A declaration of “outness” itself is but the simplest, crudest variety of participation. As a statement of witness, self-declaration may have value, but declaration itself does not lead us to the engagement through which we find the art of our lives. The fact of my “orientation” is not in itself dynamic; it speaks nothing about how sexuality is a “participant” in the form of my life; it gives no necessary direction to my passions, my dark desperations, what brings me joy or sorrow, how I fall (or fail to fall) in love.
Participation is active, ongoing, and necessarily unfinished. Participation depends absolutely on another person (or persons) who is similarly unfinished. As a participant I am incapable, ever, of arriving. I cannot ever “be out” because as soon as I have arrived at that point, I have become a static thing and am no longer moving outward. To be engaged with the beautiful, I must act: that is the requirement of engagement. I cannot stand in the river and be of the river because the form of the river that gives it its particular beauty is its movement. If the river ceased to flow, it would be a lake, with an altogether different aesthetic configuration; beautiful as the lake may be, I do not experience its beauty in the same way I experience the river’s. To the bacteria of my stomach, to the organisms that will one day consume my rotting flesh, I may seem to be a lake. But as a living human, I am moving and continuously incomplete so long as I am engaged with other human beings. It is not that my sexual interest is moving back and forth between some homo-hetero binarism, like a bisexual Ping-Pong ball. It is that the expression and meaning of my desire - which is almost exclusively for men - is in continuous flux in response to new dreams, new goals, and new experiences: now for nurturing, now for adventure, now for accomplishment, now for contemplation. The love that I find, the beauty that I see, the pleasure that I experience, cannot stay still. I can only be out once I have been laid out on a slab."
A Queer Geography by Frank Browning.
While I couldn’t really care less about concepts of “outness” I really relate to the notion of a dynamic sexuality, a constant state of flux. I would comment more but am drunk out of my brain; transcribing the quote was a terrible, terrible experience.