This is the post that has me stuck. This is the reason I haven’t posted in so long. I’ve been working on this post for weeks. I keep writing and editing, and I still can’t find the right words. I’m angry. I’m annoyed. Although I can’t exactly put my finger on what’s bothering me so much. Remember the electronic memory game Simon from the 1970’s? All of my buttons have been pushed, and I’m lit up red, green, blue and yellow. This post isn’t perfect, but I need to let go so I can move forward.
* * *
Just when I was starting to get comfortable. Just when I was starting to feel safe and accepted. Just when I was starting to think I’m like everyone else.
I mean, same-sex marriage is now legal in Pennsylvania. W and I took the plunge and got married in October. Just like straight couples do.
I feel welcome in our small town. I am warmly greeted at the veterinarian’s office, at the checkout line in the grocery store, at Kohl’s, at the local pizza place and ice cream shop. Me, a girl, with too-short hair and too-long sideburns.
I never notice anyone giving me the cold shoulder. No one ever shrieks or flees when I walk into a place of business, even when I’m having a bad hair day. Just kidding! A butch never has a bad hair day.
It’s been years since anyone has shouted “faggot” or “dyke” in my direction from the safety of their moving cars.
I had been lulled into a sense safety and comfort much like a baby in one of those automated swings. Silly, butch.
And then someone questioned the value of something I had written because of two reasons: I am a woman and a lesbian. I will call this person Angel of the Bottomless Pit (not real name).
For a few seconds I felt smaller than usual, and my words felt lighter than usual. And then I got mad.
It was a sneak attack. I never saw it coming.
Now, I’m on a mission to get my book published.
I often think of the C.S. Lewis quote : “We read to know we are not alone.”
There is tremendous power in seeing your reflection in the pages of someone else’s book.
tearing up feeling all emotional but not really crying reading Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon’s book Gender Failure earlier this year. I never knew people wrote books for people like me.
I have committed to making a big push to find an agent or a publishing house to pick up my memoir. (If you know of anyone who might be interested, please let me know.) If I don’t get any takers, I’ll self-publish in 2015.
I am now certain of the value of my story.
Of course, it is a story about being gay, being lesbian, being butch. But there’s more.
If you have ever felt different, you will see yourself in the pages of my book. If you have ever pretended to be someone you weren’t, you will see yourself in my book. If you have ever thought there was something wrong with you but didn’t know what, you will see yourself in my book. It is a book for outsiders, loners, those who march to the beat of their own drums. And to the beat of Melissa Etheridge because M.E. rocks.
It is a book for anyone who has struggled with identity, shame, fear. It is a book about finding oneself and shining brighter than you ever thought possible. Bright as a gold button caught in the rays of the afternoon sun.
At it’s core, it’s a tale about being human.
I thought everyone would be able to relate to that.