I’ve been thinking a lot about L today.
When she died, we were both just kids. We were both 20 and still had so much growing up to do.
I’m spending time thinking about that and thinking about how mad I am that she wasn’t allowed to ever grow up. I simply can not fathom what an adult L would be like. She was such an amazing ball of energy, I want to know how she would have harnessed that energy.
I’ll never know. No one will ever now and that is fucking infuriating.
Filed under: lessons learned, New projects, People to remember, Projects, Southern life, The new hose, Thinking Thinking
This thing is 7 years old now.
I’m laying in bed reading a few old posts and I can’t even imagine where I was 7 years ago (physically, mentally) and it’s really comforting to know that at any point I can look back here and figure that out.
A lot of things have changed in the past 7 years.
I made a new friend and because of that person, my friend group grew exponentially. I still have all those new friends in my life and I’m really grateful for that. Some aren’t as present as I would like and I’d like to change that. But, I genuinely love those people and they constantly remind me how lucky I am.
One of my good friends died way, way too young and I was able to take all of that hurt and anger and turn it into a project that has already become much larger than I could have ever imagined. This project is now *my job* and I am able to focus all of my energy there. I sometimes worry that because it is now my job, I’ll begin to view it as ‘just a job’, but that has not happened yet. I work everyday to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I discovered the magical world of middle TN, specifically IDA. I don’t really have much more to say about that, but IDA will always hold a special place in my heart.
I bought a house. I figured, if I plan on staying here forever, might as well plant some (literal and figurative) roots, right?
I, for the first time in my life, began trying to dissect my feelings. We’ll just say that’s a work in progress.
I began processing my ideas of my own gender identity and came to a place that I feel really good about. On a related note, I changed my name.
I’ve had sex with a small handful of people. I ended up coming to the conclusion that I’m not interested in hookups with people I don’t really know that well. Not for some slut-shaming reason, but because having sex with people just takes so much energy. I want to make sure I’m investing that energy wisely. On a related note, I’ve only had sex with one person (multiple times, but one person) in the past 3 or so years. I think I’m okay with that.
Two dogs entered my life and they have become my very best friends.
I’m sure other noteworthy things happened, but these are the things that come to mind first. Here’s to another 7 years, hopefully.
I’ve made no progress in figuring out how to let down my walls, so that I can let people in.
Truth be told, I haven’t really worked on it that much.
I was talking with a now long-distance good friend about this and I thought of something that had never come to mind before. Maybe the metaphor breaks down at this point, but would it be possible that someone could just go over the walls? In my mind that’s a somewhat shitty and passive (on my end) thing to want, but maybe that’s just where I am.
How could I ask that of someone? In my mind the conversation would look something like this “Hey, sometimes I’ll feel distant, but I really just need you to help me push through that and force me to explain to you what I am feeling right now.”
Who the fuck would sign up for that?
Filed under: Southern life, This town | Tags: lesbian elders, Thinking about the past
Yesterday I had coffee with a small group of Lesbian elders and it gave me so, so much energy. One of them is the author of the book who entirely changed the way I look at oppression and intersectionality. This is the second time I have met her. The first time we couldn’t talk because I ended up breaking down and crying, it was too much. I was better this time.
We talked about the LGBT history of this town a bit, which I am ALWAYS ready to adsorb. We also talked quite a bit about this project I’m working on and they were very interested and had many kind words to say. I regularly get compliments on this project, but coming from this group of women, who have spent the last 30 years doing organizing work in this community… that just meant the world to me.
One of my friends let me borrow two LGBT (well, gay and lesbian) literary magazines from this town in the early 90’s and reading them has been incredibly fulfilling. I’m reading works from names I recognize, which isn’t surprising. I’m reading works from names I don’t recognize, which makes me sad. I’m reading works from people I’ve known, who are no longer with us. I’m reading works from people I feel like I know, but died before I ever met them. I’m reading these works from people in my own community who, in the past, did amazing work here locally and even I’m unaware of many of the things they did for me. I say ‘even I’m’, because I’d consider myself someone who is obsessed with this town’s LGBT history… yet, I still know so little. In the grand scheme of things, I really know nothing. I don’t know my own history and I know that many (if not most) of my peers know even less than I. I hate thinking about this.
I’m reading all of this and it’s a reminder that no matter what good we do in this world, no matter what changes we make happen, or help happen… we will end up being forgotten. All of us, just forgotten, like we never existed. Maybe someone will name something after us, or maybe our name will appear in obscure text. But, other than that, our memory will slowly disappear from our everyday conscious.
I’ve spent today thinking about this and it’s really upsetting. Is this just human nature? How could it be human nature to forget our past? To forget our histories? Is this a coping mechanism? Is this to keep us from thinking so much about the past, we don’t think about our present, or future?
Maybe, but I’m not okay with that. I want to understand what happened in this community before my time. I want to know all of these people. I want to know all of their stories. I know this isn’t possible. We’ve done such a poor job of documenting the local LGBT history, I really don’t have many options. I hate thinking about this.
