Anna Watson's "Tamago"is beautifully written, right from the heart through the body. I have the benefit of knowing Anna personally, so I can hear her voice when I read this, but I think any reader will hear her true out-and-proud femme voice in her words. In this post Anna talks about how she decided to share her intensely personal story, and the importance of publishing it under her own name.
"One evening a couple of weeks ago I was sitting on a panel along with some other folks, including a straight girl raised by a butch lesbian, a married lesbian with three kids, a younger lesbian, single, just out of college, a married trans guy with two kids, and an out gay male high school student. We were facing a row of 7th graders, participants in our Unitarian Universalist church’s sex ed class. This was my first time taking part in the Gender Panel, and I was loving it.
I happen to be one of the few people I know who are my age (51) who actually had a good sex ed class; two of them, even, one in 7th grade and one in high school. Both teachers told it to us straight, from VD to all the conflicting feelings that come up around sex, and in high school, we practiced putting condoms on bananas and were encouraged to taste spermicide. It was life-changing, life-saving information, and I am so grateful to those two brave teachers who carved out a place for kids to make a safe and informed start on their sexual paths. The only problem was that all that wealth, all that good, good stuff, was presented as if there was only one kind of sexual activity, the kind between men and women.
On the Gender Panel, I talked about being femme, about coming out and then coming out again and finally coming out for a third time, and about my current situation as the wife of my butch husband. It felt good to be able to talk about all these things to adolescents, and I really hoped that some of what I was saying will be of use to them in their own sexual journeys. I knew that they had learned about a variety of sexualities and ways of having sex in their class, and I was so grateful for that progress.
I started to write this post about why I don’t use a pen name and then decided to switch to talking about the Gender Panel, but now and I find myself back talking about why I don’t write cloaked. Yes, my kids might find my stories and read them – probably already have. Yes, my ESL students and their parents might look me up and find that I have another kind of career and choose not to employ me. I’m pretty much ok with that, given that my main goal in writing smut is to provide a place for us, to add to the stories that show queers in all their sexual glory. But I did have to think a little bit about sending Sacchi “Tamago”. It’s been sitting in my files since I wrote it in those searing months of my early 40s when I finally FINALLY FINALLY came roaring fully into my femme sexuality. I was so wide open, so vulnerable and in such an altered state. Did I want people reading what is basically my journal?
Back to the Gender Panel. I had just walked the kids through my long, convoluted coming out process, which has taken me my entire life. “I’m so grateful to have gotten here,” I told them, “but there are times that I do feel robbed. To have finally figured this out when the hormones are leaving me. I wish I could have known about my sexuality when I was your age! And that’s why I’m here tonight, and why I do the community organizing work I do, because I want every single person to understand their sexuality and be able to lead a long and healthy sexual life.”
And that’s why I went ahead with “Tamago” and why I used my own name. Because this is something that happened to a real person, to me. And if it goes any way towards validating and celebrating the sexualities of other people, then I am doing what I was born to do. Kampei!"
Along with writing smut, Anna Watson works in her community as an adult advisor to a homeschooling QSA, has helped start and maintain a GSA in her kids’ middle school, and is the chair of her UU church’s LGBTQ and allies group. A shout out to Mr. Dwyer and Ms. Roper, who would certainly include more queer stuff in their sex ed classes were they doing it today!
The link list—if you haven’t caught them all, you can do it any time. And comment for a chance to win the book!
June 3 Angel Propps: The Daddy I Didn’t Know I Needed
June 4 Destiny Moon: The Corruption of the Innocent Pornographer
June 5 Danielle Mignon: Are You My Mommy?
June 6 Charlotte Dare: Higher Learning
June 7 Dawn Mueller: Cockadoodledoo
June 8 Lynette Mae: Risking It All
June 9 Cheyenne Blue: Nurse Joan
June 10 Catherine Paulssen: Delinquents
June 11 M. Marie: Auto-Complete
June 12 Giselle Renarde: Ring of Roses
June 13 Mia Savage: Kat’s House
June 14 Dawn McKay: Hot Desert Nights
June 15 Allison Moon: Foxy and the Ridiculous Lesbian Orgy
June 16 Allison Wonderland: Guise and Dolls
June 17 Anna Watson: Tamago
June 18 Evan Mora: Insatiable Travel Itch
June 19 Catherine Henreid: Odds
June 20 H.M. Husley: Threesome
June 21 Jasmine Grimstead: Lost Batteries
June 22 Monica E. Moreno: Polvo de Hadas