Okay.... moving right along, the thing *most* of you have been waiting to read is about when I told El Capitan that I was a lesbian.... so here it is.
Shortly after coming out to my family, I started coming out to my closest friends. I tried to find time to tell every one in person (when possible) - and I have to say .... it was all very nondescript. lol Jenny B didn't care, Chloe didn't care.... Jessica didn't care - I honestly only had *one* friend who said/did anything really stupid when I came out. (More on her.... later).
Of course I fielded the usual questions:
How long have you known? .... my whole life.
Why didn't you come out years ago? ..... didn't think I could.
Why do you think I care....... because it doesn't matter. ..... awesome.
I had, of course, been asking myself those very same questions for years and years. I had graduated high school with my virginity well and truly: intact. The first man I was every with my first husband Drew. Our marriage had it's own issue's - not the least of which was our age and inability to communicate well. Around the time I started dating Mick, Drew was still living in our flat - just in the other girls bed... lololol. Mick came round one night to meet everyone and we went for a long walk and Mick asked me to move to Scotland with him..... when I came back and told Drew I was moving (he and the girl were moving to Spain....) he looked thoughtful for a second and then he said, "Do you want me to talk to him about you and the sex thing?"
Even then, my interest in male/female sex was..... almost nil. Drew wasn't a bad guy, may be a bit selfish and young, but he was good-looking and funny I did love him, but clearly my issue's with sexual intimacy weren't as 'secret' as I thought they were. However.... I was *sure* that perhaps it was all possibly related to just this relationship - my first, blah blah blah. I wasn't willing to throw in the straight towel just yet, dammit.
(PLEASE NOTE: Drew and I had agreed to separate and live as though we were 'divorced'. As there is no separation of Church and State in the UK - it was actually pretty hard to get divorced and you had to be legally separated for TWO YEARS before a dissolution could be granted - which means different address's etc. We mutually agreed to move on romantically... though, admittedly, he got a bit of a head start. lol)
Life with Mick was good..... and then there were a few more 'gentleman callers' after him.... all of whom I *did* love, however, none of whom changed my intimacy issue's in any way. I really don't know WHY I never 'explored' women... but again - opportunities never presented themselves and I was raised in a conservative and religious home. While there is *nothing* wrong with that, in itself, it didn't leave a whole ton of room for me to believe that I might be able to bed a few chicks to see how I felt.
At 8 years old I was pretty sure I was going to hell for the thoughts I had then.... and I spent my teenage years praying for them to go away.... and I spent my twenties running from them - not because I wanted to, but because I believed I *had* to. I was supposed to grow up and getting married and have babies.... that's the *right* way to do things... the Bible say's so, my parents and community tell me so.... Period.
The night I met El Capitan ....was magic. It was every bit the perfect date that 12 year old me had dreamed up... it was all Lloyd Dobler and John Cryer kinds of perfect and I was *totally* smitten and in love. We had a whirlwind courtship that lead straight to the courthouse three and a half weeks after the night we met. There wasn't a lot of time for..... thinking.
That's the truth.
The first month into our marriage is my car accident that I'm in a back brace for 6 months: no sex.
Then there's the whole Vagina Monologue (buy The Book if you wanna' know) for two years: very little sex.
And now, for me AND for El Capitan, we were in their weird place where *we* hadn't grown apart - we sat on the couch holding hands every night and we were happy.... but my girl parts had seen more gloved *hands* than they had seen "gloved" man-parts ..... I was like a Medical Grand Central Station with several surgeries and then 'physical therapy' to put me all back together.
I'm totally, completely being honest when I tell you that *the VERY* first time we had sex in a very very long time.... *AFTER* the doctors had told me that I would NEVER get pregnant (and the only time I ever had sex with contraception) - I got pregnant with The Boy. We were both stunned.
So now we're four years into our marriage and we've faced *alot* of crazy stuff - and NOW we have a kid.... so I wasn't sitting around and thinking about girls or dreaming about girls.... my hands were pretty full with life and bills and a fairly healthy marriage. I mean - you don't leave your spouse because they lose a leg or something in an accident.... right? So .... you can't really leave your wife when a doctor breaks her girl junk... you just have to ride it out.
It really wasn't until after we had The Girl in year 7 of our marriage that life had started to slow down enough for us to start seeing the cracks in our foundation..... years of problems and issue's and ... again - a lack of communicating, add the 'mother/son' type thing we had going on.... AND two PARENTS working 50 hour weeks and running a household.... and again: sex isn't on the front burner.
And you know what.... don't even *ACT* like while I'm typing this *right now* there aren't like one million wives telling their doting, loving husbands that they "have a headache", cause I'll call bullsh*t on that right now. lol
Looking back NOW - obviously I might be brave enough - willing enough - to make other choices, or HAVE certain conversations with El Capitan... but it really wasn't something that crossed my mind (well... not really). I just - I don't want anyone to think I was lying around all day dreaming about getting with girls - which I think is how some people see it - like I "lied" to El Capitan and 'tricked him'. In first place... I was lying to myself and as a by-product, I was lying to him. I own that. I feel *badly* about that.
However, in other respects I was a good wife and we *were* happy... until one day we weren't.