I know I have a tendency to obsess over and romanticize the past. I find myself doing it all the time. I regularly find myself thinking that I was born in the wrong era. This is dangerous because in doing this, I end up thinking about all of the amazing people that existed in this community, who I will never know… but I need to remember that many amazing people exist today and I can’t forget about them. I can’t lock myself away thinking about the past, while forgetting about the present. Somewhere is a middle and I need to find it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I fell asleep last night thinking about walls. Specifically, what happened in my history that lead to me building these walls and refusing to tear them down for anyone.
I’m thinking back to my mother and my complicated relationship with her growing up.
Growing up, I loved my mother, on the verge of becoming obsessed with her. Looking back I defiantly had some mama issues and thought she was this perfect human being (I used to tell people my mother was “sexy”, which is awkward). It wasn’t until I was 16 that I discovered her addiction to alcohol, but once I discovered it, I couldn’t believe that my parents had been able to hide it from me for so long. I learned later in life that my dad REALLY wanted me to have a special relationship with my mother, so he sacrificed his relationship with me so that he could build her up to being something she wasn’t. I later learned in life that when she was passed out, he would cook dinner but give my mother credit, or say that my mother had done something for me, but really he had done it.
I grew up feeling NO connection to my father, because I thought he wasn’t involved in my life at all. This is the most upsetting thing about my childhood, when I think back on it. I love, love, love my father today and think he is one of the most amazing human beings, but it took a really long time to come to that conclusion. I wish that I had been allowed to see that earlier.
Anyway, I believe it was at the point when I discovered my mothers addiction to alcohol that I began to build my walls. Before then, I believed she had been so, so important to my life and I felt like I had been betrayed.
I’m wondering if it was around this time that I subconsciously started building these walls, to ensure that no one was able to easily come in and hurt me, like my mother did. If this is indeed the case, I’m wondering what I can do to help make my situation with others better.
What sort of work can I do internally to recognize that while those walls were valid, they are now doing more damage than good. What work can I do to recognize that I am not longer a child and have the ability to see people as they really are, I don’t need these walls by default.
I guess it’s things, just like this, why people go to therapists. Hopefully I can figure it out on my own, because I fucking have to learn how to let people into my life. I just have to.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I’m in a weird place. I’m so happy that I came back to TSF and reread the posts I made about you. I had forgotten so many of the little details of our interactions, but I documented a lot of those here. I love that. I love that TSF finally became something that I could use to look back and remember the good times. The better times.
I wrote that boy a letter. It’s been two years since I last wrote him a letter, but this one is very different than the first one I wrote.
I had to write a letter filled with apology.
Wait, you might be wondering why we couldn’t just talk in person? Well, I guess what it boils down to, is that I’m really weak when it comes to certain things.
Anyway, you’ve taught me so much about myself, but I’m so, so incredibly sorry that I had to use you to figure out these things about myself.
You’re an amazing person, but what I was able to realize through being with you, is that I have a lot of walls. Walls are really important (I think) and they serve a really important purpose, but what good is a wall if you can’t open it up every once in a while to let people in? Or, more importantly, what good is it if you can’t ever let those walls down to let yourself out?
Maybe someday I’ll learn to let down those walls. But if I couldn’t let them down with you, someone who was incredibly sweet and supportive of me, then who the fuck would I be able to let them down for?
When I’m feeling strong, it’s easy to say I’ll be alone forever and feel okay about it. When I’m strong, I can remind myself that I have a great friend base and I’m working on a project that feels really meaningful.
But when I’m not feeling that strong, I just think about what my future looks like not being able to *be* with someone. It sometimes scares me. What if in the future I really feel like I *need* someone in my life, but can’t let them in? What the fuck do I do then?
I need to figure this out, but I don’t know where to start. For the first time, in a long time, I can identify something about myself that I feel like I want to change, but I don’t know how to change it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Oh hello. It’s been a while.
I’ve been really, really angry lately. Like, angry at everything I see. I continually feel pressured to not talk about this anger, not talk to people around me about what I see and why it angers me.
I wish I/we lived in a world where we were encouraged to be actually angry about things, instead of constantly being encouraged to “see the positivity in everything.”
Let’s encourage people to be angry, because that’s the kind of energy that actually gets things done. Let’s be angry that people of color are being continually executed by police in the streets. Let’s be angry that Queer & Trans kids are getting kicked out of their homes, being forced to do whatever they can do to survive. Let’s be angry that the mainstream gay culture is encouraging kids to come out and yet when they do, suddenly they realize that no support exists for them and they are on the streets with no where to go. Let’s be angry that depression is such a taboo subject, leading to no one being able to talk about it. Let’s be angry that mental health assistance in this country is a fucking joke.
It’s okay to be angry. We have a lot to be angry about and if you aren’t, then you need to check that privilege and ask yourself why. Why are you able to completely ignore all the horrible things that happen in the world? Is that because you have *magic powers* and are able to process all of this in a way that no one else can, or is that you simply are not paying attention?