When I was 17, in 1967, I fell madly in love with a rock'n'roll drummer, Tony. He was 16 and we ran away from home together, got a small inner-city flat in Richmond,Melbourne, and tried to live-out a great friendship. He might have been bisexual and thus given me a chance at domestic bliss, for awhile, but such was the state of oppression towards gays in those times, he wouldn't dare contemplate it, there was just too much hatred, disgust and violence towards such relationships. His mates wouldn't tolerate it either.
Gays were hunted down, tortured, beaten, jailed or sent to mental institutions, we had to remain hidden, seeking out our fellows for quick zipless sex in dark parks and toilets, few of us, especially from the working class, able to settle down and experience an ongoing, loving partnership. Thus the year I spent with Tony in our aborted love-nest was one long hissy fit on my part, always throwing temper tantrums and frustrated squabbles, never getting to caress him though often we slept in the same bed. Sometimes we'd even have showers together, scrubbing each others backs, me with an erection that I hunched over so as not to reveal.
I dreamed of taking Tony home to my parents and telling them, "This is the guy for me! I want to commit to him for the rest of my life!" A silly fantasy I suppose as few things last in this world and if we'd been given a chance it probably would've been over at the point of the seven year itch, at best. But at least I would've liked the chance, instead of wondering all my life how it would've worked out, and missing him terribly for all these years too, so bad I still cry, late in the lonely night, thinking of him, wondering what happened in his life, that I missed out on. (Most of us never get over our first love.)
It was not to be as society in those dark times would not have it and Tony was too chicken to give it a try. He left me after a year to go back to his parents' house but realizing he needed me in his life, after some months, he asked me to join him in his bedroom, next to that of his parents, where we might carry on a clandestine affair I suppose. I'd already come-out to most of my teenage friends, I was tired of secrecy and shame, I would've liked a partnership, but it was not to be with him, we were too young anyway. I didn't want to spoil his chances for a normal life with some sweet girl with whom he could be happy, and find a position as family man respected by the straight world.
So I walked out on him, left him in his bed where he was holding out his hand to me, and I spent the rest of my life wandering the world's highways, a loner, a rebel, a libertarian Situationist, always impulsively ready to enact a spectacular stunt to astonish the Het spectacle dumped on me eternally from every direction. I was a twisted sister indulging in endless one-night stands and sleazy pick-ups. Because I was fucked up, unable to commit, maybe that from the beginning anyway, but I didn't get a chance to find out otherwise.
These days I'm arguing with my anarchist friends over the right for gays to marriage. They say it's an outmoded institution, oppressive and violent to women, angling for assimilation into a fucked up society, backed by a bigoted Church and State. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I myself don't want it, I'm too restless and horny, I'd like to fuck everybody in the world. But for those who want it, let them have it, equality in everything, for everyone I say. There's just as much violence in de facto relationships, (it's mostly the male psyche that's the problem), and there's always divorce when love is lost. Once gays get the right to marry they can then eschew it, such freedoms are not going to bring the world crashing down or destroy "the Family" as the far right/religious bigots would have it. And it's not going to fuck the minorities, as the far-left carp on about, it'll all work out in the wash.
It would seem to me that if the entire progressive "Western world" accepted gay marriage it would send a strong message to all those other States where gays are oppressed, jailed, murdered, (Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, Pacific Islands), that gays should be respected and welcomed into the fabric of humanity. And one day, maybe, hopefully, they too will decriminalize and love their homosexual own. We have always existed, we are part of the human condition, evolution made us, we were born that way and live it when the environment allows it, we are needed as a safety valve to population explosions and we contribute tp joyous, colorful living.
Gay marriage is just one tiny step along the way to a united humanity, global and future historical. And when we get over such artificial methods of bonding we might enter a Utopianist phase, of just plain happily living together with no sexual/racial/political/religious/class distinctions, and of no wars and environmental destruction either. Maybe that would be boring, I don't know. I just wish I'd been given a chance with Tony. Seven years in his arms would've been delightful, maybe ending in antipathy, but these painful regrets I linger upon are possibly worse. I only hope he had a happy life, I think I broke his heart y leaving him bas mine was broken. I've got the awful sense he died some years ago and I'll never get the chance to say, "I'm sorry, I was fucked up, and I loved you too much!"
P.S. Considering James Franco's line in his movie "Interior: Leather Bar", that if gays got marriage equality they would be assimilated into straight society and no longer be "different', "other", "rebels", and that those who don't want to get married, who remain promiscuous and kinky, would be pressured by straight society into conforming into nice normal married couples , I've got this to say in reply. As far as I'm concerned most gays are already assimilated, they work hand and glove with the straight world, as govt. bureaucrats, police, school teachers, designers, filmmakers, CEOs etc etc. And they worship all the things the straights worship, money, celebrity, designer clothes, cars, possession, status, power etc etc. Those like me who don't want to get married and maybe get pressured to do so will just have to keep rebelling, as I've done as a gay all my life, it'll give us rebels something ongoing to resist.
For all his liberalism, Franco's just doing the usual Het thing, directing us gays as to how it should be without really having a clue what it's like to grow up gay and live under intense oppression. Though he IS right about the constant Het brainwash raining down upon us all. Even when we get married bigots will still snigger and call us faggots. To reiterate, those who want it, let them have it, if they find it to be a chimera, they can walk away from it. There are such things as happy marriages, and ingrained promiscuous renegades, no matter the sexuality. This rave is coming from a gay who will never be assimilated.
(And I do appreciate Franco's attempt to understand and support our "difference". Yet he seemed to miss the point of the movie,"Cruising", that Pacino's character becomes more and more fascinated with gay sex and lifestyles and by the end of the movie discovers his own latent homosexuality. Franco himself seemed excited by the homo action, maybe dying to be "transgressive". Come on James, have a go! If you really want to please us gays you should do a sexy gay love story with Seth Rogan and fuck him stupid!)
I might actually get kicked out of the "anarchists' club" for supporting marriage for those who want it, but I've been kicked out of every club I never meant to join. I've even been kicked out of the "gays' club" for not conforming to their poncy demands of "work, obey, be silent, get fucked!" We rebels rioted which started the fight and eventually won the battle for decriminalization all those years ago, now the "straight gays" feel safe to come out of the closet, rule us riff-raff and run the scene for $300,000 a year plus, brooking no rebellion in the ranks, because they've always been straight, married or not.
Back in the day, when S/M leather clubs were all the rage, there was pressure from the "gay community" to join in all the whipping, gang-banging and amyl-sniffing, bare butt hanging from black-leather chaps, it was de rigeuer and you weren't quite gay enough if you didn't comply. It all left me cold, I'm another kind of gay altogether, liking it all sweet, vanilla, loving, private, one on one, plenty of lights, showers before after. It could be part of the reason I never got HIV and survived that epidemic, anyway I was into safe sex, all that stuff in bath-houses turns me off.
I once was a film-maker like James Franco and when I tried to enter my work, "Virgin Beasts", into the Sydney Film Festival in 1992, ran by an elitist fag for a conservative movie cognoscenti crowd, I was knocked back, not good enough for his poncy taste. On THEIR opening night THEY showed a documentary on "Tom of Finland" and all the leather crowd showed up, their bare arses gleaming in the State Theatre foyer. I premiered my rock'n'roll animated sci-fi burlesque on the same night in a punk rock venue, "Jellyhedz", a converted mechanic's garage, with bands and a crowd of street people, hustlers, hookers, goths, addicts, the non-assimmilated, in contrast to the leather culture vultures at the State Theatre. So what the fuck James...?
|William Burroughs on Yage.|