Sunday, March 26, 2006

Why Write About LGBTQ Issues? Why Not?

Just added a page of reviews to my website. Arrgh . . . I hate doing self-promotion. And I'm working on adding links to the sidebar here (look to the right). Is this my spring break project? Updating my website and blogs?

Actually, adding the LGBTQ links and beginning to write about some gay issues (for example, here, here, and here) is the result of a conscious decision to expand the scope of this blog.

It began as a place to write reviews of concerts attended during my sabbatical as well as musings on music and the cello. Some part of me was, initially, concerned that writing about LGBTQ issues, including how they affect me, might make some potential students and/or their parents uncomfortable.

But, I've concluded, to censor myself like that would be to project and/or reinforce homophobia (which probably isn't there) onto those hypothetical students/parents; to act out of fear rather confidence, trust, and pride; to inhibit my self-expression; and to fail to fulfill what I believe is a social responsibility of LGBTQ people: to lead open and affirming lives.

While LGBTQ-rights organizations focus, naturally, on legal issues, like employment, marriage rights, and hate-crimes legislation, the most powerful force for social change is LGBTQ folks leading open, self-affirming lives. That's what changes hearts and minds. People relate to people who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or otherwise queer as people, as part of us, when they have the opportunity to both know them and, especially, to know they know them.

A convoluted sentence, that lat one. Another way to put it: the question of "is the homosexual my neighbor" is a lot easier to answer in the affirmative when you have good neighbors whom you know to be, among other things, homosexual.

There are what are best described as, I suppose, editorial issues in having a mixed-subject blog. I have never minded, for example, Andrew Sullivan's mixing of commentary on political issues, commentary on gay issues, and reflections on his personal life. What he is doing in his blog is commentary, analysis. It's personal opinion, so writing from a personal perspective makes much sense. Same thing here.

A specific project, like writing a book via blogging, is best kept separate, and that's what I'm doing with

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