Sunday, April 23, 2017
Food, Sex and Silence; New York Times, April 22, 2017
Frank Bruni, New York Times;
"The discrepancy between accounts of Beard up until his death and posthumous assessments like “America’s First Foodie” remind me of how often oppression is an act of omission rather than commission: not letting people give voice and vent to much of what moves them and to all of what defines them; not recognizing and honoring that ourselves.
I’m struck, too, by the nature of lies. They’re not just statements. They’re silences that fail to confront bad as well as beautiful things, often with grievous consequences.
[Ted] Allen thought about all the L.G.B.T. kids back then who were denied a role model. He thought about how the editing of Beard’s life shortchanged a minority group’s major contribution to American gastronomy. Claiborne, too, was in this minority, as the writer John Birdsall pointed out in a 2014 essay for the magazine Lucky Peach that was titled “America, Your Food Is So Gay.”
But Allen said that he thought in particular about all “the well-known people whose homosexuality was buried along with them,” and how that distorted and continues to distort our views of L.G.B.T. Americans."