Iâ€™ve been keeping a diary ever since coming out to myself, in May of â€™92. From time to time I like to reread old entries, to keep in touch with who I was. Itâ€™s good to remember where Iâ€™ve been, if only to make sure I donâ€™t repeat the same mistakes more than two or three times. From time to time Iâ€™ll go through the whole thing, entry by entry, to give me the best perspective on where I am, and why I am where I am. Itâ€™s fascinating to notice the little details, like handwriting changing over the years, turns of phrase I used, that sort of thing. And the larger patterns, the ups and downs, going in circles and spiralsâ€¦
Itâ€™s important to remember those things. Because history isnâ€™t just in the past. It affects us every day, whether we realize it or notâ€”our decisions, other peopleâ€™s decisions. How did we get here? Is here such a good place to be? How can we compare? By looking at the past, we can better understand the present.
This is why Iâ€™m interested in queer history. I want to understand this community in which Iâ€™ve found myself, see how it came to be, because in a very real way, they are my people. Just as a couple of my relatives have researched our family tree, Iâ€™m exploring my heritage. I canâ€™t relate the thrill of holding old articles, personal histories, posters or pamphlets from years or decades ago, and then ride forward to the present, seeing it all come together in a continuous path. Itâ€™s that connection to other people, other times, other voices, that continues to excite and inspire me. Listening to their stories, as Iâ€™m writing my own.