Category: Queer

Overlap: Psychedelia and Queerness

There is obvious overlap between the ideas and definitions of queerness and the characteristics of mystical experiences engendered by psychedelics. Both queer theory and the mystical characteristics note the limitations of ordinary language to capture the actual experience one is having, whether that experience is one of timelessness that is over in 30 seconds, or one that lasts “a lifetime” (whatever that actually means). Notions of transiency in the mystical experience mirror ideas in queer theory about the fluidity and non-solidity of identity labels. The passivity in sexual activity that was pejoratively pointed to in the original meanings of the word queer is an actual prerequisite in the psychedelic realm, both to decrease the possibility of having a “bad” or even “horrific” trip, as well as to be open to the majestic spaces the medicines can take one to. And, notions of the “true self” are present in both, as something to encounter and, perhaps, eradicate. 

Jeanna Eichenbaum, LCSW

Jeanna Eichenbaum, social worker and self-identified trans woman explores the relationship between psychedelic and queer theories and relates a personal story exploring, learning and dissolving boundaries from her own identity. link