Day 27: 40 Day Fast~
Thursday, October 18th
In preparing for the panel discussion at PACE University titled: In Our Own Words On Our Own Terms: Reflections of Latin@ LGBTQ Writers what kept rising for me was around this idea of “Coming Out!”
I have been feeling lately that I am constantly COMING OUT to someone. Then my thoughts moved to what being gay “looks like” because to certain people, “well you don’t look gay!” I don’t even know what to say to that… what are people expecting me to look like?
The thing that is affecting me most right now is how deeply imbedded religion has been ingrained in me and people like me. For some of us coming out has not been easy and still isn’t easy. There’s no ticket day parade… no gay pride celebration… no long embrace hearing the words we so desperately want to hear, “we love you, accept you and take you as you are!”
At least that’s what my fantasy looked like—I wanted the parade and the long embrace. It never happened! Actually, that’s not true…
Excerpt from Finding Your Force A Journey to Love~
We were in bed when I told you. We held each other. I looked over at you and said,
“Baby, I need to tell you something.”
“What’s up mom?”
“I’m in love with a woman… I’m gay!”
You looked at me and said, “Are you sure momma?”
“Yes! I am sure.”
“Are you happy?”
“Yes… I’m very happy!”
“If you’re happy… then I’m happy for you. That’s cool!!! My momma’s gay.” You smiled and hugged me.
Your opinion and approval was the only one that mattered to me. Once I came out to you I felt free. I was liberated. I was so excited about this new chapter of my life. It was like I was born again. Everything was new to me. It always felt like there was just one piece missing to my puzzle and now I finally figured it out.
The moment I came out to you was one of the most special days of my life. The moment that I accepted that I was a lesbian was a moment of COMPLETION. It felt like I was finally a complete being. I wanted to share it the world. I wanted to shout it from the highest building. Once I knew that I had your love and support, I figured everyone else would just follow. I believed that the entire family would love me anyway. ~ Finding Your Force
After the panel a wonderful young lady was brave enough to approach me and speak to me about religion. She wanted to understand my conflict and battle with religion. She even told me that I sounded ANGRY as I spoke of my family and coming out. I shared with her that I am not angry with them… I am disappointed… I am hurt… I am sad… because I thought that my parents were different… liberals and all of sudden… the moment I came out… BOOM! We were catholic! Suddenly, religion was an issue. The only thing catholic about my family was that we made the sacraments when I was young. We certainly never practiced religion in our home.
Excerpt from Finding Your Force A Journey to Love~
We were in Washington, DC for the weekend. I was on the phone with abuela and I just came right out with it, “Mami can I ask you a question? Que tu piensas de relaciones entre mujer y mujer ? What do you think about women relationships?”
“Are you asking about lesbian relationships?” she responded in total shock.
“Yes mami. What do you think about gay relationships?”
“Bueno mi hija? I have nothing against gay people. You know that my hairdresser in NY was gay, but I could never accept someone gay in my family. It’s against the bible. Women are made for men.”
Then she started quoting excerpts from the bible to me. As she spoke all I kept thinking was that for my entire life I’d never seen her open a bible once and now she was telling me exactly where it says in the bible that being gay is a sin. I decided that coming out to her during that conversation was a bad idea. I needed to wait for the right time. ~ Finding Your Force
Then the subject of SHAME was brought up! One of the panelist Justin Torres, author of We the Animals, talked about the culture of shame~ (I will just leave it here.. this subject is a completely different blog worth writing about.)
Another question was framed around Lady Gaga and the “Being Born This Way” issue. We were asked where we stood on the subject. For me I am not really sure where I stand on that issue because it seems to disqualify me… almost telling me that I am not gay enough.
“The desire you have to be something, to do something is a mental echo in your mind of the Spirit, which already exists within you. It is an impact of your divine and spiritual self upon your mental or psychological self. It is the Spirit in your seeking an avenue of expression through you. It is the real Self you would like to be… ~Ernest Holmes
Bottom line for me is knowing that I chose to be with men for half of my life and stay in the closet and today I have chosen to no longer hide who I am or who I love from anyone—I am way out of the closet and am never going back! Born this way or not! I am comfortable in my skin!
So these were the things that rose for me in meditation around coming out and what it means to me. The moment I knew and accepted that I was a lesbian was one of the most beautiful moments of my life because I finally felt WHOLE! I was complete. I was completely free to be ME! I had no more questions… until our moderator, Nivea Castro asked the question; how does being Latina, a woman, a writer and a lesbian inform or influence your work?
Being a Latina, a woman, a single mother, a writer and a lesbian are all a political act for me. I understand that with all the titles I accept and represent there comes a huge responsibility to write about, speak up, defend, fight for, and be fully proud of ALL THAT I AM! And in the end… I really don’t care who accepts it… or accepts me… I love myself and that’s all that matters.
And so it is~
From This Thing Called You~
“I am not concerned with what happened yesterday
I know that today everything is made new
I let go of all sense of limitation
I divorce my thought from any belief in lack.
New conditions are being created for me—conditions of harmony, happiness, peace and joy.
Wherever I go I am met with peace, joy and happiness
With complete conviction, I accept my freedom
I expect everything I do to prosper
I expect success
I allow all the good to enter my life
I am entitled to that which is mine”
~ Ernest Holmes
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Part 1: Women Writing the World ~ Writing Workshop – FREE WORKSHOP ~ 10/28/12 6pm-8pm
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Part 2: Writing with Intention ~ 6 classes on Nov. 11, 18, 25 and Dec. 2, 9, 16