John’s notes on The boy in the yellow dress by Victor Marsh

The Boy in the Yellow dress

by Victor Marsh

2014

Marsh

I would divide this book into three parts. Marsh’s early years growing up in Perth are very engaging. He covers many of themes and interests of my own life and relationships with parents and an emerging sexuality in a society I remember and understand. The middle (long) section on the development of his spiritual life (post drugs, sixties etc) was not much engaging at all for me. The final section on his gradual breaking-away, re-establishing a more fulfilling sexual existence and working in the ‘outside’ world was once again contemporary and interesting especially his experiences and views on the media industry.

The fault (if any) lies with my interests. I am not a particularly spiritual being and find writing about the evanescent and indescribable just that. There is an odd counter-familiarity in Marsh’s story in that my first serious relationship was the reverse. My friend felt some of the pull that Marsh experienced but (to the best of my knowledge) never took it much further than a deep interest in TM which was later combined with the ideas of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. While I always expressed interest in his spiritual explorations, they never really engaged me and we eventually parted with a continuing mutual respect.

I find it particularly hard to accept and understand Marsh’s broken relationship with his wife and son though this was not an uncommon happening with many homosexual men at that time. I find the nature of his break and his dedication to his Master rather sad and almost self-delusional – but those are the thoughts of a rational empiricist and I have to accept that for some, the pattern of those years for Marsh are understandable and even insightful. It also has to be said that his musings on the nature of gender and choice and their interactions are worthy of consideration.

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