A note from the past res­onates to­day

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When I first saw the list I had writ­ten, I didn’t think much about it. It wasn’t un­til I saw when I wrote that list that I teared a lit­tle.

Ev­ery­one has their weak­ness when it comes to house­keep­ing. For some, it’s clothes ev­ery­where, oth­ers it’s piles of dishes in the sink and for those like me, it’s the piles of pa­per that seem to spread into ev­ery room and on ev­ery sur­face. I’ve spent some of my time off go­ing through those end­less piles of pa­per and files that needed re­cy­cling many moons ago.

One such file in­cluded notes I have writ­ten over the years for use in po­ten­tial ar­ti­cles or broad­casts, and a piece of pa­per fell out that had my old busi­ness logo stamped across it. It was from a per­son­al­ized memo pad back when I was an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at Turner Home Satel­lite, a now nonex­is­tent arm of Turner Broad­cast­ing. Back then, I was still in the closet, even though most of my co-work­ers knew about my sex­u­al­ity. It’s ob­vi­ous I was arch­ing my foot to kick firmly through the closet door and into the pub­lic light as a les­bian, but not yet. So, here is my pri­vate mes­sage, scrib­bled on this notepad some­time dur­ing a ran­dom work­day, af­ter my heart had been threat­ened some­how by some­thing I saw be­fore­hand: There’s a new gen­er­a­tion of les­bians com­ing… They will be the ones who have ac­cess to les­bian his­tory, les­bian movies, les­bian books…

They will be grow­ing up in the age of AIDS and are not par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion…

They will be the ones who ques­tion why ho­mo­sex­u­als have the rep­u­ta­tion of sex-craved preda­tors, then open les­bian/gay pub­li­ca­tions to find sex­u­ally ex­plicit ads and clas­si­fieds…

They will be the ones who won’t need drag queens to come and per­form in their bars…

They will be women and ev­ery­one will know who they are…

They will re­al­ize that hav­ing sex with men is not a right of pas­sage to be a woman… “My eyes welled up at this dis­tant woman, newly on her own and in her first adult re­la­tion­ship, who was an­gry that she didn’t fit in among her straight friends or even her gay ones.”

They will be the ones who re­al­ize the next step in the les­bian rev­o­lu­tion is eco­nomic pres­ence, not the ide­al­is­tic ques­tion of moral­ity…

They will be the prom queens, the soror­ity girls, the class pres­i­dents, the mem­ber of the PTA…

They will con­trib­ute di­ver­sity and add def­i­ni­tion to the term “les­bian com­mu­nity”…

They will cause con­tro­versy, both with het­ero­sex­u­als and ho­mo­sex­u­als…

But, a new gen­er­a­tion of les­bians is com­ing, and we need to wel­come them since progress is never easy…

Like the afore­men­tioned, I won­dered why on earth I wrote down some­thing so ob­vi­ous un­til I re­al­ized I was 22 or 23 years old when I needed to get it out. My eyes welled up at this dis­tant woman, newly on her own and in her first adult re­la­tion­ship, who was an­gry that she didn’t fit in among her straight friends or even her gay ones. A woman who didn’t know her health was fail­ing and was scared of her own shadow. But the fire in­side of her is still in me, and I ap­pre­ci­ate her mes­sage to her fu­ture self that al­lows me to ap­pre­ci­ate how far we all, and I, have come. We did it, girl.

Some­how I think she al­ways knew we would.

Melissa Carter is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and has been heard over the years on B98.5 and Q100. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Melis­saCarter.

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