Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens (Full Length)
Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture
You are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. There is a clear line between appreciation and appropriation
no, really, stop already.
From The Irish Times: “If survival is an art, it is one that the American writer Edmund White, famous since the publication of the powerfully autobiographical A Boy’s Own Story in 1982, has mastered with impressive panache. Genial by nature, he is the most disarming individual; brilliant company, funny, informed, astute, kind and quick-witted, an intellectual who does not take himself seriously.
His gaze is direct and mildly unflinching as he continues to look at the world through slightly surprised, all-seeing hazel eyes. Often he allows a sly pause during which he waits for a reaction. White enjoys being slightly shocking. When he laughs, it is because he is genuinely amused. Few smiles are as beguiling as his; it is yet another of White’s many gifts. As is the sense of humour that has helped him through life in general and the further adversities of gay life in particular.
He is also one of those people who, after a 20 year absence, will resume a conversation as if he had merely wandered out to buy milk. Few individuals possess such a generous capacity for friendship.
In 1985 he was handed a death sentence when it was confirmed he was HIV-positive, he has since survived two strokes, the second of which caused him to have to re-learn speech. “I’m slower, I forget words, I’m … well …” he rolls his eyes and laughs, “shaky on my feet, I have a stick.” He gestures to the cane as if it were a eccentric companion that has attached itself to him.
White is not complaining; he is too busy thinking, responding. The 16 years lived in Paris set him apart from American writers and also made him a very important voice in American literature. He is the supreme observer who has also drawn on his own experience.
Above all, he is a truth teller. “That is right, I know that. I’ve always been impelled to say the truth. When I was 14, in 1954, I already wrote a gay novel, though I’d never read one. I felt that life handed me a great subject, gay life, that had scarcely been examined, and I was impelled to record it in all its strange detail. I’ve always seen writing as a way of telling the truth. For me writing is about truth. I have always tried to be faithful to my own experience.”