The Personal: How To Be Gay
So. A very personal confession. (Please go easy on me here. This is the first time I’ve really talked much about this, in print or otherwise.)
As you’ve probably noticed, I refer to myself as “queer” or “bi” most of the time.
I’ve had sex with both men and women, had relationships with both men and women. But all of my long-term relationships have been with men. That’s fairly common, I realize. There are plenty of people who believe in the “sliding scale” of sexuality; I’ve always just assumed that I’m somewhere in the middle of that scale.
You know what, though? I’m beginning to realize something. Despite what appear to be my best efforts at relationships with guys, I like women a LOT more. I’m more attracted to them. I enjoy their company more. The sex has always been better (for me, at least).
I think I might just be straight-up gay, you guys. I think I’ve maybe been lying to myself for a long, long time. And I have no idea why. And I have no idea how to come to some final determination about this. Or whether coming to a final determination is really even necessary.
For days now, I’ve been trying to parse the answers to those questions. I want to understand why I played it “straight” for so long. And it isn’t for any of the obvious reasons, like conservative family or unaccepting friends. I am a lucky fucking woman. If I came out tomorrow, none of my immediate family members would shun me or give me the silent treatment. They might have a few questions (i.e. “Why are you just telling us this, in your late 20’s?” and “So then what’s with all the boyfriends? And that one guy you lived with?”), but overall I’m betting our relationship would remain as stable as always. My parents are awesome fucking people. Ditto my brother. (My grandparents and aunts and uncles would be another story; but they’re not a very big part of my life at this point anyway. Their reactions are kind of moot.) I can’t think of a single friend who’d turn away from me, or really even be that surprised. (Maybe some facebook “friends,” some old acquaintances, but none of the people I consider part of my inner circle.)
So my family/friend situation isn’t holding me back.
What is it, then? Why is it that, despite the fact that at this point I’m pretty sure women are my preference, all of my ltrs have been with dudes?
I think the answer has something to do with the fact that I’ve passed as a straight girl for so long. When I listen to narratives of coming out, most of them seem to involve a definitive moment of realization – a moment of “Oh, I always knew I was gay.” I’ve never had that moment. And so I guess I just assumed that, because I didn’t wake up one day and say “I want to date only women!”, that meant I was really mostly straight. I always just presumed my life would turn out straight – that even though I LOVED women, I’d end up with a dude. Because that’s just how things work. I’ve bought into the cultural mythology, even though I’m a person who spends ALL of her time analyzing and fighting against that very same mythology. I would never presume straightness of anyone else. But I presumed it of myself – at least for the most part. And now, I’m not sure if it’s too late to “take it back.”
So you may be getting a few personal posts from me about the journey involved in coming to a conclusion about all of this. I figure this is a good forum in which to parse things out, to test the waters and find out how people react to the notion of a mostly-straight bi girl suddenly announcing that she’s pretty sure she’s actually gay. Are people going to tell me it’s a “phase?” Are they going to tell me that (as I fear) the gay community isn’t going to accept a girl who’s been playing it straight for so many years – that potential girlfriends aren’t likely to believe me when I tell them I don’t really want a man around? Or are they going to tell me to “go for it,” to dive headfirst into the lifestyle that I long for?
Do any of you have any experience with this? Any friends who came out late in life? Did they stay out, or did they go back?
*Author’s note: I just read over this, and my prose is awkward and clunky! Apparently, I REALLY haven’t figured out how to talk about this yet.*