Searching for Home
Becoming Whole: The Making of a 21st Century Man
Becoming Whole is a series of autobiographical essays about the life of a gay Caribbean-American man, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. In these essays I describe how I see the world and wrestle with the psychosocial challenges encountered in my particular cultural context. Through the arc of this personal narrative I write about how I struggled to find an identity and a way to belong; how I overcame the fierce dictates of my father and discovered the way to following my own dreams; how I raised my daughter as a single-parent; struggled with the issues of race and class; and ultimately entered ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.
This story of becoming whole provides not only a window into what it means to be gay and black in post-modern America, but what it feels like to be a stranger. I wanted to articulate the unique experiences of an immigrant family, as well as aspects of the lives of boys and men that connect us all to one human global community—attempting to survive life’s obstacles, searching for a place to belong.
Gender, identity, and alienation—issues we all face—are explored. Family, infidelity, abuse and sexuality are also discussed with as much honesty, humor and insight. Additionally, I address illness and mortality, as I describe the challenges of my own pre-and post-cancer surgery and experience with AIDS.
In this third collection: Searching for Home, I have included essays that offer experiences in the United States and abroad, as I search for a place to call home. On these journeys I encounter people who inspire me, cause me to reflect on the personal “baggage” I carry wherever I go, and broaden my perspective on context and belonging.
Searching for Home suggests an on-going process of self-discovery, and a quest for the place in which you can become your fullest, most authentic self. This, very human longing, was found wherever I went in the world. For some, it takes time to see that you have already arrived. For others, the quest never ends.