Dear Gay Men

I would not be queerly complex without gay men.

Dear gay men,
My name is Jason,
and I am queer,
but I used to be gay,
but that was after I was straight,
and then, I discovered I do love all genders,
so I called myself queer,
but that still didn’t feel correct,
so I called myself queerly complex,
and I want you to know:

I could not be queerly complex without also being gay.

Dear gay men,
You have taught me so much like
how to cruise river banks,
how to glue over eyebrows,
how to be fay in pubic,
how to dance down the middle of the street,
how to rage uncontrollably,
how to take direct action directly to the powerful,
how to remain tender amidst so much pain,
and I want you to know:

I am grateful for all your labor.

Dear gay men,
I see you today still
hugging the gingko tree outside my home,
breaking down at the violence relentlessly directed towards our trans relatives,
sending me photos of Midwestern ancestors and familial roots,
pushing yourself to learn new language that more fully represents your siblings,
speaking up against the surveillance and policing of our neighbors,
holding space for grief,
sleeping in the bedroom with our cats next to you,
and I want you to know:

I love you with all my heart.

Dear gay men,
I dream for you that
your rage ignites fires and burns your oppressors,
your homes are bountiful and joyous and love-filled and free and oh so gay,
your bodies are fully yours to do with as you desire,
your memories liberate histories long suppressed and repressed,
your traumas and pains continue healing,
your tenderness becomes your pride,
your love proliferates,
and I want you to know:

I stand alongside you in all of our dreams.


Image description: A Venn diagram of four intersecting circles. In the middle reads, “Dear gay men”. The purple circle at the top reads, “all gay men ancestors.” The red circle to the right reads, “all gay men comrades.” The yellow circle on the bottom reads, “all gay men progeny.” The cyan circle to the left reads, “all my gay men relations.” The Venn diagram is set agains a black background. In white chalk hand lettering around the Venn diagram reads:

I want to reveal a bit about how my brain works out ideas. I wrote the poem, “Dear gay men,” while conducting interview for Open House, an LGBTQIA+ elder organization. While writing it, I notices a structure emerging; I was using time and generations to compose the poem. Once noticed, I began crafting it. Once crafted, I wanted to see it, so I sketched and doodled until I arrived at this Venn diagram. What strikes me most in looking at it is the intersections of relations and time.