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do i have the right?

January 5, 2010


to write?

(listening to the cure’s plainsong)

i don’t know.

i have decided that i need to do some serious research for my thesis for my mfa. the thing of it is, i am writing my thesis about a gay man living in the 1980s. this is a pretty deep subject to cover – and something that i don’t have any experience with. for one, i was a toddler when the 90s started, and secondly i am a straight female. i don’t, in any way, want to exploit this subject matter. i don’t want to appropriate anything – there is no way that i can understand some of the things that i originally set out to write about. i can only do my best by trying to educate myself as best as i can.

how much about cottaging/glory holes/bathhouses can i learn from books and movies? i’m so skittish about this sometimes. i want to write this story. i need to write the story – but not for myself. i don’t think about the profit. i need to tell the story because the story of the main character needs to be put out there for the public to know. but i can’t even explain my thesis to my gay friends, sometimes, because i’m unreasonably scared that they will find me, or the idea, or the story, or the whole thing of it offensive, and i don’t want to be seen as that privileged female asshole who waltzes into a different world than hers and steals everything, or appropriates everything for her own gain. that is not what i want, but i’m afraid that it will be seen this way.

i can’t explain why, from a young age, i was always attracted to gay men – attracted as in drawn to, interested in, sided with. i remember asking my mum at a very young age (maybe 8?) how gay men had sex. my parents were never, never homophobic in any way. i was always just wanting to learn more.

this is a piece of me that my friends and family have had a hell of a time figuring out lately. it started early in my fourth year of undergrad – i started to immerse myself in gay culture and started reading things by david wojnarowicz and allan hollinghurst and queer poetry and queer prose, and i started asking questions.

i don’t know what is going on in my brain right now, but i’ve actually really truly started to write fluidly on my thesis again. it was just stutters of writing before, but now it is coming out again. and i look at pictures of roger spy and vaslav nijinsky and david bowie (jesus look at those legs) and i try to piece it together…



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