Comparing the compassionate gaze of his dying, queer lover with the countenance of Christ reclaims the sacred from institutions that found this type of love an abomination.
“I can’t bear Catholicism,” Michael once told an interviewer.
My state senator Jesse Helms vehemently opposed research and called the LGBTQ community “weak, morally sick wretches” and progressives “communists and sick perverts.” I did not have access to high art or progressive political messages.
But my dad played Marvin Gaye records, and I did have access to pop music. In the afternoons, I would turn on my Fisher-Price record player, sit cross-legged on the floor of my bedroom with a busty Barbie, and listen to the pleading “Careless Whisper” sax solo over and over again, hoping that obsession was the first step toward mastery.
His mother and first love died within three years of one another in the late nineties, and he claimed to smoke nearly twenty-five joints a day to cope with his depression.