By Young Hughley
After attending a service at Abundant LUUv Rev. Duncan Teague asked me why I would write a book that outs me at 71. Just to correct the record, I have been out to family and friends for the last 15 years or more.
I don’t think of my book, Images Finally Focused as being an “outing” experience. The book is composed of poems, essays and short stories that reflect my existence as: a man, an African American, then as a gay or same gender loving person. There are many other things that make up the person of me. I am a community activist, a compassionate person, ex-husband of a woman, a brother, uncle, an introvert and now a writer. To embrace the art of writing I had to embrace all of me. I had no choice.
The quality of my interactions with family and friends improved with my sincerity of being myself. When there is no pretense or heavy secrets the air is filled with truthfulness. If all are on the same page conversations about life become honest, fun, sometimes difficult but always edifying; making for healthy relationships. Being truly present is enjoyable, most times, and makes life feel real.
About 10 years ago “That’s so gay” was a popular expression used by young folk. Not sure if it was witticism or a putdown I wrote this poem. It is one of the many diverse offerings in my book that describes where I am in life.
That’s so Gay!
Most of my life I felt alone
hiding lies as companions to mask reality.
a self-imposed mugging that robs us of our joy;
life lived with aspirations cannot be wrapped
In Self-delusions and
Sometimes the light is fearsome,
but I prefer that terror rather than
the prison admiration.
Life and visions are experienced best
thru true self-ownership of all that is you.
You can lose or win in life.
If that’s so gay, so be it!