Luis Miguelito

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Dear Editors,

The letter from David Thorstad about Luis Miguelito struck me as particularly heartless. I understand why the subject of HIV makes people angry to the point of hysteria. What I don't understand is the cold and hectoring attitude David Thorstad copped toward Luis. Talk about "paternalism"!

David Thorstad seems to object to the fact that Luis writes about real life rather than fantasy. The story "Talking Dirty" (in the same issue as David Thorstad's letter) also contains anal sex - but is written in the rosy never-never-land style of politically correct jerk off fantasy. No warnings about safe sex, however. Will David Thorstad denounce this text also? Luis' story about the mafia party depicts reality, which is not always sweet, loving, and consensual. Luis doesn't praise or condemn - he depicts. And what he depicts is real. Does David Thorstad believe that Luis wants to earn his living as a hustler, that Luis approves of "upstate mafiosi"? Can't David Thorstad read a realist text without demanding that the author apologize for the very reality he recounts? Also, has David Thorstad always been too upright (or to lucky) to pay for sex? Has he no feeling of sympathy for men who are lonely enough to pay for sex, or for boys who are poor and desperate enough to sell it?

And here we come to the gist of the matter. David Thorstad condemns the mafia "scumbags" because they "wouldn't send a dime to NAMBLA or any other worth while group." Maybe this is true, maybe not - I've known some criminals (admittedly only a few) with generous hearts. But what about David Thorstad? Would he spend a dime to keep Luis off the streets? To pay for his hospital bills or treatment? Would David Thorstad pay anything for the miracle of Luis' writing? - the only writing (as far as I know) by young and unschooled hustler who has found a genuine and authentic voice in which to present a point of view, a world, a reality which we (middle-class educated BLs) know only from the outside? Are "we" exempt from all blame for the pain of hustlers' lives simply because we occasionally "give a dime" to some "sex-liberation journal"? Are we entitled to "satisfaction" because we've broadcast warnings about safe sex, and told everyone to be just like us? Does David Thorstad really believe that because he doesn't "need to get fucked to enjoy sex," therefore "neither does anyone else"? Because we're terrified of AIDS do we have to internalize the queer bashing prejudices of moralistic idiots who believe anal intercourse is the devil's favorite position?

David Thorstad appears to have adopted an attitude perilously close to that which trendy shrinks call "blaming the victim." I myself do not think of Luis as a victim but as a genius - the tragedy of his life sometimes terrifies me, but the fact that he can make beautiful art out of it gives me reason to rejoice.

I respect David Thorstad's contribution to the "struggle," but in this instance I fear he must be charged with lack of compassion. I wish he would apologize to Luis, and I wish he would offer to help, rather than just preach.

Love & peace
Hakim Bey

source: Letter to the editor 'Luis Miguelito' by Hakim Bey; Nambla Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 8; October 1991