I am sure you have heard those stories of people coming out later in life. Sometimes women are referred to as late in life lesbians. That’s not who this is about. Well, not exactly. Let me explain. I did come out later in life, at 34 to be exact. In June of 2021 I announced to my immediate family and the Facebook world that I am (was) bisexual.
I received nothing but overwhelmingly positive support, but it was still hard. I couldn’t even bear to speak to my immediate family for a good couple of weeks because I was so ashamed. I have since been told this is sometimes referred to as internalized homophobia. I am working through it, but most days am not making much progress. I am hoping writing this will help.
Anyway, I announced I was bisexual only to eventually realize that that really wasn’t true. On most days I would consider myself to be pansexual, but in general I am not a fan of labels. I just want to be happy and want others to love whoever makes them happy too.
Now, what’s with the title? I have yet to mention anything about lesbians. Well, A little over a year ago I met a woman, and we started dating. People sometimes assume that because of this I am a lesbian. I am not. I do like woman, but I also like men, and really I am attracted to who a person is more than what their body looks like. Honestly, I just really like alliteration and that’s why I chose the title.
Writing this is a massive step for me. My therapist told me when I first started dating my lovely and amazing girlfriend that I needed to actively use the word girlfriend to make it less scary for me to say. I actively did this, around people I knew were safe. I have not told my extended family and I certainly have not spoken to most of my coworkers about it. I am not ashamed of my girlfriend. She loves animals, she reminds me daily that life is beautiful, and she truly is the Poppy to my Branch. I just don’t know what people will think of me, and that scares me.
I am a public-school teacher. I work in a small town where people know my name and also where news spreads quickly. My greatest apprehension about sharing who I am with the world is that the families in town will talk and people will assume that I am not a good teacher because of who I love. I would never want a parent to not want their child in my class because I am dating a woman. I know in my heart of hearts that if this were to happen it would be more about them than about me, but it still pops into my head more often than I would like.
Well, there you have it. There is no turning back at this point. Here I am. Truly, honestly, completely me. Take it or leave it, I guess. I found someone who makes me happy. I have discovered a lot about who I am. Oh, and by the way, I have a girlfriend. (I threw that line in there for my therapist).
4 thoughts on “Late in Life Not Quite Lesbian”
Thank you for sharing! I’ve been learning more about my sexuality and I lean more pan these days as well (I was saying bi for the longest time and realized that’s not quite it – I love people!). “I found someone who makes me happy. ” That’s all that really matters at the end of the day. Love who you love!
I love your authenticity and courage. This is a wonderful piece and I am so proud of you.
You are a f*cking rockstar my friend!!! I am SO PROUD of you!!! (is that weird to say? oh well, i said it.) Everything you are feeling is real and valid. You are not alone. But here’s the good news: it won’t always feel so scary. Not quite, anyway. The incredible thing is that you aren’t allowing that fear to keep you from your happiness. Anytime you need a cheerleader, feel free to reach out. I’m here waiting with my pom poms at the ready because I’m a big fan 🙂
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I can’t imagine the anxiety you had while writing this and publishing it. I personally think it’s amazing and courageous of you, even though we really shouldn’t require courage to just be ourselves. My teenage daughter considers herself pansexual/pangender, but also knows that any label she applies to herself is fluid and likely will change. Why do we even need labels? We just need to allow ourselves and others to be happy, without judgement.
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