Paul Sepuya

April 1999

I have come to the realization that I am truly peculiar. Queerer than queer. You know, odd for even a queer person. Or may be I'm confused and everyone else I see is queer. Yes, I think so. Queer for queer is like canceled out, and you get unqueer but uniquely you. I'll stick with that.

It have come to the decision that I don't like the word gay. It just conjures up so many strange images and interior design. Girls have a nice word: Lesbian. It sounds so classy, foreign even. Gay sounds so slutty, and fag's just rude. So my friend Danielle calls it Gaf. It's fag backwards, because she absolutely despises the word. I'll stick with that.


Sometimes I wonder who or what I would be if I weren't "gaf". If I didn't like guys, or had to go through all the coming-out stuff and figuring out who I am. Everyone has a defining point in their life, that has made all the difference or altered it in some sense from what you thought it was going to be. For queer people, it's usually going through the self-discovery and acceptance, and so forth.

All that stuff is what has defined my life so far. Looking at the world as sort of an outsider- a double minority- being classified in a group that has to still fight for equality, while being excluded from a group that has mostly achieved it. It forever effects how I approach things, how I take a second look, how I look for the best of worlds in the unique qualities of everyone.

Many of our grandparents had the Second World War. My mother had the experience of living in the South during the Black Civil Rights movement. I wonder what my brother will have, or has had secretly. I wonder what all the perfect people have had in their lives that makes them who they are. Or do they really have countless emotions and stories, of suffering for less-than-perfection?

Just as I see how so many black people have become ignorant to the true spirit of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his message for equality and love for everyone (he quietly supported gay civil rights, and his widow Coretta still continues speaking for us), I wonder what will happen when queer people achieve all the social and political equality that we have fought for. Will we become ignorant of what the true spirit was about? If marriage is legalized in the US as his been in some parts of Europe, will the divorce rate among queer people ever get as high as straight people? That will be a true shame.

The defining point in many older queer peoples' lives was the AIDS outbreak or Stonewall, or the movements in the late sixties and seventies or even back farther in the Beatnik 50's days. And many of my generation have Ellen and Dawson's Creek, or Will and Grace. And the Methodist Church is deciding right now on gay marriage. What will we have as the turning points, realizations, and awakenings for queer people to come?

Hopefully, they will have something victorious. A celebration. Something nice, so that they won't have to say they never really knew what their lives would be until a crisis comes along. AIDS shouldn't have been the way queer people were recognized and defined, but sadly it was a cultural sin, that has shaped and defined who many of us are. But in the future, I hope that all the little queer kids to come will have a vocation or movement be their inspiration, learn from these things who they really are to be, and never give into ignorance that so often follows victory.

Knowing just who I am, and understanding what has made me who I am today is why I am so glad to be the outsider who knows the way to the inside. Being able to look and see the variety in everyone that's so wonderful. I don't know who I'd be if I wasn't gaf.

Queer or gay, homosexual or bisexual or trisexual, tall or short or smart or whatever, just be glad that you have something that's different from the rest. We're all different from the rest, and when I think about it, we are the rest.

till next month,

Paul S

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