One of the really popular questions to the authors in the I DO anthologies seems to be ‘why did you do it’? Which is a valid question, although it’s one I have trouble wrapping my head around, because my main response is ‘why wouldn’t I?’. Why wouldn’t you do something good, when all it costs is a little time and creativity?
I am queer, but that’s not why I wrote Two Men. My story is an ode to the beautiful men I knew back home, in Philadelphia and in Delaware, where I went to school. I have queer family and friends, but that’s not why I participated in the anthology.
Tikkun olam translates as ‘repairing the world’, and it’s a wonderful concept in Judaism. (I like calling I DO TWO a mitzvah, too! Because it’s a mitzvah I did for others, and it was a mitzvah for me, to get me published for the first time.) I did the I DO TWO anthology because of tikkun olam, because the money we raise will go towards repairing the world. I love and cherish and appreciate everyone who participated in the volume for a deeply personal reason, but I think that that should not be the only reason. Tikkun olam, putting things back where they should be in the world — you don’t have to be queer, or know anyone queer, you just have to love humanity, and want the best for the whole world. It’s not going to be big, or change a lot, but what does? It’s activism — you must be patient, and you must be ready to work slow and steady, and you must want to repair the world more than your heart aches because so little is happening so slowly.
I wrote for the volume not because I am queer, or because I’ve worked the last decade of my life for equal rights (though both are true facts), but because in doing so, I’m part of an effort that is part of a larger effort, that repairs the world. And so, again, I’ve got to ask — why wouldn’t one participate? I wonder, sometimes, what people really want to know, when they ask that question.