Friday, February 8, 2013

susan sontag & coming out

in the last year i have come to some pretty unsettling conclusions. but in a way, unsettling is good. it's freeing. it's hopeful and in that blank canvas there is a potential so fucking scary and elusive and great I can't really explain it. but it's a slow and- then sudden-secretion. it feels like being licked from ear to navel and back, the first time one is succumbed to love. that first drink of heavy wine, drunk on life. that is the unsettling of being in the moment.

what could i do if i let myself stop, for once, caring for everyone else and just really, intently and gently, looked at myself in the mirror? not just looked, but stared? not just stared, but interpreted the meaning behind the fears and tears and all this denial? what symphony can be heard over the fucking denial anyway? i am not the nicey nice cupcake queen. i am the girl who writes too fast for caps or correct punctuation. ain't nobody got time for dat. ha.

i have openly come out as a lesbian. this has been like turning on a bright light and blowing a circuit in four major rooms in the house of my life. but like all unsettling things, it has shown me things; who i am authentically. that i missed writing. that i missed love, real connections with women- and that i was getting to a point of such raw misery that when i was touched, it felt like burning embers on my skin. true beautiful, passion- was not for me. i didn't deserve it. feeling happy and sexy and creative and healthy inside and out [pardon the pun] was just too much fucking GOODNESS. i had no degree to prove i could be, or should be happy. i mean, we all look to rites of passage like diplomas and jobs and babies to sort of bring us into our "self" but there is no great celebration for being gay- except coming out- and that is not hand-delivered in our mailboxes.

even for someone like me, so psychologically advanced in my knowledge, gravitating to a path of authenticity- i did not know for certain, i was a lesbian, until now, 38 years old. i thought the entire hole in my life was a borderline personality disorder. not feeling love, not allowing realness. always wearing masks, but then the mask slipped and get this- it would NOT allow me to place it back upon my face once it had admitted that i *might* be gay. i had dodged this gay bullet for over 20 years, and now i was taking myself seriously. i blamed everything else. my body. my celexa. my boyfriend, then fiancé. my exes and my family. but never just good old fashioned destiny to be a woman who likes women and feels closest to females and is also sexually attracted to their bodies.

i knew men were odd. the men i chose were soft. i liked the fullness of their asses and backs and the pockets of frontal fleshiness call "manboobs" but it never occurred to me these were all nicotine patches for my true orientation. that i craved softness. i needed the intimacy of another woman, how a baby craves a breast, how a lover craves the tenderness of feeling home with their partner. and how dreadful to clinch my heart and not wring it out properly. so i sit here, writing for the first time in many many months... and it feels like i am awake. there is no terror in me to make a mistake. hell, even a mistake with a woman if that is to happen, would be fantastic. because it would be REAL. and that's the really gorgeous part of coming out. feeling i am now able to expect as much as i possibly can hold in my arms- great big huge armfuls of love, not just existing on as little hurt as possible.

that is what coming out means to me. it means i can fully, completely, put myself into my life without any fear. if i fail, i fail as kelly, now. i fail as someone who tried EVERYTHING to be straight and dipped my toes in "bisexual" in order to cope- but now. i am free. do you hear that? I think God loves me gay, too, because i am still here and if there is a universal God, he's not going around killing gays and lesbians- the humans are. we hold the knife to our throats by not coming out. by sinking our consciousness into denial, we are made heavier, sinking more, heavier still, until our last words were "i wish i would have ______..."

regret can be metaphorical for anything; addiction, dreams, coming out, not letting ourselves love, hurting another person because the elixir of adoration can make us drunk and temporarily happy even if it means we're dying secretly. so i am thankful that i am finally not sinking. i am constantly coming up for air, right now, but i suspect that is because i have not a single close friend who is gay. i have clients, acquaintances but not friends. not someone who i could sit and watch a movie with and feel like "okay, that was good, this is friendship." but i see my *people* kind of on the horizon, bobbing in the water on a rescue boat while i am out here waving...

not drowning.

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