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I'm a Closeted Lesbian

I'm not sure how I got to this point. It's like I have two different lives--two sets of friends, two sets of stories; everything split rather unequally to fit into 'gay' and 'normal'. Not straight. Normal.


My mother is my idol, and she's the hardest-working, most beautiful woman I know. She loves holidays. She worries about me, wherever I am. She calls the family dog my 'baby brother'. She's just a wonderful person, and I love her more than I love anyone else in the world. If I came out to her, she would accept me. But...I can't put her through it. She's done so much for me. I'll probably never get married. If I have kids, it'll be with another woman--knowing my tastes, probably not the kind of woman you bring home to your mom. More than anything I wish this choice could be standardized, rote, like my life now--get good grades, go to college, get a good job, buy a house--but there's no white-picket standard for the life of a lesbian. I want her to be able to have faith that I will end up happy and in love and supported, and she can't do that if I tell her truth. The civilized world disapproves of me but she's such a kind woman...she'd struggle with trying to approve of me anyway, and I just...I'm a coward. I'm a coward for both of us.


My father is a product of his family, just like I'm a product of mine. He's not perfect, but he is there. He answers my questions, jokes with me, encourages me, and flies into terrifying rages when he thinks I've made a mistake. I love the man, but he threatened to disinherit me when I went to the wrong college. What will he do when he thinks I picked the wrong life? I know he waits for the other shoe to drop all the time--he's always afraid I'm going to do something wrong and ruin my future, and he wants to protect me from that. He thinks he does it for the best, but in reality, it just means I hide things from him. I hide anything I think could upset him, anything that will distance us, because that road is already rocky. I love my dad, and I don't want to lose him.


Last week I was doing a few shots in my friend Katie's room down the hall from me. Ryan popped his head in for a nightcap even though he's not supposed to be on the girls' floor. It seems to be a less serious transgression because he's so flamingly gay. After he left Katie leans in and explains, "I love gay guys! They're just so fabulous! You know?" And I did. "But like, I can't handle lesbians. Like, I seriously just can't do lesbians, you know?" And again, I do. At least I think I do. Gay guys are less threatening because they're effeminate. But Katie 'can't do' lesbians, because they're not fabulous. For Katie, and for many other people, lesbians are serious, strong, righteous, and above all, hypersexualized--dykes always check out her a**. But I am completely atypical of what Katie doesn't like about lesbians. What most people don't like about lesbians. I'm a pushover. I'm comfortable and extroverted with anyone, with men, women, children, teachers and classmates, salespeople, coworkers, complete strangers. I've got no bone to pick with anyone. Que sera sera. Katie 'couldn't do' lesbians...but she could 'do' me.


But I feel like this awful stereotype is a popular one. I fear it is. I don't tell my friends I'm gay--I don't want them to be afraid of me. My roommate constantly offers to set me up with guys she knows; my friends think it's weird that I'm perpetually single. I'm pretty. Okay that's a lie. I'm a bombshell. Okay that's a lie too. But I could certainly get more action than I seem to get.
On the other hand, I get discriminated against for 'looking too straight' when I'm out with the Big Lesbians Club. I don't think this has so much to do with the fact that I'm closeted, it's just how I am; I like my hair long and blonde, I like Victoria's Secret, I like painting my nails and overreacting about bugs. But it kinda sucks, you know? I never even blip on people's gaydar (more than once people have assumed I'm someone's straight-friend-tagalong at gay bars). I have to be frank with women I'm interested in, which also sucks, because I'm not frank. I remember clearly sitting outside a Starbucks downtown and staring helplessly at this truly fine sister leaving the store with her coffee. She saw me looking. She said something to the effect of 'Is there something I can do for you?' Now I'm too much of a pu**y to shoot off a 'You look nice. You work out?' but I'm just enough of a smarta** to say 'You.' She didn't know I was gay, though. She got stared at every single day. Her hair was buzzed, she was...well, let's say well-built...and she was wearing guys' cargos that fit her in a way that should be illegal. People probably stared at her everywhere she went, and I can't imagine everyone's faces were as appreciative as mine.


