When you are in the box, it’s not just that other options are out of your reach, it’s that they are out of your vision, not even on your radar.
Blinders are the way you survive. It doesn’t matter if they come from ignorance, incidental or studied, or if they come from denial, from it being too painful to even engage what you know you can never have, all that matters is that you don’t even get to consider making those choices.
Women are those who make the choices of women. Most women are assigned as female at birth and placed on the woman track, full of scrutiny and cute and service. That track bounds their options, sets them in a channel.
The more queer you are the more you know how that channel limits you, how you need to emerge from it and claim something past the conventional.
It is much harder, though, to know what the options are that will fit you, will leverage who you are inside, will let your heart blossom in the world.
The limits of our vision are the limits of our possibilities, no matter how those limits are created. Imposed barriers, cultural ignorance or wilful blindness, they all leave options that are not even considered.
As I get older, those options that stayed out of sight and only in the back of my mind, beyond my grasp so beyond my sight sometimes come back to haunt me. They are the ghosts of unconsidered dreams, killed without even a hearing, who now dance in the shadows, the pain of their loss held back for so many decades.
Everybody lives in partial light, the bounds of our choices circumscribed by the bounds of our circumstances. For some of us, though, the darkness hides broken dreams, shards still cutting into our heart.
Time passed is time lost, fogged away in blindness and resistance. We may have been told that our denial was not only appropriate but that it was also righteous, properly serving our family, our community and our God, but when the haze lifts to reveal the debris of the dreams we couldn’t even allow ourselves to know that we had, loss becomes palpable while the promised social respect feels like so much vapour.
So much emptiness which might have been full of rich possibilities, all bound up in choices that were not even considered.