Bobby: An introduction

DSM Second Edition page 62


I like it when my friends question and challenge me.
I am not always right but I’m always on the brink of assuming that I am.
A good friend keeps you from going over that brink.
This particular friend asked me about my sexual orientation, more specifically, why I never mention it in my writing.
I replied that I don’t think of my sexuality as an orientation. I am more physically attracted to women than I am to men but more comfortable in my relationships with men.
I think of “gay” as a social construction.
It is not an ethnicity.
Marilyn Monroe was a brilliant and tragic figure but she does not serve as a metaphor for any aspect of my life.
If I feel a kinship with Joni Mitchell, it is because of her courage as an artist, not because she speaks for me as a man in a same-sex relationship.
I am delighted that same-sex couples can marry but remain aware of the fact that “rights” are “given” to people and they can always be taken away.
The goal of Gay Liberation was the abolition of “homosexuality” as a separate class of sexual expression.
Judy Grahn said: “If anyone were allowed to fall in love with anyone the word ‘homosexual’ would not be needed.)…”
The goal of gay liberation was the abolition of “gay.”
When I was 15, I became “Bobby.”
Bobby knew that he was sexually attracted to boys and girls and he was curious about how boys “did it” together.
He went to the public library to look for information, and found a copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Second Edition) and read what it said.
Nothing that he had read described him at all.
He had no interest in sex with children.
Bobby defined “child” as anyone younger than 15.
He had no interest in cross-dressing, though he did have a brief flirtation with make-up as a rebellion against his Mother.
He didn’t swish.
He had no interest in “hair design.”
He was a street-kid that got into fights almost daily.
In the black and white South of Bobby’s adolescence, there were no bisexuals. No transgenders. No lesbians. NO Gays.
You were either a depraved “fag” or a “patriotic God-fearing” white Southern Baptist.
Bobby thought about what he’d read and he decided that the institutions that governed his life had to be led by liars.
It was the only explanation that made any sense to him.
It enraged him that people behaved as if the lies were true.
They tortured, humiliated, imprisoned, and in some states, executed men for the crime of giving each other pleasure.
They even tortured little boys for acting like “sissies.”
Bobby’s job an alternate was to survive adolescence.
To that end, he has an absolute faith in his right to be alive.
 It is this faith that has kept “us” alive.