“Intimacy lies in the body and the soul, in scent, in touch and taste and sound. A man whose name you don’t know can tell you a tale to move you to tears, just by filling and emptying his lungs, by moving his tongue and lips, his fingers. Even after, you might never know him.”
― Indra Das, The Devourers
“To subject to scrutiny the mechanisms which render life painful, even untenable, is not to neutralize them; to bring to light contradictions is not to resolve them. But, as skeptical as one might be about the efficacy of the sociological message, we cannot dismiss the effect it can have by allowing sufferers to discover the possible social causes of their suffering and, thus, to be relieved of blame.”
― Pierre Bourdieu, The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society
“What we have invented, Hans, is a new religion. Oh, not the moralistic and old-fashioned theological kind with that God who does not want us, but one with brutal splendours, magnificent contemporary rites and rituals, scenes, gestures, sacrifices, humiliations, terrors, tremblings, mortifications, degradations, phantasmagoric transfigurations into other realms of feeling, new realisations that will come from this cleansing purge, and then transcendencies unto a New World of our own making, with our own new rules and rewards and justifications.”
― Larry Kramer, Faggots
“Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn’t even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.”
― Sierra D. Waters, Debbie.
“Many bisexuals might indeed feel comfortable and well represented by [creating images of ‘stable, monogamous, appropriately sexual’ bisexuals], but what of the many people who don’t fit in this standard of the “normal” or “good” bisexual? Some bisexuals are sluts (read: sexually independent women), some bisexuals are just experimenting, some like people of certain genders only sexually and not romantically, some like to have threesomes and perform bisexuality for men, some are HVI and STI carriers, some don’t practice safer sex, some are indeed indecisive and confused, some cheat on their partners, some do choose to be bi, as well as many other things that the “myth-busting” [or simplifying/sanitizing] tries to cast off. A very long list of people is being thrown overboard in the effort to “fight biphobia.” In this way, the rebuttal in fact imposes biphobic normative standards on the bisexual community itself, drawing a line between “good” and “bad” bisexuals.
Either way, benign docility and unthreatening citizenship are not exactly what I would want my bisexuality to be associated with.”
― Shiri Eisner, Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution
“Barry prided himself on his ability to keep his lives separate. . . He was Bianca on two Saturday nights a month, and otherwise, he pushed her out of sight, even though he thought about her, shopped for her, planned for her eventual return. Barry went to faculty meetings and family reunions and church, Bianca always lingering on the edge of his mind. She had her role to play and Barry had his. You could live a life this way, split. As long as you knew who was in charge.”
― Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half
“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival. Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
“I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.
We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”
― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner
“One miner at Robinson Deep Mines, Daniel, […] claims that as an induna or “boss boy”, he had sought the company of a “girlfriend”, that is, a young Basotho man, because he was not authorized to go in town to “see women”. However, when he got special permission to leave the mining complex, he recalls with barely suppressed emotion that, during such leaves, he would soon long to be reunited with his “boy-wife”. He and his peers claimed that “[they] loved them better” and preferred them over the experienced (female) city streetwalkers.”
― Chantal Zabus, Out in Africa: Same-Sex Desire in Sub-Saharan Literatures & Cultures
“There is such a thing as too much loss. Too much has been taken from you both – taken and taken and taken, until there’s nothing left but hope, and you’ve given that up because it hurts too much. Until you would rather die, or kill, or avoid attachments altogether, than lose one more thing.”
― N.K. Jemisin, The Obelisk Gate
“We are hunting the demons that haunt others. We get a smell and off we go. And you know why, Sunil? You know why we are so good at hunting the demons of others? Because we are so good, gifted even, at stalking and evading our own. But all demons hunters think that they are really heroes, and you know what all heroes need?”
― Chris Abani, The Secret History of Las Vegas
“The God of Imagination lived in fairytales. And the best fairytales made you fall in love. It was while flicking through “Sleeping Beauty” that I met my first love, Ivar.
He was a six-year-old bello ragazzo with blond hair and eyebrows. He had bomb-blue eyes and his two front teeth were missing. The road to Happily Ever After, however, was paved with political barbed wire.
Three things stood in my way. 1. The object of my affection didn’t know he was the object of my affection. 2. The object of my affection preferred Action Man to Princess Aurora. 3. The object of my affection was a boy and I wasn’t allowed to love a boy.” ― Diriye Osman, Fairytales for Lost Children
“In the past, when gays were very flamboyant as drag queens or as leather queens or whatever, that just amused people. And most of the people that come and watch the gay Halloween parade, where all those excesses are on display, those are straight families, and they think it’s funny. But what people don’t think is so funny is when two middle-aged lawyers who are married to each other move in next door to you and your wife and they have adopted a Korean girl and they want to send her to school with your children and they want to socialize with you and share a drink over the backyard fence. That creeps people out, especially Christians. So, I don’t think gay marriage is a conservative issue. I think it’s a radical issue.”
― Edmund White
“We watch them dissolve in the air. They move through the sky, all at once. And bits of them sift, until they melt away so small that the eye can’t see, caught in the bridge’s wooden slats or in the river or into nothingness altogether, until we’re the only ones who’ll take the fact of their ever existing at all on with us, until we end up losing those memories, too, although even then they’ll still probably be around somewhere. It isn’t very beautiful.”
― Bryan Washington, Memorial
“I remembered what it was like to walk a gauntlet of strangers who stare—their eyes angry, confused, intrigued. Woman or man: they are outraged that I confuse them. The punishment will follow. The only recognition I can find in their eyes is that I am “other.” I am different. I will always be different. I will never be able to nestle my skin against the comfort of sameness.”
― Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
“There’s this phenomenon that you’ll get sometimes—but not too often, if you’re lucky—where someone you think you know says something about your gayness that you weren’t expecting at all. Ben called it a tiny earthquake. I don’t think he was wrong. You’re destabilized, is the point. How much just depends on where the quake originates, the fault lines.”
― Bryan Washington, Memorial
“I’m not what anyone thinks I am. I never was. I didn’t have the mouth to put it into words, to say what was wrong, to change the things I felt I needed to change. And every day it was difficult, walking around and knowing that people saw me one way, knowing that they were wrong, so completely wrong, that the real me was invisible to them. It didn’t even exist to them. So: If nobody sees you, are you still there?”
― Akwaeke Emezi, The Death of Vivek Oji