I've been blogging for almost four years - longer, if you count my old xanga blog. But it's only been the last four years where I have really come into my own, come out to myself, and to the world at large about who I am.
When I was a high school student, withdrawn and ashamed, I would never have believed that I could take the stage, that I could speak or sing words that people would listen to, that would resonate with any audience. And here I am, in my mid-forties, discovering things about myself that I never realized were possible. My performance anxiety, my ignorance of my true self-worth has held me back more times than I care to think about. I sense that this phase of my life is coming to an end.
It is never too late. To come out, to learn new things, to build your confidence, to take on challenges, to put yourself on a different path. I've sensed for a few months now - and dreamed, and visioned - that this is my year to take my inner changes and forge a new outward path. It began last week.
When I was preparing for Cliterature 2012, I read the piece I chose to a good friend of mine, someone who always tells it like it is. And she challenged me - what I had written was good, but she felt that I could go further. If I am writing about my own sexuality, why skirt the issues. She suggested I write about my first experience with a woman. And I did, but I realized I had more to say.
Four years ago, give or take a few months, I discovered that I was not the only woman who waited until her mid-forties to fully explore and discover her own sexuality. I met women who were experiencing exactly the same thing - and I was so relieved to find them, to share experiences, joys and pitfalls with a community - however formed, whether or not we ever met in person - that I will always be grateful for their presence in my life. You know who you are. We've commented on each others blogs, emailed and messaged each other, connected through facebook, and twitter and sometimes even in person, although most of you are scattered across the continent.
I want other women, those beginning this exhilarating and frightening process of coming out, remaking their lives, reveling in self-love to realize what I learned - in such a difficult way - four short years ago. You are not alone. You are loved and loveable. There is joy and fulfillment on the other side of coming out.
I wrote and performed this for you.