August 29, 2007

"The Love That Will Finally Speak Its Name"

The story this post is excerpted from was published in the current issue of Newsweek:

Now I write this after living for 44 years with the most loved and loving, giving, understanding and delightful partner imaginable. For all our time together, we were "in the closet."

For so long, if you were a known homosexual you could lose your job. We kept our relationship from our families—or at least we thought we did. After my partner died, her son told me that her family knew about us, but kept our secret because they believed our relationship was our own business.

But our silence for all those years was also partially a self-induced caution. Looking back, I think it's possible that as the world changed, we didn't change fast enough.

Finally, after almost nine years since my beloved partner's death, I am able to do what I could never have braved in earlier years: pre-sent myself herewith to the world as a lesbian, along with all the women who ask to be judged by the full facet of our characters.

Why am I now able to speak the unspoken? A friend at the retirement community where I live recently came out in the local and national newspapers. When I saw her do that, I thought, for heaven's sake, nobody can fire me, I'm 88 years old, my parents are gone.

Still, I was frightened. It took me several days to put this essay in the mailbox. I owe a lot of credit to people who are comfortable enough in their own skins to say, "This is who I am."

Shall I be haunted for trying to tell my story now, when many might still not wish to address it, or shall I, perhaps, be congratulated?

Ms. Barr, please accept my congratulations. It's never too late to completely be who you are.

1 comment:

  1. I loved her writing in "Newsweek" and bravery in finally doing so. Thank you for affirming her by printing her words here.