Uncategorized

Angry Dyke.

When I first started dating my wife I was young. It started as a one night stand. I was single, happy, and venturing out into my twenties. At first our relationship was fun and games. The “honeymoon period” is a real thing. Then after about a year I remembered that I am straight and the reality of being in a same sex relationship started sinking in. It didn’t go well for awhile after that.

I remember feeling angry. I was angry that I was in love with her, I was angry that I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I was angry that I wasn’t a “real” lesbian and she was, and I had it so easy with my family and she didn’t. I was angry that I was straight but fell in love with a woman. I was angry that I already knew what discrimination feels like just from being related to a lesbian. I was angry that I couldn’t just have sex with my husband if I wanted kids. That was a big one. I could not wrap my mind around the whole how a lesbian gets pregnant situation. I was mad that no one told me to walk away from her. This sounds very petty and childish but in the moment it’s so intense.

I sort of forgot all of this until I started seeing more and more young adult LGBT clients at my mental health practice. They are all angry. Transgender clients are angry that they are in the wrong body, that they face discrimination, that no one truly understands and everyone asks about their genitals (note to reader don’t do that!). Young lesbian and gay clients are angry that they are gay. They are angry that they are forced into this lifestyle that they don’t necessarily want. They are angry they had to fight with their schools to bring a date of the same gender to prom. They are angry that they have faced verbal and physical violence from peers and/or parents and/or strangers.

At the core of their anger is absolute and utter fear.

Thinking back I recognize that underneath my anger was so much fear. Fear of being a minority. Fear of discrimination. Fear of fertility. Fear of living my life with my wife but also finding it physically painful to imagine my life without her.

It was no picnic for my wife either. She was living with this mess of a human being who one day was firm and solid in her commitment to the relationship and the next day was sobbing because she wanted this whole lesbian relationship to just go away.

People who met me after my wife and I got married just assumed I’m a lesbian. It’s just too freaking hard to explain that actually I identify as heterosexual but happened to fall in love with a woman. People are into labels and our relationship defies labels. I am not bisexual, I am not gay, and obviously I’m not totally straight. I prefer to think of myself as beautifully and happily curved.

For me there was anger for a multitude of reasons. For every LGBT youth who firmly identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender- and for the occasional straight person who finds themselves in love with the same gender- there will be anger. There will be days and moments of pure anguish. I’ve lived it personally and I’ve observed it professionally. Being a minority is hard. Being a minority in a country half full of homophobic individuals is harder. Coming to terms with one’s identity at the age of 18-22 is a normal occurrence, but what about when your identity doesn’t fit with society’s heteronormative culture? So many LGBT young adults become stagnant- they can’t finish college, they can’t hold a job, because developing into a young adult is freaking difficult. Developing into an LGBT young adult is beyond difficult.

It puts every friendship and every singly family member’s relationship on the line. It affects career choices and geographical choices for living. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, coming to terms with one’s own Queer identity will make you or break you.

If you are a family member of some one who is grasping and clawing their way through this journey please reach out to them in any way you can. Let them know their life is valued, let them know that though there are more and more anti-LGBT laws being put forth that you want them to live and you want them to be part of your life. Be a lifeline. Because we all need one.

In the depths of my anger and sadness and fear my lifeline was my wife, my friends, and my family. I got to go through my struggles with only my own judgement, no one else’s. Every one else encouraged me to stop being angry and be grateful I found love. The love is love platitude made me want to vomit though. Because love is love, but it was making my life more difficult.

Don’t dismiss a person’s anger because it generally is a cover for fear. We do have much to fear.

Looking back I regret nothing. Because I love my life and I love my family. But the journey from there to here was intense in so many ways. To anyone gasping for air through your anger and fear- it gets better. But it takes a lot of work.

And to any LGBT individuals who fall in love with a person who identifies as heterosexual but is potentially moving toward “beautifully curved”……gear up, you’re in for a wild ride.

(My cat is not a dyke. She loves boys. But she’s got the angry look nailed)

Uncategorized

10 Reasons Being a Lesbian Rocks

When I initially thought about writing this I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time thinking of 10 reasons. Because my brain was inundated with negatives. Discrimination, religion, families, coming out, disowning, the list goes on. I could think of a hundred reasons being a lesbian sucks and they just kept overpowering me. So I took some distance from this piece and came back to it when I was in a better frame of mind. I also talked to some lesbians. They helped. So here goes…

