If I were any braver I just might But I know Where things stand sometimes...
There are times where someone must not look in the mirror
because sometimes, no matter how well it all looks
no matter how well it all looks from the surface
there's something deeper
there's something past all of that.
I always found that looking in that mirror was far too difficult
Maybe I have to.
I'm just going a little crazy
Sometimes I want to completely lose my mind
To just move out of my life
And take up residence in a far away place
Where I'm completely found
And un-intimidated by my own mental struggles
Or my own failures in the past
Because losing all of that
feels so much better
It sometimes feels nice
It sometimes feels like a life worth living
And maybe that's the point
Or maybe I need something else
Something less cerebral
I don't think there's anything wrong with submission to the animal,vegetable,mineral..
...the basics that make up what we are
not the who
or a combination of those pieces
all strung together
all part of the whole
but still perfect and uniquely valuable on their own
sometimes I just need to take that step back
and hold my breath
open my eyes
it doesn't take much
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I'm not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child.
I have friends who think I'm foolish to write this letter. I hope they're wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you'll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you.
I wouldn't have written, I guess, if you hadn't told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant.
I'm sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief--rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes.
No, Mama, I wasn't "recruited." No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, "You're all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You're not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends--all kinds of friends--who don't give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it."
But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don't consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being.
These aren't radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it's all right for you to like me too.
I can't answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don't care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it's the light and the joy of my life.
It's not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It's not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It's not judging your neighbor, except when he's crass or unkind.
Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion, and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it.
Mary Ann sends her love.
Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane.
Take the most incredible experience you ever had
Turn it around
Take it apart
Sell it on the street
Knit a sweater out of the basic desire for love and acceptance
Stir a little regret into your birthday cake
And put light in the dark with dayglo candles - lit with the fire of your childhood passion
Maybe it will all come true
Maybe your dreams will make sense.
Maybe you'll find something there behind the curtain, behind the man, behind
the face that you knew as your fathers- now your own.
Did you imagine that there would be some kind of comfortable silence in your life
To allow you to sit back and reflect on it all
Or did you assume, so rightly, that the blizzard that your life has become
Is just a product on your refusal to let it all go
Your desire to take it all back
Show them a smile as you swallow back a tear
And wave goodbye to those things that make you happy
But made you so alone.
Paint a picture with the leftover colors from your years
And sketch out a new scene under the stars
Time has a color of its own
Perhaps someday someone will finally see it like you and I do
And then you can share those old snapshots of your childhood
You can show them what you saw in that tiny flaw
It's all pain, it's all life, it's alright... I see it too...
Hey, aren't you going somewhere?