Thursday, July 31, 2003
As a fourteen-year-old in 1970, I made the first step in the slow process of revealing my true self to friends and then to family.
I have never regretted that first step or the many others that have followed. It wasn’t so much a desire for exclusively gay rights as basic human rights for myself and all other human beings. We were compelled not just to know ourselves but also to give voice to that knowledge.
I have, jokingly said, over the many years since I first read of the Stonewall Riots in the basement of downtown Cincinnati’s old Kidd’s Bookstore, that these first few years of “liberation” won’t be as much fun as the last 2000 of “repression”.
I studied “homosexuality” long before I ever spoke aloud. An odd child, I bounced from Tom Swift, Jr. to Jean Genet.
It was as though I had been born having already read the brochure. History, Art and Literature, to my young understanding, described homosexuals as having traveled along with the rest of humanity from the earliest of times and through the grimiest of historical eras.
As a Convention-watching 12 year-old in 1968, I sat amazed as William F. Buckley, Jr. called my hero Gore Vidal “a fag” live on the ABC television network.
Repression came rather late as Rome fell to a new God and ended, after 2000 years with a delightfully absurd police/drag queen standoff on a Greenwich Village street corner. A secret club as old as the cantankerously sinful Catholic Church is finally, unbelievably giving way to freedom and acceptance within society.
I have no fears of the escalating ugliness spewing from the right’s repressed sexual hyperventilating and moral pronouncements from immoral men. No law can truly bind men’s hands. We are everywhere and in every family and neighborhood. We are not going away. This next year’s battle is not going away. The President made that clear in one of his few coherent moments during yesterday’s alleged press conference.
Any regular viewer of the new television program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy would realize, us queers know how to rummage through a closet. As huge money is spent on division and ugliness, thousands of angry queens will be rummaging through the dry-cleaner bags of sin hanging in the closets of the powerful.
Do you think Arianna’s ex will be dragging the boyfriend to fundraisers or Neil inviting one of the $5 Thai prostitutes to a family cookout? Start your engines…
Photo: Tour Egypt Monthly