After writing a wrenching, somewhat angry piece about race relations for my first-ever published article in 1992, I felt compelled to write something more positive as a follow-up, an article that was published also in the pages of Xtra.
The piece, "Immigrants of the Soul," is a poetic rumination on the unique perspective of queers, people of colour and immigrants of all stripes. This perspective is invaluable, even threatening. But as I get older (and older) I recognize more and more how most people are square pegs in round holes, how we are all immigrants through time and place and culture.
Perhaps that's what connects artists to their subjects and what connects artists to their audience. Perhaps it's what connects us all.
It's not that I'm diluting the uniqueness of queers, people of colour and immigrants, rather, I'm emphasizing the universality of our experience.
Xtra, June 26, 1992
Immigrants of the soul. These are my favourite people, my friends.
There exists in this country a large number of people who have been forced to leave their homes, forced out of the cohesion of one culture and into another. From then on, they can never go back. Home is never so clear, coherent, convincing ever again. But who would want to stay in a place so boring anyway?
People are forced out of their cultural homes because they are different. Difference is not the reason. Fear is. Fear in the eyes of the majority.... Continued