I recently read, “The Lie. A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing, & Coming Out,” by William Dameron. It is an autobiographical tale of his life as a gay man hiding inside of a socially accepted marriage. Throughout the book he describes his torment, knowing and denying his sexuality, his preference for men and his true self. I could not help but identify with his pain of hiding. He was living a lie.
Unlike him, I have not hidden my sexual preference, but like many women, I have hidden who I am from the world. Suppressing my true inclinations for what is more socially acceptable from a female has been the story of most of my adult life. I remained quiet when I had something to say. I became passive instead of being assertive in light of the offensive behavior of others. I was sweet when I wanted to be angry. I bit my tongue so much I wonder I still have one. I denied my true passions and desires because it was not socially acceptable to be selfish. I lived a lie, not a complete lie, but I lied to myself. I told myself I could be the “good woman.” Turns out I cannot.
When we deny who we are, what we hunger after, what we truly want that neglect can hurt. We realize our folly it is hardest on ourselves. Other’s may rebel, argue or object, but ultimately those who will accept us will stand close and encourage us. Those who cannot stomach our new-found course will leave. I think that is okay. It hurts sometimes when they leave but it is better than keeping them around to remind us of our old selves; to make us doubt our new path.
Like Mr. Dameron, I have found a way to express my true self and want to encourage others to do the same. I want to see a world where women are unapologetic about their wants, needs, and desires. I want to help women realize that even if they do not attain their perfect goal, the journey, the path towards gaining the freedom of being themselves is worth every step.
Walk with me,