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Gay Berliner: Gayzing at the stars?!

Why Walter Crasshole's queer friends’ obsession with the esoteric doesn't quite fly with him.

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Jubilee Park Museum in Brussels. Photo by Volunteercitizen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Why my queer friends’ obsession with the esoteric doesn’t quite fly with me.

Image for Gay Berliner: Gayzing at the stars?!
Illustration by Agata Sasiuk

“By the way, in case you were wondering, 2019 is going to be a great year for us, Jupiter has entered Sagittarius – we’re coming home,” my colleague told me. I have to admit, it made me smile as it was coming at the end of a particularly stressful deadline when hearing some good news was quite welcome. It’s these unexpected scraps of optimism in dark times that make it easy to understand the appeal of the esoteric. Queers love it. Particularly witches, astrology and tarot. But me, normally, fuck no. Good feelings aside, if I look at the sentence, I actually have no idea what it means. Obviously, I know my star sign, but beyond that, Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and a guy I made out with once.

It’s actually a real problem for me. I go out to Möbel Olfe with any number of wispy, black-clad American expat fags and the conversation is certain to turn to tarot or astrology at some point. “You know why it didn’t work out?” “Because we’re all hideously commitment-phobic and emotionally stunted?” I silently think. “Because he’s Taurus and you’re a Sag.” I roll my eyes, briefly dipping into the conversation to try to feel included and then click my tongue in utter resignation. I know nothing of the stuff and frankly, I don’t give a shit. How come no one talks about music or film or theatre anymore? A book maybe? As long as it’s not a book on indigenous conjuring herbs of central Europe. Please.

Feminist friends and their witchy proclivities also escape me. I mean, I sort of get it. I don’t need a book to figure out the attraction of feminist queers to witches. One marginalised group of people identifying with another persecuted and murdered marginalised group of history, who have lore and powers to boot… it’s a cool metaphor. Duh. But I can’t take the magic seriously. To me, this is all hippy shit. The best magic comes in the form of a hot guy, or a bottle, if you know what I mean.

And I just don’t see this among my straight friends. At all. Maybe they’re all busy making babies or buying apartments. Who knows? But for whatever reason, they aren’t investing in the dark arts. I’m also a devotee of the dark in my own way, but for me, there’s an intellectual or aesthetic value, nothing else. Hell, I grew up on Nine Inch Nails, horror movies and The Satanic Bible (the first part… which is amazing, but the second part of spells is total bullshit). I love all this witchy shit in pop culture – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a bit of wicked fun to me! – but to an extent.

It’s 2019, we’re way past the Enlightenment, oder? Science has been with us for a long time. The queer inclination for magic and what-have-you is something I try to understand but can’t. My friend Sophie put it somewhat in perspective for me: “It is all bullshit, but it’s real if you believe it.” Jein. Life is a matter of perspective but it’s made up of certain objectivities too.

If you choose to believe in this and it’s a way to separate yourself from the bullshit of daily life, good for you. I can respect that. But I can’t get in on it. If you want to watch some sensationalist documentary on Satanic cults and make out after, however, I’m all in. Let’s just keep the darkness light. Or at least real.