  1. Lesbian sex is awesome. 
  2. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Those words have never been more true than for LGBT youth today. An estimated 44% of adolescents who kill themselves identify as LGBT. That’s a huge percentage considering we only make up an estimated 4.1% of the general population (Gallup Pole 2016). All of the negatives that come with being a lesbian- discrimination, religion, disowned by family, etc.- literally kill us but also have the ability to make us stronger. I would not be the woman I am today without facing the adversity I have faced and seen others face. I’ve talked in previous posts about the experiences my sister and my wife had with discrimination within our towns, friends, and families. I learned so much from watching them both over the years. I know so many other painful stories of lesbians who have faced discrimination. Seeing them all traverse adversity with grace and dignity has made me a better person. I could tell you story after heartbreaking story of these people, and they are not all at home lying in the dark because they can’t bear to live. They are working, living, making families, going out, having fun. They are survivors, not victims. They are amazing human beings walking beside you  and luckily walking beside me too.
  3. Fun fact- hospitals will let people of the same gender stay overnight in a double room if needed. So if I was married to a man and was hospitalized and felt I really needed him to stay over night with me, he wouldn’t be able to stay because he is not the same gender as my roommate. But when I was hospitalized for throwing out my back they let my wife stay overnight in the chair next to the bed because I couldn’t move literally, and she was a girl as was my roommate. This also works for any same gender situation. We get to be in the locker room together at the gym (I’m laughing because she NEVER goes to the gym but if you are fitness inclined and so is your wife that would be cool). We get to go into bathrooms together anywhere, and some spas have female only areas and we could be there together too. Sometimes being the same gender works to our advantage.
  4. People find lesbians intriguing. As a result- any time anyone is invited to a lesbian wedding or party they show up. I mean literally we even had people show up at our wedding who we sort of jokingly invited. I don’t know why, but it happens. So for any lesbians reading this- think about that when planning parties, weddings, showers, etc. They will ALL show up.
  5. Being a minority has it’s perks. Not many. But they exist. I live in a wonderful state that has laws stating I cannot be fired based on my sexual orientation or gender. For the lesbians that live in other anti-LGBT states (ahem Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, etc.) I’m sorry. You can be fired and that’s just fucking wrong. But the states that recognize we make up at least 4.1% of the tax-paying, economy driving, population- Thank-you New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, California, Massachussetts, etc.- they want to attract the LGBT population to their states. Because like I said, we pay taxes, we drive up the economy with the money we spend, and those states are happy to have anyone who will stimulate the economy regardless of sexual orientation. We are sought after to move to areas right now because those states know we are being discriminated against elsewhere and want us to spend our money in states that welcome us with open arms. I’m cool with that.  Remember that awful Mayor in California who said crime is down and the economy is up in his city because of “the gays”? As politically incorrect as he was he was right. We rock. And the states that want us, I say should have us. You can guarantee I will not be planning a vacation to any of the states passing anti-LGBT legislation, which means they lose out on all those vacation dollars. I purposefully plan vacations to LGBT friendly states, as do many LGBT families. Remember when the NCAA threatened to pull their finals from NC after they pass the infamous bathroom ban? It was a big deal, NC stood to lose A LOT of money. I don’t really care that it’s motivated by money, because we need people coming to the defense of the LGBT community. I love Target. I never shopped there before the CEO came to the defense of transgender individuals and breastfeeding mothers. Then they recently introduced a line of gender neutral clothing. I mean come on! That’s amazing. For every evangelical Christian they lose as a customer I guarantee they are gaining two more who are raging lesbians. Highlights magazine. I would never have bought three subscriptions to it because I thought it was overpriced. But then they did stories around same sex couples. I was sold. I strongly encourage all LGBT folks to utilize the almighty dollar. It’s one of the few bargaining chips we have. Be mindful of where you spend your money and support LGBT friendly businesses, states, cities, etc.
  6. Ellen Degeneres. Rachel Maddow. Jane Lynch. Rosie O’Donnell. Jodie Foster. Lily Tomlin. Ellen Page. Kristen Stewart. That’s a list of some formidable intelligent sexy women. Glad their on my team. Being a lesbian is a real thing. And the more celebrities who come out the better, because it’s a way to normalize it. Also, lesbians automatically have something to talk about if we run into any of these people ever. I can see it happening, “Hey Ellen, I’m a lesbian too.” Then we high five and become besties.
  7. It’s never weird asking your partner to buy you tampons for the first time.
  8. We don’t have to pay for condoms or birth control. (Public health message to all lesbians- this doesn’t mean we are immune to STDs and this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a pap smear as recommended by your OB-GYN. We can still get cervical cancer. Drives me nuts that lesbians don’t go to the OB-GYN.)
  9. Lesbian parties and weddings are so much more fun than straight parties. Going out to gay bars is also more fun that straight bars. People are crazier, more “out” there, and happier. I have a lot of theories as to why, but not sure if any of them are accurate. I thought this even before I was dating and married to a woman. There’s something more laid back about lesbian weddings and parties. All of that gayness in a room I guess, it’s just more fun.
  10. The best part about being a lesbian is that I am married to someone I truly love. We have both sacrificed so much to be who we are to be with the person we love. And who better than Optimus Prime to summarize “The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they’re alive.” When you meet a lesbian couple I can guarantee they have a story. They’ve been through some shit individually and/or together. Lesbian relationships are special because they almost always require sacrifice. Never doubt that lesbian couples love each other fully and deeply living in the here and now with no expectations for the future. To be a part of a deep relationship that faces a society of hatred and discrimination sounds scary, and sometimes it is, but it is also fulfilling in ways that heterosexual white couples just won’t ever understand. Every negative about being a lesbian carries a positive. Why do you think our symbol is a rainbow? We are the calm and the beauty and the different fighting to emerge through a dark storm.