Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Man Called Uncle Tim #2

This is the second issue in a series of zines about my uncle, who helped to found an intentional community in rural Ohio in 1970, where he lived in a queer polyamorous household until his death in 1995. I never got to know my uncle while he was alive so these zines are my attempt to understand how he lived and loved during his brief but extraordinary life. Issue #1 is based on oral history with my Grandma and this issue is based on conversations with my dad.

A major factor that led me to start this project was the general silence about my uncle that existed throughout my childhood. To be honest, there was a lot of silence in my family when it came to anything that was difficult to talk about. But it wasn't just not knowing about how Uncle Tim lived, I had no idea what it felt like for my dad to lose his brother so young.

Talking to my dad openly about my uncle was revelatory. Not only did I learn about how close he and Uncle Tim were when they were growing up, it was the first time we'd had a real, profound conversation about things like death, sexuality and difficult emotions. It may have taken more than 35 years but it was also the first time we communicated about what it feels like to be the weird kid desperately searching for a different life, something Uncle Tim and I shared.

As important as anything was hearing how he felt about Uncle Tim's death, especially after such a long period of not being in contact. There is still so much more to learn about Uncle Tim's life from the other people who were close to him so the search continues. For now, pick up a copy of issue #2 in my shop.

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