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Queer, Ill, and Okay: Artists Write to Their Younger Selves on World AIDS Day

Lucas Baisch 3

Lucas Baisch, @lucbaisch

Playwright, visual artist. Photo by Ursula Barker.


Lately, it seems practicing patience has been a brick wall, a cartoonish precipice, a general impediment that stands in the way of looking at the cohesion between life-living and art-making. Sometimes the work you do may feel like it exists in a microcosm—an echo chamber that has a much too intangible place in benefitting society. In an effort to eradicate that aching, think in terms of scale.

Maybe consider a timeline. Think of a tradition of familial work. Think of your great-grandfather (whom we never met), one of Guatemala's premiere composers. Think of your teenage brothers’ consumption of new media and how it shapes their idea of telling stories. Think of a geological timeline. Think of how the rock you live on is 4.5 billion years old and you exist as one seed awaiting germination. Think of a timeline tracking love. Think of grandparents, spending decades building the perfect imperfect home. Think of making friends and losing friends and how it all has some quantifiable weight.

Days, months, years are redundant. Model the things you make from a need and a desire, not a comparison to others or the time it takes to do things. Use "illness" as a catalyst, not a crutch. The imperfect nature of the world is reflected in everything—your work, your love, your expectations. Harness that. Bring lightness to that. There is always space to make things, and there will always be people listening.

Love and love,



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