January 5th, 1980
Enjoying the coziness of a weekend sheltered inside against the snow covered outdoors. Today is the second day of the Scarsdale diet for me. It occurs to me that I have done this before. Laredo’s January rejuvenation. Dieting, not drinking, staying home, planning my life. Imagining a happier self.
I am tormented with the sureness that I am teeming with untapped talent, yet don’t have a clue as to what that talent may be.
Gay involvement in current literature and theatre faces a peculiar problem. One can write novels that deal with homosexual characters and themes but that is a specifically limited market. Gay novels are generally considered literary oddities; certainly not a part of mainstream serious literature. I know of no homosexual novel that has been treated for its artistic merit as much as its theme.
I’ve often wondered how such a genius as Tennessee Williams could have devoted his entire talent to exploring the psychologies of his tormented heterosexual characters. Even now, after years of public exposure as a homosexual, he continues to write plays dealing with heterosexual characters and themes.
If one argues that these themes are human issues that transcend considerations of sexual proclivity then why do not gay people sometimes happen to be characters?
Yet it is we who are writing great plays, great novels, and portraying the roles on stage and in film–
Why are the elite gay members of America’s literary and dramatic establishment so inarticulate, so silent about the essential parts of their psyche that they share with millions of others brothers and sisters? Why instead do they people their artistic worlds with heterosexual themes and characters?
Nothing dismays and saddens me as much as watching a play here in DC and seeing an entire cast with male parts being done (often well) by apparently gay men. Is it considered an achievement for a gay male actor to pass for a straight in a straight role?