Shaken Out of My Cocoon

community May 04, 2022

Lately, one of my favorite hours of the week is Tuesday at noon when I hop on Zoom with my Write Yourself Out Foundations cohort. As these LGBTQ+ writers wrestle to get clear on their books, they laugh—and sometimes cry. They ponder, get vulnerable, and give supportive feedback to each other.

All those things and more happened this Tuesday. But another reality colored our time together—the news that the Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade. The implications for this decision—if it is in fact where the Court lands—go well beyond reproductive rights. The right to marry the person of your choice, regardless of gender, may be the next right on the chopping block.

I’m angry—and I’m scared. My less-than-a-year-old marriage may be in jeopardy, not to mention other issues important to the queer community.

Truth be told, to date I’ve lived a life of privilege—I’m white, well-educated, and financially secure. Sure I’ve had moments in male-centered settings when I felt dismissed because I was a woman, but I’ve been largely insulated from microagression and flat-out discrimination.

But days after I came out and decided to leave my thirty-year heterosexual marriage, Donald Trump was elected. Enough said.

When my now-wife and I were first dating, we had to be careful about holding hands in public because she could have gotten fired from her job at a so-called Christian institution.

Four years later, we did get married and we took back the streets where we were once reluctant to hold hands. A brass band led us and one hundred-plus friends on a stroll through downtown Lancaster PA in what became a pop-up Pride parade.

And now less than a year after that celebration, my wife and I are talking about moving out of the country, fearful that the dystopia of the Handmaid’s Tale isn’t far off. I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.

But now, I’m going to fight. I’m going to focus on my time and attention on getting my queer writers stories out into the world.

The world needs to hear what it feels like to step into your authenticity and unexpectedly become a dad at midlife. What it feels like to do work you love in an environment that considers you an abomination. What it feels like to have been looking for home all your life and to have finally found it in LGBTQ+ activism.

We may be angry. We may be scared. But we are not powerless.

Our stories matter. Your story matters.

Let’s change the narrative. Let’s change the world together.

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