“Before I came out as a lesbian, I read a lot of books. And I found that I could relate to anything because I didn’t relate to anything in particular.
Up to that point in my life, nothing had spoken to me – at least not in the way I wanted it to.
Then one day, I woke up and realized I might be gay. That in spite of everything I thought I knew, my entire life might need to turn upside-down.
I’d never contemplated my own sexuality or considered that I wasn’t pin-straight before – which is laughable now, but was very serious then. It’s easy to be 20 and think you know everything, especially about who you are, and I did.
I knew in one fell swoop I was wrong. And I knew I could never go back.
I came out to myself by letting myself whisper in my own ear that maybe I should buy some boy shorts or a leather jacket. I came out to myself by searching for someone who reminded me of myself, or even who I could become.
And suddenly, there were words everywhere.
I couldn’t stop reading the words of women like me: women who decided to live their truths, women who grappled with the world in the most personal ways, women who had to force society to accept their self-definition.
Women who fought for a language where they existed.
They made all of the long-dormant things inside of me wake up. They made me feel less alone. They made me feel more legitimate.
They reminded me I still existed. They reminded me that I, too, had a story. Books by queer and trans women helped me find and liberate my voice.
Here are five recent ones that set me free from feelings of disconnection and loneliness. I hope they can do something magical for you as well.”
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