Guest Column

Gay brothers, I sometimes fantasize about a group of us meeting regularly as 16-year-olds, led by a respected gay elder, and that we’d be visited weekly by mentors who talked about all aspects of gay life, from celebrating the feminine strengths of our male brains to the various ways men make love with one another. And we’d learn our history of contributions to the cultures in which we lived.

When I was a young man, it didn’t occur to me to be grateful for my life. Maybe it was because I imagined everyone else had the same life as mine, and my focus was on succeeding, but I’m not sure at what. As a gay elder, my days start and end with gratitude, not forced or feigned, nor because I believe that if I don’t say “Thank you” now that I’ll pay for it in the next life.

Since reading “Great Expectations” by Dickens, the character Miss Havisham has represented a person who can’t let go of the past, nor the grievances they engender. She’d been left at the altar by a devious fraud that forever haunted her feelings on love. She left everything as it was on the day of her nuptial, including her wedding cake. Spiders and mice eventually ruled her home.


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