Third Place Books Lake Forest Park: October 11, National Coming Out Day! What a fantastic evening.! An overflow crowd, sold out all books and more, I could not have been more pleased! So grateful to my friends and their friends who came.
When I opened that box, I had not looked at in forty years and read the journals and letters of my life in the late 1960s and 1970s I realized that my coming-of-age struggles had relevance beyond the personal, especially now. Coming out as a lesbian, training to be a doctor when it was mostly an all male profession, an illegal abortion in 1969, my story reminds women and queer people who have taken our gains for granted over the past decades, exactly what is at stake now.
Historically, lesbians have written our diaries in code, burned our journals and letters to each other, and after death, our families have destroyed our stories--all to hide our homosexuality. Yet lesbians have overcome multiple systems of oppression to live amazing lives, thriving despite little support from mainstream society.
It is important to write our stories and document our lives, so they become part of a more complete history of our shared humanity.
For women, queer or straight, there is power in knowing our history. The lives of us elders can teach younger people what is possible. I hope readers learn from my mistakes and poor choices, as well as my resilience. For older women, I hope my story validates some of their own experience and reinforces that our lives have meaning. I hope my story can inspire those who have been told that their passions amount to the wrong feelings, and marginalized people who struggle to fulfill dreams that others take for granted.
As Brene Brown once said, "Someday you will tell the story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else's survival guide." Or as Sean Thomas Dougherty said, "Right now, there is someone out there with a wound in the exact shape of your words."