A green light to greatness.®


by George Newtown

“As with language, so with sexuality, an insistence on order always speaks the other and more troubled scenario which it is designed to exclude.” —Jacqueline Rose “Goofy.” That’s the nicest thing my daughter has ever called me. You have to understand she was sixteen at the time, an age when daddies are decidedly uncool. Like, duh! What made this a compliment was that she grinned and said I was "goofy, like Jonas Mason.” I glowed. Jonas, a faculty colleague—religion prof, salt-and-peppery, polymath—was the intellectual guide on an Episcopal pilgrimage qua shopping tour to Greece and Egypt that Elizabeth and her mom had just taken. He’s also the most "out" gay man Elizabeth has ever met. She really likes him. He’s, well, goofy. On the trip Jonas called his purple carryall "Barney.” In Cairo he showed up for breakfast one morning in a lavender shirt and said, with the downcast look of someone sorry to rat out a friend, “Barney got sick in the night.” Well, hadn't I worn lavender to the NYC Gay Pride parade back in ‘95? OK, when I put on the shirt I didn't know it was parade day, but I look back on it as an unconscious expression of solidarity. I even enjoyed the occasion once I got over thinking that, whatever my sexual politics were (and I seem to be constantly re-negotiating them), they’d be offensive to someone in that crowd. I eventually figured that's what the parade was about, trying to offend someone with your sexual politics. The motorcycling “nuns” with nipple piercings hinted it was getting harder all the time....

by George Newtown
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