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The paranormal is inherently queer;

linguistically the prefix para-,

meaning beyond, suggests a being

or place outside of prescribed normalcy.

Paranormal, along with its cognates

supernatural and extraterrestrial,

thus becomes an umbrella term

for the numinous ineffability of otherness.

We, as queer people, exist similarly on the fringes of hetero-patriarchal and colonialist definitions of the ‘normal’ and ‘natural.’ Queer-coded figures in media often take the form of supernatural gender variants and sexual deviants outcast from Western moral dualism. Yet these cautionary cultural representations of queerness reveal our immense power to disrupt categorical systems.

My work seeks to excavate the symbiosis of the paranormal, queer and rural as a transformative, liberating force. I am presently using the study of ufology and transfeminist discourse to frame the extraterrestrial as an avatar for trans* embodiment.

Transfeminist theorist Paul B. Preciado described the present moment of queer identity saying, “By insisting on defining and redefining ourselves, we have produced a lot of identities. But have we produced more freedom?” He elaborates further, “We’ve been reinforcing the same techniques of control that we have been critiquing. Can we invent something else? How to find a mode of action that is not based on identity politics?”



My research and artworks consider the UFO phenomenon as a form of queer animism. I approach these well-documented encounters skeptical of purely materialist interpretations. This approach seeks to situate the UFO as a presence that exceeds our socio-cultural containers of the “natural", affirming it as a metaphysical other present in various mythic guises throughout centuries of human experience.


This conceptualization has been greatly impacted by Dr. Jeffrey Kripal, Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and the infamous UFO contactee and author, Whitley Strieber. Their book The Super Natural positions the UFO phenomenon as an elusive, super-material part of the natural world potentially connected to consciousness and death itself. 

Language is essential to the discussion of queerness and the extraterrestrial. I hope to expand upon the rich history of attempted extraterrestrial communication. From the Nazca Lines in Peru to Carl Friedrich Grauss' proposal to create a massive Pythagorean theorem in the Siberian Tundra, the quest to communicate with sky beings is as ancient pursuit. I am specifically interested in John C. Lily's research on dolphin communication and its relationship to the early development of SETI. In the Mind of the Dolphin, Lily remarked that "currently we are faced with other species possibly as intelligent as we are" but "we do not recognize their intelligence". This impetus is still reflected in Laurence Doyle's work with humpback whale communication.

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