This Southern Faggot's Blog


Love (just like blood) will always stain
April 17, 2016, 6:13 pm
Filed under: Southern life, This town | Tags: ,

Yesterday I had coffee with a small group of Lesbian elders and it gave me so, so much energy. One of them is the author of the book who entirely changed the way I look at oppression and intersectionality. This is the second time I have met her. The first time we couldn’t talk because I ended up breaking down and crying, it was too much. I was better this time.

We talked about the LGBT history of this town a bit, which I am ALWAYS ready to adsorb. We also talked quite a bit about this project I’m working on and they were very interested and had many kind words to say. I regularly get compliments on this project, but coming from this group of women, who have spent the last 30 years doing organizing work in this community… that just meant the world to me.

One of my friends let me borrow two LGBT (well, gay and lesbian) literary magazines from this town in the early 90’s and reading them has been incredibly fulfilling. I’m reading works from names I recognize, which isn’t surprising. I’m reading works from names I don’t recognize, which makes me sad. I’m reading works from people I’ve known, who are no longer with us. I’m reading works from people I feel like I know, but died before I ever met them. I’m reading these works from people in my own community who, in the past, did amazing work here locally and even I’m unaware of many of the things they did for me. I say ‘even I’m’, because I’d consider myself someone who is obsessed with this town’s LGBT history… yet, I still know so little. In the grand scheme of things, I really know nothing. I don’t know my own history and I know that many (if not most) of my peers know even less than I. I hate thinking about this.

I’m reading all of this and it’s a reminder that no matter what good we do in this world, no matter what changes we make happen, or help happen… we will end up being forgotten. All of us, just forgotten, like we never existed. Maybe someone will name something after us, or maybe our name will appear in obscure text. But, other than that, our memory will slowly disappear from our everyday conscious.

I’ve spent today thinking about this and it’s really upsetting. Is this just human nature? How could it be human nature to forget our past? To forget our histories? Is this a coping mechanism? Is this to keep us from thinking so much about the past, we don’t think about our present, or future?

Maybe, but I’m not okay with that. I want to understand what happened in this community before my time. I want to know all of these people. I want to know all of their stories. I know this isn’t possible. We’ve done such a poor job of documenting the local LGBT history, I really don’t have many options. I hate thinking about this.

I know I have a tendency to obsess over and romanticize the past. I find myself doing it all the time. I regularly find myself thinking that I was born in the wrong era. This is dangerous because in doing this, I end up thinking about all of the amazing people that existed in this community, who I will never know… but I need to remember that many amazing people exist today and I can’t forget about them. I can’t lock myself away thinking about the past, while forgetting about the present. Somewhere is a middle and I need to find it.

Maybe someday.

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