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Breaking Story_HWalker_12.5.12.pdf

Breaking Story_HWalker_12.5.12.pdf

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Published by: hunter_walker_17 on Dec 05, 2012
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03/13/2014

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I
 
-
Telling
my
st
I
ry
has
not
been e sy
for
e.
I ve
had':
to
dredge
up
memories
1:
would
rather
have
forgot-;
ten.
The
lonely, anxiety-ridden
months
I avoided others, attempting to hide from interrogations about
my
social life.
The
questions I couldn t
or
refused to answer
the
inescapable nightmares
of
being rejected
by
family
and
friends.
The
mornings, when tension-racked
and
covered with hives,
y
 
o y
would
be
raw
from
my
incessant scratching.
Through
all this
I
pretended
that
being known as a lesbian did not
bother
me
that it
was
only a problem for other people. Yet, for me and
~
 
many women like me, being a lesbian today
means
living in fear
of
discovery
and
in fear of not being liked. And nothing
has
brought
me
greater
misery or stagnation
than
those fears. Somehow
I
survived the tears, the isolation
and
the feeling
that
something
was
terribly
wrong
with
me
for loving another woman. Coming to
terms
with
my
life as a lesbian has been easier for
me
than it has
been
for many. Since
I
don't look or dress like
the
;stereotypical bulldagger,
I
have a choice as to
whether
my
sexual preference is known. Not having a recognizable difference
has
given me
the
opportunity to find
out what
my way of living entails
on
my
own time.
I
have also been fortunate because
I
discovered my preference for women early, before
getting
locked into a traditional
marriage and
having children. When
I
decided to write this article,
I
said,
''I'm
writing this for my
gay
sisters.
I
wanted my voice to reassure
~ os
who feel
as
isolated
and
alone
as
I
once did, those who desperately
seek
answers to all
the whys
when none exist, those who
are
embroiled in a
struggle
to be themselves in a society
that
frowns
on
differences. As
I
wrote
and
relived the pain,
I
realized
that
the
fears, which
I
had assumed
to
be gone, were still within me. Furthermore,
I
saw
that
I
had been denying
my
sufferings, denying feelings
that
were
important
to me.
In
anger and
relief,
I
saw
the
importance of
being
myself and knew
I
had to sign
my
real name. Coming out this
far
has taken me seven years
and
I
still don't
rest
easy.
I
worry
that
no employer will hire me again, that
my
free-lance writing assignments will dwindle,
that
my gay
friends who
are
still in
the
closet will disassociate themselves from me.
I
fear, in sum,
that
the
monster
of
conformity will
rear
its
angry
head
and
devour me. But I'm
weary
of playing
games
and
of
hiding and being afraid.
I
refuse to
be
trapped in a half-life of worry
and
anxiety, wondering how to explain to others
that
my lover is a woman. For myself,
my
gay
sisters and those
who care to
take a
step
toward
understanding-here
is
my
story.
conlinuedonpage/571
eSSEN E
SEPTEM8ER 91
 
~ s
 
MA
~1I:il> IAN
 
linued rompage
91
November and
I
was
17.
On
a cold
afternoon
L
along
several hundred
olher
women. were attending a freshman "entation at
OUf
Seven Sisler college. Before long. everyone
Vt
reslless.
There seemed
10
be
flO
end
to the traditions. rules
regulations
we
were supposed
to
absorb. A woman, ",'ho I
er
found
out
was
named Sharon,
"at beside me. With
her
ightened hair and prim collar, she looked
conservative-a
ical
Ivy
Leaguer-and
I groaned inwardly.
UL
she made me
n when suddenl)'. unex.pectedly, she
leaned over
and
\vhisred.
"Don't
you
wish we
had
a
joim?"
"Tomorrow," I
wmked.
striking
my
most
genteel
pose,
efofe
tea."
From
thar moment on,
we
were inseparable. Although
aron
was reserved
and
I was
the
"take charge" type,
we
were
th
pretty much loners.
We
also had similar interests. Like me, aren loved jazz and sunsets ar.d hall read Lucille ClIfton
and
mesAlan McPherson. She
LOa
haled parties and socials
and
Iy
paid lip service
to
the frantic manhunts that preoccupied
any
of
our classmates. Together, Sharon and
I
could find
ace.
While our roommates party-hopped every weekend,
we
pt
one another company-swimming, studying and writing etry-content
JUS!
1
be with each other.
'One
morning. four months laler,
we
found ourselves in une other's arms. admitting
fOf
the
first time
aUf Jove
for each
her.
I
was ecstatic. There was the
joy
of
waking
to
her
hispers
and the son warmth of her woman's touch. Beyond
at
was
the joy
of
discovery,
of
watching a new part
of
me
folding.
It
u:as
like a second birlh.
Yet,
however natural
our
ing
seemed.
we
were both aware that this \vas a turmng
int
in
both
our
lives. "Have you ever made love with a woman
be
Core?"
I
asked
yly
"Did
you
just do
it
because you were drunk?" "No." she protested,
"1
wallteu
to.
"Well,"
I
persisted, "how did
you
know what
to
doT'
Al
thaI,
we
burst into
nervou ~
 
giggles, clinging closer
gelher.
What was happening between
us?
What was this phoria? Although both
of
us
had slept with'men, neither
of
hall
been intimate
WIth
a woman before.
We
didn't even
w
~ y
 
lesbians. How and why had this happened?
As we
lay
gelher. we
mulled over the lho\Jsand questions
we
suddenly d
to
ask each other. wanted
10
tell someone,
"I'm
in
10ve~
I
was so very
happy_
very
thing was Sharon. Sometimes
we
wondered if anyone
uld
tell
we were more than just friends.
But
we were
so
rapped
up
in
each other that no one else mauered.
We
convinced
our
roommates
to
switch, and Sharon moved
with
me.
No
one seemed
suspiciOUS.
since
the
arrangement
emed
perfecLly logIcal.
OUf
roommates had
the
same sched·
les,
majors and interests, and Sharon
and
I
were clearly rnpatible.
Vo. e
knew enough to keep
the
true nature
of
aUf
lationship secret, even though neither
of
us
realized how
uch
we
were getling
into_
Having always been loved, accept· and praiscd.
we
were \Jnaware of the scorn and ridicule that
ciety
might heap upon
us
for beIng "differenL." Sharon and
I
realized that
we
had always been more !tracted
10
women. both emotionally and physically. than
to
nen.
We
were very
~ur
that
we
loved women and preferreJ
~ m
 
as
lovers. Our doubts concerned the kind
of
life this
Deant
for
us.
What if people
fOlJnd
out-would
we
still
be
ked?
What
if
we
wanted
to
have children? Could
we,
should
'e,
ever telt our parents? Would they disown
us?
Could
we
get lpelled
Crom
college? Did any of this matter? Having,
no
~pefience
 
or
information was frightening.
'We
soon learned that
it
is
one thing
to
prepare
Cor
problems
ld
quite. anal her
to
meet them head·on. Despite all our
~estionmg
Sharon and 1 had managed
to
create a small,
Wate
haven together. That peace came
to
a sudden end one
ghl
when we
CargO!
to
lock
(he
door to
our
room.
We
were
collfillllCd
on page
/59

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