One thought on “Advice to My 13-Year-Old Queer Self

  1. Y’ know, the more I think of this intriguing post, the more I want to disagree with it. It sounds great: just as one might pass on some advice to a kid brother or nephew, why not turn back the clock and tell yourself where you might be leaving the rails — or not seeing the tracks ahead at all because of the smoke from the 25 Condenser Loco was billowing around your head. The writer wants to tell the lad to be himself, not try to be someone else. But isn’t that exactly what being a teenager is about: trying on the different mantles from the backstage wardrobe and seeing how they fit, how they make you feel, how others react to you? The guy talks about his submarine parents (oh, how I wish I had come up with that phrase!) as though he was unique. I dunno: maybe in Oz, in the UK, the Kiribati Islands, things were different. In my environment the “appearance” of the family was paramount. It was the custom of the times. Deep beneath the surface my parents did everything necessary to get the bucks for my education, but the concept of actually appearing at school and suggesting to a teacher what they should do just never entered their thought-repertoire. If there’s one sentence that sums it all up it’s “What will people think?” School was really different. For starters, in the Prep School the headmaster was so adamant about kids finding out things for themselves that one of his own sons lost the tip of a finger messing around with an electric lawnmower. But in all that time I could never have been myself. I mean which self would I have chosen? The studious boy learning poetry by heart and spending hours updating the library catalogue? The Geek who would spend late nights in a tiny closet with a couple of old radios from some WWII tank trying to be a ham? The dufus that misjudged the point of balance and dumped his buddy into the pond? The wannabe Boy-About-Town, hair Brylcreemed into a quiff, leaving school by a side entrance dressed in electric-blue sports coat and charcoal stovies to hang out in the Phoenix Bar — a place where the food was cheap, the beer was very German, and no master would EVER have set foot inside? So I don’t know what advice I’d give a thirteen year-old guy. Even the younger me. There are too many parallel universes. Pushed, I might say “Just don’t burn any bridges behind you!” Later, Folks! Horatio Well if you want to say yes, say yesAnd if you want to say no, say no’Cause there’s a million ways to goYou know that there areAnd if you want to be me, be meAnd if you want to be you, be you’Cause there’s a million things to doYou know that there are

    Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:39:10 +0000 To:


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