Why These Stories

The idea for many of these musings came from watching Skins, Buffy, The L Word and a whole host of newer programs. Coincidentally, this new world of lesbian visibility is tracked by AfterEllen.com. It’s a coincidence for me because I came out to myself and those closest to me a few months before Ellen came out publicly. My public declarations would have to wait though until I was allowed ‘to tell’, but my private ones were a collection of awkward, funny, terrifying, and completely anticlimactic. I had an odd sort of support system of friends and crushes and had no real struggle once I just said it out loud. I was 20. Part of me has to wonder if I had been physically born in 1996 instead of just mentally and emotionally reborn, if I would have come out sooner. What would it have been like to read Fingersmith at 15 instead of 30? Or have had access to the many wonderful coming out stories that are now available?

Over the years, I have flipped through my memories, always hoping that I will one day understand the significance of some of the odder pieces in my collection. Those snapshots of the past that are brief yet vivid; that still make my stomach or my chest clench. These moments, in spite of their visceral effect, are not forthcoming in their significance. They seem almost mundane and self-indulgent on their faces, never the less, I always knew they held cryptic truths. It turns out that the truth, even when desired through a safe distance, shifts as the lens does. Fortunately, I have no need of objective truth when it comes to understanding my own mind. To see the significance of a lost event, means that there must still be a connection to my present self.

These brief musings I am postings are the result of mental time travel, of going back to those moments repeatedly as both an observer and as the emotional child that I was. What I found has been as emotionally rewarding as the search was taxing. What I found, and what I remember are as true to me as the keys beneath my fingers as I type this. I very well be misreading or misinterpreting the actions or feelings of those around me, and if I am then I hope I am still fair. But to be honest, I don’t care if I get everyone else wrong. The significance of these moments were never spoken aloud, nor even dealt with properly in my head. Rather, they were tucked away because I couldn’t deal with their significance. These people from my past, whom most were wonderful girls and women, helped make me who I am. It is that small piece of them that lingers over twenty years later.