How they have agedBill's Briefs Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Here in Portland, my home town, things don’t change very much so it is easy to feel we don’t either. It is therefore strange when I see seniors the age of my classmates, but I don’t recognize any of them. More puzzling, why does no one recognize me? Even with an added pound or two and my forehead receding a tad or three, I am clearly me.
Sadly, one familiar name was in the newspaper, you know which section, but the photo seemed to be of someone else. Like the majority of LGBTers, I feel appearance is important; superficial as that may be. I expected my high school heroes to look slightly older as opposed to my unchanging youthfulness. I had thoughts of meeting and reminiscing with them. But now, maybe I don’t want to see them. More importantly, I don’t want them to see me.
I think of how my cell phone camera distorts my face. I look fine if I hold it away, but then I can’t hear. Is there no end to it? People once departed to other realms across mountains, prairies and oceans and kept in touch through letters. Decades passed yet memories kept friends and family forever unchanged. Denying reality perhaps, but to what harm?
We pretend that since the old movie stars magically look the same, so must we. Of course limits are reached when you have to tell people you are the one in the mantle photo. A carefully chosen photographic update is in order.
Recently, with the assistance of a pink sunrise and a fortuitous, heavy morning haze, a photo had me looking not a day over 39. It also had me with a flag pole sticking out of my head and a tree branch shooting out of an ear. Otherwise, in a flash, I’d have had it at the top of this column.
The starving Chinese children
At a recent lunch some kid, about 50, failed to understand my comment about the sad unfortunates in the title. We seniors can only tut tut at his mother’s educational omission. We may admit to ignorance concerning modern phones, apps and what-ever “the cloud” is, but we can certainly reveal who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. The point of all this is October is LGBT History Month (A title to send the younger crowd fleeing).
There is a huge diversion of knowledge between generations which should be minimized. Few of us paid much attention to the trials and tribulations of the dust bowl and depression era although our parents’ lives were deeply affected. We listened politely, but soon returned to getting our DA just right.
Unfortunately this attitude prevails with the younger LGBT generation most of whom know no more of the Mattachine Society or the Daughters of Bilitis than they do of a hullabaloo or the Kingston Trio. When confronted with our stories, too often their reaction, usually unspoken, is, “Yeah yeah. We heard all about the raids and the plague. So what else is new?”
Perhaps too much time has been spent on “how we suffered” and we should stress the wonderful groundbreaking steps with which we achieved our current situation.
During LGBT History Month, try to communicate with the LGBT youth. Rejoice with them in our progress while reminding them that the long way to go can’t be reached by letting someone else do it.
With all the world’s problems worthy of their concern and support, they shouldn’t forget their own. Back to the children: There are many ways one may starve; there are many ways one may feed.
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