By R. Madison Haymore
Everyone feels. It’s something liberating. Society puts limitations on emotion, yet we find a way to stretch those limits. It is within our emotions that we see the most beautiful facets of humankind. Emotion is the umbilicus that connects us all on a level that cannot be articulated but only felt. Writing is the best way that we attempt to encapsulate this indescribable emotion, and queer writing deepens the breadth of our depth-perception of literature.
There are socially constructed membranes that cover the true nature of everything. Everything is branded with some superlative. These decorative details like race, gender, sexuality, orientation are veneers, but writing perforates everything, breaks the bonds, and whips logic about into an artistic array of conveyed thoughts, words, and emotions.
Queer writing is not that different from heterosexual writing—it breaks and expresses in the exact same way—but it is uniquely beautiful in its own regard. Homosexuals and heterosexuals, and the spectrums in between, feel the same emotions, but society has herded us into this newfangled idea of personified compartmentalization. We do not truly want to be different, but we want to be unique without the limitations of comparison. When we compare things that cannot be compared we lose the visceral beauty that exists in respective person and situation.
Writing about a man and a woman proposing to each other in a nursing home on their death beds; two women realizing they love each other when their nation is tattered by war; two men legally losing their adopted baby after spearheading the town’s acceptance towards homosexuals; a widower raising his two sons alone after his wife was killed by a drunk driver: these emotions captured in any of the previous scenarios can inspire something in all of us, even if we aren’t in those exact walks of life. Comparing these scenarios is impossible, but feeling them is not. Each emotion we feel is the mutual space that exists between us all.
Queer writing does not try to convince we are different; should be different; will be different—NO. We, as queer writers, write to articulate experiences that are particular to our walks of life. We write to show the colors that illuminate when you look through our side of the prism. Loss is loss, joy is joy, fear is fear, hate is hate, and love is love: we all know these emotions. We know how they strum our own heartstrings, but what we cannot achieve by ourselves is the insight into how someone else feels and experiences these emotions.
A first kiss, losing your virginity, daring to hold your date’s hand during a movie, making a mess out of life while still feeling anchored and happy with the person you’re with because you’re in love—all of that is emotion; all of that is universal. That is what we are trying to achieve—relaying all of that from our side.
The entire queer community experiences those emotions. Those visceral wonders of life are felt by us as well. That’s what we try to articulate. We try to put in words what that feels like, to share it with others, to put it out into the world. Any attempt to put into words that which is felt is an exercise in futility, but perhaps that’s the beauty of it—the venture to achieve the unachievable.
We may not have the same lives, but that’s the reason for writing. Reading words on paper from another beating heart is the best way to feel how that particular person uniquely and beautifully experiences the same emotions you feel. You learn how your own heart beats by hearing the beating of another. You see your color differently when you see the colors of another. Queer writing brings a newfound spectrum to otherwise heterosexual writing, and both sides reveal the multi-faceted cosmos of love and life. Emotion, trying desperately to come to life on the page, is where writing is no longer compartmentalized but embodied in art, transcending barriers, and fusing people together with tangible words of existence.
Writing is the bridge to everywhere.
R. Madison Haymore is a writer living in Salt Lake City, who was born in rural North Carolina, and experienced severe bullying and depression growing up. Breaking from his family’s oppressive faith has helped him ascertain a newfound, open viewpoint of life and people. His activism includes humanitarian efforts for homosexual rights as well as education/relief for eating disorders. He’s an extravagant minimalist, music lover, and wine connoisseur.