Voices of the Year - BlogHer 2012

Blogging affords me a certain level of comfort. I can tell you a personal story and string words together to make you feel something while keeping myself at a safe distance. I might be overcome with emotion when writing and might even cry but those of you reading won't know because the only gauge you have are the words I give you. You can't peer through the screen while I'm writing and see what I'm feeling. I was selected to read Ministrations at BlogHer's Voices of the Year.

When I wrote that post in April...I cried.

I cried because I still have moments when I am tired of being different, moments when I wish I could blend, moments when I judge myself too harshly. But, I also shed tears because I am so relieved that I have the insight to recognize those moments and dare myself to be braver.

Writing words on a page and reading those words to a roomful of people are very different things.

When I stepped onto the stage to read, I was visible in a way that I have not been since I began blogging. I stood there looking so very queer and read a piece about coming to terms with that.

I wasn't nervous about reading the words.

I was nervous about feeling them.

And I did feel them and the earth didn't swallow me whole.

I can't imagine a better audience than the one at Voices of the Year. A roomful of bloggers cheering for you? I'll take it.

I appreciate every single person who came up to me afterwards with kind words and all those who tweeted their support. I'm still high days later.

Thank you to Deborah, the best blog wife ever, for recording this and sending it to me to post.

Also, thank you to Polly who introduced me. I was struck by the fact that Polly and I met and became friends in Minneapolis in 1993 but lost touch after she moved to California. We met again through blogging and, last Friday, shared the stage.


Check out the rest of the readers at Voices of the Year (links to the original posts unless otherwise noted):

Elizabeth Jayne Liu: To the Person who Stole My Gordita Fund

Lori Volkman: Fish-Infested Waters

Jenny Feldon: Life Lessons in the Seafood Section

Arnebya Herndon: Walk This Way

Liz McGuire: On Being Nine

Neil Kramer: The Poet at the Genius Bar

Issa Mas: The Horror of Mealtime

Susan Goldberg: It's Always Something

Dresden Shumaker: Welfare Queen (Video taken at Voices of the Year)

Jane Byers Goodwin: Dick Clark and Our Sofa

Suzanne Barston: You've (not) Come a Long Way, Baby

Barbara Becker: The Swastika in the Neighborhood

Varda Steinhardt: Holding Hands

Shari Simpson: The Best/Worst "Female" Story You Will Ever Read


STILL TO COME: The wacky BlogHer recap! You know I have stories to tell!