Monday, January 07, 2008

Bash'd...a gay rap opera

Written and Performed by Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow

A Mother’s Reflection

Sometimes, something comes along and you feel this shift. It starts in the moment when you feel the audience collectively, silently, intelligently agreeing to surrender. It starts in the red velvet chair you are seated upon, then it travels up your spine, into your mind, and you feel your body crave to sit up, and listen to every word, and just hang on for the ride!

Well that's what Bash'd felt like for me. I even felt like crying, in parts where I don't think you are suppose to cry. It felt intimate and vulnerable, smart, sexy, edgy, dirty and flat out wonderful!

You may be asking,why? Well, I have a Gay Son. And believe me, this play knows gay! My Son is tall, handsome, smart and witty. He’s full of life, drama and one liners. Full of hanging ons and jumping in. Those shifty eyes. He’s loud and he lurks. He picks and he twirls. He spills, he demands, he laughs, he borrows and he loves being gay!

I really don't have one of those dramatic, fall to your knees coming out stories to tell, even though every dramatic bone in my body wants one.Although, I guess I really should have known all along. But tell me, when did you know your kid was not gay? I guess I just never thought, as he played there with his fruitloops and Barney Rubble in the morning when he was six he Gay? I mean who looks at their children and wonders about their sexual orientation? Eww, who does that? It just didn't happen for me. I thought more about what he would do with his life. I wanted him to play the piano...but he chose game boy instead. I wanted him to be a diver on a swim team. After all, he was a boy that would dive off the deep end at 18 months old and swim on his very own! His metrosexual father taught him that one.

He was a boy that made me a bed on the couch when I would fall into my dark places. He would watch Will and Grace with me and make me a cup of tea. The best tea, honestly! He held the all time record for Long Jump in his school during track and field. The school is closed now. That school where we both shared our childhoods. That school of 145 students. That school where there were only 5 other boys in his class, in his grade, in his community.

My gay son was never bashed, except by me! I cried here too during the play when I thought of how hard it must have been to keep his silence. He knew he had to! I think I was the first to bash him. I called him a faggot one night not long after he came out. I said it with vulgarity and humiliation. I said it with ignorance and homophobia. I said it with fear and anger and intention was to shock. I bashed my own son!! I took it back although I hold on to it to this day.

And so last night, as I watched these men, these Souls, rap their story, a simple story really, I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry for the part of myself that is blessed by the brilliance of having a gay child, for in that moment when they "Come out", their words being pushed up from the deepest of places, where all our secrets are kept. There is a freedom you feel. For when you are pushed out from behind a place you have only ever known, you are given a new view, and a new life with a whole new perspective.

I am not a flag waving, parade marching, PFLAG member. Trust me, I am much too busy helping my Lesbian daughter put her couch together from IKEA.

Life being gay or being a proud parents of two gay children isn’t easy. If you want to gain so perspective on the gay society, to broaden your mind to a wondrous community, go see Bash'd. You’ll “come out” a better person.