Looking for queer utopias in virtual isles and valleys

During the screen between lockdowns, I-go to a pal’s birthday. A lot of touch-starved gays stay collectively on a single chair.

We joke about what type Cottagecore, polyamorous transqueer commune we might desire to live on, once the wealthy had been lifeless and climate apocalypse averted somehow.

«most likely,» somebody states, «we’ll merely turn into

Mad Maximum

figures. 100 % free, in a gross, Anarcho-Capitalist means.» Each of us make fun of.

«you can’ve altered shit» – the expectation could there be, coiled when you look at the space – «although world ended,» my friend’s lover claims.

They wake up to get the dessert. «We’d only roam the wasteland, burning up utopian energy, stealing individuals teeth for barter,» people say through the cooking area.

The dessert seems. My buddy and I also exchange stories about the

Pet Crossing: Brand-new Horizon Islands


Stardew Valley

save data.


know a few transqueer pals whom play both games for launch, specifically during lockdown. A poet friend in

Stardew Valley

encourages their particular lovers on the digital farmstead they invested the very first lockdown controlling. Things are fairly acquired.

I join their own video game that assist them pick horseradish.

«This is what a transqueer utopia could appear to be, after the world,» they content me personally over Discord.

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When I imagine the future, a transqueer one which appears therefore tantalisingly near, its like I can have the person I’ll be, attaining backwards and egging me personally on to make them real.

Every little thing – virtual wheat-fields, cows, berry bushes, apple trees – could possibly be no-cost, of their own volition. There aren’t any marketplaces big enough to demand pesticides, manufacturer farming or exploited labor. The secure hasn’t already been violently colonised; it may belong to by itself in the future. Indigeneity is not a well known fact in these games. Your own commitment using the secure you take is unproblematic, the overall game says.

In my opinion of my personal secret wish to be a Cottagecore lesbian/trad spouse on a farm with my buddies, elevating birds and looking after one another’s kiddies. The reality that it does not exist, and not will, is near the point.

I feel in the same way about

Animal Crossing

‘s area. It cann’t end up being a stretch to contact utopia a body, based in room.

Except right here, the online game tells me, it is simply my human body, separated, struggling to perform injury to any individual. I am the custodian of a fluid outcropping of secure offered if you ask me by a Racoon guy. I can terraform it without outcomes, except private regrets. There is no gender, except a spectrum of style choices.


ockdown pulls after which begins once again. I have been planning to begin HRT inside the screen between lockdowns; I have a list of situations i wish to carry out, gathering in real-time as my personal hair develops back too soon and my body system weighs in at on myself. But it’s fine because i am aware I will do some worthwhile thing about it. A window, or difference in door, is i would like.

You will find a visceral feeling of managing good spirit back at my back, whispering in my own ear. Whenever lockdown begins once again, the heart will leave, and I sink like a boat with a hole.

I receive my personal birthday buddy over to my area, throughout the second lockdown, where we could imitate tea and dress-up for each and every other. The sole residents are bipedal animals. They may be simply passing by, unless I invite them to remain. It will get belated and I log off, inviting my buddy around next week.

We awaken the following day, however in lockdown, check twitter, feel circumstances, and look the area: many people are pleased, the scarcity and gameplay loop an indication more than anything. Everybody is relaxed in a way that you are able to just be as soon as requirements tend to be perfectly satisfied and you’re at leisure getting who you really are, finally.


hy does all this work matter? What exactly is making me personally try to find a transqueer utopia within these video games?

My buddy’s change is put near the window, the metropolis skyline on the horizon. They got pictures for the CBD as they visited work during lockdown. The streets tend to be ghostly and unoccupied. How long would it try recover these areas, change the Myers into share-houses, with no-one sustaining them?

We imagine my pals in overturned clothes shelves, because happy as his or her virtual selves, going to the areas I laid out for them.

Utopia needs getting realised, to be generated genuine. My body, just what my body are, needs is produced genuine, but can’t be at this time. Utopia needs a narrative: a coming out story, a transition timeline, a location, a horizon.

My buddy offers Jose Esteban Munoz’s

Cruising Utopia

in my opinion: Queerness has a spatial dimension «insofar since it is based in displacement… Queerness is primarily about futurity and desire. Frankly that queerness is definitely for the horizon».

Internet areas, quick gatherings cut quick. an area where narrative is stilled, as well as your person is made to check out the probabilities. I’m hatching my programs.



Deane is actually a freelance editor/student within university of Melbourne. Their own work features appeared in

Cordite, Southerly, Australian Poetry



, and others. They go on unceded Wurundjeri land.