A handful of ‘gaybies’, as one of my friends calls them, brought me to tears last night. I was on a zoom chat for a new book club with some of the members of a FB group I belong to. The book we were discussing was Glennon Doyle’s “Untamed”.

The host asked for initial feelings about the book and several of the very young people started criticizing the book, the author, her story, and her writing style. I get it, to some degree, as they are not the target audience. I, and others like me, are her target. Many of the things they denigrated about the book were the very things I connected to the most.

I felt personally attacked because Glennon’s story is my story; substitute some minor details like binge eating for bulimia, subtract the world famous gold medal winning soccer player wife and career as a published author, and add more years and pounds, and you basically have my life. To paraphrase my friend, I could have written many of those chapters word for word.

So much rang true for me: being tamed since childhood and fighting to be wild, the religious trauma, the falling in love with an amazing woman who will not let me be right and in control all the time, the wanting to make the world a better place. All of it. And to hear those youngsters (what an obnoxious and condescending word) trash my life hurt like hell.

I almost let them silence my story, but I’ve done my own work at un-taming myself and I spoke up. I said I really liked the book and that’s my life and you are icking all over it.  Turns out I was not alone. I think my being so obviously upset shifted the course of the discussion and the others who liked or related to it entered the conversation making it a much more balanced discourse.

I envy how much more comfortable the younger generations are taking up space and not being tame than my generation is. I’m also very glad that they may be the ones to move us from barely tolerated to truly accepted (another borrowed phrase from my wise friend), but it doesn’t hurt to remind them that they have the suffering of previous generations to be grateful for.

Be well my friends.

One thought on “Untamed”

  1. As I’ve said a couple times, I appreciate your bravery in speaking up because I think it truly did change the course of the conversation. I’m thankful that the youngsters (agreed icky term but still appropriate) were able to set aside their distaste for the book and realize “this is not MY story and therefore I can’t relate, but this is THEIR story so I can learn”.

    Liked by 1 person

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