Peter Williams – Identity and Awareness

“It’s all God’s fault.”

I’m lesbian, but I identify as “queer” more than anything else. When I lived in the Bay Area, I preferred “dyke.” “Lesbian” seems a little formal. [Queer and dyke are] more radical. They’re more rubbing people the wrong way. I kind of like that.

Although I have had close friendships with men/boys—I never had the sexual/emotional intensity [with men] as with women. I could probably have followed the norm, gotten married, but I wouldn’t have been happy. I’m not sure it would ever have worked. I wasn’t good about faking it—anything. I knew too young and I was pretty set to be with women. When in my late teens, I thought a lot about the possibility of being trans. But I was never that “butch.”

[My nickname came from the book Poems for Peter by Lysbeth Boyd Borie.] Let’s see . . . [Reading from the book:] “Too Salty.”

“I hate to swallow ocean.
And it’s all God’s fault.
Because he could’ve put in sugar,
But he went and put in salt. ”

[The poems] just are really are geared towards the kid. I remember so many of these. The person who wrote it lived in the area where I was born. There’s [a poem] in there about the church burning down in Jenkintown, [Pennsylvania], which is the town I lived in when I was born.


Sources: Interviews with Laura S. Hodgman on 9 November 2012, 3 December 2012, and 20 February 2014.