Reclaiming Sodom

By Connell O'Donovan

In the past, I have been deeply envious of Lesbians because of a vital factor in their existence: they have the Island of Lesbos - physical space which they can dream of and re-create and hope toward. I didn't think that us Queer Boys had any such physical space to claim as our own. But then one day I started thinking about reclaiming the meaning of "Sodomite". At first I balked (due to my religious upbringing), but after a few days, I realized that Sodom could become important space to (re)claim for our own designs.

There are three main mythologies concerning the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: the "pure", etiological myth found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 19), other biblical/Judeo-Christian interpretations of that myth, and this new, Queer mythology I hereafter inscribe.

The myth in the Book of Genesis describes how two "holy men" (commonly regarded as angels) came from (the white, heterosexual, male) god to see how the "cities on the plain" were doing. During their investigation of the small hamlet of Sodom, they were surrounded by a group of women and men who apparently wanted to gang rape these two beings. What does male and female gang rape of two angels (even though called "men", the Hebrew leaves their gender unspecified) have to do with modern, con/sensual Sapphistry and Faggotry?

For those of the later, "moral majority", Sodom was a throbbing, thriving city ** (not the small village that archaeologists now refer to as Bab Edh Dhra) full of depraved, decadent, homosexual perverts. So their petty little god destroyed all those Queers, laying flat the city in a devastating attach of fire from heaven, and leaving nothing but a salt-riddled wasteland next to the Dead Sea. And if he did it back then, he'll do it again! And that's where we get AIDS from (Anal Intercourse Destroys Sodomites).

But I want to (re)claim Sodom for all our very own, so I speak this new myth. I want that tiny hamlet of Sodom to be Queer Space. And really, it's ours whether we want it or not. Enough of our blood has been spilled in its name to warrant ownership of that land several million times over. And all because that nasty old god hates us swaggering Bulldykes and lilting Faeries - would rather kill us than look at us. So what's new? After all, he was made in the image of the white, bourgeois, heterosexual, able-bodied male, wasn't he?

Is it a coincidence that "Sodom" and "holocaust" both mean "burnt" in Hebrew and Greek respectively? Burnt, burns, will burn: us little Faggots, faggots for the fire of that god - our burning flesh is become but sweet incense to his nostrils. He thrives on burning us Queer Boys up and that burns me up! All because we don't fit into his god/awful plan; because maybe we would rather "dress and keep the garden" (as artists, interior decorators, drag queens, poets, dancers, pagan Faeries with our faggot/wands and hard cocks burning bright, lighting up the darkness of the hetero-world, casting shadows and spells, illuminating the mirrors of heteros for them to see their own horrors) rather than "multiply and replenish the earth", as if we're all just a gaggle of ambulatory inseminators.

I love Sodom now. I feel very comfortable there. Of course god destroyed it. That's what straight men like him do. They always give us wastelands and we always turn them into music and gardens. Out of the ashes of our dead brothers and sisters, let us sow a beautiful garden, till it with our passion, water it with our tears and cum and desire. For in that space we can stand our ground. From that space we can speak our bodies without fear.


** See Jack T. Chick's viciously anti-Gay comic booklet, Doom Town, explaining the story of Sodom for a popular idea of how contemporary Christians view Sodom, as being full of extravagant palaces, monumental statuary, monstrous pedophiles, and worst of all, REALLY bad drag.

© 1996, Connell O'Donovan
Please do not copy without my express, written permission.


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