For LGBTQ Pride Month, selected quotes from recent and notable memoirs:
“Queers do not come out of the minefield of homophobia without scars. We do not live through our families’ rejection of us, our stunted life options, the violence we’ve faced, the ways in which we’ve violated ourselves for survival, our harmful coping mechanisms, our lifesaving delusions, the altered brain chemistry we have sustained as a result of this, the low income and survival states we’ve endured as a result of society’s loathing, unharmed. Whatever of theses wounds I didn’t experience firsthand, my lovers did, and so I say that, for a time, it was not possible to have queer love that was not in some way damaged or defined by damage sustained, even as it desperately fought through that damage to access, hopefully, increasingly frequent moments of sustaining, lifesaving love, true love, and loyalty, and electric sex.”
“The best way I can describe [being transgender] for myself […] is a constant feeling of homesickness. An unwavering ache in the pit of my stomach that only goes away when I can be seen and affirmed in the gender I’ve always felt myself to be. And unlike homesickness with location, which eventually diminishes as you get used to the new home, this homesickness only grows with time and separation.”
“Gay men are terrified of our own perspective. We love perspective, other people’s perspectives, rarely our own. We write for other people, we act and use other people’s words, we lip-synch and use other people’s voices. We fear using our own perspective because it endangers us. It lays our desires and weaknesses bare. Camouflage is our defense. But defense isn’t enough. It is survival, nothing more. It is managing your status as an object. Perspective is power.”
“But here’s the remarkable thing about self-love: When you start to love yourself for the first time, when you start to truly embrace who you are—flaws and all—your scars start to look a lot more like beauty marks. The words that used to haunt you transform into badges of pride.”
“Ninety-eight percent of discrimination is not overt. Ninety-eight percent of discrimination is infuriatingly subtle. You feel it in the lack of eye contact a person makes with you. You feel it in a noted absence of enthusiasm. You feel it in a hesitation or a slight physical tic. You feel it in a pause that goes on for just a moment too long. You feel it in an uncomfortable clearing of the throat. You feel it when, out of nowhere, the air is sucked from the room as if it’s a NASA vacuum chamber. You feel it everywhere, but there is rarely any hard evidence.”
For more info about LGBTQ Pride, see this link.