The Coming Out Monologues

4 Jun

Welcome to the first blog of June.

It has been a few days since I posted. After my blog about the rain, inspired by Tropical Storm Beryl, I sort of lost the call to blog. It wasn’t so much that I was resting on my laurels. It was more like after I posted Riffs on the Rain, I didn’t have anything else to say.

Now, June is bursting out all over and I am back. Nothing like a nice weekend to get you going again.

On Saturday morning, I went for a bike ride. Good to be back in the saddle after several rainy days. I planned to do my usual “ride and write”–ride my bike, sit down somewhere with a cup of coffee and my journal. I rode to Chamblin’s Uptown, a combination used bookstore, coffee shop, eatery and cafe. A perfect spot to enjoy coffee and a bagel, crack open the journal and write away.

There turned out to be a slight flaw in my plan–a major oversight on my part, I had forgotten to bring a pen. This sounds minor, but in my world, it is unheard of.

One of the reasons I keep on keeping a journal, frankly, is because I have a thing for blank books and pens. I truly own, and usually carry around in my backpack, dozens (if not hundreds) of pens–all colors and styles. Sometimes when I sit down somewhere to have coffee and write and start digging out the pens, sort through them to find the one that is just right (or just write) for this moment, I am sure the folks at the next table must wonder if I am about to embark on a project the size of the Sistine Chapel; or perhaps they just think I am some sort of pen fetishist. Which, in truth, I may be.

So there I was, journal at the ready, blank page hungry for some ink, and me without a pen. I took it as a sign that I should read instead. Or just sit and watch the world go by while I ate my bagel and sipped my coffee. So that is what I did.

I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately. This is enormously healthy, I know, but not like me at all. Of course, if it was like me, then stepping outside of my comfort zone wouldn’t be the slightest bit remarkable, would it?

I know some people are up for anything. I am not that guy. I sometimes say I’m that guy, but whenever I say something like, “I am up for anything!” I am most likely either bluffing or just being passive aggressive.

One of the big things going on in my life right now is my participation in a local community theatrical production called The Coming Out Monologues. It is, as the title suggests, a series of personal stories, told by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people from our community.

My participation began when I responded to a call for personal stories and has continued as I agreed to perform my monologue as part of the show. Although it has been years (some would say decades, which, though true, I do not appreciate being reminded of, so you’re a bitch for bringing it up…) I have been involved in theater in the past.

I was in plays when I was a teenager, took Drama in high school (and I still didn’t know I was gay?!) and minored in Theater in college. So, being involved in a stage production is not foreign to me.

I have been “on the boards” but I have before never been involved in a production that is being created, truly, from the grassroots up.

These monologues are moving, sad, funny, surprising, beautiful and true–in the truest sense of the word. The workshop process we’re all investing in, getting this show up and running, is in itself a hugely rewarding experience.

No matter what your sexual orientation, I believe everyone can relate to the coming out experience–coming out is not just “a gay thing.”

“To thine own self be true,” Shakespeare wrote, and that is what coming out is truly about.

Life lived deeply is a series of coming out experiences: daring to tell someone else, “I love you”; bringing yourself to reveal to a parent that you cannot be true to yourself and follow the career path your family has always wanted for you; telling your spouse or partner that you have decided you must leave–these are the kind of moments that happen to everyone. Coming out takes many forms, but few of us go through life without living defining moments such as these, because coming out is about revealing a deeply personal part of yourself, often at the risk of being rejected or hurting someone you care about, but ultimately it is about bringing yourself to a deeper level of love and self-acceptance.

Each of the stories in The Coming Out Monologues is unique, but surprisingly universal.

One of the true gifts of my involvement in this production is that I have met such an amazing group of creative, caring, people.  I am definitely richer for knowing each and every one of them.

The show is June 29th and June 30th.  The proceeds from the production will benefit JASMYN and PFLAG, two very worthy groups. I urge you to click the respective links and check them out.

You can find out more about The Coming Out Monologues, by checking out our Facebook page: Coming Out Monologues 2012 , where you’ll catch a glimpse of some of the beautiful people involved in this project. Be sure and press “Like” while you’re there.

So, this is one way I am stepping out of my comfort zone lately.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about Paris.

Happy Monday!

3 Responses to “The Coming Out Monologues”

  1. Mary Atwood June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I am so looking forward to seeing this. Just the little preview the other night was very moving. And I am really proud of you for stepping outside the comfort zone lately. As you know, I am a big fan of being outside the comfort zone and am happy to see you sample a bit of how exciting it can be. It is, I think, the best “growth factor” around!

    • catzenspace June 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      I thank you for being my muse in the area of stepping outside the comfort zone and for being so supportive.

  2. Pamela N Red June 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Sounds like a great performance. I’ll go look for the FB page.

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