Since I am neither gay nor a Christian. (I had a brief go at being a Born Again when I was 11), people have often asked me what inspired me to write The Untimely Concurrence. The first thought that used to pop into my mind is a recollection of a heated learning I had about a particular Black Christian colleagues’ ignorance and hate towards gays, all awhile loving The Bible. This sort of sensibility completely stumped me and always has. Upon further introspection, I realized that specific learning was not in fact my inspiration, but definitely the trigger and gave voice to the character of LEON.
The inspiration for writing The Untimely Concurrence stems from my own feelings of shame and a deep need to make amends to my gay friends that I didn’t or couldn’t stand up for.
I know too well the pain of being discriminated against and made fun of. I remember with technicolor clarity being trapped behind a gate when I was twelve years old as a bunch of white boys called me nigger and laughed at me. I cried and cried and no one stood up for me.
I remember being told by an older white blonde girl, while holding my then 1 year old little sister Olga in my arms, that since I looked like Muhammad Ali, I should have no problem fighting her. She pushed me, punched me, slapped me in the face and all I could do was hold on tight to Olga as we both cried and cried.
I remember my first boyfriend in High School, a white ‘Goth’ kid named Nick, and the way jocks used to make fun of him and hit him on the head as we walked down the halls. I knew my boyfriend was gay, but I didn’t care. (After all, he was a friend, we shared the same black nail polish, eyeliner and I was a virgin and wanted to remain one.)
He was constantly harassed and I never said anything. I was too scared to stand up for him. Nick was always running away from home, his step Father used to beat him and his Mother allowed it to happen. Years later, and completely out, he turned to drugs. To this day, I’ve no idea whether he is dead or alive. My heart bleeds for him and my shame runs deep as I didn’t do anything to help him.
I remember being at a punk rock concert when I was 17(think it was MDC at Fenders Ballroom) with my then new Straight punk rock boyfriend, and listened with disgust to stories he told of how he and his friends beat up a bunch of “fags” at a 45 Grave concert the night before. I was mortified because I knew several of my gay and Goth friends were at that concert, and I didn’t say a word. I didn’t speak up. Shame on me.
At the time of creating the characters BERNARD, COLBY and LEON, I wasn’t aware of my true inspiration. It’s only now after meditative introspection that I allowed the truth of my deep shame to be revealed to myself. It is only now, with the grace of God that I can begin to forgive myself. Slightly.
I know too well the wounds that are created when we become objects of hate. Whether we are objectified because we are Gay, Transgendered, Asian, Hispanic, Black, White, an unwanted Stepchild, Mentally or Physically disabled…you name it, being a target of that kind of energy is lethal to our souls.
I don’t know if my gay boyfriend Nick is alive. What I do know is that his own parents rejected him, and he in turn hated himself and like so many teens, turned to drugs. Last I heard he sold his car and was seen in an alley in Hollywood selling his body for Meth. The Untimely Concurrence was written for him. I thought about putting his name in the end credits, in memory…but I can’t come to terms with the thought that he might be dead. In my heart I feel he is but I am too scared to receive actual confirmation. He haunts me.
COLBY is based on him. COLBY says and does all the things that I wished Nick and I could of said to those sad kids that taunted him. COLBY expresses what I wished Nicks parents could of heard. I should’ve talked to them, but I didn’t. I was sixteen.
What I wanted tell them was “Please love your son. He is a beautiful spirit, an amazing human being that deserves love and he is slipping! PLEASE LOVE HIM, HE IS SLIPPING!!” …Oh Dear God.
I don’t want a gay black kid (or any kid for that matter regardless of sexual orientation or race) in the Bible belt or ANYWHERE on this planet to think that he/she is a mistake. God does not make mistakes. That shit is lethal I tell you. Once we believe that we are a mistake, we spend the rest of our lives trying to prove we are not, become the expression of hate ourselves by hurting others, or we try to numb ourselves from our own self hatred with booze and drugs…another crisis in the Black, Hispanic LGBT community, but I digress…
I realize The Untimely Concurrence is only one little film, but if it could be seen by just one parent, one judgemental religious person, one relative of a struggling LGBT youth and it plants a seed…even an acorn of hope to the possibility for compassion, the possibility of acceptance…well… I don’t know. Something. Something…right?
I love you Nick, wherever and however you are.
***some names have been changed.