Saturday, June 9, 2012

LGBT Love Story #2

Today's LGBT Love Story, by Jenn from LadyBugClay, is a tale of self-love...

Denial is a powerful, powerful thing. I have lived in some form of it or another for many years. I am now in my 40thyear of life; maybe it’s time to come out. 

I’ve always been Ok with being different. I was ok with being a single person running a family daycare, then I was fine with being a single adoptive parent running a family daycare, lets throw in now being a single adoptive HOMESCHOOLING parent. How much weirder can you get?

A single, LESBIAN, homeschooling, adoptive parent???? I didn’t WANT to be that!

In my younger years I tried to date. I never got past the first few dates. I had excuses like you wouldn’t believe. But I kept trying. I wanted to be “normal”. Turns out you can’t make yourself normal. Finally I stopped dating. Yet I still wasn’t ready to say I was a lesbian. I had kids, they needed to come first, I had TOUGH kids, they REALLY needed to come first! It was easy then to be in denial. When I was in the process of adopting my first child, I decided I needed to find a Church to belong to. I had been told about a great Church that was very supportive of single parents; I checked it out and felt immediately at home. Not only was it very accepting of single parents, but it was welcoming of gays and lesbians. I now had the kid excuse, which made it easier to be in denial, but I was in a place that would be very safe to “come out”. I stuck with denial; it was so ingrained. At this point had someone accused me of being a lesbian, I would have argued with them; but the true battle in my head had begun.

My oldest daughter took a class at church one year; it was a Sex Ed class. Being that we were in a welcoming church, it included information about gay and lesbian people. She was my talk to me about anything child, denial became harder and harder as she talked more and more and came out as bi-sexual. I started not believing myself when I told myself I was not a lesbian. Then the words in my head changed. I am a lesbian; but I don’t want to be one. Now what do I do?

I took sometime getting used to the idea in my head.  I KNEW I was a lesbian, but nobody else did. I didn’t want to be one. Am I a liar? Do I have to tell anyone? For a while I decided I didn’t have to tell anyone, I was still me, nothing had changed. Eventually I began to feel the need to say it out loud. I picked an easy person. My minister. My UU lesbian minister, how much easier can you get? That was a breeze. Ok, so I had said it out loud? NOW what? I STILL didn’t WANT to be a lesbian, but I am, and now, I said it out loud, oh God it’s real and I can’t take it back!

I had two friends at the time I felt I had to tell, one because when I met her she’d been in a lesbian relationship, and she was my closest friend nearby, and the other because we were very good, getting closer friends, and I felt she had a right to know. The first one was easy of course. The second was a bit trickier.  I had to wait to tell her in person, and she lived far far away. I think I waited months. We were visiting, here was my chance! But I couldn’t bring it up, with my minister that part was easy, with my other friend, it was also easy. This friend was the first person I told who might have freaked. I didn’t think she would, but she could have. She actually made it easier to bring up the subject, for the first time ever she asked me a question about why I didn’t date. She didn’t freak, in fact, she seemed almost happy. I believe she chanted something like “yeah, my best friend is a lesbian!”

So now, it’s out there, my best friend (and her HUSBAND!) know. But still, I don’t want to be a lesbian. I try really hard for a long time to pretend I am not. It is virtually impossible to go back into denial once you have left it let me tell you! It’s real! And I can’t take it back!

I’m still at a place now where I do not want to be a lesbian. But I now know I have no choice. I will be 40 years old in less than a year and I have been wrestling with this for probably 25 years. I have reached the point where when asked, I won’t lie. Every person I have told has been OK.
Maybe just maybe I’ll be OK.

I realize now that it is always going to be a process, I will meet new people and have to decided if I need to tell them, when I need to tell them. Why do I need to tell them?  There is also the aspect of the more people I tell, the harder it is to slip back into denial, or even to pretend it doesn’t matter. The internal struggle is unbelievable.

Do I want to be alone for the rest of my life? No I don’t. Is it fair to do that to myself just because I want so desperately to be considered normal? NO.
I don’t know where I will go from here. I do know that I am slow in this process, I have fought it every step of the way. I am getting tired of the fight.

I am still me; I hope you can all see that. I am the very same person I have been for the 10 plus years we have been together. I hope by sending this I haven’t done something horrible. I will be doing something that I can’t take back, even if the minute I hit send I regret it. So far I have only regretted the things I haven’t done, the chances I haven’t taken. But every single time I tell someone there is the, "well there’s that, it’s real and I can’t take it back" thought. Is that good, or bad? I don't know.

This is my biggest step by far, a leap of faith; I am putting my trust in all of you. 

Ok, I need to bite the bullet and hit send. I hope you all are still there when I come back.


I sent the above letter to a group of close friends nearly 3 years ago. (It is slightly edited as there were things mentioned pertaining more to that group.)

I was going to be turning 40 the next year; I am now just days away from turning 42. 

Once I sent this letter, it was like I was a new person. All of my friends accepted me with open arms, the one I was most worried about, cried and said she wants for me to have a person to come home to, to comfort me, like she does. She also said she had figured it out long ago and was just waiting for me to say it. In fact, most people I told already KNEW!!!! It was very freeing. Once this letter was sent I came out in full force. My 4 kids all accepted it well, even my teenaged son. Within six months I met my girlfriend and my life will never be the same again. And that is a good thing. I am finally truly happy in my own skin. 

I took a long time to get here, but it was so worth it. 


Anonymous said...

Jenn, it's so good to hear that you are finally FEELING normal. Because truthfully, you ARE normal. Our higher power makes us perfect, it's the humans around us that make us imperfect, including ourselves.

Congrats on the girlfriend!


Michelley said...

Welcome to the family Jen. I'm so glad you took the leap of faith and found out just how much you're truly loved. HAPPY PRIDE!

Anonymous said...

Jenn, I was so moved by your story, in tears. I love your courage. All the best to both of you and thanks for your belief in love.

Mariana (Livingatnight)