I would be extremely grateful if any WordPress readers would consider clicking ‘like’ at the end of this page on Indolent Books so that I am asked to contribute to them again. Thank you so much.
I just watched the amazing film Bohemian Rhapsody. Let me ask you something … if I begin this post with; “And I wanted to talk about being gay” How many of you would stop reading? Ask yourselves, what does that really say about you?
I want to talk about being gay. Watching the story of Freddie Mercury it struck me (again) how the tiny minority of people who are gay (not bisexual) still struggle. You may ask why or point to more worthy causes to talk about …
Imagine being 1/2 percent of the population. Maybe you already are. That’s how many women are lesbians and men are roughly 2/3 percent. Bisexuality is far more prevalent, however 85% of women who are bisexual end up married to man, which begs the question, is there such as thing as ‘true’ bisexuality’ or is there just a desire to play both sides until you settle down, invariably with someone of the same gender?
Either way, ‘true’ queer women are rare. For men, those who are bisexual tend to end up being with men. It begs the question – do these stats indicate being a lesbian is not a life style many people choose or want to adopt? Or simply, that most women have a tendency toward heterosexuality as their preference?
My unscientific viewpoint for what it’s worth is; Men who have sex with men tend to be with men maybe because to ‘go there’ is almost indelible? Whereas sexuality for women is more fluid, and whilst they may like having sex with another woman and find her attractive, it’s not enough of a hook. Is sexuality and gayness a preference? I don’t think so, which means the ‘true’ number of gays is smaller than we even credit.
I personally don’t understand why more men are gay than women, as I am biased and see a lot more to be attracted to in a woman than a man (although they are harder to go out with because they are more demanding and selfish and less romantic). Irrespective, a man who is attracted to men, doesn’t go back and forth as much, a woman who is attracted to women may well end up with a man as other considerations come into play. To me, this isn’t being gay – it’s just having fun. Maybe I’m saying being gay is massively different to being bisexual.
I would imagine the negatives about bisexuality are; judgment from both sides, and that’s about it. If you are totally gay then the negatives include persecution, ostracizing, not fitting in, having no role models, no representation and most of all – feeling weird because 99/98 percent of the world doesn’t ‘get’ you and where you are coming from.
How many times have I been told by a woman that they find other women attractive but they can’t really understand wanting to be with a woman for any length of time – interestingly not because of sex, most women like oral sex, but because of the high maintenance being with a woman entails and how nice it is when a man romances you. It is true, it’s rarer and finding it with a woman, well you often end up having to do all the work and while men are good at that, women aren’t as much.
Hence why of those relationships that last, the classical butch/femme roles tend to work out best because the lesbians who are butch want to imitate a man and romance the woman and the femme is happy. I realize that’s a negative stereotyping of female-female relationships but there is also some truth.
Thinking about the AIDS era (which has never entirely left us and now that there are new drugs that people can take to reduce their likelihood of HIV exposure, where’s the incentive to continue to practice safe sex?) and how many gay men (and others) died and the terrible things that were said about them and how generations exist now that know nothing of this and how it will be forgotten …
I remember I was very young but I heard people say things like; “AIDS is killing the queers its divine justice” That told me early on that gay people were not equal and would never be treated equally behind closed doors. At one point in my life I was in the closet because it was easier and unlike a person of color, a gay person can often be in the closet to avoid prejudice. I’d not been in the closet before and suddenly I was privy to the things straight people said about gays when they didn’t think one of them was listening. I realized that this had all been said of me when I wasn’t in the closet but behind my back.
Then the other aspect to consider is the gay community and how judging and excluding it can be and how for many queers, fitting in with their own gay ‘family’ doesn’t always come easy or at all. I personally tend not to get on with gays, I have found them to often possess the worst traits of heterosexuals which deeply disappoints me. Lesbians judge you for not being queer enough, or act like swaggering men. Gay men can be such divas that they own the sarcasm and bitchiness in the room.
Does it mean you’re a ‘bad’ queer if you don’t feel in with ‘your people’? And yet … why assume just because you share one thing in common, you’ll get along? I’m sure I share something in common with Trump as well … point made.
The female gay world is divided into sections, either you’re a successful, educated career person in which case you go to exclusive things and judge those who are not on your level. You only date those who are like you, and you have high expectations as well as demanding those women you date are athletic, social and above all, status and financially successful.
The other group are the more neighborhood based gays, and the clubs teem with liars, frauds and fakes alongside players, druggies and alcoholics. If you imagine being heterosexual and reducing the number of options you have from roughly 48% to 1/2% you probably wouldn’t find someone you liked either. And let’s for not forget, if you’re straight and you see someone in the street or anywhere, you can essentially flirt with them without fear. But how can you tell when someone may be gay? Contrary to popular opinion, the gay-dar doesn’t work THAT well. So you are further restricted to mind-reading, falling in love with heterosexuals or going to gay clubs where the worst reside.
