In 2006, I joined a group, Dreams of Hope, and was provided direction by Susan Haugh. The song that Susan chose for the end of the show, "Here's Where I Stand" by Tiffany Taylor and The Company Camp (If you haven't heard it, please go to Youtube and take a listen) inspired me to join the group. Every once in a while we hear a song that goes beyond our ears and touches our soul; this was that song for me. As I write this note, the song is playing and inspiring me to challenge myself, come out from behind the wall I have spent 23 years building and to be honest.
Honest is something that I have wanted to be, but dishonest has been what I have been. Every day that I have woken up, I have been dishonest with myself when I told myself that I am happy in my body, that I'm comfortable in my skin, that I am a lesbian and the list goes on and on. As being dishonest with myself became my way of life, it made it easier for me to be dishonest with others. At my core, I am well-intentioned, a humanitarian and a truth seeker. Layer upon layers of lies that I have told have built an outer shell around me that has caused those around me, but most importantly me, to look at me and see a liar, deceiver, manipulator, coercer, malicious, etc. A few months ago I saw this post [http://chatham.blipdar.com/threads/49772-Michanty-Battle] about me on a website when I googled myself after being laid-off from my job. I was beyond shocked and appalled, but a friend, Nichole, spoke to me and stated that I wasn't that person anymore. I couldn't believe that she, someone I had only a known a few months, could see that this person the post referred to was the "old me". Someone once told me, the hardest thing to do is to look in the mirror and admit your wrong doings. I couldn't admit that this posting was somewhat true. The person that posted this was angry and, to be honest, they probably had every right to be angry with me. I have hurt many people, not always intentional. At times, I was told a lie by someone else, but spread the lie unknowingly, sometimes knowingly and sometimes I was just wrong for the things that I did. I have lied more in my 23 years of life than most people do by the time they retire.
Now, here's where I stand. I've been in the same relationship with the love of my life, E.P., for almost two years. I have come out, again, to my friends and family. (If you haven't heard or realized, I am transitioning to be a man. The process will begin in the next 6 months.) I was so afraid (yes, I am admitting that I was afraid of something) of being "found out" that I lied about other people to protect myself. I could not accept myself, let alone believe that others would accept me. I am beyond regretful about hurting others that have been in and out of my life. Whether the lie is intentional or unintentional, the pain is the same.
Here are some truths:
The Truth is...
Michael David Battle
As a lecturer, writer and advocate, Michael David Battle’s vision is to ignite others and move them to action through courageous conversations, exploring vulnerabilities, and collectively manifesting spaces of healing and restoration.