Krishna Passages

I find myself feeling a bit like Michael Tolliver,  a central character in Armistead Maupin’s hugely successful Tales Of The City saga.   I’m thinking of a bit where Michael’s huzband Thack is feeling drawn to activism and wanting to join Act Up and “kick some conservative butt”  and Michael says that he just can’t be  “some kind of Harekrishna for homos”.    I’ve been genuinely disturbed that my post about wearing a pink triangle button in a decade of activism seems to have cost me a couple of friends.  And not, in fact,  some of my conservative friends who are uncomfortable with gay pride parades or make arguments against gay marriage,  but rather some of my queer friends who seem to be in a stage of activism I have somehow grown past.

I’m convinced that I would like to play to a bigger audience than the gay rights movement.   Like Michael Tolliver I find that I want to explore what I have in common with people I meet and simply not discuss or focus on the issues that divide us.   I literally spent all of those years working for the rights I now enjoy and it seems to me it really is okay for me to move on to speaking more inclusively and including in my circle people who may not agree with me about the political underpinnings of my basic human rights,  yet may have real truths to share with me and whose experiences and perspectives may help me to see the world around me just a little bit more clearly.

Speaking with and learning to become friends with people who disagree with me does not in my considered opinion, negate anything I’ve ever argued about the rights of gay people,  nor any of the other political positions I have (at times vociferously) defended over all these years.    Shhhhhh.   Please don’t tell my mother.    But I think just maybe I am growing up enough now to need to see the world through other perspectives.      While I try my darndest to hang on to as many of the friends I’ve made along the way as I can.   Even while knowing that some folks will be with me for only a moment.   Others only now and then.   And that I can’t know until I get there,  just whom my lifelong friends or most important ones will turn out to be.

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6 comments on “Krishna Passages

  1. Interesting article! Although I don’t subscribe to some of your beliefs I think the bigger tragedy is dismissing the person because of them! The use of the pink triangle is particularly interesting because of its genesis! Especially these days.

  2. I think I understand. One of the issues is age. I cannot sustain the same energy for anything day to day to week to month that I could in the past. In my 50’s I get tired! Plus, we have done so much in our lives already, as you said. I am not gay, but I was in the theater for decades, so all my close friends were. During the 80’s I lost so many close friends that I still miss. In college, I was in all the gay rights clubs and activist groups. Things have changed so much in 30-40 years!

  3. Alan, do you have a link to your pink triangle post? I’m not sure how long ago you posted it.

    As far as I can see, friendships (like all relationships) change over the years. There are people I spent 3 or 4 nights a week with for years, who were my closest friends, and, right now, I’m not even sure where they live. If you had told me back then that we would have lost contact with each other, I would have thought you were full of it. But not only are we separated geographically, my life is very different than it was 20, 15, 10, even 5 years ago. And, I’m sure they have changed, too.

    The best way I know to keep the bonds of friendships is to not be too demanding of each other. People get busy with their lives, have less free time, and their experiences as they get older can change their perspective on many issues. Try to focus on your shared history and what you do still share in common. You either have to accept them where they are at or realize that maybe you’ve grown out of this particular friendship.

  4. As one of your conservative friends who is uncomfortable with gay pride parades (or most parades that interfere with traffic for that matter) and does, and will continue to, oppose gay marriage unapologetically I enjoyed your post.

    In line with my policy of live and let live I don’t care if you do or do not wear a triangle or any shape of any colour – except the obviously bad ones like a swastika – that would get me worried about you! I follow your blog because I enjoy your writing, like the way you express your thoughts and generally learn something. I believe my own writing will improve by learning from you.

    Having read your more recent post on keeping comments on-topic and down to a couple of sentences, I would just add that I also find friendships tend to change over the years. It’s all part of growing up.

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