Still gay..... just in case anyone was wondering.
I should answer a few things for people - Scott wants to know what the "flock is with all the gay stuff"? Well.. I'm a lesbian. Shirley say's she saw the break-up with Carhartt coming... which is odd because Carhartt didn't see it coming - and *I* didn't see it coming.... it just is and it's very sad and heartbreaking for both of us. So much so, I'm not going to write much more about it. No one did anything wrong - Carhartt is a fantastic person... but sometimes love isn't enough.
Shirley also say's the media will have a "field day" with this.... but I'm guessing they won't. I could be wrong - but I truly don't think they give a sh*t.
There's also concern from some of my very favorite readers - Charlie... I'm speaking to you - that I somehow don't like men or that I now "hate" men..... nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact.... it's my distinct *lack* of dislike for men in general that had me thinking (for many years) that I was really just a straight girls obsessed with boobs.... other peoples: not my own. lol
The hardest part about growing up gay in the 1980s was that.... it was the NINETEEN-EIGHTIES!!!!! I had no exposure to anything or anyone "gay"...... also, and PARENTS - please listen to what I'm writing:
I did not *know* I was "gay" as a child..... this is really really REALLY important for you to hear. I knew that I liked girls... I knew that I thought boys were ok - but I never had a keen desire to figure out how *they* had sex... or whatever..... so without any exposure to other people like myself - I had no idea who I was, only that I *IDENTIFIED* as a girl who liked girls.
The word *identify* is crucial here.
As a child NO ONE had to come up to me and like "educate" me on being gay - especially as a very young child - talk about sexual relationships isn't very appropriate.... however, if I had been exposed to a friend have same-sex parents, or seeing some on a popular TV Show or reading about them in a good - in a *positive* light.... then I could have *seen* that and found a social reflection of my own *identity*.
Being a lesbian is less about going down south and *more* about who I am. I have stood in a straight world for a very, very long time .... and never fit in. I always felt different. I always felt separated from them. I admired their marriages and talk about passionate sex.... and then I went home and tried creams and potions to *try* to make sex with a man something that I enjoyed *as much* as other women said they did... but no manner of creams ever did the trick. I assumed I was broken that something was wrong with me.... so I just kept trying......
Ariel doesn't grow land-legs to run on the beach hand in hand with Princess Ericka.... Jasmine doesn't munch on a flying carpet with Alanna..... Janet Jackson and Madonna and Cyndie Lauper sing songs about boys - no one sings songs about falling in love with girls..... (if *only* I knew what "She Bop" ACTUALLY freakin' meant.... lololol).
My entire world was straight.
Like most tweens I just wanted to be liked... I wanted to rock my Debbie Gibson inspired waist high pants rolled up at the ankle complete with giant bangs and more hairspray that the ozone layer cares to remember..... and every movie ends with The Girl getting The Boy ..... so I wanted a Boy, too.
I wanted their attention. I wanted to wear their lettermans jackets to *feel* like I belonged.
I've written about my first kiss.... but the version you read was made slightly rosy...... The truth is that my middle school boyfriend *was* a football player... AND our first kiss *was* rather perfect with me placed a top a yellow striped curb behind the Burger King..... BUT. That first kiss only came AFTER The Middle School
Boyfriend had made out with my Middle School Best Friend in my parents garage on Halloween night.
The Middle School Boyfriend came over dressed as a Zombietypething, I was dressed as Scarlet O'Hara and my Middle School Best Friend was dressed as an 80s rocker chick.... we went out trick or treating as a group and The Middle School Boyfriend kept trying to kiss me in the darker corners of the track - tugging my white gloved hand to spots under tree's or behind driveway pillars.... and I kept saying no.
I didn't want to kiss him.
I didn't want to kiss any boys.
Which was so f*cking confusing.... I wanted their attention. I would lay around on the bedroom floor literally DYYYYYYY.ING for this boy or that boy to call the rose colored phone in my bedroom..... and when they would call: I would float on cloud nine for days....
But kissing..... yuck. No thanks. Nope, not interested.
Not. At. ALL.
At the end of the night I had gone in the house for something and said Middle School Boyfriend and Best Friend made out in the garage where the neighbor girl saw them and told me the next day.....
