My friend Robert Alvarez recently posted The Essence of the Militant Homosexual . . . on his new blog This Gay Man’s Life: A blog about one Gay Man’s life, and how it relates to others, Gay or not. I know Robert personally, and I truly love his energy, his wisdom, and his sense of humor. I also love that he is writing – since I live thousands of miles from Union City, New Jersey, I don’t get to see Robert often.
Here is an excerpt from Robert’s post:
So far, in my life, I have signed numerous petitions, but have only been to two Gay Pride Parades (both in Manhattan), and I have yet to take part in a demonstration. Also, as soon as I find out that a company does not treat its LGBT employees fairly, I stop spending my Gay CA$H on their products or services (The Salvation Army has lost out on my money, which is a damn shame, and I have never seen the prices on Barrilla pasta so low in my life!).
And yet, there is a part of me that wonders, what would happen if I allowed this part of me to be set free? Would I be arrested? Would someone throw a brick at me? Would I kill someone?
Yes, these are all the kinds of “what if” questions that are excellent for destroying one’s sanity, but I feel that as an openly Gay Man, and as a Spiritual man, I have a responsibility to engage in Self-Inquiry.
Go here to read the entire post.
Robert’s post moved me, and I ended up writing three responses. Here they are:
Not being gay, but being a woman who has made the choice not to breed and living in a beautiful but politically arcane place (Arizona) – I am often frustrated by the weight of the oppression that is in the air. Yes, I have ovaries and a uterus. I also have a brain. I am not a mommy because I have no desire to be a mommy. That does not make me unnatural or a monster. My body belongs to me – and all the pleasure and pain that goes with it. (I digress . . . )
I have come to realize that the personal is the political. Robert, just by being you, just by writing, you are an activist. Perhaps not militant, but an activist just the same. You have a voice, and you use it. You are not an automaton buying into the lie of work-a-day slavery where you have to pretend you are less than human to get through the hours. You are you – and that is remarkable.
We are human and we count. We make a difference. From what I know about you, you choose love and compassion – always striving toward the highest good – and that counts. And if people don’t believe that love and compassion count then they are sorely missing something beautiful and sacred in their lives.
And sometimes, yeah, not taking the shit and fighting back does feel like the right thing to do. I believe that if and when you you stand up it will be the right thing to do. I think you will be okay – and any action that you take will be because your spirit has guided you to take it. For goodness sake, I hope no one throws a brick at you. I see instead, strength in solidarity and connection. I see passion and love all around you.
“True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!”
~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Om shanti my sweet friend!
Later, I came across two quotes that were supplied to me by my friend Patrick in a letter he recently wrote. They are perfect!
Protesting is an act of love. It is born of a deeply-held conviction that the
world can be a better, kinder place. Saying “No” to injustice is the ultimate
declaration of hope.
—Amy Goodman (b. 1957) in her book Standing Up To The Madness:
Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times 2009
“The only way to deal with an un-free world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” — Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Where do you have a voice? In what ways do you speak out?
Thanks for reading!