- Tom- Tom
So much of last year was about Fire Island Pines where Ben and I spent over a month preparing for the new book out next spring. A good part of the new year will also be about that subject as the book enters our communal history. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, I documented the emergent gay culture on an infamous beach out of sight, for the most part, from the dark forces of repression that ruled then. I’m happy to note that this past year brought us far beyond what our aspirations back then could have imagined.
The optimist (and lawyer) part of me suggests that this new year will bring the gay community equality as symbolized in our right to marry being recognized. ‘The love that dare not speak its name’ becomes the love that gladdens the hearts of wedding planners and cake makers among us. Powerful signs that the political order had changed emerged in the last year. When I was a law student in the late 60s I joined the first gay and lesbian organization at Northwestern University. Our total agenda was to be allowed to dance with one another at a gay bar without fear of arrest. Amazing to see where we are today.
So the question for us all – where do we go from here? For my part, I still see a lot of issues that call out for healing. Much of America remains insanely addicted to violence and hatred of just about anything it sees as foreign. Homophobia, misogyny and racism thrive slightly below the surface of our culture. Greed and power tripping rule our dysfunctional body politic. And we remain a deeply confused society mired in sexual shame.
As an artist, these problems provide motivation for me to suggest alternative ways of being through what I see as beautiful. And that is what I will be doing, happily with Ben, who shares my conviction that art can be a powerful force in effecting healing change. I look forward to our mission. I look forward to finding more ways to explore the beauty of our wonderful gay family.
Wishing you all a creative and progressive 2013.
– Ben + Tom