I’m a lesbian who likes men.
My friend Ashley (props to her for the blog title and other phrases) suggested a book to me called Same Sex in the City. My lovely Kindle Fire picked up the sample, I read it, and then I freaked the fuck out.
I identified with everything the authors said. By all estimates, I was a lesbian. Terrified, I closed that book and decided to work on myself one thing at a time. And that one thing would not include my sexuality…for a long time.
I mean, I’ve got other things to “work on” and discover. Don’t we all?
The sad thing is, I’m all enlightened and shit. It’s 2012. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and all of a sudden I’m scared of my sexuality? Yep. I still am. I’ve made major progress–coming out as non-Christian, then as atheist, then as a feminist. I suppose that’s all good.
After my last bf (boyfriend) and I broke up, and after I incessantly talked about dating women during our relationship, I was immediately happy. My first thought, “Now I can finally date a woman!” Then I spent an entire weekend with my family to “recover” and realized that they’d never accept me. They still insult me for voting for the n-word Obama.
Tied into the “Am I a lesbian?” panic is my difficulty getting along with men. My childhood was riddled with a physically abusive stepfather who beat the sh*t out of my mom when I was fifteen and then manipulated her into staying around for 27 years. I haven’t been normal since. Around thirteen, pre-beating, I became a feminist. It was fueled out of rebellion against my dad’s sexist, machismo ways I’m sure, but also by my desire to help others. (See also: Major Childhood Issues). But at fifteen, my dad was in Alcholics Anonymous and Spousal Abuse classes where he’d gotten “saved” and “given his life to the Lord.” So, he obviously had to sit me down one night and ask me if I’d been saved.
Long story short, I was saved, became a reverend, joined a cult, etc. The story in it’s entirety is in my website, which is currently down from being hacked. More on that later.
Being saved and having an abusive father definitely played into my fear of sexuality. For example, as a Christian, being gay is something that can rub off on you. It’s a choice. It’s a sin. It’s also something that qualifies you to be called a pervert. Being a pedofile priest does not qualify you, though, because they’re doing the Lord’s work.
My father is a tea-partier, Rush Limbaugh loving fundamentalist. To say we’ve clashed in the past few years is an understatement. I do try to keep the peace, though, and I’ve found that in doing so, I’ve been forced to lead a double life. Or chosen. Either way, I’ve started running away from family conflict and in an effort to keep the peace and not make the wife-beater’s temper flare, I just keep my mouth shut.
There are few benefits to keeping your mouth shut.
In the past few weeks, things in my family have drastically changed. My parents have split up and divorce papers have been filed. While each one of us have struggled with the difficulty of this, I think we’ve realized it’s best. It’s also radically shifted something for me: I’ve become a bit more liberated. No more walking around on egg shells, wondering when I’m going to get yelled at or picked on. No more Are-you-a-dyke? talks. No more cycles of violence.
At least that’s how it feels. It feels like a big burden has been lifted through this divorce, and although I’ve come to love my father as a complex human with a good side and a bad side, I’m happy my mom won’t be treated as sub-human anymore and I won’t be treated as a threat for standing up for her.
The other benefits to watching a terrible marriage end is a huge reality check. Marriage isn’t for everyone and preventative measures should be taken to protect your assets, your individuality, and your well-being before entering a marriage (if you choose to do so). I’ve spent the several years following my exit from a cult wishing I was married with kids, not because I wanted that, but because I’d been brainwashed by the Church that a woman’s place was in her husbands home.
I’m becoming excited for my new-found liberty. My life is fulfilling and so is my job. I think I’d like kids, my own or maybe to be a stepmom, but I’m sure as hell not in a rush. I think I’m actually pretty damn content for the first time in my life. Not perfect–far from it. Fuck, I have so many issues I need a personal assistant to keep up with them. But I’m finally getting over that goddamn pressure to get married in order to “be complete.” And I can thank my parents divorce for that.