“Unbroken” by Larry Benjamin— A Silenced Life

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Benjamin, Larry. “Unbroken”, Beaten Track, 2013.

A Silenced Life

Amos Lassen

 When there is no understanding, sometimes the result is silence and we certainly see that in the way Lincoln de Chabert was treated by his parents. It is as if they took away his voice and he was reduced to speaking in a whisper. His young life was totally unremarkable until that day he came home from kindergarten and told his parents that he would marry his friend Orlando when he grew up. His parents immediately tried to “fix” their son—they considered him to be broken. When they realized that there was nothing they could do, he became ignored and a non-entity to them. Likewise he remained silent to them. Even when he was chided as a “brainiac”, a sissy, an “antiman” and a faggot did he not speak. He moved from unremarkable to unacknowledged but determined to live the life he chose to live regardless of the cost.

When he was seven years old, Lincoln already knew that he loved boys and would marry one even though his parents told him boys do not marry boys. In fact, his parents let him know early on what boys do and what boys don’t do. During his school years, Lincoln was picked on. When he was deciding where to go to college, he chose one where no one that he knew was going to.

The serious issue of being young and gay is beautifully handled by Larry Benjamin and with wonderful touches of humor. I understand that this is the most personal story that Benjamin has written and it is fiction but obviously based on true events.

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