The magic of being gay

For this author, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire can be read as an allegory for gay men who need to claim their own gift and learn how to give back to a sometimes hostile society

BY Rick Evans

November 23 2005 1:00 AM ET

Like Harry
Potter, a wizard living in a world of Muggles, we as gay men
need to connect with and live our gift. Harry existed for
years in a world that was foreign to him, not
realizing the gift he had to offer. He had a sense
that he was different, but he didn’t know exactly how
or why. Luckily, a large hairy man came to the rescue,
caring him off to be trained. Like Dorothy in Oz,
Harry learned to tap his newfound gift. But
Harry’s power was not in his shoes; it was central to
his being.

Gay men have a
gift, just like Harry and his follow wizards. And like
Harry in his youth, we haven’t known or claimed that
gift, and we certainly haven’t been appreciated
by society. Unlike Harry, we’ve been on our
own, without a Hogwarts School of Magic to
attend—without Dumbledore, McGonagall, and
Hagrid to guide us. We’ve grown up in a world
that doesn’t understand us or acknowledge our value.
At some level, we’ve each lived on our own
Privet Drive of nonacceptance. And to make matters
worse, there are Death Eaters out there who want to suck the
life out of us.

It’s
important for us to clarify the value we
bring—it’s important for us as
individuals, and it’s important for society. But
we’re behind. We need the equivalent of an
intensive course at Hogwarts. We need to connect
deeply with the magic of being gay. The clearer we are about
who we are and what we have to offer through the
filter of being gay, the more satisfying our lives
will be and the more benefit we will bring to society.
Like alchemists we need to boil away the superfluous
elements in the petri dish, to find the essence of our
gift.

I wrote a
previous article on “The
Gift of Being Gay
,” published here in
August. I received over 50 e-mails from readers around
the United States and in foreign countries agreeing
that gay men have a unique gift to offer. Based on this
feedback and other research, I’ve identified a
list of attributes as a starting place in clarifying
our gift.

1) Caring.
We have a deep sense of caring—including, but not
limited to, caring for people.

2)
Interpersonal sensitivity. We have an awareness
of others and their feelings, and we know how to
respond effectively.

3)
Aesthetics. We have a sense of beauty and style as
well as an ability to manifest beauty and style in the
world.

4)
Creativity. We see things from a different
perspective and have an ability to respond creatively
given those different perspectives.

Of course, not
all gay men manifest these qualities equally or even in
ways we would recognize. We’re all different, based
on genetics and social conditioning. We also may not
recognize these attributes in ourselves—like
living in the forest and not seeing the trees. But at the
core we all have some degree of each of these attributes
upon which to draw. We need to embrace these elements
of our gift and live them more fully.

And what about
other queer groups? What is the gift of being lesbian or
bisexual or transgender? What gifts do they have to offer?
We’ve all been sidetracked on Privet Drive to
some extent, either never connecting with or losing
touch with our gift. It’s critical now for all LGBT
people to reclaim the value we have to offer!

Please let me
know what you think. What are the gifts we bring as gay
men, as lesbians, as bisexuals, as transgenders? How do we
draw upon them more fully, both for us personally and
for society as a whole? You can contact me at [email protected].

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