In celebration of President Obama’s recent announcement of June as International Pride Month, there was no better time to acknowledge the recent LGBTQI + victory over New York City’s Pride parade last month, where it led nonprofits, retailers, retailers, and even other groups religious people celebrated the promotion of LGBTQI + rights across the US And there was probably no better month for me, once I identified myself as a prostitute, to have an experience that reminded me of how painful it was to hide from myself many years ago.
When I agreed to take part in a discussion of the Flomenhaft Gallery in New York City about what it was like to be a teenager who hid her sexual ideas in the 1970s, I had no idea one of the audience would remember me as such. his college student in the 70s, but the experiences in his class clearly reflect my ‘exit’ at this point thirty years later.
Properly surrounded by an art exhibition that seeks to end all forms of gender discrimination through cartoons, Linda Stein’s “Fluidity of Gender” exhibition helped me to ‘come out’ on the subject of forced sexual harassment A teenager living under the control of my parents , which leads to two marriages (for men), two divorces (not surprisingly then), and two handsome children who are now adults (my biggest achievements). But it seemed like only yesterday when I sat in Professor Farley’s class as an elementary-school student at Brooklyn College in 1979, trying to complete the necessary courses to get a double degree in Women’s Education. As the founder of the College Women’s Education program, the first of its kind in the country, Dr. Farley was teaching the “Realities of Lesbian Experience,” an immersive course dedicated to educating students about the lives of lesbians throughout history. When Dr. Farley opened the first class by posing as a prostitute, after which he invited each student to share freely with us. I remember that every student who dared to declare that he was gay seemed to be willing to do so, as if he could finally breathe freely by revealing his sexual orientation, and the difficulties, obstacles, and fears he was experiencing. in those ten years.
But boldly as the students discussed their homosexuality behind the closed doors of the classroom, it was only when they realized that their freedom had ended. Many were so concerned about the disclosure, in fact, that they chose to ‘supervise’ the class only, rather than enroll, so that the course would not appear on their college notes and thus prevent any discrimination that might result from future school admissions. offices.
But my insecurities as a student in this class, which I proudly but falsely declared my heterosexuality, were not the same as the high level of anxiety I felt when I interviewed Professor Farley as a college journalist at the same semester. Although I proudly affirmed my views on feminism, I still tried to hide my true sexual feelings. This is why, I doubt, when I entered Dr.’s office. Farley for me to ask questions, my concern reached its climax when I sat in a chair that seemed to be next to him, and as his eyes seemed to be looking inside me as he answered. to my interview questions. Does he feel the way I do? Did she know I was hiding my sexuality? Did he know that I really wanted to get out of his office without coming back? These questions kept ringing in my head as I tried to prepare for my flight, not wanting to get any answers at all. But now, 33 years later, I found the answers. “Was it not that the arrogant student who questioned me?” Dr. Farley asked me after I finished ‘my speech from an art exhibition a few weeks ago. “Yes,” I replied with a laugh, explaining how I feared that they would discover the true sexual feelings I had so desperately tried to hide in the past. He said he did not realize it, but he did understand it well, and he remembers very well, how I was worried at the time. He apologized for making me feel uncomfortable, but I said that this attitude was based on my need to hide who I was at the time, and not to deal with him.
I could not write that article in a college newspaper. It was very difficult to put a pen on a piece of paper, I remember, because I felt it would force me to deal with issues related to my sexuality. But standing proudly behind the scenes and watching the pride last month, I knew it was a good time to look back and tell my story, once in a while. Because even though paper and pens have already been replaced by computers and keyboards, the need to be honest with yourself is not necessarily the same, and a little more liberating than ever before. And now, I can tell what happened to me.
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