How Do We Understand Grief?

How does the choice of subject affect the writer especially in a marginalized community? In posing the question to myself since finishing my Brooks biography and beginning my own memoir of anti-conversion therapy, Erase Her: A Survivors Story.

What does surviving and thriving mean?

Romaine Brooks was a survivor and thriver. She developed her own ways and means using her natural artistic talents. When I walked into the Whitney Museum and got off at the wrong floor as a young graduate student in the 1970s what drew me to her 1923 self portrait. It began my desire to know more about the woman behind the image she projected; the strength, confidence and sense of knowing herself. I wanted that for myself. I wanted to be my own woman; in fact all, for lack of a better word, the men and women embodied in me.

Erase Her is all about my journey to reach my authentic realization with a lot of help from Romaine Brooks and her circle.

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