“I remember everything.”
That’s what Oliver tells Elio towards the end of André Aciman’s novel, Call Me By Your Name. What follows is a heartwrenching paragraph where Elio recalls the summer that the two of them spent in Northern Italy. Oliver remembers everything and so does Elio, except the two of them are metaphors for you and me and everyone who remembers the first time they fell in love. Maybe it was that time you looked across the classroom and saw the new guy or when you were having a drink with a girl you’ve known for years and it suddenly hits you that her laugh makes you happier than it should. And most of the time – sadly – all we are left with are our memories.
(“Is it better to speak or to die?”)
Queering the Map is a community-generated mapping project that geo-locates queer moments and gives us a glimpse into the lives, memories and histories shared by people across the globe.
Queering the Map shows us that sometimes, people just need some time to realise that love is love.
It also reminds us that sometimes, happily ever after lasts but a day.
As Maya Angelou said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Sometimes, something as simple as “there are queer people here” is exactly the thing you need to hear.
And well, we’ve all loved someone and have been unable to tell them how we feel.
Most importantly, what Queering the Map does is provide a sense of community to a bunch of people who’ve always been treated like outcasts and criminals. While some of the stories make us laugh out loud at the sheer boldness, most others help us realise that we are not alone in a world that refuses to accept queer love.
According to a study by The Journal of Adolescent Health, almost half of the people who use ‘hookup apps’ like Grindr are looking for more than just sex. As shocking as it may sound, Grindr also helps LGBTQ+ people who are fumbling around in the dark because it shows them that they are part of a larger queer experience.
“We found that teens in this study were super excited that somebody was paying attention with what was going on in their lives, and how these apps played a role in their sexual development and coming-out process,” Dr Kathryn Macapagal told the Chicago Tribune, following the survey.
For too long, queer people have been denied a platform to experience their feelings and in many cases, they have even been deleted from the annals of history. It is reassuring to see that technology is helping them experience a sense of oneness.
(Header image: Queering the Map/ a still from CMBYN)