The power of sharing secrets

Earlier this summer, I attended a zine-making workshop at East City Books, held by The Lily News. The Lily, a product of The Washington Post, is an all-woman run newspaper, based on the first U.S. newspaper edited by and for women, which was published from 1849-1853.

The Lily was the first U.S. newspaper by women. We’re bringing it back.

At the workshop, The Lily editors also interviewed several women about our secrets. The Lily even produced a zine all about secrecy, called “Incognito.”

It was powerful being able to share in a dark room in front of a camera my experience with chronic pain, invisible illness, and disability.

Secrets can be anything. They can be minuscule or vast. We can keep them forever locked inside or share them. We can be swallowed by them, or choose to own them and use them as our strengths.

They can be all-consuming–never letting us relax or feel like ourselves. Secrets can overtake our lives.

Or secrets can be something we think is so obvious to others; something we don’t even think we can possibly hide. Something that goes unnoticed, below the surface, just barely.

Secrets can also be silly and help us form connections with others. Like an inside joke or shared history.

Lily video editor Grace Raver also created a joint video with me and Jay, who discusses how being bisexual can feel like passing as straight. She shares a lot of important things about bi-ness/queerness that I completely agree with.

What are your secrets? Would you choose to share them in videos, zines, or poems? Would you keep them to yourself?