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coming out anthology 2006

 

collaborative (+ not so collaborative) entries
with aquila, dagmar, orion, + malachi

august – september , 2006

august 3
background: one of the challenges with talking about these (or probably any) issues is meeting people where they are or at least part way. in a sense, where i am now is fairly far away from the issues of coming out that i was dealing with, especially during my first and second years in college. so while i address those issues and recognize the significance of  “coming out” for some people and the importance of talking about it openly, i also talk more about where i am now. hopefully there’s a little bit of something here for everyone questioning their sexuality and/or gender identities, which should mean absolutely everyone, but rarely does…

year before college: started questioning my sexuality. (that girl just caught my eye and i couldn’t figure out what was going on…)
first-year: came out to myself and others as “gay” (was there any other option? well, yes, but not that I was aware of at the time)
later: decided “queer” was a much better fit (personally and politically)
sophomore year: came out to myself and others as genderqueer (but not as comprehensively and systematically as i had come out as “gay”)
now: more than three and a half years after initially coming out (it seems like longer in a way), i live my life pretty “out”, whatever that means.
ongoing: exploring and being open (to change) about who i am with regards to sexuality and gender, and in general…

on the limits of the “coming out” discourse (humor me briefly, if you will)
although the concept of “coming out” is sometimes presented as a given in the (uneven and indirect) trajectory or “self-discovery” and disclosure, it is not for everyone a necessary or desirable approach. as a first-year, however, i was not at all aware of any alternatives.
i had grown up not knowing anyone who was openly anything other than straight and fairly gender normative and was not exposed to issues about sexuality or gender identity either, besides prevailing heteronormative assumptions. the dominant discourse surrounding non-hegemonic sexualities and genders involves the notion of “coming out” conceptualized very narrowly. i initially “came out” in a very traditional, “let-me-sit-you down-and-disclose-something-very personal-about-myself” type of way, which works for some people, but it the least desirable approach for others, for many reasons (ask around).
as a first-year, i was “closeted” and the only way I could think of getting out was sitting people down and directly telling them that I recently “discovered” i was gay, a term with which i no longer identify. “queer” and “genderqueer” are appropriate descriptors for me at this time (who knows about down the road);  “person” would also be more than adequate and probably has a longer terminological life-expectancy than the former two.

 

september 12: i’m coming out
i’m coming out
as being tired of
          the violence, hatred, and injustice
          the prejudices, stereotypes, and ignorance
          the aggression, disrespect, and indifference that plagues our lives
          the disconnects between what’s taught in the classroom and
          what’s happening on the other side of the globe and down the street as it                   truly affects us
          the walls that we construct around issues, groups of people, and
          ourselves so that we don’t see the similarities in our struggles for peace and                   justice
          being shut down and out by you and by me
          my inability to love myself completely
                  as aching
          for some real connections with myself and with you
          for some real change in this life
          to caste off the weights that hold me/us down and back
          to fly free


september 12: lost in this day
lost in this day
my mind lives in possibilities
but my body only feels boundaries
except for the sun beating down on my neck
and the dew-covered grass beneath my feet
my mind lives in possibilities of what could be
but that vision seems elusive
like I feel to you
my body constrained
by my own and your doing
stiff, tense, numb,
but for the salty tear trickling down my cheek
rare thing that it is
a tear
precious
precious enough so that it feels wasted
as I sit alone
thinking of someone who I could share it with
of someone I would be willing to share it with
thinking of the me that would be willing to share
that rare precious tear
the sun’s beam
blades of grass glistening
with tear drops from the sky

september 27

liquid bodies
my body isn’t solid
it’s fluid
if you hadn’t noticed
take a look
next time
and maybe you’ll see
but it may take a while
and some concentration
or lack thereof
to truly understand
that my body isn’t solid
it’s fluid
and so is yours
if you hadn’t noticed
take a look next time
and maybe you’ll see
one moment I’m a she
the next a he
one I’m “ma’am”ed
and the next “sir”ed
then “ma’am”ed
then “sir”ed
one I’m 23
the next 13
one I have a flat chest
and the next breasts
who knew
flesh
could transform
so quickly

liquefied names
so, you may ask
who are these people
these unfamiliar names
who collaborated with me here
aquila
dagmar
orion
malachi
well, i’ll tell you
there are a few answers
at least
and a lot more questions
for sure
aquila happens to be a relative of mine
long dead
and also an eagle full of life in the sky
dagmar, a nickname you could say
what more?
orion, the constellation, you know
and malachi, an old canine friend
that’s all?
you ask
well, no, i’d say
but do you really want to hear more?
if you’re willing
hmmm
not really
not now
maybe later
ask then

- S. Stone '06

P.S. If you want to contact me, please feel free to send me an email (dagmar.orion@hotmail.com). I’d like to be available as an ally and resource for those exploring these complex issues.

 

 

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