This post was published only privately until tonight, October 25:
sexual orientation refers to the predominant gender ‘for which a person has consistent attachments, longings, and sexual fantasies'(McAuliffe, s008, p14) One’s sexual orientation, therefore, can be toward the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes.[Neukrug, 2008, 2013]
According to this statement, from the text for a class that I just completed last Thursday, and according to what I know of myself, I am a lesbian and I’ve probably been one for my entire life, though I only started putting it together, with the name, in college.
Before college I had feelings that I tried not to have, tried not to feel and no name for the feelings, besides WRONG at best, or perverted or sick, at worst ! In college I finally saw that there was this thing called gay and it was, though different, ok. I attended a school that had a theatre program and, consequently, stereotype or not, had lots of gay male students studying in the program. My freshman year I also had a suite-mate who was a lesbian. But, despite all of this in front of me and around me, I couldn’t begin to get my head around the idea that it would be ok for me to be gay, a lesbian. I’d spent my whole life trying to like the right kind of person: boys. And I’d managed to have lots of crushes, generally of the unrequited variety, including one that lasted from sometime in 9th grade through 12th grade. I even had a boyfriend my senior year, a very sweet guy. We went to prom… and had fun. But all along, I would have crushes on and attachments to, my girlfriends, even back in grade school. Though I could never admit that that is what they were.
Freshman year in college I had my second boyfriend and along with the boy came some very enjoyable sexual experiences. He was quite in touch with his feminine side, and very heterosexual. But even while he and I were together I still found myself attracted to women. He left the school at the end of freshman year and we kept in touch and planned to visit, etc. the next year…but that did not end up coming to pass and I found guys to date my sophomore year while still being very attached my female friends and even attracted to one of them.
But that attraction was not reciprocated and then my sophomore year, when this same friend brought me home for dinner over Easter weekend I met her family and her brothers and ended up going out with one of them. We were on again, off again a couple of times, living together and then not for the next 5-6 years. I found him attractive, was even attracted to him, to a point, definitely had fun with him and did love him, but was always also plagued, for that is how it felt, by feelings of attraction to women. The attachments I had didn’t concern me. It was the physical and sexual longings that did and all of this while I was supposed to be “in love” with my boyfriend. I even shared my feelings of attraction to women with him and he was incredibly sweet and kind and understanding. I told myself I was bisexual and just needed to accept my feelings towards women the way I did the feelings towards men. I told myself that it was understandable that the feelings I had for women would be more intense because I was trying so hard not to have them. I told myself all sorts of stuff to make it ok that I had these feelings and ok that I was staying with this guy who I was really very fond of, did love, but wasn’t really all that attracted to nor in love with.
Finally, when he asked me to marry him, I knew that I could not say “yes” until I’d explored these feelings that I had for women. I told him so too…..told him that I needed to figure that part of myself out before I could commit to him. So we went our separate ways for about 10 years, though our paths did cross a time or two. I moved across the state to “come out” and he eventually moved to a few different places around the country and we actually kept in occasional contact.
In the meantime I very resourcefully located the lesbian community in my new town, including the local lesbian bookstore, where I learned all about the different goings on in the gay community and even found some events to attend.
TO BE CONTINUED
So I finished the class I mentioned in my first post…finished with a 94%! I liked the class. It was interesting; I learned a lot; the instructor was good and well organized and I didn’t do half bad…Thus the title of this post: “Kinda proud”.