While looking through some of my scribblings, I came across a piece written years ago. Although my recollections are hazy, I believe I wrote it in reaction to a news story about a gay man beaten to death in a Texas city. This followed on the heels of a savage beating administered by four hoods to a well-respected member of the gay writing community in New Orleans. That prompted me to write the “essay.”
In today’s world, the piece seems archaic, even unrealistic. Who in the world would expend the energy to treat homosexuals like that? While it is true that the status of gays has changed in the United States, it was not that long ago that the events portrayed in the following piece were relatively commonplace. Fear of exposure was real. Most of us dwelt in deep, dark closets, not out of choice, but out of fear. The younger among us have little experience of this, but they should be reminded occasionally.
And bear in mind something else. It is true the pendulum has swung in our favor, but a pendulum is a freely moving plumb. And in today’s political climate, we may find ourselves under the thumb of a one-time southern supreme court justice and others of his ilk who maintains we are the scum of the earth who represent a threat to God-fearing citizens of this land. Some of us may someday once again Cry Justice for Peter.
“Wicked!” sneer the narrow-minded righteous.
“Unnatural deviants!” hiss the smug, thin-lipped virtuous.
Nay! my heart cries. T’is love as deep and abiding, as sweet and strong as any that enrich your lives.
Pitying their ignorance, I draw close my lover, my companion, my mate and move to pass them by. But it is not to be.
This is the day Noble Society and Righteous Religion exact a terrible toll for flaunting their archaic injunctions. And just as with women stepping beyond accepted boundaries, black slaves chafing against their chains, and First Nations clinging stubbornly to their lands and culture, the cost is exorbitant.
One cretin tears away my beloved. Another, an odiferous, unclean skinhead, pins my arms from behind. A florid man of dark, heavy jowls pummels bloody my beautiful lover.
Oh, how proud I am as Peter shakes them off and stands tall and manly to face his tormentors. A foolish mistake, of course, but one born of intrepid pride. Four barbarians beat him unmercifully until the growing unease of passive onlookers give them pause.
Smaller, weaker, and frankly not so valorous, I cannot fight my way free of those who hold me helpless. Denied the consideration of even one bone-crushing blow, I am shoved atop my fallen hero as they depart, laughing crudely at the life-lesson taught the queers.
Sobbing myself into paralysis, I watch helplessly as that precious, sensitive life ebbs away on the hot, mean sidewalks of this accursed city.
And who will give me justice for the horror of this cruel bereavement? Not the black-uniformed stormtrooper who laughs that there is one less faggot to plague the world; not the dog-collared clergy of the stately cathedral towering mutely above us on the far corner; and certainly not a shocked and aroused citizenry wrathfully demanding equity.
At last, I truly understand the old the only good Indian is a dead Indian mantra is more than simply a dreadful credo of the Wild West; it is an implied death sentence equally applicable to those without a roseate hue. It is an epithet for people like me, as well.
But beware! I have not perished, at least in the flesh. And energized by rage, emboldened by crushing loss, I live to plot retribution on the hide-bound, sanctimonious fools who dare impose their morality even to the destruction of one superior to each of them in every way that counts. And do not look down long, blue noses and proclaim love it or leave it to me. For I am legion in your midst, claiming equal ownership of this, my homeland.
Yes, I am here to stay. And in my own time, in my own way, I will raise my voice and Cry Justice for Peter!
I sincerely hope younger readers will not skim this piece and scoff at how old-fashioned it is. Just look at the image at the top of the piece and remember Matthew's death was not that long ago. As I said… the pendulum swings.
May I add a reminder that DSP Publications released Cut Hand on October 31. I’d appreciate it if you will look at the book. Amazon permits you to read a short passage. This is the first novel in the Strobaw Family Saga series.
By the way, I got lots of hits on last month’s story …And Yet Again. It apparently struck a nostalgic note with some of you.
My contact information is provided below:
Website and blog: markwildyr.com
The following are some buy links for CUT HAND:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/cut-hand-by-mark-wildyr-420-b
Thanks for being a reader.
The next blog at 6:00 a.m. on the first day of the succeeding month.