You are swiping through Tinder on a Sunday morning. I'm talking 'bored and hungover and not even looking at the profiles properly' browsing. Swipe, swipe, swipe. And then you see it. The bio that every queer person who has been dating for the past three to five years will have seen in some iteration: “VEGAN / NON-MONOG / DOUBLE LEO, SCORPIO MOON / ANTI-FASCIST WITCH / PRO-KINK / PLANTLIFE & DIY / IF YOU WANNA BE MY LOVER YOU GOTTA GET WITH MY ANXIETY” followed by three crystal ball emojis and a quote from Le Tigre’s “Decepticon” (“I'm a gasoline gut with a Vaseline mind”). The first photo is a deadpan mirror selfie. The second is a pic of their Siamese cat, Judith Butler, who you later glean is co-owned by by their entire sober polycule.
Enter: The Astrology Queer. Or: every queer woman and non-binary person in their twenties currently living in Dalston, Bushwick, Silverlake or whichever local area that elicits that blend of eye-roll and quiet jealousy in relation to its upfront trendiness.
The Astrology Queer is specific and easy to spot. Vibes wise, if I were to draw a three-category Venn diagram, they would sit somewhere between the art school hipster (the IRL kind, not the bearded, coffee nerd ones that brands invented in 2011), the classic hippy and the white feminist on Instagram who dyed their armpit hair blue to "make a statement". Crucially though, the Astrology Queer is heavily into the planets (hence the name), and will definitely offer to read your tarot on the first date and blame Venus retrograde for cancelling on the second. They also like to think they’re woker than the groups previously mentioned, and will be the first to make sure you know it (usually via a public cancelling, delivered on Insta stories. Most of the time, they'll be right).
The Astrology Queer is most often seen with a tiny fringe, shaved bits at the side, stick n poke tatts and a septum piercing (although more recent AQs might have opted for a homemade mullet, and many rock a shaved head). If they went to university, it would be to study Gender Theory, Fine Art or one of those degrees called things like “Sonic Collaging Techniques” in which their final show (at Goldsmiths, Central Saint Martins or Glasgow School of Art) was them just screaming into a microphone in the dark (they got a First). It is also very difficult to find an Astrology Queer who hasn’t, at one point, released a zine called something like 'WhatsApps from My Ex' or 'Nude Crying Selfies, Volume One'.
Lifestyle wise, the Astrology Queer is often vocally non-monogamous, sober and vegan (or at least one of the three). Everything is DIY and ethical and kink positive and involves oat milk. Everything can also be pinned to the stars and planets – from their mood that day, to a person’s behaviour, to what is happening in the wider world (“Sorry I can’t make it tonight, this month’s retrogrades are fucking me up and I’m having a shitty time with my primary partner's toxic Double Cap other partner so let’s go to the collaging meets fetish workshop another night??”).
There is nothing wrong with the Astrology Queer. Everyone should have the freedom to be anything, apart from an arsehole. I should probably also admit that I am quite clearly one of them (as a Dalston-based, astrology-obsessed queer vegan who went to Goldsmiths, works at VICE and has a stick n poke that reads “WITCH” on my knee, given to me by an ex-girlfriend with current full custody of our cat, Vincent.) I think it’s positive that so many of us look to the planets in hopes of understanding the world and our place within it, and I will always support the rejection of oppressive heteronormative structures. But also… my God.
In recent years, the aesthetic of the Astrology Queer has become a little more mainstream – partly due to platforms like Instagram, which have meant that certain communities blend into each other more than they would have done in the past, when we just hung out in clubs. We've got people like Emma Watson hacking off her fringe now, and even your dad knows that he's a "typical Leo” though he's not precisely sure what that's supposed to mean. With that in mind, it’s become harder to discern whether that girl you clock at the coffee shop with the miniscule fringe and words “TOP” tattooed on one hand and “BOTTOM” tattooed on the other is in fact an Astro-queer, or just, like, Katie from your old school.
So what does the future hold for the Astrology Queer? Well, seeing as both queerness and to a certain degree astrology have been around for as long as time, the fundamentals of this subsection will obviously stick around until climate change kills us all. But as for the aesthetic? The mood? The energy? A little longer, I hope. I genuinely don't know what else to wear.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.