Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hopping for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality: Thursday's Think Tank

To find all the other AMAZEBALLS blog posts happening as part of this HOP, please click this link.

I especially recommend #1, and #70.
Because they gave me all the feels. Ugly crying for joy feels. You should definitely check them out.

Also, if you haven't done so already, please check out the IDAHAT's home page by clicking here.

Today I want to get real with you.
I've had a lot percolating on the back burner of my mind for the last few years.
That's partly because of a head injury in 2014 that worsened my already existing TBI (traumatic brain injury), and in part because I finally got real with myself about a few things.
My new normal.
...and yes, my sexuality.



Yeah, here I am, forty-seven years old (ha, you probably thought I was going to say thirty-six and holding, didn't you?), and just coming to grips with the whole of my sexuality.

Or maybe it's an evolution we all go through.
I dunno.
At any rate, once I got real with myself, I wanted to get real with the people who matter in my life. My family.

Anyway, my parents are gone.
One of my sisters is gone, and the other, whom I love dearly...well, for a long time I feared letting her in on exactly who I am. Because I feared I'd lose what little connection we still share.
And I love that woman with my whole heart.
My daughter is still here. She lives with me. She' of the coolest, most exasperating and yet supportive people I know. With her it was easy to lean against the kitchen counter and say...

Guess what.
I'm not straight.
I fall for people. I'm attracted to people. Their party-time play parts don't have to be any certain shape or size or color to make me happy. Not as long as the person is someone I'm attracted to.

She shrugged and said, "That's cool. Do you want broccoli or green beans with dinner?"

And I was floored.

Because that's what I think coming out should be like for everyone.
Simply telling someone you care about that you've figured this thing about yourself, and them saying, okay, congrats on the insight, do you want broccoli or green beans for dinner.

In that moment I realized that even in all my own hangups, depression, and insecurities, I'd managed to raise this amazing kid. One who looks at the world full of people AS A WORLD FULL OF POSSIBLE FRIENDS.

She doesn't judge based on skin color, gender, sexuality.
She's as judgy as any sixteen year old, don't get me wrong. But her judgments are more likely to be based on things like how you treat your friends, if you recycle, and how compassionate you are.

I'm pretty sure I owe a lot of thanks to the LGBTQI writing community that took me in and cared for me all the credit for that. Each book I read, each friend I made, each time someone gently (or not so gently) showed me the limits I'd placed on myself and my views of the world...they helped me grow. Helped me be more accepting of the world in general until I could turn that inward and begin to accept myself.

I'm so very thankful for you all.
Frederick Feeley, Jeff Erno, and Rick Reed who showed me stories of gay men who broke every stereotype I'd ever heard of by being absolutely authentic. Zallora Allora who showered me with acceptance and love. Z.a. Maxfield, Stormy Glenn, and Amy Lane who mommed me when I needed it, stood with me as sisters when that was a better fit, and  always, always were my friends. I could go on and on forever naming you all. Rhae Camdyn. Erica Pike, N.J. Nielsen, Embry Carslyle, Miya Kressin, Samantha Derr. Megan Derr. Sasha Miller. So many names. And every single one of you has carried me through dark places in my life, shone light on the secrets I couldn't bear to look at before, and held my hand when I finally found the courage to do so. Sasha's Living Words characters nurse me through every illness. Ally Blue's boys come and sit with me when I'm struggling with PTSD. Simone Anderson and Angel Martinez let me fly through the stars and give me hope when all around me is bleak despair. Every single story I've read stays with me, a little echo in my soul that helps me shape myself into a better version of myself.

So...I'm here. I'm proudly pansexual.
To paraphrase one of my favorite Amy Lane characters, I've got equal opportunity party-time parts and a one-chance heart. And thanks to all of you, I'm finally okay with that.

Please take the time to tell me what reading LGBTQI stories does for you.
I'd love to hear your stories.


  1. Thanks for this honest post, Cherie! And congratulations on self-knowledge at such a young age. (No, I'm not being sarcastic.) <3

  2. I'm so glad you've figured yourself out ^.^ It's liberating, isn't it?


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