Obviously ‘Out’

I recently received a message that included reference to me being ‘obviously out’ (in a totally positive way) and it made me realize how not only my sexuality, but also my perspective, has changed over the past year. Once, I worried that someone would notice my longing gazes were directed at women, but today I find myself grinning when a stranger can identify that I’m gay (especially when my girlfriend isn’t by my side). In no way do I need the validation of strangers or society, but to me, their acknowledgement tells me that my that my exterior is finally a true reflection of who I am on the inside.

I’ve only been ‘out’ for a short time and I still remember feeling cautious, unsure what it would mean to truly feel the feelings that I had. I worried about being judged and becoming a topic of small town gossip. And I even worried that the societal perception that I had a shitty ex-husband and was ‘off men for a while’ might be true (to be clear, its definitely not). I spent a lot time in my head trying to understand what the implications would be if I was gay, if I was out and if people knew that it was women, and not men, that I was attracted to. I think at some level I was simply afraid that my life would be harder if I was gay.

And the truth is, in some ways my life probably is harder, but without question, it’s also happier. I’ll take hard and happy over easy and miserable every single day of the week, and I guess in a sense, we do. My girlfriend and I live in a small mining town, and although I wouldn’t consider everyone in our town inclusive and accepting, there certainly is a subset of the population that are. Since my girlfriend moved in 7 months ago she’s continually amazed how many people know who she is and what our situation is. People know her name, my name, my kids name and the days they are at their dad’s and they have no problem bringing it up and that’s just our reality.

The truth is, it matters a lot less what others think than I ever expected. Perhaps for the first time in my life, my heart is guiding my path and my journey and that gives me the strength to dismiss those that are not worthy of my time or energy.

Today, the happy I’ve earned by being me, far outweighs the fear I had when I felt scared and alone. Never in my wildest dreams could I have anticipated how freeing it would feel to unravel my grip on the life society told me to strive for and instead allow my fingertips to waver in the wind of my soul.

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Living my Happy, Hippy, Homo Life

Not all that long ago, I was plagued by questions; I was alone in a sea of uncertainty. I had no idea who I was, where I was going or even what I wanted for myself in this lifetime.  Nothing is ever certain, and everything can change in a moment, but today (and all the days, if I’m honest) I’m surrounded by peace, self-love and a sense of purpose.

According to Google, purpose is “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”

I know now, my purpose isn’t to achieve society’s goals; I don’t exist to be a daughter, sister, mother, wife or friend. My success in life cannot be measured by  my marriage (or lack thereof), my job, my home or any other external factor.

There is only one yardstick that can measure my success and it exists within me and me alone. The fullness of my heart, the satisfaction of my soul and the authenticity that shines in my eyes, my smile and everything I do is all that is required to know I’m living my best life.

I love my happy, hippy, homo life and I am proud of the choices I make each and every day to be my authentic self.

And quite frankly, anyone who doesn’t like it can go fuck  themselves.

 

So homo

I love that my girlfriend has helped me embrace the humour of gay stereotypes. Last week, I pulled up in my lifted truck, wearing my flannel and listening to loud pop music and I had to giggle as she smiled while announcing I was ‘so homo’.

The first time I heard her say something was ‘so gay’, ‘so homo’ or ‘gayer than us’ I was surprised and a little bit confused. Was it ok to say that? Ok to laugh? I’ve come to realize that its all about the intent.

As gay women, we may be walking a fine line by using words that historically have had negative connotations, but its our choice to own them. It is our perogative to find joy and humour in societies perceptions. The truth is, as individuals and as a couple, we DO fit some gay stereotypes and that’s OK.

We are living our truth, being ourselves and finding our unique brand of happy and that includes embracing our sexuality and our place within a world that is evolving in its acceptance of those that don’t meet traditional expectations.

So when my girlfriend tells me my body language screams gay, I wear that label with pride and a smile on my face, because it turns out, I am in fact, ‘so homo’.

Why do we need labels anyways?

I’ve been thinking about labels a lot lately. How adamant I was, just a year ago, that I didn’t need a label and yet, how transformative it was for me to finally accept I was a lesbian.

My world seemed to explode, in the best possible way, when I embraced my gay; life seemed easier and more manageable when I stopped distrusting the fundamental core of my being.

And yet, in many ways, life was (and is) harder.

It’s harder because there’s no longer an inherent acceptance of my partner, no assumed ally around every corner. There are moments, when I have to take pause because I can feel the weight of the stares and the disgust mingled with curiosity that hangs heavy in the air.

