Mestizo homosexualist author Richard Rodriguez interviewed by the best in the business, as I can attest from having been on his show:

STEVE PAIKIN: In our remaining moments here, let me put the focus back on you for a bit. Because you are an openly gay man who lives in San Francisco, California.

RODRIGUEZ: I’m not a gay man. I’m a morose man…. Charlie Rose said “Do you think yourself as a gay writer?” “No, I think of myself as a morose writer.”

— Morose. Why morose? You seem like a perfectly happy person.

— When I was closer in age to you, probably younger, I went through the AIDS crisis and I helped… Oh, I’m not going to get into this too much. But I helped about 40 men die. And I knew how to do that…. Nobody told us how to do that… You learned how to do that. […]

I think something died in me from those years, that there is still – it comes welling up, a sadness so deep. I did a piece in the New York Times called “Nakedness in a Digital Age” in which I talked about being in a car with five gay men in the ’70s. We were driving down the peninsula of San Francisco to a prep school. We were going to be judges of an essay contest. And we were like clowns in a circus in this little car, all like this in the back seat. And I remember somebody was putting a hand across to reach for something. I forget what. And I remember the touch of his sleeve, which was cashmere. The windows were steamed up. So much life in that car. Within five years, everybody in that car was dead. […]

In some real sense, I’m not gay. I’m queer in the sense that I had a wonderful childhood. I was so free because I wasn’t heterosexual. I could do anything…. The next night [boxer Bobby Chacon] went to fight, and that’s when I saw him fight. And the auditorium was filled with these Mexican labourers from the fields, the braceros. Men who work with their arms, brazos. And everybody was standing for the 12 rounds. Man, they were engaged in a kind of struggle that was so elemental and primal. And at the end he was the victor. You should have seen his face. And I thought to myself as I walked home that night that there would be no one at school I would describe this to, or even my erotic interest in this boxer. No one. […]

I realized one day – you were my best friend in grammar school – that I was in love with you. [You] had a beautiful face. And one day I threw a rock at that face to make you go away. And that night our mothers talked on the phone, and there was this laughter, and I knew that the mothers had decided that boys will be boys. Boys will fight with boys, and it was OK. But if they had only known that the reason I threw the rock at Bobby was because I was in love with him, bang, would the ceiling come down.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.10.20 13:53. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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