So, having a good month or so to process my life with new eyes and a new heart and a new sense of truth for who I was.... I have to admit I was a little scared to tell El Capitan. I wasn't sure how he would take - or that he would support it. So I told him to pick a night so we could go out to dinner.....
A week later we met at Red Robin and sat in a booth. We talked for a while and laughed and messed with the waiter for giggles.... he had a particularly sh*tty table that was causing him alllll kinds of trouble. So we kept joking with him to help lighten his mood.
I didn't wait long before I showed him a picture of a pretty cute butch girl that I had been talking to and I said, "So.... here's the thing: I'm a lesbian."
And El Capitan, took a second, and then he said, "No sh*t you are! I started to wonder that three years ago."
Oh. Feck. SERIOUSLY??? lololol
So we talked - and we laughed..... I asked him why he never said anything.
In so many words, El Capitan said that we had been through so much that he never knew if my apprehension to sex was physical (after all the surgeries) or emotional (from all the actual trauma to my girl parts) or... if I was gay -BUT that he didn't want to be the "asshole" husband who insisted on sex.... so he just never did.
And that's the truth - he never asked for it.
I would listen to my other friends complaining about their husbands have Tues/Thurs night sex schedules, or how if 'so-and-so' didn't get a blow job one a week - that he was a "bear" to live with and it was "just easier" to do it.... But not El Capitan. He never asked for begged or made a big deal of our somewhat active but perhaps not "thriving" sex life.
Mind you.... again - TWO Parents, working 50 hours weeks.... 7, 8, 9, 10 years together.... we were no the first couple in romantic history to let our intimate life fall a little by the wayside in favor of sleep.
As our night dragged on, the other table kept calling for the manager and driving our poor waiter crazy.... and we just kept laughing and talking and dissecting our marriage and my liking girls - which El Capitan thought was pretty funny.
At one point, I *did* get very serious and I told him that I was sorry. I told him that I didn't really understand myself, let alone be in a place where I could accept myself and that I did love him and that I never lied to him, and I never set out to lie to him - but that I was sorry.
The table was quiet for a moment and then El Capitan said, "Your being gay isn't my 'get our of jail free' card. I could have talked to you. I could have talked to you any of the times you begged me, too. I did love you, very much and I could have handled things differently and I didn't. Your being gay doesn't give me a reason to have done what I did in the way that I did it."
See.... I've been waiting to tell you that for months now. Months.
Like it or not.... at the TWO biggest times in my life - when they told us I'd never have kids - El Capitan stayed.... and yes, I realized he douched it up and got a girlfriend while we were married - BUT you *have* to give credit where credit is due and say that a lesser man would have used my new found lesbianism as *THE ULTIMATE* 'get-out-of-jail-free' card.... but El Capitan didn't.
I told him that I hoped he would support me with the children - that he would not make "gay jokes" or say negative things about gays or lesbians, and that - one day - he would fully support another woman in my life as my partner and as a co-parent. El Capitan said: "Of course."
Even after The Sign and The Blog and The Book.
That's kind of rad.
We were at Red Robin for *hours* .... literally. Laughing and talking - as we did for ten years of marriage.... we get a long *really* well.... even now. And the waiter kept coming back and towards the end of the night he came to our table and said, "I wish all the couples who came in where as fun and laid back and happy as you guys, you seem really happy together."
El Capitan and I just looked at each other and broke up laughing our f*cking asses off and El Capitan is barely able to get the words out and say's, "Man.... if you *only* knew who we were..... "
I was kind of proud of that moment, to be honest. Less than one year from the date he left us, we were able sit at a table, enjoy each other, laugh and have that *joy* be noticed by a stranger.... ALL while I'm confessing to my ex-husband of TEN YEARS that I'm a lesbian. You gotta' admit.... that's kind of crazy f*ckin' cool. So we made sure to make the manager come to *our* table so we could say how *great* out waiter was and how the other table were jerks to him. (Fast forward 4 months, that manager remembered me the next time we were in. lol)
When I got home that night The Bubbie and The Papa were pacing the floor.... turns out, they were worried that El Capitan would use my 'gay lifestyle' to go back to court and gain custody of the kids.... to which I actually laugh out loud and said that NO, El Capitan was *supportive* and there's not a court in Oregon that would take my kids away for just being a lesbian.....
Parents... what are you gonna' do, right?
One more thing..... that night El Capitan and I decided not to put my "new status" on facebook or The Blog: neither of us wanted another media storm. And a month later when I met with La Novia, I *did* tell her as well, right there at the table.... because El Capitan had not yet told her. She immediately agreed to support me (with the kids) as a lesbian and also agreed to treat any future female partner I have as an equal. But again, the three of discussed it and we mutually agreed to leave my status off The Blog for a while longer.
And that was it..... I think, after 37 years of worrying and hiding and avoiding.... I have probably the *lamest* coming out story ever.... even my own ex-husband accepted me.
I'm not gonna' lie..... that's really rad.
Mother, "scorned wife", photographer, designer, potential blog writer and recent guest on The View.... life's been pretty crazy as of late - crazybeautiful that is!
You can see some of Elle's photography at: