Wow! This has been an incredible month… The GLBT opening at O2 Gallery was wonderful… in terms of friends and family that turned out to view three very small photographs from the suite, There Not There. Plus the space was great. The folks that hung the show were very kind. They did a great job. My work was greatly enhanced by both the curators’ choices and the work of the other artists.
With the announcement of this show came an unexpected disappointment as well. A relative questioned whether or not my art merited to be in a show. To quote my family member, “Would your art merit being shown at an ‘art show?’ Or is it being shown only or mainly because this particular show depicts works of Gay art and you are Gay?” He essence of his argument was art is art period and it is a human endeavor. Why or what’s the need for marginalize groups to do art? Ultimately we are all the same human race–it should make no difference whether not art is done by a gay, democrat, African American or Jew. Evidently the idea of the fractured society escapes him. He demonstrated that he is a Modernist–there is a clear center and very clearly defined binary opposites. The melting pot is the norm and the goal … the land of a patchwork quilt does not fit with the American concept, “Out of many, One.”
I did explain to him that although we are of the human race… there are differences relating to our gender, race, creed, religion… and alas… sexual orientation. I spoke about how each group and I know there are others… relate to the world’s signs, symbols and signifiers differently.
It seems odd that an educated man could deny that a persons experience would affect the way they view the world. That the values of one group may not be the same as the values of another’s … again based on experience or the power that one group holds over the other. What is the norm is very different from what is normal. In short my being gay, my sexual orientation is normal but I don’t fit the norm.
It is sad that this person seems to find it so important find it necessary to marginalize me to define himself and his world. During a few weeks in June, the flaming correspondence went back and forth try to bully me by flogging me with his degrees into accepting his spin that my sexuality it a choice and by choosing to be homosexual I am disordered. Ouch. And me trying to use reason and finally some inflammatory remarks to convince him that one should live and let live. If we are really interested in seeing God’s Will carried out perhaps we should seek God’s Will and preserving God’s creation and be less concerned with try to preserve mans’ institutions.
I was amazed how very black and white he saw the world. He claimed that homosexuality was not normal and I was disordered because my orientation was not normal. Luckily I am an educated man and know myself well. If he had said I did not fit the norm…I would have agreed with him… but my sexuality is normal. I have chosen to live as a gay man but it is because that is my sexual orientation. To chose otherwise would be lying down my cross and choosing denied one of Gods most wonderful creations… me. I have been created as I am… from Psalm 139:14 I know that–“I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well”….
This month included three openings… and I was asked and accepted an appointment to the Board of Director of Soo Visual Arts Center.