So today’s prompt asks where Sobek stands in terms of gender and sexuality, historical or UPG-wise. I’ll try to keep this short, because I could speak about this a lot if you let me get away with it. I’m sneaking in a little late today, but that’s okay. I need time to revise tomorrow’s anyway. What I’ve currently written is a mess of idk! So. On to today’s prompt.
Sobek has always been considered to be Very Masculine. He has a very fecund sexuality, and His epithets attest to this, and His appetite for women. He is never shown as anything other than male, and has a great generative power within Him. This generally matches up with how I have come to see Him, too.
That said, His mother is queer af. Nit was historically seen as both male and female, or two thirds female, one third male. The few experiences I’ve had with Her have supported this assessment, and She is fabulously, and unapologetically queer, at least to me.
The only times when I see Sobek as anything other than male is when He is Creator. I’ve spent a long time trying to find models of deity creation that sit outside of heteronormative reproductive imagery, and one way I do that is by seeing Sobek as allgendered when He is Creator. Everything must come from that initial source, so Sobek is everything. If Nit can create by Hirself, so can Sobek.
A lot of this I my own UPG, of course. Nit Hirself tells me Sobek has no father other than Hirself. That Sobek was created, birthed, solely by Nit. Nit and Sobek have always had a little outsider vibe to Them, and this was why Ra called on Them to oversee the judgement o Set and Heru in Ra’s court, because unlike the other gods, They were both seen to be transient, above and outside and beyond the (petty politics of?) Ra’s court. They were outside of all of that, impartial and able to judge in ways the other gods couldn’t.
I think this still speaks a lot to Their natures now. Sobek has some of Set’s fondness for the margins, and those outside the mainstream. He seems very accepting of those He calls His own, and of those who needed strength and were given none. Or those who were strong anyway, those who were strong for those who could not, and those who need protection. These seem to be the people He likes. Those left behind, those who need a King, someone who Sees them, who knows they are there, and doesn’t forget them. Sobek is the one swimming through the waters to lift them up onto His back, to support them when there is no one else. That is what He does.
And if Sobek is a little queer, to me, with Heru, well, that’s also fine. I tend to think the gods reflect what you will most relate to, and if for me that’s Sobek and Heru as lovers and partners, then that’s what I tend to see. It won’t be true for everyone, but that closeness is how I begin to understand Sobek Shedety, Heru who is in Shedet, where Sobek is both father to Heru and Heru Himself. (Yes, this is historically attested. I’m as surprised as you are that my UPG on that front turned out to be not entirely made up. o.o)
So if you’re looking for a queer-friendly crocodile god, try Sobek. He’ll love you, He’ll protect you, He’ll be your strength when you feel you have none. What more could you want in a god?