Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pat Parker

Pat Parker (USA) Poet
Sunrise: January 20, 1944
Sunset: June 1989

“If I could take all my parts with me when I go
somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, ‘No, you stay home tonight, you won't be welcome,’ because I'm going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I'm going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are anti-homosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution”

I used to think that there was never going to be a place and time when ALL of my parts would be welcome anywhere. Actually, I still think it, but now it doesn't matter. I take all of me almost everywhere. I realized very early on that I was not who/what people expected. The setting did not matter; I was a misfit. My style, appetite, sexuality, music, everything was just wrong. It seems that there was always something suspect about me.

I say was not because anything has changed but because it no longer matters. I know that I have to honor all that I am. I have to 'tend that inward fire' (to quote Van Gogh). It is ok that others scratch their heads or do a double take, I can embrace myself. I celebrate those seemingly opposing sides of me.

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