There is a poem I wrote in my childhood. Originally, I thought it was the result of emotional and mental anguish from relentless torment at the hands of school bullies. Now, I am not so sure. Perhaps somehow it ties into my struggle to define my identity, and hiding my desires from those around me. You be the judge!
Who Am I?
I get lost in my disguise
Humanity stares with questioning eyes
Will I reveal my true identity?
Drop the mask, so they can see
To take such risk could elicit danger
Is it best to remain a distant stranger?
I’m unsure of which path to travel
Not desiring my life to unravel
Do you harbor any lifelong secrets? I do. That is part of the reason I decided to undertake this book. If I am being honest, I have lived a double-life, of sorts. Understand, it was not intentional. I did not set out to purposely deceive anyone for perverse pleasure, or possess a selfish, ulterior motive.
Since childhood, my “other self” resided primarily in my head through impulsive thoughts and a vivid imagination. Although, over the past few years, I couldn’t deny its presence in my soul. Unfamiliar desire, suspicion, confusion and doubt all wrestled within me. A battle waged within me that I chose to fight in private. My only opposition was a nagging question that took center stage: Am I a lesbian?
This was territory I never thought I would explore. After all, I was raised in “traditional” Catholic household. To have intimate tendencies toward women seemed taboo. Yet, I must say that certain members of my family have had the courage to “come out”, and now live as gay members of the community. So, it left me to wonder what keeps me from revealing my secret. Fear? Shame? Maybe it’s because I am unsure what to label myself. Who am I?