We all need, even crave, a way to make sense of our lives and to bring unity to our daily existence. It is the Quaker principles of equality, honesty, and reasonable living, and the fundamental belief that the Light of God is in every human being that sustain me whether I am tracing my own footsteps or moving toward clarity.
These principles helped push me beyond my initial fears of coming out as a lesbian, of choosing to be out and true to myself and others. They ground the struggle against condemnation and misperception. In the words of African-American lesbian poet Audre Lorde, ôWhen I dare to be powerfulùto use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
CAROL H. GAUNTLETT, 27, is a free-lance writer living in Washington, D.C. She attends Friends Meeting of Washington and her influences include Minnie Bruce Pratt and Cornel West.