Of late I have been reading a lot of 'gay' literature – novels as well as essays – some as old as early 20th century and some quite recent. Most of it is interesting, some of it appears perennially outraged and detrimental to the cause it is supposedly espousing. All of it has one thing in common – the pain of forbidden love. The same pain that Alice Munro explored with such intuitiveness in Brokeback Mountain.
However, i also realise it is not quite as simple as that. The pain also stems from the knowledge that for the rest of your life, all your social interactions, the labels being attached to your name, the impressions people form about you will largely flow from the single choice of how or who you chose to make love to. Anal and oral define you, not what skills you have, or what piano pieces you can play or which soccer team you support. If i was younger, i'd be full of anger. Now, i just feel sad.
I came across this poem written by a 28-yr old gay crusader for a magazine. I liked its simplicity.
The Boy Scout Pledge
I Solemnly Swear,
Never to tell the Scoutmaster.
Never to tell the others. Never to let such
Knowledge leave this tent, Never to acknowledge you
Again, Never to tighten your handkerchief again, Never to
Look in your eyes again, Never to race soapbox derby in
The sand with you again, Never to read Whitman as you
Cuddle till you sleep, Never to creep, carefully to the lake
With you again, Never to take wildflowers
To your tent again, Never to cry for you again, Never to tie
Knots in each other’s hair,
Never to breathe your air,
Never to touch your inner thigh,
Never to catch your stare.
Never to be two boys together, clinging.
Never to dare.