Sunday, September 27, 2009

On Why I Created This Blog

Occasionally, I receive mean emails asking me why I started this blog. Although they are assaultive, I think it’s a good question. Here are some of the reasons:

I became bored writing poems. I didn’t know why I was writing them. My second book was placing as a semi-finalist in contests, and I didn’t want to rewrite anything. Or write new poems. Why submit a book if you know it’s flawed and you don’t want to change it? I miss writing poems a little. I hope I miss writing them a lot soon. Or eventually.

For years, I had wanted for years to teach a Gay and Lesbian Literature class. I finally got the opportunity. It sucked. For over a decade, I’ve been teaching. The Gay and Lesbian class was the worst class I’ve even done. After the third class session, I knew it was going downhill; I didn't how to fix it. My students are good people. They pretend I didn’t do a bad job. But I know I did. (Dear students, I’m not looking for affirmation.) I thought if I ever teach this class again, I need to know more than I did before. This is one of the ways of knowing more than I did before. I’ve only talked a little about pedagogy. I plan on doing more.

I’ve always been lonely. I wanted to talk to more people other than my partner of eleven years and the handful friends I have—all of which I would do anything for.

I always wanted to be a movie critic. This seemed like a reasonable alternative.

For the on-line magazine coldfront, I wrote a review of Randall Mann’s “Breakfast with Thom Gunn.” I received immediate angry emails. I like attention.

I was sad . One of my solutions to relieve this sadness: To think about something other than my own sadness. It seemed like a good idea.

When you submit a review to a magazine, it takes a bit to get acceptance and then an audience response. I wanted it right away. I’m into instant gratification.

I love the sitemeter on blogs. It’s nice to know people are reading what you wrote.

I love having the covers of my books on display.

On one of the worst days of my depression I was supposed to be in New York to receive an award. I was in a bad place. I’ve always had a deep dislike towards gay men. One of my big regrets in life was not going to that ceremony. It would have been affirming. But I didn’t. This is a way of saying to gay men, I’m here.

Reginald Shepherd died. I loved his blog. I wanted to be like him.

I wrote a memoir. I need to stop writing about my life. I've been asked to edit an anthology. I hope it all works out, and I do get to do it. The idea of having a reason to spend more time with other peoples' work excites me.

In my classes, I have them write close readings. I would never ask someone to do something I wouldn’t readily do myself. This seemed like that sort of opportunity; I needed to prove to myself that I wasn’t hypocritical.

I wanted to support gay presses and gay men by buying every single book/magazine that had queer material. It seemed important to support a community that helped me. Forcing myself to write reviews of gay authors seemed like it could be a galvanizing force for purchasing that material.

I prefer to not have to deal with my body when I meet people.

I was happy when I received attention for my books. I wanted to possibly make someone else happy.

I wanted to say to gay men, Hey, I see you!

Proposition 8 told us we don't matter; we're invisible. I wanted to say that isn't going to be true no matter how much you try to do so.

Gay men are good people. By spending more time with their words, maybe I would become a better person.

I like to read people who are like me. I am scared of people who are like me. I need to try to get over that fear.

I wanted straight people to hear what it's like to be me. So many have listened to me. I wanted to say Thank you.

I’m nosy. I love to see what gay men have to say about themselves and the world.

I see literature as self-help. I like to be told how I can better live my life. Gay men seem to be the best resources for that need.

I like doing what everybody else is doing.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I thought you started this blog because of me?! ;)