I can’t say I felt like I was different from other people through my life, just not right. Right in my own skin and mind. Mainly mind. It was always an inner struggle that I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Being that person that my parents and society wanted me to be. Not my true self. But, I didn’t know what my true self was. I had no idea. Just felt off….wrong….like I was sort of in some other persons life. Looking out behind the curtain and wondering what the fuck are they doing? Constantly knowing that I was not leading “my” life and searching for what it was that I was “supposed” to be. I went through different lifestyles and different ways of leading my life and though at the time it felt like it fit, in the end it never did. I would just feel even more fake and untrue.
The earliest memory I have of seeing a girl as someone I wanted to be with would have to be second grade. I was new to the elementary school and I made friends with a girl named Diane. We were inseparable. She was so beautiful. Black hair, dark brown eyes, and gorgeous olive skin. And I remember our friendship growing stronger and stronger, but mine kept going. I almost became obsessed of sort. I wanted to be around her all the time. Hated it when we were a part. And I thought that all little girls had friends that they felt this way towards. Looking back….now I know. 🙂
Then in ninth grade. I was in a private school. I remember sitting in sewing class and a bunch of us were sitting around and talking as teenagers do. And I made a comment to this girl Beth….almost a truth or dare type of thing, that I dared to some extent to let me kiss her. And I remember coaxing her along until she said yes. I remember it so vividly….leaning in and kissing her on lips. She jumped back and yelled, “not on the lips!” I remember feeling embarrassed and almost shocked because to me that was where I wanted to kiss her. I didn’t want to kiss her on the cheek. I wanted to kiss her on the lips, duh! To me it seemed like the natural place to kiss her. I was mortified for days and from then on out I completely avoided her. I don’t remember ever talking to her again.
After high school I met Lisa. *pause a moment* Yeah Lisa. She was amazing. Short, blond hair. Tall. Funny. We clicked instantly. We were working at this work day program thing, I have no idea what it was. We collated papers and wrapped up pallets of stuff. My mom signed me up for it, don’t know. But, I met Lisa. We were together every work day for six weeks. The thing I remember the most is the last day of this program. I remember it being a hot day and I was wearing my Morrissey t-shirt and she was wearing a plain white t-shirt. And she needed a ride home and I pushed to let me give her a ride. I didn’t want to let her go. I knew it would be the last time I saw her and I was grasping at anything to prolong the good bye. She finally agreed and it was way out in Alpine I believe it was. I remember her house being a larger house with a really long dirt driveway. And we stood in the driveway talking. She was leaning up against the passenger car door and I was standing in front of her. I professed my crush on her and said I desperately wanted to kiss her. She said no because she had a girlfriend. I was crushed. I was so hoping the kiss would seal that we wouldn’t have to separate and say our good byes. And that was it. It was over. I often wonder if I did get that kiss if it wouldn’t have changed my life. If I wouldn’t have realized right at that second that I loved girls. That they are the ones I want to kiss and only them.
Throughout these years I “crushed” after boys. I mean it was what all the other girls were doing so I just followed along. Not really giving it much thought. It was my friends that I wanted to be with. I wanted to hang out with the boys but as friends and nothing more. But society pushes you that way so I went that way.
I got pregnant at 17 and had my beautiful daughter, Bona (no that isn’t her real name, just a knick name). I started going to Navy clubs because my mom thought it would be a great place to meet a boyfriend for me. I eventually met my late husband. We were best friends and I have to say throughout our almost 20 years of marriage that was the most important part to me, our friendship. I always told him I wasn’t into romance and romantic gestures. I just wasn’t that kind of girl. I would rather sit and talk to him for hours then do anything else. I loved him, very much so. And fought for our relationship through the rough times. It really became more of a “this is just the way it is” type of thing. We had our second daughter within the first year of our marriage, Boo (again, another knick name). We raised our girls, he worked to support us all. We had your typical hetero life. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t my happiest. And to tell you the truth I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t at my happiest until he passed away.
I won’t go into the horrible details of that day. He had a massive heart attack and died instantly. I was left alone in Arkansas with one of my daughters in Virginia and the other in California grown and living their own lives. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I decided to move to California because Boo was here and Bona was getting ready to move here. My parents were already here, so I thought it was the logical place to be.
