How the Secrets Came Out
This was about protecting the new self growing its delicate way within me.
Telling my darkest secret felt like throwing up: the tension just before, the desperation to hold it in, the mess, the shame, the sense of release. One time, after I told it to my fourth therapist, I climbed into my car and turned on heavy metal and cranked the volume up full, acting out the release part. But I’m not going to tell you that secret. You don’t need the burden of knowing, and I don’t need to share. I’ll tell you other secrets in other ways.
really very carefully
Do it again and I won’t see you anymore.
Janelle Janelle. I am Janelle.
A spiritual director, nonbinary person, and quasi-hermit, John Backman (she/her/hers) writes about ancient spirituality and the unexpected ways it collides with postmodern life. This includes a book (Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart) and personal essays in Tiferet Journal, Amethyst Review, Evolve, Sufi Journal, The Sunlight Press, and Belmont Story Review, among other places.
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More in this series
Today tongzhi is seldom used in a political context, if ever: The Beijing LGBT center is called Beijing Comrade Center; 同志村, or comrade village, translates to gayborhood. So yeah, everyone knows what comrade really means—everyone except the president of China, apparently.
I want to believe that I inherited too ways of feeling joy, ways of finding pleasure, ways of being with other queers in raucous and wild ways.