Is God not genius? Has anyone looked outside today? The colors... there are no names for these colors. They are ored. They are yellange. They are impossibly beautiful and heartbreaking. I want to be out in it, yet it's actually a little too much for me. In the first church I served after being ordained, the women in my bible study fretted all fall that I would simply drive off the road, I was in such constant raptures about the foliage.
I've been thinking a lot about folks in my congregation (nothing new there) and the issue of my sexuality (nor there). I had a dream recently that I did something rather outrageous, in full view of my congregants (I was at an open house at one of their homes). Suffice to say, were I to do this thing, the cat would be out of the bag, down the street, on the highway and halfway to Fresno.
I think one of the things I've come to realize is what a powerful cloak of sexual invisibility I've had in my weight. Believe me, that was the point. For many years I fell in love with women from the safe distance of behind the fat. And I felt protected, in one sense (the sense that no one would ever be attracted to me), but not in another sense (I kept being sad). Now, I'm shedding that cloak, and... yikes! There's a woman under there! (A middle aged woman, true... which brings with it another set of invisibility issues. But a woman nonetheless.)
Today I had lunch with a bunch of colleagues. I guess I dressed up. Long dangly earrings, lipstick, a skirt that has a sort of a jungle print on it. I look like a woman, folks... a woman who cares how she looks. A... dare I say it?... sexual being. I find myself wondering whether this in itself could set people to wondering.
A friend (also closeted) who pastors a church clear on the other side of the country said to me recently, "I know they wonder about me. How could they not? But in the final analysis, I think they love me, and they just don't care one way or the other."
Which brings me to my other invisibility cloak: the fact that I've been married to a man. I really think this is the one item in my resume that will keep people from wondering the longest. Despite evidence to the contrary, it just doesn't occur to people that people either change in their self-understanding, or that they have been hiding their self-understanding. The truth is that I've known I was at the very least bisexual for more than 20 years; there was just no reason to shout about it. Within these last years, that has shifted. I now think of myself as a lesbian. I love women... I love a woman. (You are what you do, my Beloved says.) I don't see myself... under any circumstances... ever choosing to be in a romantic relationship with a man again. This is my natural way of being in the world. But because I was married, it just won't occur to people.
As I drove home from my lunch I thought of my invisibility cloaks, and how they've served me, and perhaps kept me from being who I most authentically am. Then, the leaves took over, and I lost myself... again... in the genius God who has made such a world. Such a world!