Speech after long silence; it is right,
Ever take a really deadly poetry class, the kind where only the strongest or strangest works survive? The line above always pops up unscathed, even after Prof. X throttled, stabbed, garroted and buried it. “The word speech stands for love,” he said, shooing away all other options. “What does that make silence?”
Devoutly to be wished. I had never seen a poem with a semicolon. Yeats. Nice.
Out There regulars know that I’ve been silent for a while, and it took vileness and death, the silence of suicide, to get me back to the keyboard.
Have you been reading about the “rash” of gay teen suicides? It’s nothing new; gay, lesbian, transgender youngsters have been killing themselves for decades and decades. And not just from isolated bullying.
Every day I can find another reason to feel attacked. The Washington Post, for example, thinks it’s somehow acceptable to publish — on National Coming Out Day, no less — an elaborate opinion piece by a vicious gay-hater (filled with errors, too), as if my right to exist were debatable. Remember when not so long ago, the BBC proposed an online back-and-forth about whether it was right for the Uganda government to jail and kill “homosexuals”?
I am not including a link to the Post because that is the last time I will ever link directly to it, for any reason. (Sorry, Anne! I’ll read whatever you write at Artsjournal or anywhere else.) But here’s a long and furious response you may want to see.
So, instead of swallowing my fury, I just filed a short piece for Obit Mag about an inventive response to gay suicides started by columnist and editor Dan Savage: a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better.” If you click on the brief, heartfelt videos made by gay folks who survived to happy adulthood, you may be moved to speech after your long silence, too.
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