New Essay for PRIDE Month

I was shocked and honored last month to receive a ping in my inbox that was not a rejection of my writing, but an acceptance of a piece I’ve been working on for over two years.

The first “yes” in a 31-rejection-string of “no”s, this phenomena had me about in tears at my desk. There I was, in front of a computer monitor working for one of the best companies, missions, and people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with (hey, did you know I work for the library, and hey did you know it’s literally the best job in the world?) and yet nothing that week, no interaction or task had me nearly so fulfilled as hearing that someone besides me wanted to hear what I had to say about the world, about my life, and about some of my most private, personal experiences.

It was mind boggling and validating and I craved more.

More sharing, more “yes's", more writing. More bridging between people, more dialogue, more communication. That is, I hope, what my writing achieves. That is my aim.

More “no” to come, for sure. There will (hopefully) be more “yes,” too. Hells, there was even another “yes” just this afternoon. Just after I sat in the middle of a crowded movie theater, surrounded on all sides by screaming children, another ping from my email said someone wanted to feature my essay on atheism, on faith, on not belonging, on growing up queer and Roman Catholic in the heart of Montana and how one of those things stuck and the other dissolved with my parents’ marriage when I was twelve.

But that’s a story for another time (sometime in mid July, I think—you can read it here when I post that link, or find it on any of my social media).

For now, though, if you’d like, here is an essay about my first love. A queer love. An important love. A love I still hold, shimmering, like a torch lighting my darkest days. I hope you enjoy. Thank you, as always, for listening and for reading and for sharing.

Her, by Paige M. Ferro