Feb 7, 2015

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO - Part Nine: Telling the truth, true confessions of the intimate variety and/or keeping my eye on the authentic in me.

Mom and ¨Lenny¨  at three!
¨Little Lenny¨, Front Center, looking down at my cousin Lauren.  Mom with Gibsonish hairstyle  center/top and Dad, ¨Big Lenny¨ top/right sunglasses (Southern California, vacation at the beach)

Since I´ve started telling my story, I´ve also noticed it is normalike in some ways.  Although it is quite ¨normal¨ in some very important ways, it, my private/personal story, also carries a sub-content of real life events that are secret. A real/important and major part of my life. Another living version that you do NOT know must be told. I want to stay honest with you and with me.  Most everyone realizes today, year 2015, that Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people have always existed at home, school and work/etc.. We are with you. We have mostly enjoyed/supported social activities, family celebrations, dating gossip, engagement parties, baby showers, weddings, anniversaries and every other possible special moment in the lives of our families and friends. What you may not have realized is that heterosexuals were often not celebrating those same occassions and moments, good or bad, in the lives of people like us.  Sometimes we celebrated those same happy/sad moments in our private space or alone in our own minds.  Fact. 

Often, especially in the past, we, LGBT people, joined in with our heterosexual family and friends in all that they celebrate and we shared in every moment of any emotional/spiritual suffering or any tragic loss too.  We have been there, almost always, and we have been genuinely caring for you/yours and ours. I realize there is some generalizing going on, on my part, as I write. 

My sister, Marilynn marries Paul (I was in the wedding party but there is no picture of me in the professional photos, odd)
I feel no great sense of blame but the reverse was not always true. 

We, LGBT people, often lived double lives, we had to in order to survive the verbal abuse, physical brutality, bigotry, demonizing, discrimination and even the excluding/shaming at Church.  Literally, for as long as I remember, I have been attracted to men (I find women breathtakingly lovely in many ways).  I knew that was not OK with others in my everyday life to have ¨crushes¨ on men. I knew I was *different* but I didn't know exactly how different, different would be.  

(A couple of years after this photo I became a horse thief for one day, ¨barrowed¨ one of my uncles horses...he was not amused)
I felt different, I think I looked a little different as I wasn't especially a strapping/masculine child (I've posted the family pictures to prove it, above) .  Odd thing, to me, even now, is that I enjoyed friends, neighbor kids, sporting stuff, fishing and general romping with everyone.  I was not ever apart from other children in life. I was always right in there, part of, playing, sharing and often leading the pack.  My personality/spirit was always strong and I didn't cower from anything (including baseball or basketball which I was not good at and hated). I liked swimming, wrestling, boxing (watching) and stock car ¨bang/crash¨ races.  I was fast. I was energetic and I had a vivid imagination and many friends. When I was alone I never had any down time. I was always building houses or factories or airports with my building blocks, or later with construction sets.  When I needed more elaborate structures I made them out of cardboard boxes, used my toy cars and airplanes or whatever I could combine into my very industrious play life.  Once I was sketching a womans dress (I sketched everything) and my sister came up behind me, was horrified, and yelled at me that ¨boys don't do that!¨ So, I hid when I sketched anything ¨unboy¨...screw that silliness! I LOVED flowers (and so did everyone else in my family) and I sketched/painted them, gathered them, inhaled/swooned with them and admired the colors a lot...I still do, they make my senses almost burst with joy.

As a very young child there was no televison, only radio.  I liked what most everyone else liked and that was the ¨Inner Sanctum Mystery Theatre¨  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_Sanctum_Mystery, ¨Our Miss Brooks¨ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks, ¨Fibber McGee and Molly¨ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibber_McGee_and_Molly, ¨The Cisco Kid¨ (and Pancho), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cisco_Kid and on and on it went, hardly anything ¨different¨ in my childhood than any other child...except, of course, I was different!  I knew it but *it* rarely slowed me down in my life. *It* did confuse me, sometimes excite me and always wondered why I carried a secret that would be such a disgrace...being different NEVER made sense to me in the respect that something may be *wrong*  with my spirit and heart. I did my best to avoid ridicule for being exactly who I was/am and developed a self-grown sense of ¨inferiority¨...but, I was determined that I would survive my secret and have a full life even as I was challenged with alcoholism from ages 18 to 35...it, active alcoholism distorted the authentic me. 

From time to time in the recalling of my ¨my story¨ I will add a chapter that will detail more fully my very human natural desires, my fondness for various people, some of my intimate discoveries from childhood onward...and my love(s).  I will tell my truth and reveal my *always* desire to be loved in the most personal of ways.  I remember ¨loving someone¨ a little older than me who simply held my hand sometimes.  Not much *different* than the feelings any other child may have to remember in their young life...but, *different* I was.

to be continued