Saturday, 11 September 2010
I am an out lesbian because my mother taught me that anything I was ashamed of was wrong. She taught me not to lie or live lies. I am proud to be everything that I am. That includes being a lesbian.
I came out to my two younger brothers at age 16. I came out to the rest of my family and the world at age 21. I am now 43. And, my mom is still my best friend.
I am not a tangerine. You cannot accept me in sections. You have to deal with my whole being. I have to do the same for all of you.
Brave gay teens are coming out much earlier than I did. I admire them immensely. They are my s/heroes. They will be stronger and better persons than I am. They will enjoy superior intimate relationships too.
I never got to practice loving romantically until I was 22 . Before then, I was too busy hiding behind men I did not love, and books that made me forget that painful charade. My penance for my cowardice and cruelty to those men in my past is that I am still struggling daily to make love work with a woman I truly adore…
Parents: Please love your gay children unconditionally. They truly need your love. They really need to learn how to find love. A person who has never been loved can never truly love another person.
I have been receiving a lot of inquiries lately about my credentials. I am honored and amused by them. A typical email reads as follows:
My child just told me that they are gay.
I am trying to learn more about gays and my child referred me to your website.
There are many lunatics online.
Who are you?
I typically respond by replying:
Thank you for loving your child.
I am not a lunatic.
I am a radical.
I am an educator of adults and children.
I am a lesbian, a columnist, a radio producer and host, a musicologist, a biblical scholar, etc…”
Then, I direct them to my profile herein. Next, I attach the following list of awards and honors. Finally, as Forrest Gump stated so succinctly, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
I share this information with you now not to decrease welcome emails from admirable and loving parents. I do so simply to explain who I really am. Also, I share it to explain how EXTREMELY busy I really am…
ALICIA BANKS - AWARDS & HONORS:
Who’s Who of American Women 2008-2011
Who’s Who in America 2008-2013
Who’s Who in American Education 2007-2008
Who’s Who in the World 2007 & 2013
Who's Who Among America’s Teachers 2005-2006
Who's Who Among African-Americans 2001
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Trailblazer Award 1996
Outstanding Young Woman of America 1986
Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges 1984
UIUC Dean's List 1984
UIUC Senior 100 Honorary 1984
UIUC Black Alumni Association Earl Dickerson Achievement Award 1983
UIUC Black Alumni Association Potential Leadership Award 1982
UIUC 5.0 GPA Award 1982
[Numerous Additional Academic & Occupational Awards]
ME AT 6
ME AT 16
ME AT 39
ME AT 41
ME AT 45