But moments like those pale in comparison to the world I find myself in. An existence that honors my truth and respects my authenticity. Not only do I smile more than ever before, I smile in ways I never knew possible.

I am happy.

And for me, the catalyst for that change, was embracing my sexuality, stepping out from the crutch of a bisexual label and owning my gay.

And I love it. I love my homo ass self.

And my super gay girlfriend too.

Courageous

I was called courageous this week; for simply being me. For being honest and true to who I am and living the life that only I can lead. It was a compliment of great magnitude, an honour, to be recognized for living my authentic life.

I have worked hard to get here, to finally stop carrying the burden of expectation and instead channel the energy that runs through me, that’s always been in me, but I was afraid to unleash.

Today, I am many things to many people but there is one, single defining constant that I can depend on, me. I have found a strength within me, that has come with loving and accepting myself in a whole new way.

And I’m proud of who I am.

I am a lesbian mom to two little boys (who I adore) and am ridiculously in love with a woman that makes me smile like an idiot and fills me with a warmth like I’ve never known. I feel lucky to have created this life, but I’ve never considered  myself courageous.

But perhaps, when I was a closeted, unhappy and inauthentic woman, encountering someone living an honest, gay and happy life, would have been inspiring. Perhaps that interaction would have been a catalyst for the change that I was searching for. Maybe, I would have asked myself the questions I was so afraid to answer; I never had that epiphany, but I did eventually find my way.

Today, I’m living a life that fulfills my soul without pause for expectation or judgement  but for the first time, I’m recognizing the possibility that a glimpse of my life may inspire authenticity in someone else’s journey.

And perhaps to them, I am courageous.

I’m Glowing

I’ve had a lot of people tell me lately that I am ‘glowing’ in my pictures on social media, that I look so happy and that people are proud of me for finding my happiness and being true to myself. And I can’t help but wonder, if my people can see THAT much from my photographs, what must they see when I’m standing right in front of them?

My parents spent some time at my house last week and although I missed it, my lovely girlfriend caught my dad looking at the two of us, and smiling as we all shared a meal. Then when we went to the pub for dinner, my mom pulled out her camera and asked us to smile for a photo; it turned out terrible, but when she posted it to Facebook the post was accompanied with a simple ‘Happiness <3′. I just couldn’t tell her to take the picture down, such a public compliment and expression of her acceptance of our love.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’ve been spoiled with acceptance when its come to my being out. My cousin is getting married in September and when my invitation arrived, I was excited to see a plus one included and promptly asked my girlfriend if she was free and up for the family affair that is a wedding.

And then I realized, my cousin isn’t on social media, maybe he didn’t know I was gay. Maybe his wife’s family is homophobic. Maybe my gramma is homophobic. And suddenly, RSVPing wasn’t quite as simple as it had once been. But when I contacted my cousin to check in, he told me quite simply ‘I know about the love of your life, and yes she’s invited.‘ And my mom assured me that she had already talked to her mom and although she sometimes speaks without thinking (don’t we all), there was nothing to worry about when it came to gramma either.

Just like that, I realized that our crazy circus, my boys and my girl are going to a wedding and my entire family is going to see all my damn happy. If they can’t see the joy and authenticity that this life brings me, when I’m standing right in front of them, then I guess they aren’t paying attention because apparently, I’m glowing.

It Takes Time

In some ways, being out has been easy for me; once I accepted my truth, it became easy to live it. I started to shine and slowly but surely I began to find my identity, I used to feel uncertain where I fit, not quite deserving of a contributing seat at the gay table and yet clearly not meant to fit in the hetero world either.

But all of that has changed, I feel a comfortable camaraderie being lumped into the lesbian stereotypes and happily giggle along with all the gay funnies. Its taken me twenty long years to find myself, but when I finally burst out of that closet, literally everything became clearer.

I live my life according to my own agenda, I pursue love and light and happiness and I will not compromise that which is important to me for anyone ever again. Yet its important to keep things in perspective, to remember my life, my choices and my person have impacts on others.

My family, my parents in particular, are struggling. In their hearts, I know they want me to be happy, and they understand that love is love but having a gay daughter isn’t exactly the same as generally supporting the gay agenda. I know that to them, its a change of massive proportions and that in time, everything will work itself out.

Meeting  my girlfriend’s family last week made my heart swell and gave me a glimpse of family inclusivity. Her family has had virtually her entire adult life to come to terms with her sexuality and its very evident that my girlfriends family loves and accepts her just as  she is; it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.

I can only hope that in time, my family will adjust to my new reality and be able to not just accept, but welcome my gay self and my love with open arms.