Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lament

This is the 1000th post to this blog.  The first post was in March 2006, almost exactly 6 years ago.

I started writing gay-shaded stories because I wanted to change the world (and maybe make some money too!)  I had such a miserable experience when I found out about myself that I wanted to  try and help other youngsters going through the same thing.  I thought I was the only queer in the world.  It was very lonely.  By writing stories which treated gay-shadedness as ordinary and normal, I thought I could help.  But the gay world had moved on from when I was going through my own hell.  In many places, being gay has gone from being worse than murder or rape or treason to being pretty much accepted.  One by one, countries have accepted gay marriage and gay adoption.  Yeah, you still can't kiss another bloke in public except in a few small endroits, but in 30 short years so much else has changed.  Hugely.  And for the better.






But I had a secondary goal in my writing too.  I wanted to show that sex is just part of a spectrum of love, running from the casual pick-up through to profound emotional and sexual intimacy.  It seemed to me that too many gay men were stuck at the lust end of the spectrum and not enough along the middle (friends with benefits) or the end (deep love).  And the more I looked at it, the more it became obvious that straight men needed to be liberated too.  The proscriptions of the church and the psychiatrists which so poisoned our lives, also stopped straight men from expressing their love for each other.  I don't for one minute think that all straight men are closet homos.  I think profound love can be felt without needing to fuck.  But I think fear of being seen as "gay" stopped and stops many straight men from loving other men even in the way what is misleadingly described as "platonic", let alone sexually.  That hasn't changed much in 30 years.  And perhaps it never will.  I am just tilting at windmills.


It became clear to me too that bisexuals were being shabbily treated by both sides of the great divide.  Gays maintained that bi's were hypocrites at worst and "in transition" to homo happiness at best.  Straights just thought bi's were really gays, if they thought at all.  I used to think along these lines too.  And I don't any more. I think bisexuality is programmed into our genes, because it helped bind otherwise competitive men within a hunter-gatherer group together, and that even with guys who in almost every respect might be labelled "straight", it is possible that they can grow to love another man, without necessarily finding men other than their best friend/lover desirable.  And this reluctance to acknowledge our innate bisexuality isn't going to change,  essentially because you run into the whole concept of fidelity.  Wives do not on the whole welcome their husband's male lover.  So bisexual guys become (to outside observers) het, just as I, married for more than 32 years, appear to others.  Other sub groups (Jews, Blacks, Muslims) have obvious membership.  But I, and other bi-ish blokes like me, don't know who out there is bi.  We're all "passing" as het.  And that isn't going to change either.  And it's ... lonely.

I feel weary and worn.  My prime motivation for writing gay-shaded stories has become irrelevant.  Gayness is accepted more and more by young ppl.  The trogs are mostly old and bitter. ( Funny, that.  A bit like me, really.  Just on different ice floes.)  And trying to make gay and straight men understand that love is what matters, and that sex is secondary, is a tedious struggle.  It's become clear to me that my conception of male friendship doesn't have much in common with the way other men see friendship.  I am like Jude Fawley, seeing Christminster's towers rising over the hill, living in hope but ultimately coming to realise that those golden towers are forever unreachable.

I am a natural optimist, and someone who innately likes other people.  But I don't believe I will change the world, and I've gone off gay and straight men.  It's made it hard for me to write.  Will I keep on writing?  I don't know.  I used to love writing, when I thought it was important.  Now, it's obvious to me that I am irrelevant, and also inept and useless.

A dreary post.  You will be rightly put off by my melancholy and depression.  Alas, sometimes I get sick of Mr Jolly, and lock him away in a cupboard.





6 comments:

Nan Hawthorne said...

First, congrats on the 1000!

I like what you have to say.. it strikes me as odd that a group wants universal acceptance then demands orthodoxy in others. Mel Keegan and I were talking today about that whole "straight women writing M/M romance" thing that some gay men and political gauys and lesbians bark about. That this constitutes voyeurism... my reaction, "So? Since when are we in the business of proscribing sexual predilections?"

My own "coming out" lately has been to realize that what I am is called somethign.. assuming I understand the expression, I am "genderqueer". Thoguh to tell you the truth I just think we are all on a spectrum and not stuck in one single place on it either. We are a bonding species.. sex is one way we bond. So what's the problem?

Nan Hawthorne

Patrick Young said...

You DO make a difference in writing, Nik, so don't forget your heart is not locked in that cabinet with Mr Jolly forever, either. You have no idea how important being you is to us, your addicted fans, and we thrive on the ongoing brilliance in your stories of hope and possibilities and passion despite the bloodied noses and godawful struggles. We miss you...

Russ Manley said...

When I was a young and callow fellow, I had a vague ambition to become a celebrated writer or at least a good one - the two are not synonymous, of course. But I've long since lost all such silly dreams, and indeed I no longer feel there is much utility in it. A few years ago I came across a quote from W. H. Auden, who said near the end of his life: "Poetry doesn't change anything." And that's very true.

Still, as a solitary amusement, it has the advantage of lasting longer than masturbation, and it leaves you with something more to show to friends than a crusted towel. A harmless drudgery for those who enjoy it - as with knitting or gardening or child-rearing.

A curious phenomenon of my middle age is that in recent years, I have encountered a number of fellows like you who took the road more travelled - one that was barred to me, it seemed at the time. I came out at 24, rather late I thought then, and though the world beyond the closet was not the vie en rose I hoped it would be, and has had rather more of loneliness and heartache than I ever expected - still, reading your post here, I can't help but consider the especial loneliness of your circumstances all these many years, and I do sympathize.

It's the isolation that wears you down and wears you out after so long a time, like a rock at the end of a headland, battered by wave after wave, eroding a little bit more every day, and yet a little more. The lusty Donne knew not whereof he spoke when he wrote about clods and islands, methinks.

Still, I must not ramble and hasten to say that you must treasure whatever good gifts life has left you, and do not think had you chosen a different turning in the road that all would be sunshine and roses now. Does the road wind uphill all the damn way? Yes it does - for all.

Bless you, buddy.

Nikolaos said...

Russ, a generous and kindly comment. Thank you. Yes, it has been lonely. I don't fit in with "nous autres" (as Mary Renault describes us in The Charioteer)or with straights, that broad mass of men who know they belong.

Ah well. It is what it is, and I must find my little corner somewhere.

Nikolaos said...

Thank you Nan! There are so many other things which define a person than their gender or their sexuality. Are they kind? Generous? Loving? Funny? Fun to be with? Trustworthy? Filled with integrity?

Plumbing and how you use it come a long way down the list!

Nikolaos said...

Thank you Patrick! My loyalest reader!

The good news: I'm back rewriting MF. Maybe I just needed a break.