almost on a whim–sparked by an urgent text message earlier in the day–some friends and i ventured out to a nearby college campus at 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night. the word was that a group of gay students at Southern Methodist University had put together a series of monologues and an ensemble–titled WildeIntentions–being performed in response to the refusal of the SMU student body to grant a LGBT-designated seat on the student senate. as if that weren’t enough, a group of ignorant students had stirred up the time-honored tradition of homophobia which is so en vogue in parts of our state, in large part prompting this production. (reported here in the current issue of the Dallas Voice.)
the second of two presentations–at 10:30 p.m. on a Sunday night (did i mention that?)–drew a fairly large crowd of mostly college students and a few old-heads who rushed in to find seats as soon as the doors were opened. (they scrambled to find more chairs to accommodate all the extra people.)
and there, in this dank basement theater (the Kathy Bates theater, I believe), we witnessed together the commonality of all oppressed peoples’ struggles from this generation’s gay male perspective.
it was college theater and mostly all that implies. and it was lovely.
in a workshop-type endeavor, these young men had written of their own experiences and in 90 minutes of raw vulnerability shared them with an audience that seemed to hang on every syllable. there were moments of soaring poetry and crescendos of vividly expressed pain and also hope. i wish that i had been able to make some notes on my phone and report back some of the sumptuous lines we heard.
they talked of their anger.
of how they hurt.
of a lack of understanding.
of presenting their lives in “nice little boxes” and what that had cost them.
and as i watched, i realized that while the movement for equity of homosexuals within our society has advanced significantly since the modern movement began, these men are still fighting the same fights, still realizing the same pain, still waging war against oppression and marginalization and assimilation.
and as they bared their souls, i found great hope. hope in their passion. hope in their willingness to not go quietly when they are told in various forms–no, they can’t be on the senate; no, they can’t marry the person they love; no, they can’t be whole. hope that when people hear these words, they will at least stop fighting against us–if not start fighting alongside us.
there was some talent in that room, to be sure–particularly in form of prose and poetry. and there was also heart in that theater–authentic, passionate, raw heart. and as a result, hearts will be changed.
the future of our movement was visible tonight; these young patriots are engaging the struggle proudly. we have great reason to hope.