Life in NYU Limbo

B.Michael writes a letter to his dear friend Trevor Moore, based in the U.K., who died in the early ’90s. Fortunate — and curious — that he made and kept a photocopy.


September 20, 1989
11:10 AM

Hello Trevor,

I begin this letter in anticipation of word from New York University School of Law, whether they are extending an offer of employment to me as Admissions Director. It is strange for me to want/need a new job. I have mixed feelings about leaving IBM. I am not sure if I just want to accept this job and start a new job as a Black Gay Male. I have had six — count them, six! — interviews for this job. It seems everyone must meet me for them to be sure. I think it’s sort of ironic that I would be considering a job at any law school. (Did I mention before that I used to consider law school the worst experience in my life?!?)

If I get this job, it would fit well into my plans — take classes, pay down debt, learn new skills, and more vacation (5 weeks). I have been up at night for the last 3 weeks. My mind has been very active, both my stomach and bowels can testify to that. One’s tight and the other’s loose. I have tried to calm myself down. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t.

I received your letter the day I developed the enclosed pictures. You have constantly been on my mind and I await the day I can come visit you in England. I still think it’s strange that I was able to connect with you in such a short time. I hope we will be old men together talking about the summer of 1989.

El and I are not talking. Maybe someday we will find a language where we can communicate healthily. I do hope so.

I feel as if I am participating in history. I was at a lecture/presentation for Simon Nkoli (the Black Gay South African activist) and a memorial for Pat Parker (this Black Lesbian writer [who] can/did write her ass off!). If you can get any of her works, do; if not, I’ll be glad to send you samples. Both events were packed (well attended), standing room only.

How are your studies going? Six months from now, you will be well on your way to completing this coursework and preparing for medical school. Five years from now, you will wonder where the time went and what country you plan on working in. I have full faith that you will be able to successfully complete your current coursework and medical school. I wish you strength and joy towards both endeavors.

It is now 11:40 AM. I still have not heard from NYU. I will stop this part of the letter now and pick up after I hear from them. One way or the other, life goes on. I hope I remember this when I hear from them.

September 22, 1989
3:30 PM

After waiting two days, I found out that they have offered the job to someone else. I think “a white man” — that’s expected. I’m not sure how I feel. I somehow feel relieved that I would not have to fight that war. My inside person was unaware that anyone else was being considered for the position and offered their condolences. That’s nice to know.

I spoke earlier to my friend (Denise), the law professor and she said I might have a basis for a lawsuit if they don’t offer me the job. Well, I’ll have to call her and let her know it didn’t happen. This total experience, although not over, has helped me to put things in perspective. I am very disappointed, very disappointed, but I’ve been disappointed before and have had to move on. Over the next few days, I’ll figure out what I want to do next.

On a happier note, I’ll be reading with Sheilah excerpts from our story, “Cousins.” I’ve enclosed the flyer. I am grateful that I am in good health and have all that life has to offer me ahead.


B.Michael (far right) did end up visiting Trevor (far left) in the U.K a few months later.

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