I wrote the following text more than two years ago. It was a request for a ‘forum-of-ideas’ to be created on the Internet. I was paid to write it. The theme: family. The angle asked: my vision of it as a homosexual. I was allowed 800 words (in French).
The text was never published for the reason that the forum never opened its doors. Let me put it in context. My father had just had surgery, I was going back to the intense revision of Les Mailles sanguines. I think I can now publish this text here. If one day (which will probably be in the week of four Thursdays), the forum comes to life, I do not believe that the publication here of the text will have a negative consequence. I consider, for my part, that I have fulfilled my commitments and, due to non-publication, that I am entitled to take back my beads. I reread that last night, and it made me smile.
The ringing of the phone makes me startle. The display reassures me, the call is not coming from the hospital where my father is having surgery. At the end of the call, I was asked to write, as a homosexual, a text on the family. Eight hundred words, top of the time. I accept, then hang up.
The phone rings immediately. My sister tells me that the operation my father underwent was successful. I relax, release the fears that I had firmly gagged in my thoughts. When they become useless, they vanish like ghosts. My venerable father, the one who still calls me “his little boy” , will live a long time to come.
Right now, my life is synchronized around the theme of family. The operation, the writing of my novel Les Mailles sanguines, the decline of a friend’s father, and then this impromptu commission. Ideas go, like these accidents, in all directions. Eight hundred words for a subject so vast, a life, like mine, like the others, so fragmented. I can only pile up a few observations.
Let us begin by stating that family dynamics are driven by the sole purpose of allowing the child to develop. Period. With many variations, the organization is essentially the same. Human spawners create clans. Strength comes from unity.
When homosexual desire was born in me at a very early age, I was confronted with several problems, the most frustrating of which was undoubtedly the issue of infertility. I am a human being, my existence moves in an ocean electrified by my genetics. Whether I have all my teeth or bite without them, I try to do more or less like the others: transmit.
However unfortunate, the orientation I accept to live puts sticks in my legs right away, and future family encounters will invariably be tinged with the same intriguing questions from my relatives. What are you waiting for to make us children? You’re handsome, you’re thin, and you don’t have a girlfriend? My grandmother, in her great patience, finally stopped asking me questions. I preferred to avoid her in this way, feeling strangely guilty in front of her as if I had promised her eternity that would not necessarily come from me. It also took me a long time before I agreed to disclose my homosexuality to my parents. I waited until I was in a relationship. And happy.
Let’s add to the insult that I’m the only boy in the family. With me, the name of this one is symbolically extinguished. If it were only chromosome transmissions, I would only have to populate the sperm banks. But in the enormous pot of human evolution, the name is a minestrone that does not only contain blood. It is seasoned with memories, culture, emotions. A pure metaphysical DNA, the family, is defined in its duration and continuity. Not starting a family is like stopping the variant of history that we are. This is sometimes a good thing when the DNA is flawed, often regrettable when the strain seemed so promising.
I wish I had children, and the children give it back to me. Babies fall asleep right away with me… I whisper to them, and they’re drugged for the night. I have homosexual friends who pride themselves on being fathers or mothers. They see year after year their little piece of cabbage grows up. These people are continuing the dance. I envy them sometimes.
For homosexuals, having children is an accident or a tortuous journey. The homosexual will have been able to live straight long enough to have raised a family, or he will make pacts with a surrogate mother or a father. There are more of them than we think willing to help the species. I am the first to want to give priority to the emergence of the sacrosanct family. Our governments can never do enough. I also believe that family biodiversity must be reinvented or allowed to flourish. Homosexuals knock on the door of orphanages. It is high time they were allowed to be full parents. Some of them will fail, most will be no worse or worse than the so-called traditional parents who have prepared the human species as we observe it. I am just betting that the more people there are to start families (i.e., emergency homes), the more likely it is that we will be able to offer happiness and a future to our children.
On my side, it is too late. I’ve done big and little things in my life. I have been published five times. I can thus tell myself that, in the absence of having transmitted the family code, I was able to leave a trace in the world of words. My books are my “babies.”
Seven hundred and ninety-eight words already. Damn it, I haven’t said anything yet. Stop. I am a non-history.