"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear Briar ... UNJUST

3/12- Unjust

Dear Briar -
Did you see the film, Before Night Falls, about Cuban Writer and Revolutionary Reinaldo Arenas? It is filmed in a sensual, watery light that capture Arenas’ memoirs in Cuba. It’s like a journal of images, documenting his childhood in lush, green Cuba, his young, gay experiences in adolescence, his hedonistic life in Havana as a revolutionary, writer and lover, and his jailing, which eventually led to his suicide in New York. It is so sad. He was persecuted for being homosexual, and expressing himself through art. He was a lover, a poet, a dreamer, and a giver. He gave himself selflessly to others, and shared his writing and his passion for the beautiful. He lived, and suffered the consequences of the other half; the rigid people, unable to attempt to understand that he was only human.

Homosexuality is not a conscious choice, it is an innate sexual preference, and it is a goddamn shame that people are judged by what sex he/she is sleeping with. Perhaps society ought to take a look at mental exercise for some wisdom; those of us who stretch and are flexible are strong people, whereas those of us who are stagnant are rigid and weak.
My question is how do the stagnant, inflexible and weak
people still have so much clout? This isn’t a political issue either... this is humanitarian, and universal. We need a new consciousness, so the negative in history will stop repeating itself.

When I think of the emotional struggle, and the lies that you have had to hide beneath, just to function before you felt safe being gay, it breaks my heart. Why should you have to be ashamed of who you love? I wrote you a poem a long time ago, around the time when you were ducking into the Chelsea shadows in secret, trying to conceal what you thought would break your dying mother’s heart:

The city breathes outside
white walls, July ceiling
fan whirs, drowning out
noise in your tired
mind, you lie with him
in soft sheets, admiring
his sleeping face, wishing
you could take him home
for the weekend, like a
prom date, or that beautiful
girl in college who you
promised the world to ...
your brother announced
“she’s sexy,” too loud, after one
too many Christmas cocktails;
you felt so much shame
every time she rolled over,
kissed you and whispered
“I love you,” and fell to
silent slumber while you watched,
wished, and felt unsafe.

Love, Ana

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