of Aristotle, at his request, bewitched by my charms, and I rode him through a garden at noon in front of the humiliating gaze of incredulous heteros. Ha! We are also Diana, Herodias, Bensozia and Holda, from ancient times leading an open and overflowing lesbian entourage, a troop of cyborgs united by their worship of our goddesses and other riders. We are witches, flying over the starry sky on brooms with which, joyfully, we apply fantastic ointments to our genitals (ours and, of course, those of the other coven participants). Every night without fail, I am La Llorona, the mournful mother, galloping on the earth to leave in her wake an ancient song of anti-colonial resistance that dogs you and reminds you of the validity of my eternal mourning. We are the medieval rebels punished and forced to ride a horse backwards for disorganizing the sex-gender economy of our times: men beaten by women, remarried widows, adulterers and the dissolute. I am the Whore of Babylon, responsible for the destruction of the cisheteropatriarchal truth, riding my Beast of the Apocalypse, my sweet scarlet fury with seven heads and ten horns. I am Inez Milholland, mounted on a white horse among hundreds of cis men denying me my right to vote. We are the Dykes on Bikes, unruly dykes interrupting gay-centered pride marches with the noise of our engines, burning rubber on the roads with our wheels to pave the way for those to come. I’m Megan thee Stallion, Real fucking ride or die! United by the transtemporal act of riding, stallions, bitches, divas and fillies invite you to join this female stud farm in infinite expansion, to deform it and recodify it until it is yours. Horses and female riders, lovers and loved ones, inhabitants of the border, all those who ignore norms: we call you. Get on your horse and strip down to the skin: body-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody which, in other words, means nobody knows what a body is capable of.
How strange to be back, how dead the kingdom of the living feels. What should we do now, my sisters? How can we rehearse the abysmal song of the sirens? Why yearn for Hermaphrodites on pedestals and not in our bed? How can we learn to read the world from the perspective of witches? Why not join the future to which this horde of assemblers invites us? Or, to put it another way, how can we ensure that this predisposition accompanies us beyond the exit doors of a museum or after reading a Queer Bestiary?
(Featured Image: Que no salga de aquí Collective,Hermafroditas a caballo o la rebelión del deseo (Hermaphrodites on Horseback or the Rebellion of Desire), 2021. Photography: Nuria Gàmiz.)
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)