27 November 2007

Guest Blog: Going "Outside the Lines"

Author Christopher Hennessy recently asked me for a 'black & gay' take on Major Jackson's controversial (to some) “A Mystifying Silence: Big and Black,” in American Poetry Review

Whether it be out of fear of exposing their own homophobia or simply worry about saying something potentially ‘politically incorrect,’ most non-gay writers dare not veer beyond their own experiences. The straight writers are supposed to write about being straight, the gay writers about being gay, and seldom do the twain meet. In much the same way that blacks are expected to talk about racism, and women about sexism, so we gays and lesbians are the ones that are charged with bringing up issues of sexual orientation. Sadly, this is a typical, and very old, position taken by those in the ‘mainstream’: WE (i.e. straight, white, male, etc) don’t have a problem, YOU (the non-straight, non-white, not male) are the ones with the ‘issues’ and we look to you to tell us what they are.

Read the rest over at Christopher's blog Outside the Lines. Thanks for the opportunity, Christopher!


lseymour said...

wow--very nice essay, Reggie! you should publish that somewhere. like in a collection of essays. of yours. (hint, hint.)

i'm glad someone else found you "articulate." LOL!

ReggieH said...

LOL! Well thanks for the compliment. I'm not sure I have enough intelligent things to say to fill a book!:)

Anonymous said...

I read your essay, and loved it and felt enlightened, too. I realized as well how little I know of our (black LGBT) poetic tradition. Have you ever made a posting listing your favorites and suggestions for poor, ignorant beginners? I have no idea where to start, but would run out and buy five books at your suggestion!

Kai in NYC