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Petals

So the teacher from my youth who is tied to so much of my sexual awareness and my queer identity? After years of never having official confirmation of what I already knew, this, from her father's obituary: "father of...Jean (Paula)..."

Well...*g*  It's ridiculous but it made me smile to see it recognized in print, though she can't speak on it because she's not officially allowed to be out without risking her job.  

I feel...many things.  It's been 21 years, and the flower that is our story has finally reached full bloom.  I mean, I knew.  I knew at age 12 -- back in 1992 when it wasn't okay to talk about it.  But, seeing this validates my inexorable pull toward her back then, and it makes me appreciate how difficult a position she was really in with me.  It's one hell of a tough job to balance the need for professional distance with the need, as a queer person, to show up for a queer kid who is figuring it all out.  She didn't always pull off the balance, but she tried.  With her, I was not invisible, and I didn't have to hide.  I could be myself completely.  She was the first person who accepted the queer part of me -- no hesitation, no questions asked.  Even though there's a lot of water under the bridge, I will always be grateful for that.

<3 <3 <3

Be still my heart.