My art is about expression. Expressing my feelings the best way I know how. While it might not convey to everyone the particular issue I am addressing at the moment, it is more than enough for me. I've heard that something always hits close to home when it affects a loved one, be it friend, family or spouse. Last weekend a problem the GLBT community has been facing hit especially close to home for me. Literally and figuratively. A family member of mine was gay bashed in my neighborhood. Around the corner where we live. Fortunately, he got away lightly by running for his life, no part of him broken or bloody.
What's unfortunate is the NYPD, who finally showed after being repeatedly summoned but did nothing to apprehend the attackers a couple of us saw filing into a house nearby. The police officers told us to contact the detectives after my relative recovered from his attack. I was disappointed but unsurprised at the callous and lazy approach of these officers. But what truly blew me away was the powerless feeling that came over me when I saw the group of fifteen kids, yes kids, who were still looking for a fight after my relative ran away. What can one do when surrounded by such a large number?
Anyway, this piece isn't really about my feelings of fear but came about after the incident. Any difference that is ridiculed, feared or misunderstood is still viewed as a threat. I had thought by now we lived in a society where tolerance had more or less replaced violence but it's such a naive thought. And any attempt to enlighten ignorance is deemed menacing. This post isn't meant to sound heavy-handed, nor am I trying to preach from atop the soapbox. Just the opposite.
I have a hard time with words, so this is a bit difficult to write. But, if there is anyone reading this that is different in any way, please keep going no matter what. Don't let hopelessness overtake you despite what others say and do. Be yourself and don't give up.