My birthday gift was a Saturn interview with Ge Ge Chamblee. It was a pleasant introductory meeting, as we hadn’t met before she stumbled upon my blog and requested to be interviewed on her Saturn. It turned into two hours of real intense contradictory learning for us both. I read to her, and she opened up to me. In the two months it took me to finally post her interview, the re-reading is uncannily representative of a timeless truth. We’ve e-exchanged a bit since the 15th of January, but I’m curious to know now, how much for her has changed, in her world, how much time has passed. I won’t say too much more, but instead will introduce you to a snippet of Ge Ge’s spirit, lain out here. Thank you Ge Ge for this priceless gift to us all.
“Ge Ge” Chamblee, 29yrs
Current City: Washington, DC
Cities of Saturn: San Diego, Maryland, Ohio, DC
City of Birth: Atlanta
Date of Birth: 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Ge Ge: Good Morning…happy birthday!
HSR: Thank you. Good morning. How is your morning?
Ge Ge: It’s okay. I stayed up well past me bedtime.
HSR: So did I! Did you go out last night?
Ge Ge: Nope. I watched some football. I need to be in Church, I know I said every imaginable curse word (laughs).
HSR: (Laughs) so, shall we begin? Do you have any questions for me?
Ge Ge: What inspired you to focus on Saturn? I am not much into astrology although at this point in my life I am open.
HSR: Well, I’m not an astrologist, by far, but a friend of mine introduced me to the Saturn Return when I told her my life was turning upside down and I didn’t know how to handle it. She shoved a book in my arms and said, Oh Hun, You’re just going through your Saturn Return! And I began reading, and realized she was right.
Ge Ge: I like that you are giving people the opportunity to speak. The ability to speak truth is VERY important.
HSR: I agree. So, tell me about yourself GeGe, what do you do, who are you in the world. What is your truth?
Ge Ge: My life isn’t ‘upside down’ per se, it’s just boring. I need some excitement. My truth is that I have to acknowledge my pain and walk through it.
I was taught at an early age to be in denial. To carry ‘other folks burdens’.
HSR: That doesn’t sound like “boring” to me.
Ge Ge: Maybe not, but it is so not healthy. Two years ago, I left my childhood place and moved to another state to ‘break free’ of others.
HSR: Ahh, and so the story begins.
Tell me more about that, the move, the decision to move, the situation which led you to move…
Ge Ge: Well…can you imagine not having fun, living life always ‘on-guard’. Three years ago I was struggling with myself, my sexuality. I was in a dead-in job and started graduate school. Then I won a fellowship to Southern California. I went to a wonderful church that helped me deal with abandonment issues, not feeling acceptance as a person or validation from my parent figures… excuse me for jumping around…
Back to struggling…..with my sexuality.
HSR: No worries about jumping around. Life doesn’t happen in a linear way, continue.
Ge Ge: I have always known that I was attracted to women. I have a great support group of women. I have dated several men, but the connection was never there. I continued to go to Church to figure out what was wrong with me. I knew I didn’t fit in wanting the ‘White Picket fence’ or being the brownie mom.
HSR: So, you were coming out at age 28 then, during grad school, or, was this a struggle for years?
Ge Ge: I went to therapy before my trip to San Diego. I felt myself on the verge of self-sabotage. I could not understand why I felt so miserable when I had everything going for myself. My process of coming out started at 28. I started school in library science. I wanted to be a researcher and still do. I am fascinated with learning and finding things.
I researched the area (San Diego). Found a LGBTQ Center and started going to one of their groups.
HSR: Wait! Hold the phone. So, does that make you a librarian? Did you complete the program?
Ge Ge: I met some amazing women and developed my ‘First Crush’. No, not yet. I’m still trying to make that happen. I feel like I am in a ‘stuck phase’.
HSR: Ahh. Well, after the interview, if you need any advice, let me know. I am a librarian! Your lesbian librarian, to be exact!
Ge Ge: Sure…Shawn that sounds awesome!!! I am starting school back this month. I am determined to finish this time. I’m doing the online thing.
Yep. I hate label, but I’m Lesbian (laughs) soon to be Librarian.
HSR: So you had your first crush?
Ge Ge: Yes, she was beautiful. Inside and out. The most amazing eyes, soothing laugh. Oh, but she was still in the closet. We went out on a couple of dates, but nothing ever materialized. I think she struggled so much with trying to figure out how to live that double-life. It’s painful to live a double-life. I think I had an interesting ‘coming-out’ process. I had a whole summer to discover myself, to accept myself with no judgement. No pressure to conform.
