the urgent need for literature

I hope this is the beginning of a larger conversation on GLBT culture.

Without literature civilizations die. Once man could communicate literature allowed him to create culture and pass it from one generation to the next. Our community has no recorded history, so we have to create our culture from scratch. Where do we start?

What is culture? The dictionary describes it as that which is excellent in the arts, manners, the development or improvement of the mind, and the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Whew!  What we know today about GL life comes from our bonds of sexuality and oppression. With the onslaught of AIDS we were further bound by sadness.  Today with our rights increasingly more secure, and men surviving HIV what is the basis for our culture?  What inspires us?  Certainly not what we see in the media.  To foster and define our culture we need to recognize such a culture exists.  So far, some challenge the notion. I believe we have one that needs to be recognized.

 

If we are to create a lasting culture what are our resources? Our existing community organizations were created for other purposes, and we have no religious institutions or ancestors to build on.  With the possible exception of Harvey Milk we have no charismatic leaders.   That leaves it to us as a community to create our culture. LLF is uniquely positioned to be part of that effort to by inspiring writers who can define and mythologize our culture not with prescriptions but experiences. The advent of Internet provides a unique opportunity to disseminate our accumulated stories and cultural aspirations to the entire world. From there our culture will become more clear and sustainable.

About Chuck

Ivy education, long-time San Franciscan with two dogs and two homes. Have traveled most of the world and spend my days writing.

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