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Permission granted by author for anyone to distribute this
writing free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition that no profit is made therefrom,
and that it remain intact and complete, including title and 
credit to the original author.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


(A True Tale From The Castro. Eat your heart out, Armistead!)

© 1997 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

June 25, 1989


     I have never been much of a parade-goer, but my window is
right over the march route anyway, so I actually have the best
seat in town. I must say, this year's Lesbian/Gay Pride March
was the greatest yet! And, which contingent in the parade do
you think got the most applaud? I am proud to say that it was
the FIRE DEPARTMENT.  And they sure deserve a standing ovation
for all their courageous deeds year round. Those guys and gals
deserve the equivalent of The Purple Heart (how about The
"Lavender" Heart? Oh, well, the color purple is equally fine.)

     But I was saddened to see that there was NOT a contingent
of Vietnam veterans.  So, I will see to it that, starting next
year, there WILL be for now well as a contingent for
the homeless. Only sorry I did not move on this idea in time
for this year's parade. (Sometimes inspiration comes only with
hindsight, and on the heels of a great event.)

     Even though I myself am not a Nam Vet, I have many close
friends that are (including my lover), most of whom are still
struggling with PTSD, many of whom wander the streets homeless
and psychologically devastated.  It will be my greatest
achievement ever, to awaken the lesbian/gay community to the
need to heal our own Nam Vets who not only served our country,
but served the needs for kindness, love, and caring, for their
comrades in the risk of suffering persecution,
torture, and murder, not just at the hands of the enemy, but
in the hands of their own brothers at war.  (Read "Anywhere,
Anywhere" by Tim Barrus, for specific insights on the Vietnam
War through the eyes of a gay soldier.)  This healing process
of the Nam Vets is every bit as important as the healing of
the AIDS holocaust.

     I shall see to it that the history of the Vietnam War
shall NOT be a repeat of the history of other that
the issue and importance of the homosexual at war was
suppressed as if it were not just irrelevent, but nonexistent.
More than 200,000 homosexuals were condemned to concentration
camps during the Nazi reign of terror that begat World War II.
My heart goes out to all groups of people who were thus
persecuted:  Jews, Polish, Catholics, dissenters, et cetera.
However, I beg of these groups to STOP IGNORING THEIR OWN
LESBIAN/GAY CONTINGENT, whenever documenting their history of
persecution.  After all, indeed there were (and are, and
always will be) gay Jews, gay Polish, gay Catholics, gay
dissenters, gay soldiers, and gay et ceteras.

     I am also surprised that many of my own gay siblings do
not know the origin of the word "faggot!"  Especially the
youths, some of whom likewise think that we won the Vietnam
War, that the Nazi holocaust never really happened, and that
democracy is just a 9-letter word. (Actually, the seeds of
democracy were planted by the Hellenic of the
greatest cultures on earth which, coincidentally, revered the
expression of homosexuality as sacred to the human condition.)

     The etymology of "faggot" therefore bears repeating:

     The original meaning of the word "faggot" was "a bundle
of twigs or sticks for lighting a fire," from the French
"fagot".  Well, a person suspected of homosexuality was
considered less worthy than a witch, and therefore not
deserving of being burned at the stake...but instead was
wrapped in a bundle of sticks, then tossed onto the heap of
wood, whereby the "faggot" was ignited, in order to burn
BENEATH the witch tied to the stake (who was also, eventually,
burned).  (By the way, "bonfire" was originally "fire of
bones" or "bone fire," which was a fire to burn corpses.)

     Anyway, it was a great parade, and I suspect history is
in the making this year, for lesbians/gays, the homeless, and
Vietnam Veterans...and we'll do it all, TOGETHER.