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.