I begin with my favourite piece of poetry. Written by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes for Ferdinand Smith, a Jamaican sailor and his (alleged) lover.
Like any good piece of art, I keep returning to it at various points in my life with a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective that never dulls the power of the words. Memory and prophecy, co-mingling.
I’ve often thought of getting this tattooed on my body, but I can’t think of a place that would be appropriate and that wouldn’t terrify prospective lovers and crush a boner with the power of a million crying jags.
So, only on my heart. For now.
Poem or To F. S.
by Langston Hughes
I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There is nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began, —
I loved my friend.
Hey look! It’s a blog post.
After leaving this site sitting for well over a year, I’ve decided to resume writing on it. I have no idea if this is the “cool” thing to do anymore, or if the youth today have redefined the act of writing as merely Snapchatting photos of genitalia to each other. Or swapping faces. Or chasing digital creatures in parks.
What a time to be alive, huh?
Three key things have motivated my return to blogging:
- The State of the World.
- Lack of Platforms for My Writing (SEE: Vanity).
In any case, I have a few things I’ll be posting over the next little while, and I hope you’ll like them. And I promise “the next little while” won’t be a year and a half again.
I think the thing I’ll miss the most about the printed version of Xtra is the masthead. Seeing my name included alongside so many talented writers and artists in the community made me aware of myself as part of a continuum of queer tradition that began decades ago and will extend well beyond my own life. These individuals had come together to tell a story about our experiences in this moment, much like the groups that had preceded us and the groups that will follow. And there, in print, our names stood beside each other as a testament to a declared identity.
This is our community, and these are our stories.
I fully intend to continue to contribute work to Daily Xtra.com, and I recognize that online content is the future of journalism. Still, I can’t help but feel like we’ll have to work that much harder to maintain a sense of community and tradition in an online vacuum — where stories are isolated and impermanent, where the competition for attention is greater, and where locality matters less. What was once a clearly defined body politic is now something ephemeral and indistinct, existing within a much larger organism. And that organism is indifferent to our existence, and so we must fight to remain relevant.
I am confident that the desire to share our community’s stories will continue, even as the platforms we use to tell those stories change. And I sincerely hope that we will continue to nurture and celebrate our unique voices in the face of a future where social and economic pressures will encourage uniformity.
Acceptance will not mean invisibility.
And so it begins!
I suppose I could spend some time introducing myself, list some credits, and then attempt a humourous observation about kale or something, but I was so inspired by Katy Perry’s Super Bowl half-time show that I figured I’d just peace out midway through this post and leave all of the heavy lifting to Missy Elliott. So, without further ado:
“Ooh ahh, sock it to me like you want to
I can take it like a pro and you’ll know
Do it long bro with a back stroke
My hormones are jumpin like a disco
I be poppin mats like some Crisco.
And all you gotta say is that Missy go
And when you say it though I want it moved slow.”
See? So entertaining! She really did save the day. And the above quote pretty much describes me anyway, so everyone wins!
If you are genuinely curious about me, my bio is here. I’ll have more up on this site in the coming weeks, including info on my previous projects (like the comedy series GAY NERDS) and future projects (like the all-female reboot of The Godfather), so stay tuned.
And thanks for joining me on this crazy ride.