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Travis Stanton

February 2001

"in a moment,

in the distance,

the answers

to all the questions of the world

whisper softly in your ear,

and all your pain is drained

as you fly home"

Answers are something that have eluded me lately... From the ever popular, "what is my purpose in life?" to the less asked and more profound, "what is my purpose in death?" Human nature urges us to find answers to such questions, and we try desperately to do so, looking to philosophers and religion. Yet, despite our efforts, we always come up empty handed. We may latch onto ideas, or beliefs, but never are we able to confirm a concrete answer without it begging even more questions.

As a young gay man, I am faced with even more questions. I wonder why God made me gay, if God made me gay, and what being gay means. These questions surface in a variety of ways, but more often than not are the result of the confusion of others. It is very easy for people to bring questions and doubts into our minds. A simple question like, "are you sure?" can leave an impressionable person in a state of confusion for weeks, as they try to find a suitable answer.

As a minority, we will always be faced with questions from those who don't understand. We must embrace the questions posed. The answers can open eyes, touch hearts, and create allies. We must not let ourselves get wrapped up in the questions that can't be answered.

Lately I have been asking lots of unanswerable questions. This past month, my great-aunt Jennie passed away of cancer. She was an amazing woman who always had a smile on her face, as well as in her heart. Jennie was love embodied, and lived each day looking only at the silver linings, ignoring the clouds in her path. Even in the hospital, Jennie was a jovial spirit, who loved hugs, and laughter. Even when her body had betrayed her to the point of a coma, Jennie heard our voices, and would raise her hands, as if to say, "come and hug me!" She was an angel, in every sense of the word. She filled our lives with simple lessons. She taught us that love was invaluable, and was the only emotion worth sharing. She taught us the language of laughter, and that smiles were God's most beautiful creations.

At Jennie's funeral, I asked myself why she had to die. I asked myself why God would take her away from me. I asked a lot of unanswerable questions. One night as I sat down at my desk, remembering all the good times we shared, the tears rolling down my face, I wrote the following lines.

"in a moment,

in the distance,

the answers

to all the questions of the world

whisper softly in your ear,

and all your pain is drained

as you fly home"

And so, I dedicate this column to Jennie, who gave me so many wonderful memories to tide me over, until I get to see her again. For all the smiles we shared, and for all the laughter that will echo in my mind. Jennie answered questions like, "what is important in life?" without saying a word. Her life serves as an example for us. May we focus less on the clouds, while wrapping ourselves in silver linings. May we smile more, laugh louder, and love without question, expecting no answers.

May God bless you in all you do.

I believe in you!

Please feel free to contact me through BreakingOUT, or visit our website!

Travis
stanton67@hotmail.com

Travis Stanton, 19, lives in South Dakota. He attends college, majoring in Modern American Entertainment, and is the founder of BreakingOUT, a web based organization for young gay men looking for assistance in the process of coming out.


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