Helen

She/Her/Hers
Also of interest: I/you/we
Age 74

I was born queer in 1948 in Atlantic City, NJ, though nobody knew it at the time. I am also neuro atypical which, even more confusingly, did not have a helpful vocabulary until very recently. I could always draw whatever I could see, which stereotyped me as an artist, since I didn’t seem to fit any other stereotype. I got a BS in Art Education which turned out to be: Into To Everything and Nothing in Particular. It has suited my creativity and my continuing education has been wildly random.

I met the love of my life in Quaker Meeting when we were both middle-aged. We got married five times until SCOTUS made us legal. Being retired together this year is like a second honeymoon. These days I think of myself as a Maker instead of an Artist. I spend my time generating ideas for projects I will never get to around to making, experimenting with fermentation, applying mixology to soup-making, experimenting with condo composting. I’m writing more than I used to: whimsical poetry, random essays to explore a thread of thought, cosplay in my head. I’m working on a second memoir featuring my beginnings as a proto-egg in my grandmother’s womb.

I’m curious about the whole enterprise of finding/creating an identity that fits. How have other elders done it? How are youngers doing it? A big breakthrough in my education was a sermon in church: God don’t make junk. I’ve considered it the biggest creative enterprise to figure out what God has wrought and how to be it. So how are we being it?

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