Not What, but Who

James Baldwin, speaking with Terry Gross on Writers Speak:

The homosexual question is tied up with the whole American idea of masculinity: the whole infantile idea (according to me) and absolutely untrue. To be a man is much more various than the American myth has it. As I myself have lived and I have observed, love is where you find it. Your maturity, I think, is signaled by the depth or extent to which you can accept the dangers and the power and the beauty of love.

...Before I left this country, I had been afflicted with so many labels that I had become invisible to myself. I had to go away to some place to get rid of all these labels and find out not what I was, but who.

...it was a very simple matter for me to say to myself, Iā€™m going this way and only death will stop me, and Iā€™m going to live my life, the only life I have, in the sight of God.