A memoir has been chasing me for years and I’ve kept running. Recently, like the last three years or so, it keeps popping up in writing assignments or conversations with mentors and teachers.
Today’s revelation by Billy Porter that he’s been living with HIV for 14 years wasn’t stunning. The things he had to say about shame, and hiding his status because of that shame was stunning. Little electric thrills ran around my brain.
Then things really clicked for me when he spoke about figuring out why he was still alive to tell the story. I was brought to tears at the bravery and vulnerability he showed.
My journey for several years has been to understand myself and what feminism means for me. You might recall I wrote about Kameron Hurley‘s book The Geek Feminist Revolution making me ugly cry and having a profound affect on me. After realizing I can only look at a book through the lens of Feminist theory made me decide to go all in and declare I specialize in SF/F feminism.
There’s a gaping hole in the SF/F community where good critical theory would fit nicely. There’s an even bigger hole where equal rights should go. I want to be a part of the fight to make things better for everyone in the community.
Every day, there are little revelations and realizations about the gaping holes in my emotional structure. The trauma and dysfunction that I somehow survived, and managed to come through. Healing and understanding is a lifetime process. It is slow, frustrating, and terrifying.
Given the state of women’s rights around the world, the not so creeping misogyny and sexism, I realized I can’t run anymore. My memoir insists on being written, and so it shall. Slowly, frustratingly, and very terrifyingly.
I have much to be grateful for, and today I give a big chunk of it to Billy Porter for being the light.