[Mark Glover is Contributing Editor Alpine. Click here to visit Trans-Pecos Science Moment for more of his thoughts on the Big Bend.]
What’s it like to be gay out here? If you can survive the jokes: “Where do gays go for a swim?” Balma – hey” and survive the chatter: “He’s swish Mom, you know?”and survive low frequency bias with occasional blips of unprovoked hatred: “Hey queer – wanna a ride?” then maybe you can live here under the radar and almost be yourself.
Community apologies exist in Texas; Marfa and Austin come to mind but not Wood County. That’s where my school mate Cecil Fulfer was murdered. A single knife thrust to the heart. Dead and no arrests. A crime of passion?
Cecil was an actor, a thespian, rhymes with lesbian, rhymes with faggot.
Cecil was the fourth child and only son of a good Christian family in Dallas. A carrot top. He ran funny, like a girl. He was a cheer leader, like another famous Texan. He liked plays and got good grades. He lived in a trailer and liked to drink at bars and seldom hid his sexual identity. In fact he was a flamer.
Broadway dancer Cecil never tried the mission position, never inclined.
When do we become a murderer, is it nature or is it nurture?
Who killed Cecil Fulfer? No leads, no interest? This human being, his bones now buried, his spirit, his molecules off on other tangents lays done in, neglected and unimportant, somehow.
Statistics: The murderer was likely male, 99.3 per cent are. And women carry 100 per cent of us.
Where is my Cecil Fulfer, my friend, my hero, my cheerleader?
Cecil drove a pick up. He drove it hard and sometimes he drove it so fast down the winding country lanes of Texas that he hoped he might hit a dip, get airborne, and take off for another world, up and up and land in Miss Le Mac’s 5th grade classroom where nobody had any idea of the hard life to come.