Brian’s Reflection: Monday, June 20, 2011
Sometimes I feel as if four thousand years
of silencing women, of the fear of women
who were burned in oil or eviscerated in
front of their daughters, is imprinted deep
within me and has altered my DNA.
Thankfully, it became clear to me that when
I compete, I lose my connection to the passion
I have for my work.
Olympia Dukakis, actress and artist; she was
born on this date, 1931, and is 80 today.
One of my heroes! As a woman, a person, an actress. As an actress, especially in the role of Anna Madrigal, the transsexual (male to female) landlady of Barbary Lane in Armisted Maupin’s “Tales of the City”. Mrs. Madrigal is a superb metaphor of every person being who they truly are. I know at the very core of my Life that this is what God intended, intends, and desires for every single human person. I feel this as deeply as Olympia does about the oppression of women: my DNA has been altered by my absolute conviction that every single person must be equally valued and respected, and we each must be free to be our unique and authentic selves. None of the great divisive issues of the human race will be “solved” until all are accepted and respected for their true selves.
The passion I have for my work, as a man, a Gay man, a priest, has been rooted in being fully the person I was born to be, in encouraging those entrusted to my pastoral care to find the freedom so to be, and in “preaching” in word and deed a God who offers this gift. It will be my passion till the end.
Competition is death-dealing ….. unless, as St. Paul intimates, it is to outdo each other in Love and Justice and Humility.