Boo Hoo right? A hard life. But not nearly as hard as many others. Combine that with a co-morbidity of higher rates of depression/anxiety (no wonder) and all the accompanying aspects that may accompany homosexuality and a life time of being shamed, ridiculed, the odd one out, and it’s not simply one issue, it’s everything.
There have been times I wished fervently not to be gay. I got fed-up of having a crush on my straight friend who wouldn’t like me if I were the last person standing, I saw how well men can treat women, I envied the heterosexual world. That’s why being gay is no choice, as most who had one, wouldn’t choose it.
That said it’s not all negative. Some of the best parts of my life have been as a result of being gay. Watching the film on Freddie Mercury really affected me profoundly because it reminded me that only a few years ago in my city there were stickers condemning gays having the right to marry, that my own life has been severely disrupted/destroyed for several reasons related to being gay, and how many gays have suffered over the years.
I may not be a huge fan of this modern world – 2018 onward – and I may hark beck to ‘better’ eras as I perceive them, BUT I know things are improving for gays and I hope one day, being gay is not something that will pull you down and give you pain. It will be what it is meant to be, a natural minority who see things differently but are in every other way part of us all.
Spare a thought for gays even as you think they have all their rights now and should stop complaining. It is not as simple as possessing rights. Gays are still more likely to commit suicide, have addictions, mental illness, be ostracized from family and be beaten up and murdered. Gays can often be very isolated, their pain not taken seriously, and feel alone even among ‘their kind’ and it really does make a difference to us when someone, irrespective of gender, befriends us and likes us for who we are, without being uncomfortable around us.
A friend for a gay person has twice the value because we never take it for granted and we always feel so lucky. After all, most of us living, remember a time when admitting you were gay would guarantee nobody would be your friend. Therefore, thank you for all who show kindness to us, and remember, compassion is the only thing that compensates for the erstwhile damage human beings have historically wrought, both on minorities of all kinds and our planet.
I dream of a world where it will be okay to walk down the street and not worry about holding hands with the person you love, when it will be comfortable to kiss someone you’re with, in public, without fearing being beaten up. Just as women worldwide, dream of walking down a street without being raped. I believe this day can come, if all of us have the patience to see the value of talking about this and not saying ‘I’m so fed up with the gay agenda or the feminist agenda’ and switching off. Until we have true equality, the only thing we can do is bring awareness and hope in turn, it produces change.
Oh, and to those bisexuals? Yeah. Sorry. But on the other hand, I’ve got a point. Can’t you sometimes choose the girl? 😉
Go see Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s incredible.
Who knew how to die?
That it wouldn’t be instantaneous
As children imagine
A sudden pain, then unconsciousness
Death could go on years
Building and slowing like cold sea water
Burning firework left to fizzle alone in inky sky
That it would wind and unwind, a mad clock void of correct motion
It could take the very young, wrap them in wool, to cast down wet hill
The jarring and bumping eventual colission held at bay
That it could take you
Suspend you from me and all familiar things
Where the recognition in your once clear and beautiful eyes
Became muddied and clouded with quiet violence
Your touch so soft, stolen and replaced with flinty brush off
The courage of fighters
Seathing against their sentence and eventual
Chop chop of parts, scars and marred
Skin once free of blade
A scratch board of operation knives
She reached me
As I sat in my safe world
Pulled me through
I smelt anticeptic
Read her clever whirring mind
Far too smart for this dull world
How can such people die?
She laughs and says
At least I’ll go young and whilst I have my looks
So long as you don’t show the undertaker my scars
They remind me of barbed wire and grey hair and the lines you cut in snow
When skiing downhill
Her lips are red, she says
I used to ride horses and can speak five languages
I wish you would stay
I could read you eternally
It’s the macabre and giggling nervousness you feel
It brings out the worst or the best of us
I wanted to bolt
Race down the road
But I remain and listen
To the gurgle of her catheter
And saw the bruised clouds grow
As rain came like tears behind pitched fingers
Her humor never left
She knew more than all of us
What a terrible, terrible waste
She said; I can make an authentic French 75
I wanted to swap places, I am not so rarefied
But I am a coward
Before the machinations of surgeons
What devour they do, to our poor skin
Does it really prevent anything?
She asked, laughing at the cat
Who is also old and infirm before his time
Still batting the window when birds come to peck
At crumbs of comfort because it’s those little things
She says, keep you going
Like my favorite soup, a funny film, the sun coming over horizon
Reminding me I can still
I learn to appreciate life
From her dying
The morsel of me
Though of language I only know two and
Cannot spell in either
Life is savage in her cull
The bright and wonderful snatched
Who among us had an idea of
How to die?
Then she laughs
Her teeth still white, her skin waxy and hot
And says, oh dear you!
