Sept. 3, 2007 issue - I was born at a time when to have romantic feelings for another woman was known as "the love that dare not speak its name." I first read Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" around 1938, in my impressionable teens. The book was a heartfelt cry for understanding and acceptance of the "invert." Now we say "gay" and "lesbian," and nobody faints, although we still lack the same rights as other citizens. In how many ways have attitudes changed? And how have they not?
Finally, after almost nine years since my beloved partner's death, I am able to do what I could never have braved in earlier years: pre-sent myself herewith to the world as a lesbian, along with all the women who ask to be judged by the full facet of our characters.
Why am I now able to speak the unspoken? A friend at the retirement community where I live recently came out in the local and national newspapers. When I saw her do that, I thought, for heaven's sake, nobody can fire me, I'm 88 years old, my parents are gone.
Still, I was frightened. It took me several days to put this essay in the mailbox. I owe a lot of credit to people who are comfortable enough in their own skins to say, "This is who I am."
Shall I be haunted for trying to tell my story now, when many might still not wish to address it, or shall I, perhaps, be congratulated
Read it all here
Thanks to Grandmere Mimi for the lead.