Opening the Closet Door

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As we move through our daily lives, most people at some time experience a sense of disconnection, of not conforming to the box. When these challenges come in the form of sexual orientation they can create a great deal of confusion, fear, and resentment. It can become a lifelong journey to sort these out, not only for the person in the dilemma, but their families as well. In her poem “In the Counselor’s Waiting Room,” Bettie Sellers touches on many of these issues. The guilt associated with being discovered with the “quiet girl down the hall,” the rejection of that lifestyle by her family, and the narrator’s own sense of confusion over this “outing” are revealed in this brief thirteen line poem ( line 9). The “terra cotta girl” is wracked with guilt over the affair, yet she sits reading an existentialist book. This implies she is exploring her personal freedom to choose (line 1; line 5). Martha Barron Barrett spent one year of her life interviewing 125 lesbian / bisexual women for her book Invisible Lives: The Truth About Women-Loving Women. The women of these stories com...

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