On Michael Sam, Straight From the Heart of Texas

For more about Sam — and the road he’s run, see here.

But Sam has never had it easy. He grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends.




A Boy to Be Sacrificed

This short opinion piece by Abdellah Taia in the Sunday NY Times, has got to be one of the most distressing  accounts of a boy’s life I have read in years.

IN the Morocco of the 1980s, where homosexuality did not, of course, exist, I was an effeminate little boy, a boy to be sacrificed, a humiliated body who bore upon himself every hypocrisy, everything left unsaid. By the time I was 10, though no one spoke of it, I knew what happened to boys like me in our impoverished society; they were designated victims, to be used, with everyone’s blessing, as easy sexual objects by frustrated men. And I knew that no one would save me — not even my parents, who surely loved me. For them too, I was shame, filth. A “zamel.”

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His An Arab Melancholia,(2008/2012e) and Salvation Army (2006/2009e), are available in an English translation by Frank Stock.  Le rouge du trabouche, which he mentions, seems not yet to be translated