Being, or not being— that’s out. It’s a question that we all have to ask ourselves many times a day. Before we make the choice, every scenario is distinct and many problems are regarded. Different risks, the energy to handle the response, or simply attempting to decide whether the return is worth the investment.
It is, of course, the hardest component of the process we will ever experience to come out to ourselves. We all send our own posts to family, friends and community. Starting with our earliest memories, we’re promised the thrill of meeting the guy of our dreams— our knight-in-shining armor, then we’re going to marry, give birth to kids, and buy that white picket fence. I don’t believe there’s a lot of us growing up with a lesbian role model[ although hopefully that’s changing now]. I don’t believe I hid anything so much from myself as I never believed I was a lesbian. The topic never came up after all.
So, you’re lastly coming out to yourself and now you’ve got to accept all the messages you’ve got about lesbians throughout your life. I don’t remember being angry when I realized that I was a lesbian, but I remember my lengthy voyage in self-discovery. I confess that I felt the need to test every memory against this fresh understanding of my being distinct from the norm. Many memories opposed this fresh discovery, but not many. So you’re wondering if your fresh discovery may be a fraud. You have to maintain wondering in and among all this, how the hell did I miss this about myself for so long?
Finally, you accept that you’re a lesbian— different from all you’ve ever known— but you know that you’re the same person you’ve ever been. How many of us felt as if we had always been distinct now? I understand that I felt the same thing. I was Therese still. This was, however, a large enough shift in my life that I would have to explain to family and friends who have known me for over 30 years. How do you explain this to your loved ones? How else would I explain that this lady was suddenly with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? (I thought they might eventually notice that I was going from two to three).
I can’t say it’s been simple and frank, there have been moments when it’s really frightening. It took a long time for my family to get to grips with it, but I believe they’re lastly there. I lost a few friends, including a 30-year-old best friend, and that hurt. And I lost a job— but now I’ve got a better job.
However, what I’ve found is that no matter how many times you’re coming out, or even if you’re not coming out, it’s never a bargain. I’m out in my life everywhere, but I still have to decide to go out regularly. A new person on the job, the new teacher of my son, a man hitting me— all of them are just a few of the situations that come up every day, leaving me with a choice if I— do I want / need to— come out again.
Some days are simpler than others and there are circumstances that are more encouraging than others. They’re just promising to me that I’m going to do the best I can. I believe that’s all we can ask ourselves.
Until next time…