Mark O’Brien | The Sun Magazine

Mark O’Brien

Mark O’Brien was a poet and journalist. His books include three collections of poetry and the autobiography How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence. He died in 1999.

— From April 2023
The Sun Interview

In The Name Of Compassion

A Lawyer Fights Assisted Suicide — An Interview With Wesley J. Smith

A proponent of assisted suicide could be Moses, and it wouldn’t make assisted suicide right. That said, I think the motives of those promoting this agenda are mixed. I think there is a difference between the true believers in assisted suicide, who view it in an almost quasi-religious way, and people who support it because they believe it is the compassionate thing to do. The latter are merely misguided, in my opinion.

February 1999

Come Rain Or Come Shine

Twenty-Five Years Of The Sun

This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages. What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.

January 1999
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On Seeing A Sex Surrogate

In 1983, I wrote an article about sex and disabled people. In interviewing sexually active men and women, I felt removed, as though I were an anthropologist interviewing headhunters while endeavoring to maintain the value-neutral stance of a social scientist. Being disabled myself, but also being a virgin, I envied these people ferociously. It took me years to discover that what separated me from them was fear — fear of others, fear of making decisions, fear of my own sexuality, and a surpassing dread of my parents. Even though I no longer lived with them, I continued to live with a sense of their unrelenting presence, and their disapproval of sexuality in general, mine in particular. In my imagination, they seemed to have an uncanny ability to know what I was thinking, and were eager to punish me for any malfeasance.

May 1990
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