Lesbianism – It Ain’t for Sissies Part 2

So there I was, entering high school, and along with all the other anxieties (‘Will anyone like me?’ ‘Can I pass geometry?’) was the worry that I might be a lesbian.  My mom had as much as told me I was after she caught me and a girlfriend kissing.  The gross tongue-stabbling I got from my first date pretty much sealed the deal.  Then another boy’s kiss also left me totally cold (I didn’t know it could be due to depression following a serious car accident and facial disfigurement…)

But things began to look up.  Before school started, supportive gold frames were removed from my teeth.  I received temporary crowns that were not hideous.  I had surgery on the wound to my mouth that turned out, well, pretty great.  Shortly after school started, a girl who was part of the kind of clique my mother drooled over befriended me.  And she could do geometry!  (Forever grateful, Jan Helen McGee!)

But nothing was quite as thrilling as my first dance, the night HE singled me out.  “HE” was Tim – tall, dark and handsome; smart enough to win 3rd prize in the science fair (but not nerdy enough to win 1st); cool enough to play jazz; athletic enough to play sports.  He was nice!  AND he had a hot car!  I couldn’t believe he had picked ME. 

How I imagined we looked together:

 How we probably actually looked:

 Licking the Spoon, my book in progress about food, sex and relationship, discusses how addressing body image issues can improve a woman’s sexual confidence and fulfillment.

Tim and I began dating, and I finally experienced the joy of having … well, a man.  A man who walked me to my classes and called me every night.  Who picked me up and took me out.  Who enveloped me in his strong arms and intoxicated my senses with the scent of his cologne, the slight scratch of his beard against my cheek, and the sweet searching of his lips.  Ohhh, those lips…  I’d sit in class daydreaming and dizzy from the sensation – a waterfall of melting chocolate that started at my brain, cascaded down my insides and pooled between my legs.  I wondered if I could keep the promise I’d made to myself – not to have sex and risk a pregnancy in high school.

The short ending is that within the year, Tim broke up with me.  His reason was vague, and I heard a rumor that he had met another girl.  I was crushed.  The ache to be ‘normal’ was replaced by the ache to be loved by him again.  But eventually, that too passed.  I heard that he went on to get that girl pregnant.  I went on to like other boys.  And I didn’t get pregnant!  Woo hoo!

But this process had an enormous effect on my future.  I became a sex educator because I understood that no young person should have to go through what I did.  My story had a happy ending because it turned out that I preferred the opposite sex.  But for young people who really are gay or lesbian, their happiness may be hijacked by bullying, rejection from loved ones, and even increased risk for depression and suicide.  Luckily, times are changing.  Although sexual orientation is complex, there is increasing evidence that we are born with the attraction we have.  And there are positive gay role models living meaningful lives for youth to look up to. 

But lesbianism still ain’t for sissies – homosexuality ain’t for sissies – because it always takes courage to be who you are.   


32 thoughts on “Lesbianism – It Ain’t for Sissies Part 2

  1. Lynda, thank you for sharing your reflections and current perspective, as well as the facts and feelings of your past. Your story is so personal. You make candor, self-discovery and self acceptance look effortlless.


  2. Well, that effortless effort took years to get to, Vena! But once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad! I wish I had gotten the hang of it years before I did. Which I guess is the point of my blog and book – to help someone else get there a little earlier, maybe. Thanks as always for your encouragement.


  3. I truly agree. It takes unthinkable courage for people to accept who they are and face the hardships of mainstream values. Homosexuals are in no ways lesser than heterosexuals. Lesser people are people who judge other’s capabilities and value based on sexual preference.


  4. “But lesbianism still ain’t for sissies – homosexuality ain’t for sissies – because it always takes courage to be who you are.”
    now that’s a powerful statement!


  5. The last part of this post was incredibly inspirational. Poignant, and to the point. But thats the whole idea! I admire how you took your past adolescent experiences and relayed them as an adult to conclude that it doesn’t matter who you love, as long as you love whole heartedly. One love. (Cue Bob Marley song).


