I’ve decided not to post anything today about Part III of the story. I do have some people to thank and a couple of comments to make, but I’ll do all of that next week when I post the notice that Chapter 24 is up.
I do want to call your attention to a terrific project about LGBT kids that I think you may find interesting. You can find out more about it here.
This project is the brainchild of a gay photographer named M. Sharkey. You can visit his official website by following the link. Sharkey is a terrific photographer and I’ll let him speak for himself about the project: “The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. I desperately wanted to be made valid in the eyes of my peers. Sadly, coming out (and of age) in the ’80s, as I did, proved to be quite difficult. I’ll never forget being punched by a high-school classmate, as I’m sure all the other kids who suffered some physical abuse because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this willful, painful defiance that I want to capture in the portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation: the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame.”
What I find so powerful about this project is the incredible diversity of the kids Sharkey portrays. If you ever assumed all LGBT kids are pretty much the same, you need to take a look at his work. There is no single, one size fits all, image of a gay kid. Instead, gay kids are like all of the rest of the kids. They are male and female, tall and short, thin and thick, black and white, restrained and flamboyant, and just about anything else you can conjure up.
I encourage you to take a look at these kids and see some of their amazing answers to the questions they were asked. In particular, I would call your attention to Patrick, a 22 year old basketball player, and to the distinction he draws between gay and queer. It’s a distinction I think is relevant to this blog (or at least to the way I think about you as readers). To be honest, I suspect some of you may not think of yourself as either gay or queer. As for the rest of you who do accept you are different, I hope most of you are reasonably comfortable at some level with being gay but I doubt very many of you at all are comfortable with being queer.
Don’t ask me why I think that and, who knows, maybe I’m wrong (so feel free to push back with a comment below). At times it just seems like everyone visiting this web site is pretty indifferent, as if all the battles have been fought and there is nothing left that gay people need to stand up and fight for. Maybe it would be good if we’ve become that assimilated. I just don’t believe it and that’s why I struggle on with this blog in the face of the indifference.