The Buck Chronicles: The Self-Hate that Hate Made

The ‘Buck Chronicles’ are about my father, Raymond “Buck” Sorum.  It’s always so fascinating and beautiful to get a true view of the demons, battles and victories our parents dealt with. This journal entry shows Buck’s struggles with his faith, homosexuality and alcoholism. To live in a society that makes you hate yourself for what you are … that’s something a straight white man (me) has a hard time relating to directly. Empathy vs. sympathy. 
 By “community” below he refers to a gay drug dependency therapy group. “Gay A” they called it. 
 Why share these as I come across them? I’m not sure. Aside from the fact that they leave me with an increasing sense of peace about, with and for the man, maybe they will resonate with someone else and be of help. Or not. You know me … I just put things out there.  

 September 9, 1979 
Seeking refuge in the “community” is abdicating my individuality as a human. There are only individuals there, too — most of them are fleeing, w and w/o drug aid. The only community is the commonwealth of humanity. But membership requires for me unity and solidarity w myself. If I have my own solidarity, I have no fear of any man — and full membership is the common ship of mankind. 
It’s the labels which separate us. Even w/o the “community” they label each other according to our own self-esteem and thereby destroy our own “community”. 
 September 10, 1979
 Right now it seems like I’m headed down, down — what a fucked weekend — and all the verbal and emotional abuse I dumped on Tod. I’m not ready to have him live w me — though I want him to. Probably the worst thing for him right now. The weekend showed I am not in such good shape re being mature as I thought I was. Today I paid dearly — though the sleep was overdue and non-guilt sleep. Got nothing done, but stayed sober. A sort of one day retreat w/o any spiritual growth. 
 I can’t blame them for not considering my plans. Why should they? Being considerate of others often gets you shit on. The reward for being a nice guy is contempt — and taken advantage of — if you allow it. 
 I have not come to terms w my sexual preference, after all. Not very well, all of a sudden. I feel gutted — empty inside, hollowed out, plain empty — gutted, completely gutted — no emotions, just a fucking vacuum inside me — and contempt for so-called gays, fags, queers, homos — they are all fucked including me. A big bunch of selfish, childish, bigoted babies — bent on destroying themselves and forcing others to torture them. They want to hurt and pout and cry. They want to pull each other down. I am in a very bad state of mind. I hope I can look out and see brightness and hope for me tomorrow. I didn’ know I needed so much reassurance about myself as I do. God, it’s hard to be strong all by myself. My faith in God has slipped badly the past three days. I have never felt more alone than this evening — the meeting helped some, a word fom Kent helped a lot — “But think how much better you are now than when you came in.” Yes. I forgot that. Buck never had it so good. I have to find some one to talk to — or go crazy. Maybe Mike can help. 
 I feel sick. My conduct this weekend was childish, inexcusable. I have no right to advise anyone on anything especially how to live. And what did I find of Dignity after I did manage to get there? Rudeness, coldness by some more fucked faggots, Kiss off Dignity. Plain old AA is where I came from and where I had better stay — only there — w Mike’s help and my own trust in God and, gradually myself. Gay is only part of me. I have a lot more to offer, a lot more to be. Buck is a whole man — made up of many facets. Gay is one of them — an important one, but not the main one. The main one is my own esteem. I have to have it back or I’ll die soon. God please help me. I love you. 
 Buck 9.10.79

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