Letters

photos by allison michael orenstein

Hi there,

I was bumming around on the internet and found a link to your entirely amazing blog. My plan of heading to the library and working collapsed completely as I got more and more dragged into your site. It’s now half past 5 in the evening in the UK and the only time I have left my bed is to get a pint of sugar and caffeine just so I could read yet still more of your blog.

I am not normally the sort to get vocal at what happens to gay people, despite being a politically active gay man. I have other causes that I spend most of my waking hours working on, and tend to leave the LGBT fight to others. But this week has been different. The Pope ragged all over us, Canada just tried to effectively divorce thousands of gay couples and a young boy in London has been made homeless because Facebook outed him to his parents. I was at a low ebb frankly. And then I found your blog.

The pies, dates and NY city life are hilarious and wonderful enough, but when you talk about shame and alienation, you talk directly to my own thoughts and feelings. We need more and more people like you at the head of our communities around the world, inspiring young gays to challenge the worlds around them, and yet remember their humanity. When you talked about respect needing to be the opening of dialogue and the formation of a better society, you spoke absolute truth. To find absolute truth anywhere is rare enough, but for it to be surrounded by wit, hot boys and some tasty looking pies is amazing. Though perhaps, it’s more inherent in day-to-day life than anywhere else.

Anyway. Please keep spreading the good word. I can only hope that you, your band and your blog are seen by more and more people. You are much needed. 
With love from across the Atlantic,
Jez
(You wanker – I am British after all…)
Dear Jez,
Normally I don’t publish letters of praise, but to be honest I was having a rotten day and this particular correspondence really turned things around for me in a major way.  Thanks for the words of kindness and affection.  I’m sure I don’t deserve the praise you’ve heaped upon me – but I’ll take it anyway, if just for today, because I need a lift.
So – thanks for that.  You really made a difference.
I’m glad you agree with me – that mutual respect is crucial to an open line of communication with each other – whether we’re dealing with members of our own community, or reaching out to another one.  I’m glad, too, that you realize the importance of living without shame.  So much negativity and internalized homophobia seems to haunt our motley, diverse community – and so much of that is pointless.
If we could learn to stop feeling ashamed of ourselves, maybe we could stop pointing fingers at one another and start a more optimistic dialogue.  One based on love and brotherhood.  Acceptance.
It’s ironic.  So many Gays are quick to find fault with each other for the most minor things.  I wonder if these are the same Gays that rush to celebrate when the government begrudgingly admits that we are indeed human, and can now serve in the military?  I wonder if these Gays can see the truth behind battles like marriage equality?  Do they see that when the government ‘grants’ our right to marry, they’re actually tacitly admitting that they’ve been oppressing us for hundreds of years, and that they’ve been wrong to do so?
I guess my point is, maybe some of that internalized Gay anger is misplaced?
Wow.  I’m off on a tangent, now.
I’m glad you found my blog stimulating, and I’m glad that you agree with me – that we could all do to live with a little more respect and a little less shame in our lives.  That probably applies to straight people too, come to think of it.  Jez, thanks for writing in – you really made my day.
Jerk.

One thought on “Letters

  1. Fantastic post and excellent insights.

    I especially like the point you make that any fight for rights (whether serving in the military, voting, or anything else) is much larger than either the immediate injustice or the practical outcome: there is a very strong PERCEPTION issue.

    This is part of the reason, I think, that older people especially cling onto racist and homophobic beliefs even in the face of a changing world: it is embarrassing to admit that you’ve been an asshat for all of these years. And more embarrassing yet to look at your own place in history (for those who care about such things) and suddenly realize the way you will be remembered…..

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