AUTHOR GUEST BLOG: J. Lee Graham
The coming out process, for people of all ages, always and forever will be, a transformational and sacred journey. It is not a one-time event. It is not always a giant party nor is it always a dramatic Act Three denouement. Often I see our society responding to splashy headlines of a celebrity who decides to come out and the tendency is to assume that that is all that ‘coming out’ means: a Public Relations moment that creates a five minute discussion at the supper table. By morning, all is forgotten.
I don’t believe that. Coming out is a lifelong exploration. It’s not a lifetime struggle or a lifetime millstone around one’s neck. It is a glorious unfolding that occurs again and again as we grow into our own authenticity. It empowers us. It unites us.
As a professional astrologer (www.mysticalisle.net), I have sessions with clients ages 16-82. Using the profound and beautiful metaphorical language of astrology and the archetypes they embrace, the client comes to uncover his own sense of authenticity. Gay or Straight, the ‘coming out’ and overcoming of one’s own limitations or perceived fears is a tremendously freeing experience. For my LGBT clients, the added benefits of discussing their own coming out stories, again, regardless of age, dovetails mystically with the new layers of authenticity they discover.
In my practice as a Reiki practitioner, the struggle for one’s authenticity can be found most strongly in the third Chakra. Using the parlance of Eastern Teachings, the different chakras have a different color associated with each and together they reflect the colors of the rainbow. The Third Chakra’s color is yellow and it is here, like the Vision Quest of the Native American, where we learn to become our own ‘warrior’. We define ourselves as separate from others and we step out into the world with a very healthy sense of security and confidence. Much research states that this third chakra is healthfully established during our teen years.
But what if it isn’t? What if, for reasons of fear and persecution or ridicule and shame, the chakra does not develop maturely? The coming out process does, in so many cases, strengthen our third chakra. We don’t have to be a teenager to do this. Often, we are older, but the illumination is the same. Somewhere, we stopped growing in this area. The coming out process, the journey to the light of authenticity is ongoing and glorious. We are given the chance to define our code of honor and our own integrity.
In my novel THE PROMISE OF LIVING, 16-year-old Ryan Colton lives in rural New Hampshire and has his own coming out experience and I wanted to create a dual path: having Ryan discover his own sexuality as well as his own authenticity. It is not an easy path, but the strengthening that occurs, like the strength he feels in his body when he works on a farm, is arduous yet life-giving. Ryan’s journey is our journey.
What code of honor do we choose to create? What, as LGBT youth and adults, is our definition of integrity and how do we express that in our day-to-day lives? I wanted Ryan’s journey to be ongoing, for the coming out process not only emboldens us, but allows us to find our gifts and bless them, and, like the warrior on his Vision Quest, ultimately, bring them back and share them for the benefit of our mystical, powerful tribe.
THE PROMISE OF LIVING by J. Lee Graham can be found on Amazon and on Smashwords. Follow his blog at ww.jleegraham.blogspot.com