Thursday, July 21, 2005
on coming out
Since my present life is boring/excruciating/exhausting/dull, and all I am doing is wallowing in the misery of trying to memorize huge amounts of information, I thought I'd tell you a little story today instead of another prelim-post.
Why this story? Well, while I was eating dinner (amazing left over Squash Curry- only my favorite food ever) Jo was watching some documentary on TV of older lesbians telling their coming out stories. I watched it for a few minutes with her, and it made me remember this...
When I came out I was 18, and in my first year of college near NYC. My friend Sherri and I came out together (well, not together, we were just great friends). We searched everywhere for any info on being gay-- all we had was section of the school library with a few such books (the world wide web wasn't really around then). Well, trying to be very good young lesbians, we read all about lesbian and gay history. We read about Stonewall, Christopher Street, and the West Village. So, we took the train in one weekend in search of this "heart" of gay America.
We went into the city and took the train down to Sheridan Square. I have such fond memories of spending so much time in that neighbor, although I usually go to the East Village now instead. We walked past the Stonewall bar and through the garden across the street (picture above), and then we stumbled on the Oscar Wilde Bookstore.
We went in, of course, and were totally in awe of all the gay and lesbian books. Not even knowing where to begin, and being very eager, we asked the friendly woman behind the counter for suggestions. I think I told her that I had just come out, and wanted a couple really good lesbian novels- like, you know, "must read books."
She walked me over to the fiction section and handed me two books- The Well of Loneliness and Curious Wine. They were "the best," she told me.
The first one I read was the shorter and "newer" of the two, Curious Wine. Total crap. I mean, as trashy as any silly erotic romance novel. So terrible and badly written, I'm surprised that I even finished reading it.
Then, I read The Well of Loneliness. It started out pretty interesting, in that old-novel kind of way. But it grew more and more depressing with every page. It was a miserably sad book that left me seriously scarred for quite some time.
I haven't read any lesbian fiction since.
posted by knit wit | 7/21/2005 08:38:00 PM