“Queer Love or God Finds Us in Queer Spaces”
George Berry is a large man with a round face, stunning smile, and large eyes that beam through rather hip slightly oversized spectacles. I visit George as often as I can. He lives in another part of Texas and is unable to travel. During our last visit, George let down his defenses and told me that he was attracted to men.
“Jeff, I like butts man,” is how he actually said it.
I immediately celebrated his comments and told him how much I appreciated his vulnerability and trust in talking to me about his sexuality. The conversation went deeper. The Spirit was present without question.
George began to speak of Tommy. The two met in a difficult space…but the two learned to love each other despite the many adversities. It was a forbidden love. The two were not supposed to be together yet for a time love prevailed.
Regardless of their love, the adversities of life and evil pulled them apart.
“I really did love him Jeff and I miss him…but he betrayed me,” George concluded.
I was incredibly moved by the conversation. I pressed for more.
I asked him to describe how he feels now about himself and the space he finds himself in.
“No matter what, I always look at love and declare it is good,” George replied.
The phrase reminded me of the way that God created and declared it is good. When I brought up this parallel, George declared, “Well ain’t that what all this life is about? Trying to love how God loves. When we see love we need to just declare it is good. No matter whether it is hetero, homo, queer, or whatever…love is good.”
George described love in a more beautiful and filling way than I could have ever dreamed. I left our visit dreaming of a world where people have the courage to love and accept people the way that George does. I dream of people having the courage to transcend their boundaries and actually see love…in order to boldly declare, “it is good.”
This conversation was absolutely incredible yet there is something that makes it even more incredible, it took place with close to a foot worth of reinforced glass between us.
The truth is that George Berry is inmate #969378 and lives on Texas’ Death Row.
Isn’t it queer that often love and God incarnate seems to find us in those we attempt to throw away?