To Write is to Heal, Resist, and Love

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I have been a storyteller since I was a very young girl. I would recount funny, ridiculous, sad and happy stories to my family and friends for as long as I can remember. If you could ask my mom, she would regale you with the many times I have made her laugh hysterically with my tales of old boyfriends and all the other absurd moments in my life. Telling stories is a very large part of who I am, however, I never, ever, wrote. Outside of my love of poetry and my secret poetry diary, I have never written, I have always told, acted out, and expressed myself verbally. Those who know me know that I can be quite exuberant in the re-tellings of moments in my life, my life has always been the big play, the grand adventure. But it wasn’t until years after knowing my fellow Gay Dad sister-friends that I began to write. Collectively we all were drawn to each others stories, finding similarities and differences that hold us in glorious space together. It was this incredible phenomenon, and the suggestion of many of my sister-friends, that drove me to begin to write.

Admittedly writing isn’t my comfort zone, I am very nervous and at times completely afraid to put my writings to print but what pushes me to continue is my love of the story. The importance of sharing, admitting, and confiding. Over time I have realized that writing is also a form of resistance, a way to push the envelope, a way to exist in times when existing is marginalized.

Its unavoidable to go on sharing my story without realizing the singular importance of it now, in these times. Times in which rights are taken away on a daily, even hourly, basis. Times in which those closest to you are terrified and rightfully so, for their lives. It is time for all of us, the storytellers, the poets, the bloggers, the artists to gather together, to keep publishing, to keep sharing our lives. It is in this that we will overcome the hatred and prejudice. It is in this that we will survive. It is here that we will resist.

Our stories build community. Community builds trust. Trust builds love. Be that community five people or five thousand, the importance never changes. We build communities that bring people together who wouldn’t have known acceptance could be real. The power in telling your story is in its most simple terms is to love. To love yourself, to love your neighbor, to love the world.

And it is here where I have realized why I write. I write to heal, to give the story permanent life, to share my experience with others who could be in the exact space I was at 17 and no one to turn to. To spread the love and acceptance I have found over the last 19 years of my life. To share the story of my dad, my daughter and ultimately myself to find the love and acceptance flowing back from others. If you would have asked me just a few short years ago I would never have said I was a writer, but now I write. I am a writer and the reason I write is for love.

Casey McConnell (and her daughter Camille) currently live in Napa, CA. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


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