Who among us
This chronic virus grasped me by the throat
Not lover, not rapture, the thunder of hooves seeking sinner
A Gorgon, Kraken, Swamp Thing of the blood rose
I cried; Is this retaliation for not caring enough? I do! I do!
But those who don’t act, are only words and armchairs, the hypocrisy of ourselves, fattening in our prayers
Epstein Barr knew this well, it is after all, an insidious invader enjoying its art
What did I do to deserve you as my bedfellow? I asked one night
Can’t you just leave me be? Return to the days before you feverishly claimed me your supplicate?
Swimming in my blood, high levels of scarlet poison, whispering; I could give you fibromyalgia, MS, cancer, chronic fatigue
But I chose to cause you to sicken every day, your stomach, your achilees heal, my throne
And as you write, think on me, for I infect you all, only some are immune
You, you are weak and afraid, with your desire to be a writer, which you’ll never truly be
Wanna know why?
You don’t have the personality or the guts
You don’t have the PEP
Imagination and pretty words aren’t enough
You need a marketing machine, a robust ego, stainless steel skin, no demons in your head
I don’t have any demons, I lied
Tucking the beasts behind my eyes
I may not get feverish over publicity tours or spend eight hours online, learning how to be adored
Because I’m trying, despite you, to live fully, without so much noise
I want to sit on my stoop and observe the flight of birds through water
That’s how I eventually write or embroider my tongue with song
By being quiet and inhaling the vibration of life
Like our favorites who didn’t always write daily
Sometimes, there’s more in less
In our world it’s too much 24/7
The population bomb broadcasting its static purr
I am a bad self publicist, I don’t submit enough or live for attentions
I’d rather drive listening to a favorite song and tune into my imagination
You can use too many words
You can say too much
I’m not trendy enough, too pale, too short, too sleepy
Or is that you Epstein Barr?
Infecting my remaining motivation?
Obliterating the words before they are written?
That thin wristed girl, who balanced in high heels, dancing in the dark
Her head full of sound
If you came and found me now
Stroking the night clear of wreathed clouds
I’d be sleeping beneath the magnolia
Learning the runes of its roots
Had a tremor
Just beneath the surface
Of the repression of horror
If she let it out
That creature would
Climb to the highest point
And start screaming, needful not of words.
She wrapped her arms around her chest
Feeling the absence of one breast
Her mom used to say
You forgot to grow into a woman, flat chested sparrow chick
Her boyfriend liked her angularity
It’s not very Latino, her sister decried
Shaking her own ample swelling bossom
She favored simple necklines and no bra, catching soft balls with callused hand
Then why she wondered
Did my breast betray me?
I never demanded anything of her
My children did not
Tug with hungry mouths on her unduly
Nor a lover, bite unkindly deep
She felt the tight, smooth scar
Like a flat knife lain on her chest, like unwanted medal
It seemed to hotly whisper
The curling, metal irony of us all
Without sufficient power to stave
Fate’s random cruelty
(For all women)
A girl who used to look forward to dinner and a movie
The simple pleasure of walking hand in hand with stillness and a harvest moon
was handed a poisoned fortune cookie
caught a virus, and that virus crawled into her stomach, like a ray gun
it changed the waves until, her stomach like arrythmia of the heart
was fitful and lurched
she was instantly sickened, from a person of health she turned
her body shut down and said
no, I don’t want to eat
dimly she remembered the days
she would lust and long for food
her appetite completely gone, the acidic growl of her stomach
held all dominion
she was slave to nausea 24/7
like a merciless dictator it left her no peace
even in the lingering hours of night
she woke bathed in sweat
her stomach somersaulting in wicked mirth
such a terrible feeling of imbalance and sickness
her hands gripped the sides of the toilet
she prayed until her head ached
for nothing could have prepared her
nothing assuaged the constant torture
every day of every day
she began to imagine
fondly like a fantasy
and then when she realized what she was doing
she would cry until the crying
made her sicker and she had to stop
bottle all the anquish up
but there was nowhere to throw it, or store it or let it free
it built higher like a fortress
locking her out of life
days, weeks, months went by
she was captured between glass
unable to eat or drink without throwing up
or wishing she never had to try to chew, force food in green bilious mouth
perhaps it was punishment for a former life
where she was greedy and ate too much
or tormented the Fates with the heal of her shoe
it seemed definitely karmic punishment
just as her will to live, ran thin and irregular
like arrythmia pulses below the surface
that would not quiet or return to normal
disturbing former calm we take for granted
a girl who used to look forward to dinner
sits at a quayside cafe, drinking empty glasses
eating plates without food
staring at turbulent water rise and fall
waves crashing without sequence, into wet wood
holding back or pushing forward, who knows?
one day either the sea will admit defeat, or erode everything
and that is how I will be free, she says
to carefree birds overhead, yet to be struck down
they know not their good fortune