Keepin' it Green (Newbies)
"Keepin' it Green" (NEWBIES)
by Cynthia Rodriguez
"Keepin' it Green" is a very popular phrase among the 12 step meeting community. It is used to recall when you had reached "rock bottom", and first entered the recovery society. The purpose is to gain and maintain a sense of patience, understanding, and tolerance of "newbies" who join the group with their newfound struggles and to remember when you were once a recovery youngin' yourself.
Although I am no longer a member of that community, over the years, I've attempted to use that phrase among others in other areas of my life, particularly the gay community. Every time I find myself getting frustrated over a gay newbie's wish-washiness and self-induced drama, I try to think back, (WAY back) to the time I came out, and the challenges I faced with my new life. It helps keep me calm and grounded and better prepared to face the pain-in-the-ass toils ahead.
It wasn't always cargo-pants and docks. I can remember a simpler time back in the straight days, (or so I thought), when I was the "girly-girl" that people that know me now find extremely hard to believe. The days for me of wearing skirts and dresses and pumps and pantyhose (THAT really sucked), and make-up may be over, however, I realize that it will always be part of who I was and I can't deny it, (as much as I would like to.)
My philosphy on the whole thing comes down to a few things. When you come out, everybody around you (family, friends, co-workers) come out with you. Usually, the people closest to you ALREADY know. You're always the last to know. It's a process for EVERYBODY. You find out who your true friends are, and who is really there for you when it happens. It's a never ending process. For the rest of your life, you are always coming out, everytime you get a new job, go to a new school, new friends, family members you haven't seen in almost 20 years, and so on.
You go through all the stages, the denial, the anger, the depression. You question anything and everything. Was it my upbringing? Did I do something wrong? What's the matter with me? Was it because I was sexually abused? Was it the accumulation of bad experiences with men? Did I hang out with gay people too much? Is it hereditary? etc, etc, etc.... You may look into different types of religion or alternative forms of spirituality, you go to therapy, (maybe "conversion camp"), you do everything you can to try to be "normal" again.
A recent conversation with a "sister" revealed to me she has been out for about 6 years. I responded with, "Oh, so you're an 'intermediate'?" "An intermediate?", she laughed. I replied "Yeah, you're not a newbie, but not a 'veteran', either." I THINK she understood. If she didn't, it's okay. I knew what I meant.
To another recent still in the closet newbie I explained how the metamorphosis changes
you inside and out. Such as your appearance slowly but surely begins to alter. You realize that all those years of fancy hosiery and high heels and alot of other things you did for your appearance were all for men. Of course, this did not apply to everyone, but I've seen it enough over time to make my own analysis.
I can go on and on about the whole when you get into the acceptance phase of your new orientation and entering the gay scene in a whole new way, not as just a "straight but not narrow" person hanging out at the gay clubs, and the "second puberty" stage, and becoming a big, gay whore for a while and all that, but that's a whole other conversation.
I remember my slow and rough transition from straight to very active bisexual to all out LESBIAN. It took years and alot of work for me to achieve my full blown dykiness evolution as seen today, but the journey was well worth it.
The opinions expressed by "BOOK_REVIEWER_EXTRAORDINAIRE" are not necessarily those of the Lesbiatopian management.