Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Anyone can see from Genesis that we are told, from the beginning, that we were created male and female. Hence the derisive and disgusted snort: "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." [Yes, madam, but have you looked in your son's bedroom lately?] But let's admit that we have, by virtue of who we are, decided to remain neutral in the gender wars: the creation of peace between the sexes remains for the others to sort out.

It may be less clear that the Bible also lifts up the fact that we are created in generations, and called to make peace across generations just as urgently as to make peace across the gender divide. Now this is another area where "we" have not done terribly well in the past, except perhaps for matching the straight world in the number of December-May relationships on our side of the street. But it's too important to be left to "the others."

Biggo [click here] and I are both children of our grandparents, for better or worse. The "worse" part I will leave to those on the outside with more perspective; the "better" part is that we are not locked in a Freudian battle between father and son [or, given our chemistry, mother and son] because we know that no two generations tell the whole story. That may not sound like much, but, believe me, it makes a lot of things much easier.

And yet, I have recently come to realize that I have put myself in a situation where learning to make peace across the generations has become the hardest thing I have ever done. While we are only seven years apart, the Goat and I are from different planets in many ways; it has everything to do with the history of gay liberation and how we related and relate to it.

There is a lot of discussion in the "African-American community" [whatever that may be] about the gap between people for whom the world before Brown v. Board of Education and Martin Luther King is only too alive, and their children--not necessarily their actual children--who have grown up in a world so different as to appear literally unimaginable to their parents. There is less discussion about the same gap in the "gay community" [whatever that may be].

But we are definitely divided. The division, while not as easy to place tidily on a time-line, is real. There are those for whom declaring yourself an outlaw and sex the center of your self-understanding--and outlawry--was the defining "gay" moment--indeed, the word "gay" itself is a fruit of Stonewall; for others, and it may be the same people thirty years later for all I know, the hunger is to define gayness as "nearly normal." I think it is safe to say that "gay marriage" was not a topic of much discussion at the Stonewall Inn. There are plenty of people in the "community" who still consider it as much an oxymoron as the morons on the Religious Right. So here we have a clear divide.

It only became clear to me the other day that for all his [real and welcome] efforts to accept and help me, the Goat defines himself by his having left home in the early '70's for a world centered on Stonewall and San Francisco. I defined myself by my refusal to take that step. Yes, I have come around to a compromise that allows us to inhabit the same space, but it does not immediately allow us to occupy the the same frame of mind. [Hence the returning complaint about being told what I will think once I have made my way through the digestive "coming out" process.] There are any number of ironies here: I slept with my first love earlier in the year he had his first adult "experience," so I could claim to have a leg up on him, chronologically at least. But it would be pretty stupid to argue the point. He very soon after that made anything I might have contemplated pale in comparison. And I stopped doing anything, other than contemplating it, not too many years later.

I don't have any late-breaking items from this news front., just the headline: that we reach for each other across a great divide, and that any kind of peace is made by all kinds of allowances and patience on both sides. Yes, having the hots for each other does help, but it tends to cloud the issues, which, as anyone who has ever been married could tell you, never go away. Mine certainly didn't, much as I thought I could make them go away. Or, at least, they finally refused to shut up.

So, we live in a world of miracles large and small.
It's about the power of faith to move mountains...

Oh, well.

Hang in there, all.

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