But I blamed myself... if I had kissed him any of the times he had tried - then he probably wouldn't have wanted to kiss her.... so I didn't tell them that I knew. I kept wearing the jacket to every class, every day - no matter *how* hot it was in the classroom ... I wasn't going to let the weather affect my connection to fitting in... f*ck no.
And the next weekend .... I relented and kissed him.
It was magical.... as far as first kisses go.... and I prefer my rosy view of it - but deep down.... even at the time - I knew that I didn't want to be kissing him. Even from the very, very beginning, intimacy with men would be something I felt I was obligated to do - not something I wanted to do.
It was a very confusing time.... one that would hang on right up 8 months ago: How can I *like* men - and *still* be gay? How could I have desired their attention but not THEM? It makes little sense to 38 year old me *now* -..... and needless to say - 14 year old me didn't bother trying to sort it out. Bring on the string of boys for sweaty-hand holding and awkward kissing and exchanging notes in the hallway and sneaking out at slumber parties for late night walks.....
No one ever told me that it would okay if *I* didn't want to kiss boys.... and they sure as sh*t didn't tell me that I might like kissing girls.... so I just of ... existed that way. I didn't dream about boys or girls.... I didn't understand my own identity, so I didn't know that I *could* dream about girls and the ground wouldn't actually open up swallowing me whole and dragging me down to hell.
Yeah... Church was kind of that for me.
If I saw a girl - usually a boyish looking girl.... and I got "those feelings".... I would literally RUN from the room sure that the boyish girl and everyone in the room could see my inside's lighting up like a freakin' heat map... and then no one would like me: no one would be my friend.
So I held onto those lettermans jackets for as long as I could wrapping myself in the social security of their wool bodies and leather sleeves....
It's a hard thing to explain... people who are gay, for the most part, absolutely get it.... my straight friends kind of do.... and then kind of don't. Someone asked me once why it even matters if I like girls who look like boys anyway - what's the difference.....?
For several decades I tried to tell myself that there wasn't a difference.... I was wrong.
I didn't know it then, and by the time I *knew* it... it took me nearly two decades to accept it.
I was lonely.... so .... so.... lonely. I knew I was different - I felt.... wrong and shameful. I thought that if people found out that I didn't want to be kissing boys - that they would hate me and not hang out with me...I thought my family would disown me because sooooo much work was being put into making sure I was a "good girl" and right or wrong... my family didn't identify strap-ons and making out with girls as "good".
NOT. AT. ALL.
I don't blame anyone... it was a different time, a different place - and to that end, kids *now* have it easier than I did.... and they don't at the same time.
Gay kids *now* have to go to school with kids of parents LIKE ME. Adults who were raised in a somewhat homophobic world.... and I think even thought our KIDS are getting the message ... some of us still aren't. We're talking about fags and queens and whatever.... and our kids are hearing those things and bullying kids at school... or worse yet - your kid *hears* you say "fag" and knows it's a "bad thing".... so they stuff down their own feelings - afraid to be who they are - afraid to be themselves.... afraid to be called a 'fag' by their own parents because kids always want to be good - not bad.
So the message for faaaar too many kids is that you don't want to be 'bad', 'fags' are bad... so don't be a fag.
At least .... that's how I felt. Even without growing up in a family that used those words - there was (I felt) an underlying message that doing anything other than growing up and marrying a man would be bad....
And so began decades of self-hate.... anger at myself for not being able to be "normal".... disappointment with myself when my mind would battle with my instincts.... and my mind would always win - leaving my heart in turmoil.
Turmoil because I *liked* men..... they open your car door and bring you flowers and talk on the phone with you for hours.... they complete you in a middle school social circle.... and I liked ALLLLLL of those things... but I didn't want their hands on me. I didn't dream about boys. I didn't dream about making with them or doing other things with them.... mind you - I didn't dream about girls either - so without understanding myself.... I was just left in turmoil.
I didn't need anyone to show me lesbian porn or some such thing.... but - had I just *seen* a positive portrayal of two women - holding hands, kissing on a sidewalk, raising a family.... being... *normal* - then I would have know that *I* was normal.... and I might have been a very different person.
I didn't need anyone to explain 'sexuality'.... however, I did need someone to validate how I 'identified' - which was as a girl who liked girls and a girl who would later discover that the earth would not open up the first time she made out with a girl.....