HSR: And were you coming from Maryland? You aren’t in San Diego now.
Ge Ge: I was living in San Diego, I met so many people who were dealing with coming-out or learning how to develop relationships. I learned how to love myself and focus on myself. I went out to lesbian bars, music, exploring the artistic side of things.
HSR: Is Maryland your home town? Tell me the chronology of your moving.
Ge Ge: Well, I am out here in DC living with my partner.
HSR: Of course you are. It’s the lesbian way. How did you get from there to here? Pardon my interrupting.
Ge Ge: I am an army brat. Grew up in Atlanta, moved to San Diego for a fellowship, then moved to Maryland with my Best Friend (end of 2009), then, moved to Ohio for the summer to work on a library fellowship, moved back to Maryland, now I work in DC at a research center.
HSR: I see how as an adult, your army brat tendencies remain true. I’ve never lived anywhere but New York.
Ge Ge: I’ve never been to New York. I should make plans. I heard that if you live in NY, everything is there.
HSR: That’s why it’s hard to leave. So, coming out at 28, do you realize that this is right smack in the middle of your Saturn return?
Ge Ge: The moving around gets sort of old. I find now that I am searching to plant roots (within 2-3 more years). I want a community. I am tired of living out of my car. I want some security, something that I call my own.
At 28, I had such a fabulous time. I am such an intellectual, you know, logical, guided by my head. But at age 28, I allowed my heart to open up. I was tired of being someone that I didn’t recognize. It took me one year to tell my mom. It was one of the hardest things that I had to do, but I was tired of lying to her. I told her on the phone and she seemed okay. Then five days later, she send me a TEXT message -some bullshit about how she didn’t want to deal with me anymore and she threw the bible at me.
HSR: Were you close initially? Are you closer now?
Ge Ge: Well…not really close. My mother has always been a mystery to me. She is fighting her own demons. Pre-occupied with her issues. She loves me in her own way. After she disowned me, we didn’t speak for an entire year. In our past disagreements we may have not spoken for a week, but then I would always call her and apologize even when it wasn’t my fault. But this was different. She wanted me to deny who I am.
HSR: Well, you speak in a past tense. Does that mean you two have rekindled? Are you her only child? Does she “forgive” you?
Ge Ge: I’m the youngest of two. I may be a lesbian, but I am also loving, smart, creative, funny… etc. Last Christmas, I went home to visit family. My mother and I spoke briefly before I came home. She gave me this interesting story about how she was listening to a call-in radio station on how a mother called in to say her daughter told her she was gay. My mother said she finally just decided that it was a ‘sign’ that I would be okay. So in her magical logic, she told me she loves me. Last Christmas…I saw her and she acted her usual self.
HSR: And you accepted that, I’m sure, because you believe her, that she does love you.
Ge Ge: She does love me, I know. But I also understand that I had to make it up in my mind that I was going to be ‘true to myself’. It’s the same logic I tell straight people. When someone asks me how I knew I was a lesbian, I tell them, the same way you know your favorite color is green or that your favorite dish is lasagna. I just turned 30 (six months ago), and it has been a gradual realization for me to understand that at the end of the day, I’ve got to be happy with me. I can’t live my life in accordance of others. If we try to be the person others will want us to be, we will make ourselves crazy.
HSR: But you say you don’t like labels. Do you have discomfort with being a lesbian? Since it is so new to you? Is your coming out why you have had to take a break from school? Or rather, your being a lesbian, and coming to terms with it?
Ge Ge: I define myself as a women who loves women.
HSR: Ahh, what’s the difference for you?
Ge Ge: People get so caught up in labels. They assume if someone is black then XYZ…. But I’ve always believed that I am an individual. The word “lesbian”, for me, doesn’t feel right. The word sounds dirty, or has a negative connotation for me. I’m a woman who appreciates the essence of the totality of a woman. I appreciate the delicacy, the rawness, the beauty, the mysteriousness, the simpleness, the craziness of being a female, a woman, the one distinctively stronger of the sexes (laughs).
