When I faded out of the world of blogging, it was because I didn’t know what I wanted to say anymore. I felt like I was hunting for topics and ideas that I could try to spin into something meaningful. It was hard work that suddenly felt empty.
When I left, I didn’t know if I’d be back. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a writer anymore. The real world had gotten too loud, my imagination was only offering the occasional whisper and I wondered if maybe I would take up knitting again instead of writing. It seemed like less pressure to say I was a knitter instead of a writer (except that I can’t read patterns, so I guess I might feel like a fraud there too.)
Then, last night, a blog suddenly planted itself in my mind and as I felt the roots take hold and the first leaves unfurl I knew that I was being drawn back into the swirl of words and ideas. I knew that I had something to say again.
It isn’t really a coincidence that this is coinciding with going back to school. I am more anxious than usual about school this year, because this year I am coming out. Again.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
If you’ve been in my life for more than two decades, you might remember the first time I came out. It was awesome and heartbreaking. I was leaving my husband and best friend, because I had finally admitted that I was attracted to women.
I came out as gay. But, that wasn’t really the whole story.
I thought that being in the gay community would help me to feel like I fit in and in a lot of ways it did.
But, it still wasn’t right. There were still boxes that I couldn’t fit into. There were still the moments of hesitation outside of public bathrooms, wondering why there wasn’t a door that felt right for me.
I had figured out that I wanted to partner with a woman, which was great, but I hadn’t figured out how to come to terms with not feeling like one myself.
I had known for as long as I can remember that I didn’t comfortably fit into the box labeled female, but I also didn’t fit into the box labeled male.
I just didn’t fit.
I did get better at pretending though.
Even when I figured out that I was non-binary, that there was a word and a place for me in the world, I didn’t give up on all the work I had done pretending. I kept the titles and pronouns, it was just easier to pretend.
When I came out as queer, I exploded into the world. I told everybody I knew (and even people I didn’t). It was news that I was excited to share. My armour was polished and shiny. I was ready to fight to be accepted.
That’s not quite how I feel this time around.
This time around, I feel tired of fighting and justifying myself to the world. I’m tired of having to come out.
I don’t want to try to explain what it means to be non-binary to every person I meet. I don’t want to have to defend being a gender outside of the accepted binary.
Ironically, not wanting to explain myself is what has led me back to blogging. Maybe blogging about my journey into coming out again, will help to give me courage and energy.
Maybe blogging about my journey of coming out again will help to give you understanding and empathy.
If we work together, maybe there can be room to expand the norms to give those of us on the edges enough space to breathe comfortably.
Maybe one day I won’t have to keep coming out.