When I was a child, I believed I had two souls. I remember asking what a soul was, and being told a very ‘Catholic’ version of what it was and where it resides. My response was “Oh – I have two of those,” walking away satisfied with the explanation. I never accepted that I did not have these ‘two souls’ even as the occasional correction would come. I did learn that one soul was permitted of me, and another was not.
It was not then, nor is it today about gender or sexuality for me with regard to what I thought as a child to be my ‘two souls’. It is about the portion of myself I had to keep to myself…. one to flourish, and one to die – one to be fed in darkness- another welcome at the family (and society’s) table. It isn’t possible to live as a whole person, with part of you dying. It isn’t possible to die as a whole person with only part of you living…though many have departed us that way – many still do today.
The part of myself I left furthest behind has astonishing gifts of creativity. The power and symphonic magnitude – a hidden heart of irrepressible expression – quiet, refrained, even huddling…hidden – though still, irrepressible expression.
The one I fed and kept with me- the one welcome at the table could build things, was strong and forceful… and was best suited to stand stalwart- to hide and protect the other- or so it seemed. To hold secret meetings with, and quietly and discreetly smuggle out the genius and radiance I was told no one should see.
I wonder today if we will see the glorious transformation of the human spirit and the human condition as we reject it upon arrival – when neither this nor that, him nor her… and no spectrum of variation in the in-betweens calls for social credential. This, is the ‘going against nature’- in defiance of how we were born. At 19 I was beaten, shot, called a fag and left bleeding along side a road – my car speeding off without me – without us…the hidden and the seen. At fifty-five years old, I have only begun to let light into that cellar, that hiding place – or is it that I have only begun to let light out?
We’ll see. I can’t answer that until the whole of me decides. None of us can answer anything until the whole of us decides. I hope we do. I hope we see the incorporation and fullness of our natures – and the profound resolution, which comes through the un-defining of who we are – the emancipation for all we can be.