A girl, that I’m pleased to call a friend, recently inquired about my past interest in women; curious whether it had come about suddenly, perhaps surprisingly, or if it was something that had been with me for years. She came to me because she’s met a girl, a girl whose struggling with her attraction, unsure if she is ready to date a woman.
For a moment, I struggled with how to respond; I could simply answer the question, but as much as she was asking about my experience, I knew that what she was really really looking for, was clarity in hers.
And so I offered her the only thing I could, honesty.
For years I have told myself that given the opportunity to date, I would pursue women. I have dated women in the past although never exclusively; I always had a boyfriend or a husband. The idea of dating a woman wasn’t new to me, it was like following through on something that I had been thinking about for all of my adult life.
That part was easy.
Giving up the hetero privilege that I never realized I had, or wanted, has proven to be more difficult. I can no longer grab my partners hand, kiss her lips or profess my feelings at any given time or place without a very real worry of stares, comments or discomfort.
I tell myself frequently, ‘I’m too old to worry about what people think, if they don’t like it Fu*k them!’ and most of the time it works. Yet I still find myself occasionally feeling shy or awkward in certain circumstances: at the grocery store, at the playground, around strangers.
Part of me wants to pull away, to avoid any stares or discomfort, to hide behind the cozy comfort of my assumed straightness. But then, I find myself overcome with a shadow of shame and the acute awareness that I’m simply not ‘there’ yet.
It doesn’t mean I won’t be ‘there’ one day, it doesn’t mean that my girl means any less to me or that what I feel is any less authentic. It means I’m still figuring out who I am and what it means to be this new kind of me.
And my girl never, ever let’s me feel ashamed of being the ME that listens to the song that my heart has been trying so hard to sing.
She is always there loving me for who I am and supporting me along my journey; never rushing, never pushing, always letting me be. And that patience and that support means everything.
Be a rock, be a sponge, be a shoulder, whatever it is she needs, so long as its supportive, be that.