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My New Year’s wish for my community.

December 31, 2010

We 2 Boys Together Clinging by David Hockney

2010 only has about 12 hours left in my part of the world, so naturally my mind turns to things I may want to change for the new year. I’ve never been much for making resolutions because I try to work on change and growth all the time. And big declarative statements about the foods I will or won’t eat or the vices I will indulge in less always seems to end with me eating an entire bag of salt-n-pepper Pop Chips while watching too much online porn. But I do sometimes make a wish or two for the new year – either for myself or for people around me. This is a little bit of both.

I’m a gay man – or a queer man, as I prefer to say – and so I’d like to make a wish for my community, as it were. (We can debate the idea of community until the cows come home and go on vacation and come back again, so let’s just use that word because it’s a known quantity.) I would like to see gay and queer men be kinder to one another. I would like to see us stop policing each others’ identities and each others’ desires. I would like to see us stop announcing what is or isn’t a “real man”. I would like to see us use our unique place in the world to expand and explode notions of gender. I would like us to recognize what a massively diverse group we are and to realize that, because of this, not all of us are going to do our gayness or queerness the same way another one of us might. And that’s okay. I would like to see us not take all of the hatred and intolerance that we experience and turn it one on another. Because that is what I think a lot of us do – we need an outlet for all that shit we take in so we just turn it on the easiest available people: other queer guys. It’s a cycle of abuse and we just keep running around it like a hamster on a wheel. But we can stop, too.

So that is my wish for myself and my community. I know it will be hard to make it come true – we’ll all have to work at it. I will too. I don’t write any of this from a place of perfect non-judgmental behavior. I do my own policing, my own unleashing, my own transferring of my shit onto others. But if we start thinking about it more and realize that we’ve all got enough going against us in the world that we don’t need to add being against each other to the mix, maybe things can actually get better. And if we realize that, yeah, even if we think this one way is the best way to be gay or this other one way is the best that we’ll all be fine if not everyone adheres to it. You know, kind of like how we all keep saying that it doesn’t matter if people are against gay marriage because they don’t have to marry a gay person. Let us be who we are and live in the world with a little less hateful judgment.

I’ll try if you try.

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