Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

THOMAS WOLFE was right. Oh, sure, you can try. You can physically return to the site of your birth. But the you that was, and the family & friends that were, even if they remain, are changed. And so home is really a state of mind. Or a piece of time frozen in a thing called memory. And because the mind is such a tricky place the memory makes brighter that which was bright & almost completely dims that which was dark, else we might lose our minds.

Such a poet I am. But having recently returned from the place I was born, I am again reminded how lucky I am to be able to return home, the home I chose, in this frustratingly lovely placed called Los Angeles. To the people I chose & who chose me back, so that we are a family of our own making & not a genetic accident. So that I can sit around a Thanksgiving table & feel gratitude & love & not that sick, knotty, feeling in the pit of my stomach that warns of approaching danger & hurt feelings & cross words & spilt tears.

I, thankfully, am the last of the CLOSET GENERATION. The group of men & women who grew up pre WILL & GRACE. Who sat at countless Thanksgivings & Christmases & Weddings & said: “No, Aunt Margaret, I haven’t met the right girl yet!” or “Joe & I are room mates because it saves so much on the rent!” The good & the guilty who habitually drank too much at family gatherings & slipped their number to the cute waiters & then went to Mass the next morning begging for forgiveness & hoping to pray the gay away.
The generation that came after us will have no idea what I am talking about.

But things do can & do change. And so this year in addition to the usual drama & tears there is polite if hesitant talk of domestic partnerships, & health insurance & yes…Marriage. A Thanksgiving at home followed by a wedding at the old "home" where the brother-in-law tells me that he visits my website & watches my YouTube videos because he loves his wife so much, despite disagreeing with me & my “choice” And then it got a tad uglier from there. What’s that other line? “The more things change, the more they stay the same!”

"And felt my heart beat back a weekend's worth of sadness
Coming up close. Everything sounds like welcome home. 
Come home."

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