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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Late Bloomer

Most queer folk know from a young age they are attracted to the same sex. Not me, I am a bit of an oddity. Even though I hate the term; I consider myself a late bloomer.

 I contribute a lot of my lateness to my upbringing. I grew up in a very Christian home, probably borderline orthodox based upon my memories. There were very strict rules about jewelry, haircuts, wardrobe, etc. I was very limited to what I could watch and listen to. I don’t remember this going on through a huge part of my childhood but it definitely sticks out in my mind. As a child, I remember I admired quite a few female actresses and singers; in hindsight I would consider them crushes. As far as boys go; I had a super scary and strict father, so there were no boyfriends for me even if I wanted them. I don’t ever remember a time though where I was into boys, not like my sons are into girls now. I don’t remember crushes on boys when I was young or wanting to make some little boy my boyfriend. I don’t know if I just didn’t develop that aspect of myself at that age or I had little interest. I honestly have no clue.

Later on, I dated boys in school. I never really had a lot of attachment. I dated them for a while and then moved on. This continued from the beginning of high school until around the end of high school. I did go on to eventually marry a guy that I met in school; but it was with him I realized I was attracted to women. Why in the world I would notice this so late in life is beyond me, but I realized after it was too late.  I was married and committed and did what I was supposed to do. I had already committed myself to someone at the extremely young age of 18, I hadn’t a clue about who I was. As I started to grow in my sexual identity and figure myself out; my sexuality was one of those parts that developed. I remember at the beginning of our marriage he would joke and think it was awesome that he had a wife who was attracted to women; he had a few fantasies he was hoping to play out. Sadly for him; the more I realized my attraction for women the less I was actually attracted to men. Don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome dudes out there. I have dated some guys and been involved with some guys who were great. My sexuality isn’t a reflection of you and you didn’t change me. All of those relationships lacked a connection I needed. My marriage lacked the connection I needed. It took me a long time to figure that out.

Over the years, my marriage has played out like it would have regardless of my sexual identity. There were so many other issues beyond my sexuality at fault. But, I am the kind of person who gives every aspect of my life all that I have. No matter what I figured out about myself over time, I was committed and gave it my best. After it is all over though, I do have regret. I wish I would have listened to family and not married so young. I missed out on figuring out what I wanted years ago, but better late than never is my perspective at this point. The regret just makes me appreciate where I am now.
My struggle and regret is the reason I share my story and my self-reflection. I know there are late bloomers out there who are trying to figure themselves out. People who are stuck in a place where they know they don’t belong. I was there, I have finally came out on the other side. Literally and figuratively. I can’t help but think it would have been easier to have figured out my sexuality earlier in life. I envy those who have always known. But, my journey took me a different path. This path gave me my boys and gave me her. I ended up where I was supposed to be; I just took a few detours along the way.