Off the record

Last night, I talked “off the record” with a reporter from the Washington Post, on the phone.  Completely surreal and surprisingly fulfilling.  It’s ironic that just a few days ago, I wrote about a difficulty in sharing who I am with others, and then suddenly I’m talking to a big time newspaper about core beliefs and feelings, how I got to where I am, how I navigate daily life, etc.

I was at work while we talked.  The phone call was scheduled ahead of time, so I just cleaned a little faster than normal so I’d have more time toward the end of my night.  I kicked back at a teacher’s desk (shhhh, don’t tell) and waited for the call.  I even wrote myself a pep talk on an index card so I wouldn’t psych myself out too much.  It’s still in my pocket.  It says, “Anything you have to say – big or small – is worthwhile and interesting.  Talking to people is a huge part of her job.  Let her do the work and steer things, but also give yourself space to say everything you want to say.”  We ended up talking for about 35 minutes, which was starting to feel a little long.  I think I was being pretty verbose (maybe even actually eloquent at times), contrary to my fears of not being able to answer clearly or not elaborating enough.

The reporter is currently talking to a lot of people who identify as non-binary.  Who live in between, and how they negotiate that.  She’ll be narrowing it down to one person, or a couple of people, to then go and spend time with face-to-face, get a real sense of how they go about their days.  If you would like to talk to her too, you can!  Let me know, and I’ll send you her email address so you can share a little about yourself first.  Or, you can read more details here.

I got a good vibe from her, but I definitely have some strong reservations going on at the same time.  She’s open to, and flexible with, issues of anonymity, so that’s certainly a good sign.  On the other hand, I worry that even if we were to connect well and I felt understood, that wouldn’t mean the article would reflect what I think it should be saying.  I’d have no control over the final product whatsoever.  But, I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I could handle that.  Even if I were to not feel too good about it, I could move on from there and still feel like it’s worthwhile to put myself out there and be a voice for this community.  I’m getting waaaaaaay ahead of myself here though.  I might not be the person they’re looking for, in the first place.

I’m just pretty proud of where I find myself these days.  A year ago, for example, I wouldn’t have even comprehended doing something like this.  Now I feel like it’s doable, and not nearly as nerve-racking as I’d imagined.

Thanks to Micah for telling me about this opportunity!  You keep opening up doors to new possibilities!