Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 1 January 2014

Coming out of my Closet

No matter how much we say everyday is a new day and we should live life this way, it seems that the first day of a new year still manages to hold some special significance.

I watched this video the other day:

The way she phrased things had a resonance with me. I’ve always used ‘resonance’ in descriptions of moments that stand out starkly against the background of normal experience – like a moment of insight. It was a moment of clarity because I know the closet (mine is a very small box). I have held the grenade lovingly to my chest while the backs of my eyes burned with unshed tears, have fiddled with the pin thinking about the destruction pulling it would bring about – sometimes with a wistful smile knowing that in some cases being the bringer of the boom would be a welcome relief. Those inner speeches and movie-like memories where the script is rewritten and I say the things I should have said slowly morph into the simple action of pulling the pin and tossing the grenade into the crowd.

When that tiny box in the recesses of my mind that was blown apart with someone else’s C-4 from the Trayvon Martin case, I railed at the injustice of not being the bringer of the boom. The ornate and tightly chained box only about 10 years younger than I am that automatically absorbed certain experiences and ominously rattled with the threat of Pandoran consequences in other moments was now irreparably damaged.  Of course, everything happens in its time. It was time for me to deal with emotional upheaval – that was the new order I’d recently given to my psyche.  I needed to become healthy again and physical health depended on psychological health. Cleanse and release – Debridement.

I wrote people off on that day. She (the woman in the video) speaks of the closet as where we hide from hard conversations – the hard problems, lol. But debriding is decisive process; if it’s infected cut it out, even if some healthy flesh gets removed by the knife. Healing depends on this. Survival depends on this. So I deleted people who aggravated the wound that reopened along with the box and their family members.  Today, I think of this as I remember the many times my cursor has hovered over ‘unfriend’ for the person who reminded me that I got to keep my new job because of affirmative action. Of course, the more probable reason I got and kept the new job (I could have discussions with my previous interviewer from the inner management circle about ballet and Robert Heinlein) is not any more fair but dahmet! So, I still struggle with political correctness which I think in this case may actually better fit the description of being an Uncle Tom. That rankles me.

And I smile softly again at the thought of being the bringer of the boom. Debriding via grenade.

But wait…

Obviously, one can’t go around blowing things up, even metaphorically.

‘Closets’ are in the mind – we become locked in the flight or fight response to ‘perceived’ danger. As most of this blog and all that I do are about process – in the quality of the process is the effectiveness of the result – there will be no confrontation of other people. It is an internal conversation or series of confrontations with my little broken box that needs to happen. Perceptions need to be changed. Now don’t get it twisted, this is not to say that Miss Affirmative Action and Mister You Are a Credit to Your Race are not deserving of the boom. I just don’t believe that bringing the boom would be good for me. I am affected for days after accidentally stepping on a snail – cringing as if it were the actual moment in each remembering of that <crunch> sound. I still despair over the ant holocaust I caused by cleaning off the surface of the bar by the pool – watching the other ants march to the area, stand in stillness as if in mourning, then turn around to go the other way. Yeah, I take empathy to not normal levels. No matter what the smile may indicate I am, at bottom, incapable of hurting another person even verbally without inflicting some kind of reciprocal reaction in myself.*

The decision has already been made about what needs to be done to facilitate efficient debriding and then healing with minimum scarring. But I am here now in the newly dubbed Unmatched States of Aggravation to do the work necessary to make that move. It’s like the inevitability of the sun rising – the weight landed squarely on my shoulders – my body prepared again to do battle or walk away. A constant state of tension which I am realizing has been unabated for the last 35 years – except for the respite of, believe it or not, high school.** Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it. In high school, I happened to have reasonable peers of many different backgrounds – maybe it was because they were diverse.

So, this diatribe is about recognition of my closet(s), facing the necessity of opening them and removing the explosives so I don’t inadvertently unleash on a little girl in a tutu like what almost happened to the speaker in the video.

Closer to the contemporary meaning of excising the contents of the closet – there is some need to address sexuality for the transhuman or let’s consider the term posthuman. What does that mean? Can you ever be sure the consciousness in whatever new substrate was of the opposite sex and does that really matter?

Next post…


*Well, truth be told. In the right situation, I can and will inflict damage and have done it without remorse. Everyone has their limits. Just don’t be the catalyst to the reaching of my limit. There are warnings. I am very careful of that. Those that experience me unleashed cross the line in the sand and/or do not heed the very clear (and I mean verbalized) warnings. It would be silly for me to feel bad about that.

**Add to that punk rock and LGBT culture.


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