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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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.

October

This October, is going to be different she said, better than your last two.

And she’s right; it would take a fairly major life catastrophe to be worse at this point. Last October I struggled; I cried a lot of tears, felt a lot of feelings and grew a lot. I remember sitting in a hotel room (which I coincidentally have been this week as well), awash with emotion trying to understand why.

And then I knew, it had been 365 days since I changed my life.

In October 2015, I walked away from a marriage that brought me no joy and from a life that was slowly stealing my soul. I recognized and admitted that I was worthy of the life that I desired and that life was not meant to be lived in the shadows.

In October 2016, I finally began to let it all go and in doing so, began to find myself. Only a few months later, I embraced my sexuality and my life exploded with rainbows, joy and happiness.

And this year, in October 2017, I have laughed, I have smiled and I have celebrated family, love and the girl that makes my heart sing. This October I have embraced the life that I have chosen and made space only for that which deserves the honour of existing within the recesses of my heart and soul.

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.

 

Breathless

I remember the first time I kissed a boy; I was 13, it was a warm summer night and I absolutely hated it. He pressed his lips pressed so hard against mine, his tongue invading my mouth and what I remember most clearly, is an overwhelming inability to breathe.

And in the twenty years that followed, I continued to hate kissing boys and generally avoided it. I convinced myself that my allergies and stuffy nose were the culprit of my distaste and my ex never questioned it. He also accepted that I wasn’t very affectionate and I hated snuggles, cuddles and touching in general.

I remember the first time I kissed a girl; I was 19, she was a friend and her kisses felt so right. Soft lips, sensual caresses and an instinctual familiarity and comfort that left me breathless. And somehow over the years that would follow, I would neglect to realize the difference between feeling unable to breathe and feeling breathless and more importantly, just who made me feel each.

This is just one of the signs of my sexuality that I ignored; I wasted years making excuses and choosing not to listen to my intuition and my instincts. I know now that I had it wrong all along, I wasn’t unaffectionate and I didn’t hate kissing, I hated kissing boys.

But where my girlfriend is concerned, I love all the kisses and always seem to need just one more. My girlfriend fills me with love and light and happiness, her kisses are like candy for my soul, filling me with a sweetness that I can never quite seem to get enough of, her touch awakens my nerve endings, sending tiny ripples of energy undulating across my skin.

In her arms, I feel like I’m finally home.

Unsurprisingly Gay

Not for the first time, someone asked me recently if I was surprised, in the context of a conversation about my girlfriend.

Am I surprised that I have a girlfriend? No.
Am I surprised that I’m gay? No.

So obviously, regardless of what exactly she was trying to ask me, the answer was no; I tried to casually explain that it was more of a personal acceptance thing and she couldn’t seem to help but prod a little deeper, asking me if I had a feeling, when I left my ex-husband “that was the way it would go”?

And although I answered her and I laughed (a lot) about the whole conversation later, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would feel that asking me about the state of my sexuality, when I walking away from a 14 year relationship, would be appropriate.

This woman is not my friend, she is an acquaintance at best; she too is divorced and has a much younger fiance but I can’t imagine asking her if she had a feeling she might date a younger man when she was leaving her husband.

In another, unrelated, conversation with someone else it was suggested that perhaps I was bisexual, immediately after I explained I had no desire to date men. I assured her, that although I had believed I was bisexual for many years, it is simply not the case.

Again, I can’t help but wonder why she felt that was an appropriate comment and what she thought she was adding to the conversation. Did she imagine I’d never heard of bisexuals or that in accepting that I was gay I hadn’t put significant thought  into what that meant?

I am honest to a fault and I am an open book to just about anyone who is brave enough to ask me the questions to which they desire answers. And so I will continue to have these conversations as they present themselves and I hope that speaking my truth will help, at least a few people, understand. Although I was married to a man for a long time, it was not a surprise to me, that I am gay. I did not wake up one morning and simply discover a rainbow filled world.

For years I told myself that I didn’t discriminate and that I was attracted to people regardless of gender. I told myself that even though the intimacy and connection that I could find with a woman alluded me in all of my heterosexual relationships, I couldn’t be a lesbian because I didn’t hate traditional sex.

I had to work through those misconceptions and I had to understand and accept my own desires. My sexuality belongs to me and accepting that I’m gay didn’t surprise me at all; what has surprised me however, was how much accepting my gay has empowered me.

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

It Changes Everything

“Realizing that I’m  pretty fucking gay has made a big difference for me in figuring out who I am.”

This week I described myself as ‘pretty fucking gay’ and I feel pretty fucking great about it. It’s an absolutely true statement, I am not a little bit gay and I’m certainly not ‘maybe gay’ anymore either. I find myself thinking back on so many experiences over the past 20 years and the signs have always been there. I have always been attracted to women, always.

And now that I’ve found that piece of me, it will not be denied; I seem to have found my  lesbian self in pretty short order if I’m being honest. Granted I think I’d been making my way out for a long time, but when my girlfriend jokes about me parading around in my rainbow tutu, it doesn’t feel too far from the truth.

I read an article a while ago (I don’t remember which one, I read a lot) that made reference to the gay glow that newly out people get. From where I’m standing I have no idea what it looks like from the outside, but I can assure you that from the inside I feel so vibrant that perhaps glow is the right word.

I was recently trying to find a way to explain all of this to a friend in the midst of a discussion about someone else she knew. Despite all my feelings and thoughts on the topic, I spit out somewhat meaningful gibberish at best; ‘it’s a big thing to figure out who you are, especially when you didn’t even know, that you didn’t know. It changes everything.’

And that’s the truth.

Turns out, I’m pretty fucking gay and that realization has changed a whole lot of everything for me.