Then I met A. We had a different kind of relationship. Won’t go into the details of that either, but it was good. I couldn’t keep my hands off of her. She was so amazing and beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and intelligent and the looks she would give me would make my knees go weak. And the way she kissed, I can still imagine her lips on mine and feeling the softness there. But it was hard. Not being able to be with her as much as I wanted and to keep our relationship a secret. I couldn’t go to my parents house for Sunday dinner and say “Oh, guess what? I met someone. And it’s a girl!” So it was this constant battle within me to want to let my love for her grow, but knowing that I couldn’t yell it from the roof tops. And so I went back to dating guys. Because at least there I could talk about my relationship openly. Though I wasn’t happy, others were happy to see me in a relationship and I put their happiness before mine.
At the same time I met a girl, T., and it was the same story. We were friends, very close friends. Inseparable again. The whole childhood thing all over again. I was having feelings for her and they kept growing. Even though we had special interactions, yes I am being a bit vague, get over it. Though I remember one time she touched me and we were at my house and I remember melting instantly! Like the breath left my lungs and as corny as it sounds, home! Took my breath away. But I knew I couldn’t let that show. Had to hide it. It wasn’t the type of interaction that would lead to a relationship. She was married and had a girlfriend as well. She was so beautiful, still is! And funny and goofy. So intelligent! Such a deep thinker. Like me! Amazing singer! Just everything! I craved her for so long and so much. I would have done anything to be with her. She said once…”You know it’s going to end up being me and you living in the woods together with a bunch of cats” Like a couple old crones. We were going to be the crazy cat ladies together. Those words she spoke are burned into my heart. Because I remember thinking to myself………yes please!!! And because I couldn’t be with her like I wanted, I pulled away. Left her in my past. I couldn’t bare being near her and not have the love for her grow more and more with every smile she gave me. It hurt too much to see her anymore. So I walked, again!
Up to this point about three years ago I still had no idea that I was gay. I just thought I was bisexual. Then one day I was driving down the road at work, auto parts driver. So I drive the same roads over and over again daily. I was driving down this one road that I would have to take the same road back and I passed a good looking guy walking down the street and thought, wow he’s hot. Then a block or so later I passed a woman walking down the street. They were equally beautiful. But with her….I completely did the straining of my neck to watch her more. I then made the delivery as usual and on my way back down the same road I wanted to see her again. I had to see her again and never gave the guy a second thought. This made an impression on me. I remember thinking….WTF was that? Why was I looking for her more than him? What made me react to her more than him? So it stayed in the back of my mind for weeks, months eating at me. Constantly thinking back to that moment and wondering why? And I can’t say when the actual instant was that I realized, but it hit like a ton of bricks. I’m gay! And it was almost like….well, duh, you idiot I can’t believe it took you this long to figure that out.
So I started researching, so typical of me, about being gay. How to know you are gay? videos on YouTube. Every article I could read I would devour the information. I even went to a few meetings and such at the LGBT community center here. The first meeting I went to they were actually talking about, realizing you are gay. I questioned myself because here I am 40ish and how could this be coming out now. Well I listened to these women’s stories and I was amazed to find quite a few of them were the same. Older and figuring out that they are gay. Being married to a man and then after the marriage is over they realized they were gay as well. So it was a very eye opening experience. And almost gave me the, “ok, I’m normal” feeling so that I could further investigate myself and who I really was. I even went to a dance of all lesbians and from the minute I walked in I had the biggest smile on my face and felt so complete and again, home! I remember a girl catching my eye the minute she walked in and not being able to look away. Then before I knew it she was standing next to my chair and just holding out her hand for me to come dance with her. It made me melt! She was so beautiful. But, I let her go…….NOOOOOOOO! LOL I couldn’t build up the guts to ask for her number, even though she asked me to dance with her quite a few times, we didn’t really talk, it was just dancing. So, I wasn’t sure what it was. I wasn’t sure in myself yet. It was a good thing though. It was a like an affirmation of wow, a girl can give me butterflies. Nice! It was another physical reaction that I couldn’t deny. I had to accept in my mind that my heart and body were gay. I had to tell my mind shut up of sort! Stop thinking and do what your heart and mind was put on this earth to do and that was to fall in love and spend the rest of my life with a woman!
So there you have it. After 46 years……achhhhh, give me a moment while I choke on that age….I am gay!!!!