MY FIRST TIME IN MANY WAYS
This is the first time I go back to America after my three best gay friends, Ritchie Bennett, Dan Moseley and David McCarn, have died. I will miss their big hugs…
The first time after a whole generation of talented American writers and scholars that I interviewed for my dissertation in 1987 have literally been swept away by the aids epidemic.
This is my first time back in America in the digital era.
This is my first time back in America with a black president in the White House. Yes, we can.
This is my first time I am back in America and I will not see the Twin Towers in the NYC skyline from the plane, my first time after the criminal attack on 9/11.
This is my first time back in America after Mr Bush and Mr Aznar’s illegal war on Iraq.
This is my first time back in the United States after Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and Wikileaks.
The first time after I have travelled to Cuba and realized how counterproductive the American embargo is to bring about a democratic transition on the island.
After it has been proved that financially deregulated capitalism sucks!
After the 15-M protest movement has taken to the streets globally to demand a better world.
After getting captivated by the magic of Paul Auster’s literary universe and Clint Eastwood’s films.
After Hollywood has given the world the gift of Brokeback Mountain and Spain a new film star, a man called Miguel Ángel Silvestre.
After realizing that Bruce Springsteen is still rock’n rolling 30 years later.
The first time I am coming from a country where all have now been granted equal rights, even same-sex couples, but which is stricken with corruption at every level of society.
The first time after La Roja has won the World Cup!
The first time after making several new American friends in many parts of the world.
Still, in a way, by going back to Chapel Hill, NC, 25 years later I feel like I am coming home.