  6. I think its great that you are sharing such a personal story!
    “For young people who really are gay or lesbian, their happiness may be hijacked by bullying, rejection from loved ones, and even increased risk for depression and suicide.” Yes, it’s definitely sad that we as human beings are so closed minded and have such a difficult time to deal with anyone/anything that is considered new or different. However, I think the U.S. has made big steps in regarding this topic in the last years.


  7. Being yourself can always be tough. Your ending quote was very well said. People will always judge you for who you are and who you aren’t. Why try to impress those who will never be satisfied. This was another great story, I know many of us can relate.


  8. It’s sad that for many discovering they are gay is still devastating because they will have to face so much more judgement but it slowly changing. You should share some of these stories in class they’re really interesting.


  9. I love the last line. And it’s true! Heterosexual myself but it does take courage to be outside the norm, to be the minority and still be OK with it.


  10. Well said! It is so hard to simply be who you are even when sexual attractions aren’t in the question, let alone people who identify themselves as being heterosexual and bisexual. However, I think society is gradually becoming more aware and in a sense more accepting to individuals who identify themselves to be heterosexual, and I think we have some celebrities to thank for that contribution as well. Ex: Ellen Page who came out of the closet and addressed herself as a proud lesbian.


  11. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I reminisced about my first boyfriend in high school and how terrifying it was to come out of the closet as a gay 16 year old at the time. I had my first kiss, first dance, first sexual experiences, etc. with Gilbert. We did end up breaking up and it devastated me, however, I moved from it ever since. It paved a way of growth for me as an individual. I am sorry about what happened between you and Tim, though I am sure you’ve moved on from that experience and have grown. Also, thank you for pointing out that homosexuality isn’t for sissies, I chuckled a bit.


  12. Growing up as a child, I was so confused about my sexuality. It scared me at first, that i liked girls but in high school I met this girl, we became best friends at first and from then I fell in love with her. She told me she felt something for me but did not want to accept it because she was fully straight. She broke my heart but now I am still learning about the LGBQT community. I am currently taking a Human Sexuality class and I have learned so much more about my sexuality and sex. Thank you for reminding me homosexuality ain’t for sissies.


    • That was a painful way to get your heart broken, but just remember broken hearts happen to almost all young people. 😦 But yes, in spite of strides forward for LGBQT people, there is still a lot of prejudice and uncertainty that will come your way. But being connected to the community will be part of the joy.


  13. I found your experience with the same sex to be similar with mine, in the sense that it was during the first two years of high-school I finally figured out who I was. I found out that I was and could be attracted to anyone regardless of how they identify with their biological sex, gender, or gender identity. In more specific terms, I identified as pansexual (and still do!) , it was a whole new world to me in the sense that I knew I could never truly come out to my family. For they see attraction to the same sex or being bisexual, or pansexual as something disgusting or evil. Yet from the time, I was a sophomore to now a junior in community college, I feel no shame in who I am nor do I know that I have to hide from everyone because I have beautiful and caring friends who love and support me. So in coming to terms with my sexuality, I am forever grateful to my friends who are allies and those who are in the community.


    • That’s wonderful that you’ve had such support from friends, since your family would not. So far research has indicated that women’s sexuality may be more ‘flexible’ than men’s – more able to respond to the person rather than just gender or sex.


  14. I love stories like this. Am I gay or am I not? Asking this question is an indication that you’re slowly starting to realize complex characteristics about yourself that you’ve never noticed before. I’d love to show my mom the research that proves that people are born with the sexuality they have, because my mom thinks everyone’s just being influenced or brain-washed by the media. The first time I realized that I didn’t only like guys was around high school. I think it’s the same for most girls. I liked a girl and for some time I thought it was admiration and the just simple innocent thought that she was pretty. But nope. You’re completely right. Homosexuality isn’t for pussies because those people are brave enough to acknowledge their feelings and be proud of who they are.


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