When young, my house burned down. It burned itself right to the ground. No photographs. No trophies. Not fish names, Zeak and Zach. No clothing. No piece or scrap of a life…that I had come to know.
Being 15 years old. Much of the usual had been going on, before the loss. Puberty, confusion, work, confusion, education, confusion, church…and, much more confusion.
To top trauma off? I began to believe that being gay…was a sin, pitiful and certainly, not something you brag about. To voice my concern to an abusive father an emotional absent mother…would have been like calling an angry lion out of its den.
Though I do not remember much of that period of time. I found comfort living at the home of my best friend, Red. With an agreement between Red’s mother and my parents, the ‘stay’ would not be forever…And, so, a new and hippie improved home, was found on Maple Street.
Launched between Red and I? The secret life of gay’s in the 80’s, in a semi rural New Hampshire city. Without words, Red and I, knew we were different.
How fun was that time? Piper, Red’s mother, was from New York city. She was divorced with 5 children to raise. She introduced me to True cigarettes, Amaretto, Joan Baez and watching television from the bed.
So different were those 6 or so months. I hated to leave and head home to anger and violence that appeared from nowhere.
What astounds me now?
Leaving New Hampshire, as a young adult, I encountered a vast array of people, places and things. Most of which, I would never have had the courage to gather in my memories…had it not been for Maple street.
91 percent of New Hampshire is white. Living in Madison County, North Carolina, at the ripe age of 23 and rainbow proud…there had been only one group akin to the suffering gays were encountering, with Jesse Helms and his prejudice cohorts! With every pride march and every volunteer group I joined; African-American Pride had been right there to offer a hand in guidance. After all, they had decades, centuries of experience.
Full circle, I have forged my way back home to the same abusive father and the same, emotionally distant mother. I have also been able to re-acquaint myself with those I went to school with.
I am furnishing a post from my Facebook page. It’s topic surrounds the handing of the torch from Obama to Trump. I am liberal. What else would I be?
I have few friends. It is best that way. I keep my circle close, and offer what love I can. Those I went to school with, those I wandered the streets of Concord, New Hampshire…with, have not changed.
They long for football days. They post recipes and abhor politics or…upsetting the apple cart.
I will say first off:
Shame on me. When the heat turned up over Obama and Trump…abortion, racism and gay rights came into play? I will say, my first assumption had been, here we go, another cracker carrying a gun talking about my uterus and sexuality. First and foremost, I apologize for that generalization. It is my perception of a group of persons who have aged…yet, live for the next party and next playoff game.
If I were honest, there had never been any comfort in my teens, unless I had been on Maple street with a select few others who were…different like me.
I have posted the conversation with persons I have known for about forty years.
I will say, when the statement,
…babykiller and by angery lesbian who couldn’t get a man.!
I felt like the marches I had encountered down south. When I had been advocating change not only for AIDS, LGBT and African Americans…reappeared again, almost 30 years later. As though, with what few steps forward my minority, other minorities and many in between the cracks, took forward…we were taking several steps back…
So upsetting to me is the idea that persons I have known; as children, were stating things like…
So tired of the posts about politics.
Trump won. Get the fuck over it!
they post pictures…
of football games and proms from years gone by!
In someone’s estimation. Someone I cannot even remember growing up with, I was not always gay. And, I was indeed, just another angry lesbian!
Dear Old Friend,
I have always been gay. Yet, I feared coming out of the closet until I could get out on my own. Am I angry? Fuck yes! Angry that my politics have upset you so!
In 1973, when homosexuality was removed from DSM-II, there was a great deal of controversy about that decision in the psychiatric community. Many psychiatrists and psychologists still believed that homosexuality was a psychopathology which must invariably cause impairment and distress. Others recognized that the impairment and distress often seen by clinicians were a byproduct of stigma and social repression of homosexuals. This group argued that the pathologization of homosexuality in the DSM was a form of social control that itself contributed to the social stigma and to the harm it did. See DSM-II_Homosexuality_Revision.pdf
Black Like Me…John Howard Griffin
“Nothing can describe the withering horror of this. You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it (rather than its threat) terrifies you. It was so new I could not take my eyes from the man’s face. I felt like saying: “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”
What is ‘Black Like Me’?
Black Like Me, first published in 1961, is a nonfiction book by white journalist John Howard Griffin recounting his journey in the Deep South of the United States, at a time when African-Americans lived under apartheid-like conditions. Griffin was a native of Dallas, Texas, who had his skin temporarily darkened to pass as a black man. He traveled for six weeks throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to explore life from the other side of the color line. Sepia Magazine financed the project in exchange for the right to print the account first as a series of articles.