Some days I just want it to end. I just want to be who I am, fully, completely. I am so sick of feeling like I have to hide part of myself for fear of what someone might think. Even now. I long to feel integrated, whole, unashamed.
Recently, I was confronted with a major decision about whether to out myself in a very public way. A part of me very much wanted to do that; to just be out. Period.
But, another part of me was concerned about what affect this might have on my children, as was my wife. I want to be responsible, but on the other hand, I resent feeling like I’m something that has to be covered up. I hate the feeling that I have to ask permission to be who I am. Where and when do I draw the line? How much longer do I have to do this?
I’ve also recently been faced with a decision of whether to out Invictus Pilgrim. Frankly, I sometimes feel that I have created another closet for myself with this blog. I created the persona of “Invictus Pilgrim” – and he has allowed me to express things that I never could have expressed under my real name. He has given me the opportunity – as I wrote early on – to out the writer in me: something I would never have permitted the real, pre-coming-out me, to do.
But! The writer is in me, not Invictus Pilgrim. IP’s not real; I am. Yet a very large part of me is now cloaked in his identity. I want to reclaim that part of me for myself, yet to do so, I have to out myself as him.
This puts me back in the same situation of being afraid of what others – those who know me, who have been and are close to me – might think if they discover that I am Invictus Pilgrim and they read what I have written on this blog. Do I care that members of my previous ward, my former bishop, my former stake president, might read my innermost thoughts? Why? Because they would see someone completely different than the person they thought I was? Why do I care what they think?
And then there are my children. On the one hand, the thought of them reading my blog is very uncomfortable. But on the other hand, I want to share with them what has become a very important – if not integral – part of my coming out and of who I am right now. Again, I feel like I cannot be the real me with them; that I have to conform to some standard of acceptableness, whether it be theirs or someone else’s. Sometimes, I just want to say “F**k it!”
And then, then, there is that voice that whispers in the stillness: “You are a hypocrite! You write about wholeness, integrity, affirmation and other lovely concepts, yet you have a fragmented identity, you hide behind a false persona and you’re still filled with shame at who and what you are.”
How can I expect others to respect who and what I am if I don’t?