I think with each passing year, I am less uptight about my sexuality. At first when I was coming out and I would meet a woman I felt attracted to, I would hide myself. I was stand-offish. I couldn’t concentrate, and I had to figure it out. I’d talk myself down or tell myself to ‘get a grip’, convincing myself that not everyone is gay/lesbian. Looking back on it, it makes me laugh. I feel normal now, not having to feel like I have to tell everybody. I also know that everybody will not know how to honor all aspects of my being. I think for me now I know how to be comfortable in my skin.
HSR: May I suggest to you to be open to the possibility that a word sounding dirty, one that in the end reflects who we are, can ultimately tear us apart; that there is some kind of internal battle that must be involved if a word sounds dirty… since a word is just a word afterall. For example, if Black sounds dirty to me, as a black person, I’m only experiencing my own blackness, no one else’s -by default that means I feel dirty to me. As someone who identifies as a lesbian, and my work at the Lesbian Herstory Archives is focused on preserving the lives of lesbians (and the term), I challenge you to really consider where the “dirt” comes from, since so many women have fought for us to use that word.
But ultimately, who we are is a journey. What you will feel each passing year will plateau.
Ge Ge: Okay…well that is something that I will think about.
HSR: When you asked me what Saturn is,
Saturn is the time in your life when each passing year is super different from the last and it’s a painful time, where you grow into the woman you will be for another 27 years, which is scary, and exciting.
Ge Ge: Well…damn…I think I am feeling scared.
HSR: That’s okay. You are at the end of your Saturn. And you sound like you are on a real journey that will plateau. It won’t always be so heavy. That’s the best part… the worst is over.
Besides, you talk about church. Tell me about your spiritual support system.
Ge Ge: I want to start making more friends…I haven’t made any real new friends.
HSR: DC has SOOOOOO many lesbians! And “women who love women”.
Ge Ge: I don’t really have a spiritual support system local. Most of my old church friends know me as being straight
HSR: Ahh. I think that this is a good place to start -your spirituality. A spiritual center is the most important part of coming to full term with your Saturn. Realizing your personal power, or what I like to call: your God-dess power. It is the only way to truly lock your fist around your own path, so you do not stray from it, so that you can recognize it, and nurture it
Ge Ge: Yeah…well I know what I have to do…but I’m scared.
HSR: a Chicago artist once said: “Fear ain’t nothing but opportunity in work clothes”
Ge Ge: So…looks like I am going to ‘put on some work clothes’.
HSR: Yes. Even Octavia Butler (in The Parable of the Sower) said: “God is Change”
And it’s so true.
Action may be what you need
Just do what you need to do.
Don’t wait to live
don’t wait another second
That’s part of the conversation, I think with you is the assumption that time is real
Ge Ge: Okay?
HSR: You think that time has anything to do with our happiness. In other words, if you are seeking friends, then go out and get some. Why wait?
Ge Ge: Assumption that time is real?
HSR: Oh yes. Time is a manifestation of our own realities.
Ge Ge: My assumption is that things happen in a linear, logical way.
HSR: They don’t.
Like how you began this conversation. You apologized for moving around in circles, but life is, it just is, so. If I were to wait two months to act on an emotion, then I essentially erased two months of life from my own existence. If I erase time, then, why wait at all. Why not just do things right now? That’s what I told myself when I wanted to quit my job, when I wanted to move out of an apartment.
Ge Ge: Fear…that is what’s holding me back.
HSR: Well , then don’t confuse fear with time. Conquering fear is actually an easier dilemma than re-imagining time. Although, they work together: fear uses time to breed and grow.
But if you destroy time, then fear cannot exist either
Just be you.
Right now, and always
and everything will fit together
as it should
Ge Ge: Damn…Just be you. A lesson within a lesson.
HSR: Yes. It has worked for me, and it has worked for you.
Coming out is huge, and yet, you did it!
Ge Ge: Truth be told, I was tired of living a ‘dying death’ I was tired.
HSR: Seems like you were forced into being yourself by your own spirit. Why not find a queer church in DC?
Ge Ge: Because honestly…I haven’t made time.
HSR: Not living is a commitment. If you choose to commit to it, every time you are actively doing something you do not want, you are making time for it.
Ge Ge: That’s an interesting thought….’Pushed into being yourself, forced by your own spirit.
HSR: Absolutely Next time, however, if you just listen to your spirit from the get go, it won’t be so painful, it will come naturally.
Ge Ge: Thank you for confirming things and bringing them into consciousness for me.
HSR: Of course. I am simply reflecting your own words and thoughts back to you.
Thank you for the opportunity.