Friday, March 21, 2008

Harvey Fierstein said it best

from "Torch Song Trilogy"

Ma. What? You think you walk into a room, say, “Hi Dad, I’m Queer,” and that’s that? Believe me, if I’d known I wouldn’t have bothered. God should tear out my tongue, I should talk to my child this way. Arnold, you’re my son, you’re a good person, a sensitive person with a heart, kennohorrah, like your father and I try to love you for that and forget this. But you won’t let me. You’ve got to throw me on the ground and rub my face in it. You haven’t spoken a sentence since I got there without the word “Gay” in it.

Arnold. Because that’s what I am.

Ma. If that were all you could leave it in there (point to bedroom) where it belongs; in private. No, you’re obsessed by it. You’re not happy unless everyone is talking about it. I don’t know why you don’t just wear a big sign and get it over with.

Arnold. (bordering on hysteria) I don’t know what to say to you. I really don’t. I’m not trying to throw it in your face but it is what I am and it’s not just a matter of who I sleep with. (crosses to her) Ma, try to imagine the world the other way around. Imagine that every movie, book, magazine, T.V. show, newspaper, commercial, billboard told you that you should be homosexual. But you know you’re not and you know that for you this is right…

Ma. Arnold, stop already. You’re talking crazy.

Arnold. You want to know what’s crazy? That after all these years I’m still sitting here justifying my life. That’s what’s crazy.

Ma. You call this a life? This is a sickness! But this is what you’ve chosen for yourself.

Arnold. (deep breath, one last try) Ma, look: I’m gay. I don’t know why. I don’t think anyone does. But that’s what I am. For as far back as I can remember. Back before I knew it was different or wrong…

Ma. You have not heard on word I’ve said.

Arnold. (losing control) I know you’d rather I was straight but I am not! Would you also rather I had lied to you? My friends all think I’m crazy for telling you. They’d never dream of telling their parents. Instead they cut their parents out of their lives. And the parents wonder, “Why are my children so distant?” Is this what you’d rather?

Ma. But it doesn’t have to be our every conversation.

Arnold. You want a part in my life? I am not going to edit out the things you don’t like!

Ma. (scared) Can we end this conversation?

Arnold. No. There’s one more thing you’ve got to understand. You made fun of my crocheting before. You think it’s a cute little effeminate thing I do. Let me tell you something; I have taught myself to sew, cook, fix plumbing, do taxes, build furniture…I can even pat myself on the back when necessary. All so I don’t have to ask anyone for anything. There is nothing I need form anyone except love and respect. And anyone who can’t give me those two things has no place in my life. (breath) You are my mother, and I love you. I do. But if you can’t respect me…Then you’ve got no business being here.

Ma. You’re throwing me out?

Arnold. What I’m trying to…

Ma. You’re throwing me out! Isn’t that nice? Listen Mister, you get one mother in this world. Only one. Wait. Just you wait. (Ma exits to bedroom…)



Blogger Todd HellsKitchen said...

Yes! Yes! Harvey at his best! I wish he wasn't so damned self-righteous in recent years though....

11:34 AM  

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