Tennessee Williams: How We Loved

Tennessee Williams with set painters on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947.

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom

The fact that I am a homosexual has, I think, led to my marginalization. I do not feel comfortable saying this, even though I have expressed this sentiment before. The world wants to suppress all things confusing to the sexual natures of its people, and, in my lifetime, the homosexual has been a particular threat.

This cannot hold, I don't think, because every family possesses a homosexual, loves a homosexual, holds the hand of a homosexual as he or she is bullied, ignored, content, and dying. 

Our stories involve more than our organs, even as I can see that our sexual natures are the club that will knock down some doors. But I am so much more than the trail of my fluids would imply.

Who will tell our stories? The full stories?

The Jews understand their lineage, with all of its glories and all of its horrors, and they keep the timelines deeply etched. The blacks of this country are now naming their children so that they--and all of us--will know their true heritage, their true provenance--so that we will no longer view them solely as property, captured people, inferior.

Who will step forward and say, These are our homosexuals? Let us not focus solely on how and whom they loved, but on what they gave and lost.

We all need a witness.

©  2016   James Grissom


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