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Author Topic: An adult writing to his young, gay self
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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This is one of the coolest, most wonderful things I've read in...well, ever, and I just had to share.

One of my favorite segments:

quote:
I finally know now, as I easily knew then, that the most important thing is love. It doesn't matter in the slightest whether that love is for someone of your own sex or not. Gay issues are important and I shall come to them in a moment, but they shrivel like a salted snail when compared to the towering question of love. Gay people sometimes believe (to this very day, would you credit it, young Stephen?) that the preponderance of obstacles and terrors they encounter in their lives and relationships is intimately connected with the fact of their being gay. As it happens at least 90% of their problems are to do with love and love alone: the lack of it, the denial of it, the inequality of it, the missed reciprocity in it, the horrors and heartaches of it. Love cold, love hot, love fresh, love stale, love scorned, love missed, love denied, love betrayed ... the great joke of sexuality is that these problems bedevil straight people just as much as gay. The 10% of extra suffering and complexity that uniquely confronts the gay person is certainly not incidental or trifling, but it must be understood that love comes first. This is tough for straight people to work out.

Straight people are encouraged by culture and society to believe that their sexual impulses are the norm, and therefore when their affairs of the heart and loins go wrong (as they certainly will), when they are flummoxed, distraught and defeated by love, they are forced to believe that it must be their fault. We gay people at least have the advantage of being brought up to expect the world of love to be imponderably and unmanageably difficult, for we are perverted freaks and sick aberrations of nature. They - poor normal lambs - naturally find it harder to understand why, in Lysander's words, "the course of true love never did run smooth".



[ 05-05-2009, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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NotProudToBeUnsure
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What quote is that? I would very much like to read it.

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When the world frowns at you, what do you do? Stand Strong.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Click the link on "this" in the first sentence of my post. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Jill2000Plus
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It's a very good piece of writing, but the most important things in the whole world to me are science and everyone having ownership of their own body, so I disagree. I also don't think pain is beautiful, I suffered enough for believing that. I like Stephen Fry (A Bit of Fry and Laurie is one of the best TV shows ever to exist in the whole universe, and QI is excellent in no small part due to Fry's hosting skills), but I'm unconvinced by all the endless stuff I hear about feelings being the most important thing in the whole world, the bullies I knew when I was younger felt very strongly, clearly, that they should bully me and that it was utterly hilarious, white supremacists just feel that everybody who's not white is inferior to them, religious fundamentalists just feel (and that's everything isn't it) that women are innately sinful and that sexuality is the devil's work unless it's heterosexual intercourse within the boundaries of a church-sanctified marriage and even then it's still not really a good thing and is for making babies and male orgasm only, but y'know what I like? Scary things like logic and facts and evidence. I'm not saying that Stephen Fry is a fundamentalist (not close), but I am saying that I don't consider love to be the most important thing in the world, at all, and I definitely think it's something best expressed and felt when one has a grip on reality and a body that one has ownership of (which may be somewhat expressed in Fry's piece, but not exactly). I would like to say (and why, so I am!) that I really hope Stephen does find happiness. Also, that if I could, I would thank hir personally for making ABoF&L, as having such an utterly, endlessly, delighful sketch show to watch, so liberal, helped me through my gran's death immensely. And I'm not trying to put a downer on the thread, I just wanted to find someplace to say that, because I really do think too much stock is put in heart sensations.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Can I suggest that I think that love -- talking about love with a capital-L, the big stuff, the stuff about more than just one person, more than romance, etc. -- is talking about more than "heart sensation," per se? And that I think the idea that bigotry or harassment comes from love is misunderstanding love pretty profoundly?

Let me just posit an example: I'm here, I started Scarleteen, I come here every day and work, I think about how to make it better and better, primarily based in love. In other words, I have a deep love for all of you, a deep love for people, and thus, a deep investment in people being happy and healthy, feeling supported and cared for. Yes, this is my job, and yes, over the years it actually has given me a salary, it's also about keeping a roof over my head. But that's not why I do it. I do it because of love, and from a place of love...even though it also involves science, physical autonomy, etc.

Mind, you still get to have your own most important things (and disagree with any of what Fry said or I am, obviously). But I'd also suggest it may be possible that those ARE your most important things because you love something about them.

I also think a strong argument can be made that love is not separate from logic, fact or evidence.

[ 05-07-2009, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Jill2000Plus
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I just want to make clear that wasn't me snapping at anyone, I wasn't so much arguing that bigotry and harassment come from love as that I think that the concept is vague and that feelings are overvalued as a method of working things out. I realize it's a big topic and I'm not trying to be glib. I do basically think of love as about heart sensations though, it can so easily become a matter of "I have all these deep feelings for you and therefore what I actually do to you is irrelevant because it comes from a good place", I've heard that argument used a disturbingly high number of times and that would be a fairly good summary of why I have skepticism about love, like I said I don't think it's per-se bad.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Idir
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Wow. I probably agree with Jill that love isn't exactly everything, but, wow.
This was a stunning letter. I just shared it on Facebook, and will bookmark it now. I'll make sure to read it every time I feel down, so that I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel...

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I know there is an over the rainbow for me.

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Onionpie
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I love steven fry SO much, and this just makes me love him even more <3
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Siobhan
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amazing and inspiring.
thank you for sharing [Smile]

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