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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Acceptance


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Growing up in a southern town I don't think I met a single solitary gay person until I was an adult. There were people who later came out as an adult that I knew in high school but, being raised in a very christian community didn't lend itself to very much self discovery.

I remember when I first started feeling attracted to others, I remember being attracted to movie stars and musicians but I didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary. Was it wrong to think Aaliyah was drop dead gorgeous if you are a little southern "straight" girl? In hindsight, probably should have tripped an alarm or two but, I had always thought of myself as being very good at recognizing beauty. I was a complete idiot.

When I thought of the future I thought about the things I was supposed to do, having a house and kids with a husband somewhere in the picture. I honestly didn't barf at the idea of marrying a man, I just knew it was what my future was supposed to look like and I was okay with that. When you were raised in a way that shields you from anything that's different it really alters your ability to think outside of the small little box that's your world. Had I met someone when I was younger who was gay or bisexual maybe there would have been bells and whistles going off and I wouldn't have been clueless for so long. Who knows? But, lucky for me I was blind for a very very long time. I met a guy who I married, had a couple of kids and that's how the story was supposed to go; only it didn't.

Now don't get me wrong, as I became an adult I started meeting gay folk and I was honestly super super curious. I have always asked questions I shouldn't and been way too open with gay boys but I think I was searching for something. I wasn't as lucky as a lot of people who say they knew when they were in 3rd grade in love with a girl on the playground. Honest to goodness, I was oblivious and just thought I was straight. I never really latched on to dudes and could date and break up with them without ever really giving it a second thought. I spent my teenage years dating and breaking up with boys as pretty as you please. I lost my virginity to a boy and my thoughts were "is this it?" Sadly, that thought never really ever went away as years went on. I will spare you the details, but I have explored my sexuality with a dude and just kept thinking, isn't there more? Well I find out there is, just not for me and the male species. Oops.

I just blame it all on being naive and really clueless about myself. I never had an opportunity to peer through someone else's eyes and realize that I didn't feel the way I should. Given, I had an extremely bad marriage and spent a lot of years with someone who was not the nicest person to put it kindly; but now I know it wouldn't have mattered. I could have been with Prince effing Charming and it wouldn't have mattered. I have been playing on the wrong team all this time. Completely clueless.

Fast forward through high school with a little teenage promiscuity and college and with a few drunken nights then, on through adulthood I just was pretty blindly floating through my life. I knew I was different, always knew that. I never really knew in what way specifically but, let me tell you my ex thought having a wife who loved looking at women as much as he did was the bees knees. What guy wouldn't want to have a wife who let them look because hell, she was looking to. Being able to be openly attracted to women as an adult was a nice bonus and it continued for years without consequence; then shit got real. We moved and met a couple of lesbians who we started spending oodles of time with. Uh oh. I started realizing finally that me looking at women was more than just an admiration of beauty. Finally I started gaining a bit of clarity, the quintessential late bloomer. That's when my world turned upside down.

Meeting Jackie was the light bulb moment in my life. I cannot even put into words what meeting her did to me. I started to realize what I had been missing in my life all this time, it was terrifying. It was also the most exciting and for her to be the most amazing woman was extraordinary.

For so long I had been thinking that this is all there was. I really thought I just was not going to ever be satisfied and always searching for something. I would have never in a million years thought my sexuality was the reason for my restlessness. I didn't  know sexuality really even mattered. Now I know it's the difference between living a numb and passionless existence and being deliriously happy. That's pretty significant.

The only problem was I didn't know what in the blue hell I was going to tell everyone back home who knew me as this straight married mother of two; what would they think? What was I going to say? Problem solved; my ass hole of an ex husband decided he would do it for me. A phone call to my parents later he pulled the biggest dick move imaginable, he called my parents and outed me. I think the two conversations I had that day were probably some of the hardest conversations I had with my parents. I can't imagine on their end what it was like but for me it was torture. How do you even begin? I think the conversations I had with them that day still replays on occasion. I remember my dad telling me what a big pill this was to swallow and my mom having a complete meltdown on me and all I was thinking was will this storm ever pass? Will things ever be OK again? The answer in my life was yes, thankfully. I know not everyone else who comes out is that lucky and I know it is something that happens differently for everyone but it's a pretty significant moment in your life. It's one I won't forget. Lucky for me, I had two very southern and christian parents who were able to embrace me and accept something they knew nothing about. I was pretty fortunate and really loved.

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