To Allen, Caren, Parents,
Perhaps this will explain, finally, in more than purely
emotional terms, some of my feelings regarding exhibited
Clearly, I feel compelled by genetics to engage in this
discourseand do feel, on a certain level, that I must
responsibly explain what is going on.
For most of my life, I have felt loved by my family. In fact,
much of the current feelings come as a result of the realization
that things are concretely different from childhood expectationsfostered
by unconditional caring of an extended family on 77th Street and
As I matured, with a growing sense of self and place in history,
I knewcame to learn, that truly expressing myself
would call out a radical transformation of the way my family
would look at me. And it did.
These are not choices, a flower does not choose to bloom.
I spent time in torment over that. It passed. I found
love and a home with one person, something I knew only
few members of society and family could even accept. Then
it was over.
No formal rituals allowed me to mourn this passing. I was
encouraged more to see the bright side of things and was
chastised for being a "negative person"choosing only to
see the dark side of all the silver clouds. This is incomprenhensible
As my family moved ahead with its ritual and acceptable
celebrations, birth, marriage, financial success, I became
more inclined to believe that my experience could, at best, be
the fringe of concern, relegated to "duty", rarely embraced.
"Who needs that negative stuff?" Caren has a right to ask, yes,
indeed, who does?
Friends perish through the cracks in historyLarry, Jimnow
my friend Gary and Damien are sitting there with them, and listening
to it all is almost paralyzing. For those, like me, sensitive
to the gross ills of our world, the death of these young souls
is unrestrained torture.
And you all are very negligibly involved in all this and I can't blame youwhat
I choose now as my life's work to explore with the world the pain
of this modern plaguemy films, my writings, my life is
dedicated to all of this, to you it is at best, just a
"personal concern" for my sake. But we, as a family, did not
celebrateor barely even congregate on civil terms around
the completion of my film. We, as a family, have not determined
that the value represented by what I doshould receive support
on any level but, the shallow refrain, "It's the best I could do.."
Yes, I appreciate the $7,500 used in 1986 to finish the film; Yes,
I will repay my grandmother's $3,000 as soon as I can; Yes, I do not
expect anymore, anymore. You have done the best that you could do.
My expectations have changed. As you go on with your lives, it is
apparent to me that I can only involve myself, at best, tangentially
with your concerns and problems. This has been a reality all alongnow
it is openly discussed and that brings pain. Allen and Caren have two
families; Mom and Dad do too.
It is true, we have disbursedFlorida, Queens, New Jerseywherever,
into the corners of our own concerns. You lose hundreds of thousands
of dollars at the pool hall; I belong to a different world. What I
choose to build, away from this aggravation, has no financial equivalentand
is part of a historical moment of such significance that forever the
'love that dare not speak its name' has come out of the shadow, but
unfortunatelynot through pride, self love and congratulationbut
through mourning and the fear of death.
I am proud my work will play a role in the changing of all this.
This is my moment toofor I have successfully defined for myself
and my lesbian and gay brothers and sisters, a little of what it all
means, and what people really think about who we are and how we love.
But these revelations are not happy ones; not now.
It is easy (it must be since you all plainly agree) to see
my anger, pessimissm and other behavior as a pathological response,
as someone crying out for attention and need; this might be true; but
also consider the plight of one who wonders, not so much about the
pattern of his china, or the rate of his return on an investment or
the fate of a marriage, but the impossible fear of impending doom,
while those around me perish, evaporate into the past.
Where is our common ground? I'm not interested, have not the
strength to look at present. That's why I need freedomto be left
aloneto let go and focus my anger on a world I feel compelled
to change through my workand not direct it against my family,
more interested in other things.
I would change my life if I could, but that would mean retreat;
and I have heard the call of history.
I love you all, but
C'est la vie
Happy New Yer
and leave me alone