We've had on and off rain, some pretty impressive winds, and general "wet" for several` days now.
I took a bunch of wet fall photos while taking the pup for her morning walk today. These kinds of days have been relatively infrequent and I wanted to be sure to remember them.....
I enjoy autumn. It has a unique "feel" to it for me. I was asking myself the other day if it has always been this way for me, or if this ability to "feel" things is a relatively new phenomenon in my world. I find I have a deeper connection to "stuff" that seems to involve some layer of emotional attachment (or detachment, as the case may be) and fall is one of those things....
For example, I've had more apples in the last week than in the entire last year combined. Delicious Honey Crisp apples. Soooooo good. Apples (and caramel!) are fall food.
Winter, on the other hand, is a whole other story. My emotional response to cold and snow is to avoid it.
One of the best parts of 'being" over recent years has been the integration of my emotions into pretty much everything. That was hard to handle at first because my mind wasn't wired like that so the addition of so much emotion tended to overload me from time to time. But now I can't imagine NOT feeling the things I do or the things that happen in my life, both for better or for worse.
I mentioned a while ago that I still get estrogen injections. Although I could easily go on some low maintenance dose of oral estradiol, that doesn't seem to provide that same level of emotional integration that calibrates my world. And whereas someone can manage hormone levels strictly by the numbers I've come to accept that there is an intangible component to it that can't be measured. Perhaps that's emotional, as well. Regardless, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and I've pretty much found my own balance there.
Speaking of balance - yesterday was National Coming Out Day. I'm not all that ashamed to admit that I didn't come out to anyone yesterday. Actually, on second thought, I did. I found my best friend from high school, Dave, on Facebook and wrote to him. I don't really expect to hear back but it's something I wanted to do and is part of that "coming out again and again" process that always seems ongoing. But I think of it more as a "re-introduction" than Coming Out in the traditional sense.
As I look back over my time here in Charleston I've only had "the discussion" with a handful of people, most of them on a need-to-know basis. The people who need to know for one reason or another know and that's the way it should be, at least for me. Whoever else knows - I don't really care or worry about that. Although I write about these topics here in my day-to-day world they really don't pop into my head all that often. I think that's why this blog has endured, as it's my ongoing opportunity to express those parts of my life....
Similar to my post a few days ago about my body, I find that being "out" isn't binary. I'm generally out where I want to be out but that doesn't encompass every aspect of my life. It's contextual. And NOT being out isn't because I'm ashamed or trying to keep it secret, it's simply that it's not appropriate for the level of intimacy for any particular interaction or relationship.
I am a cornucopia of letters - not any one thing - in that I'm lesbian, too. It's possible for me to come out as one without coming out as the other. I found it absolutely fascinating to notice some of the people around us as Trace and I walked hand-in-hand around downtown Charleston. No apologies there. And I'll never refer to her simply as "a friend". She's more than that. She's my partner.
The Washington Post ran a blog entry yesterday asking "National Coming Out Day: What does it Mean To You?" Some of the interesting responses:
The problem I see with gay peoplei s that they feel a need to tell people they are gay. I mean I do not care if they are gay or not and I do not think most people do either-so why tell everyone. I do not go out and say "I am straight" who really cares.And
What does this day mean to me? It means my country has gone so far down the path away from God that we don't even know to be ashamed of our sins. It means the entertainment media and news media have been successful in their attempt to bully and yes "brainwash" us into thinking that we should be ashamed for seeing something wrong with homosexuality. It means this nation cannot long survive. It means those of us who would be true to God's word must have increased courage and willingness to stand on our convictions without being propped up by sympathetic public opinion.One of the things that I think gets missed in all of this is the process of coming out to yourself and just how important that is in the scheme of things. Whether someone EVER comes out publicly or not as anything, getting past the questioning and the shame and the guilt to accept something about yourself is a difficult, time-consuming, painful process. As far as I'm concerned, NCOD is more about coming out to self, or re-affirming that coming out process, than anything public.
The day is observed throughout the country. San Antonio. Florida. A student at Yale wrote about the need for people coming out to recognize the need to come out to support trans people as well (story here).
What made the biggest difference in my own coming out process? Finding other like me who shared their stories. That single thing helped me to gradually realize that I wasn't as alone as I had felt all those years, that there were others like me out there living happy lives, and that whether you accept something or not doesn't change whether or not it's true.
So - Although I am so much more than a letter or two I take the opportunity to thank those who came before, and to re-affirm my own sense of self as proudly both L and T. And happy. I'm coming out today as H.
Come to think of it, I'm Happy. I'm Energized. I'm very self-Aware. I'm Lesbian. I'm Trans. Did I mention that I'm Happy? And I'm always Yearning for more out of life - so much to do, so little time. So, I guess I'm coming out as HEALTHY. Go figure....