Lesbo Manifesto

On 3 October 1987, just eight months after my twenty-fourth birthday, and a mere four months after beginning the relationship with the woman who was the passion of my life for very close to thirty years, my father asked me one morning if I was a lesbian, and I said yes. That was okay. He asked if I was happy with her—you know, the one whose name was so hard to pronounce—and I said yes.

Not everyone was so reasonable, nor had been, and my ‘manifesto’ had largely been written by this date, the day of my “coming out”, in response to society’s attitudes prevalent at the time. At the end of that long day, I put the final touches to my manifesto.

I found it by accident today, and we can thank my beloved João, she who kept these things, for that. If I had found it sooner, I would have published it sooner.

Having just read out what I have always thought of as “my manifesto” to my cousin, it was interesting, to say the least, that I definitely did want to give it the title “Lesbo Manifesto”, because were I not lesbo, I would never have felt the need to write it in the first place.

It is worth noting that I have always been honest, so if I said I had done, or not done something in 1987, then this was true. I have not changed a single word; not even the punctuation. It comes to you as it was, just over thirty years ago.

 

Landscape with olive tree.
I haven't committed suicide
   nor murder, nor maimed animals
I haven't destroyed myself with drugs
I haven't twisted my mind or anyone else's
I haven't burnt any buildings to the ground
   nor stolen from church altars
   nor drowned a baby
   nor had a backstreet abortion
I haven't cut into my wrists or into the fabric of society
I have not committed unfair practices
   nor any act of violence.

I have loved all that is life
I have encouraged others to live
I have comforted the sick
   helped beggars and children and rape victims
I have soaked in beauty in all its forms,
   the rain in winter and storms in summers
I have let the wind blow through me on cold nights
   and marvelled at the wonder of the moon
I have thrown sand over the sea with my soul,
   which returns on the incoming waves
I have grown and picked flowers and herbs
   collected shells and memories 
I have lit a candle to life
   at midnight, and dawn and early evening
I have tasted of the knowledge
   of men and women of great vision,
   absorbed histories and sciences and current events
I have been humble before God,
   and prayed for the relief of suffering,
   past and present
I have written to many friends when they have needed it most
I have created drawings and poems to the delight of others
   and rejoiced together with them over simple things
I have always had the impulse to give, just as others too
   have been good to me

My heart has known the height of inspiration
   and the depths of confusion and despair
But I have always known that I am strong and good
I have waited many years for the love of my life
I did not enter into the world of cruel carnality
   for the sake of mere gratification
I waited for my soul mate
To share all that I am
And I have found her.

So you who scorn or fail to comprehend or accept
Know that I love, and I love life
I have made each choice along the way
   with both the joys and sadnesses life brings

So should you happen to scorn or fail to comprehend or accept
Who I am,
Respect my soul, and what I have and haven't done
As I respect life and love itself.

©2018 (1987) Allison Wright




Please also respect copyright. Feel free to quote, but always with attribution to me, and citing this blog and blogpost. Thank you.

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