Did I mention that I’m a lesbian?
Probably not because I most likely felt too awkward to bring it up in the course of conversation. Instead, I hide within myself.
Let me explain.
I’ll pretend to be the teacher and know what I’m talking about.
“Now, y’all who identify as lesbians (or any lgbtq identity), close your eyes. Keep them closed, and raise your hand if you’ve felt uncomfortable disclosing your sexuality in any of these situations.”
– Passing/glossing over it when the appropriate moment in conversation to disclose your sexuality or relationship comes up
– Taking a long time to feel comfortable enough to talk about it at work
– Avoiding disclosing identity when speaking with a sweet older lady or gentleman due to fear that it might upset them
– Mentioning even fewer details about sex (than when you were dating men) to your mother (with whom you are very open in general) because you’re afraid she will be grossed out
– Being told that you’re not really gay because you dated men
– Having an older, intoxicated come up behind you and your partner in a large city and exclaim “I’m a lesbian too!” and proceed to make references about oral sex
– Feeling like you’re disappointing your parents even if they don’t say it
– Being grateful that the age difference between you and your grandparents means that they passed on to a better place before they ever had to see you as a lesbian (and you never had to face it)
– Being unsure whether to wear your gay pride shirts based on who you might run into on a particular day
– Every time someone tells you that you’re probably not really gay, obsessively visualizing yourself having sex with men just to “make sure” that you wouldn’t enjoy it. Every time you do it, you feel that you couldn’t ever connect with men or enjoy sex in the same glorious way that you do with women. You visualize having sex with women too, but that makes the vicious cycle even worse because you
only like women
can’t be truly attracted to someone unless you get to know them at least a little (think just a sliver the ideas in keeping with demisexuality).
It’s a vicious cycle of knowing you’re gay, but being unable to accept yourself and fixating on what other people think instead.
Now, these are just a few of my examples. I’m well aware of the very mild nature of these instances. There is so much violence, discrimination, bullying, hate and lack of acceptance very often directed at the lgbtq community. I do not at all want to imply that my personal struggles are on level with greater struggles.
What I do want to do is highlight the small, daily struggles of self-acceptance in reference to sexuality. Even though they are small, they are still important. Especially because they can cause a lot of repetitive cycles of mental pain. To live an authentic life in which we can comfortably share who we are is a worthy goal.
Unfortunately, it’s really damn hard.
I don’t know how to advise about this because I’m still struggling myself.
But, I want you to know that the battle inside your head is valid.
It’s not a waste of time (though of course that’s hard for me to accept myself too).
I hope you get through…
*lights a candle