Thankfully for me my friend came out with her coffee just a moment after that (and my friend has brass balls) and she diffused the situation with a truly awful come-on about a laser. But that whole situation I brought upon myself. I'm not 'dykey', but that doesn't prevent me from being an out lesbian. I can wear tacky rainbow jewelry. I can put gay pride pins on my purses. I can discuss my lesbianism and compliment other lesbians without feeling like I got my hand caught in the cookie jar. I'm not exactly inexperienced here--I'm just a coward. I'm afraid of what people will think of me and say to me. I hate that I'm such a loser, but I don't know a way to make this part of myself fit without compromising everything else. If this weren't an issue, I doubt I'd place so much emphasis on my sexuality. Self-expression is tantamount to burgeoning teenage sexuality, but I've never wanted to bring my girlfriends home or decorate my room with pictures of lesbian singers, or flirt with every dyke that catches my eye. But I'm a lesbian. And I feel like I should be doing things like that to proclaim my gayness, and because I'm not, I'm a bad lesbian.
Like I said, I'm not sure how I got to this point. And I'm really not sure what I do now that I'm here.

*Thank you to everyone who's commented. I know a lot of comments advocate just coming out to everyone and letting the chips fall where they may, and believe me, I've thought about it. I've heard it before. A lot of girls from the BLC tell me if my friends and family really care about me, they'll get over it and accept me for who I am. I just can't shake the cynicism that this isn't a movie or a sitcom on the Disney Channel...my mother, my father, my roommates...they're the most important people in my life, but they're still just people. And people make mistakes, all the time. Fathers are not infallible. Mothers are not all-knowing. Friends like you for you, for how you seem, for what you are, not who you are underneath. I can't knowingly throw myself to the wind, I can't let go of one vine before I have another in hand. I need a place to live, I need somewhere to go for the holidays, I need people to hug, I need roots. I need these people. A clean break is not an option here. I guess I have to figure out how to muddle through, despite how unglamorous and unheroic it may seem. And I guess, underneath, that's the problem here. Thank you again, everyone

~

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Harpertrap Harpertrap 18-21, F 163 Responses Dec 28, 2007

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I can't believe how much i relate to your story, thank you for sharing. Your family sounds so loving, but of course that never means they'll react that loving about this. I completely understand, mine is the same and what i came to decide is to wait until i'm independent. Maybe then i can tell them and if it doesn't turn out well at least i won't be on the streets wandering on my own with no money. It's a cold way to figure this out, but i can't think on anything else :/ best wishes for you :)

hi therehi supp? I m a gujju Jain GAY guy from vile parle -Mumbai .. well settled in lyf ...I have done my mba and now working in my own family business ... I m looking for a lesbian girl to be friends with and if we like and understand each other then we can look at getting married for our convinience Please do revert
i am also available at
newrshah@gmail.com

Well written.... i think you revealed your personality just by writing this.... and i must say i really like it... very interesting.... good writing skills by the way... =)

If this is about you having trouble with showing you're gay then the only sure fire way to get it out is to say "I'm gay".

But also if you can't seem to do lesbians then maybe you need to try some exercises in the mirror. Try dressing like these dykes and practicing talking to yourself in the mirror.

Sounds like good advice Harpertrap. I would accept what ever my daughter told me about her personal preferences but at your age I would not expect her to tell me everything. I don't need to know everything. Part of being an effective parent is knowing when to let go. The longer your parents cling to the illusion of control the more they will suffer. It is not your fault. There is probably nothing you can do about it.

It sounds like your parents really love you and care about your future and what you will grow up to be someday. They are trying their best to nurture and guide you in a direction in life that they think will make you happy. More parents should take that level of interest in raising their children. That said, your circle of life is your parents, their friends and your friends at school. It would be a tremendous challenge with much stress on you, your friends, school, and your family to "announce" now that you are a lesbian. Their is more to life, especially at your age, than focusing your life around your sexual orientation. There is school, hopefully college and many decades of living and enjoying life as you want to be when you are on your own. When you are on your own, you will find as time goes by that you develop new circles of friends and relationships. You will have a choice as to whom is in your circle of friends. When the time is right to tell your parents, then you only have two loved ones who have to adjust your to chosen sexual preference (not the whole school and all your current friends). Be patient, when you are an official adult, and making your own decisions in life, your parents will adjust, as you are their daughter. And at that time, you will have a new circle of friends in the future to lean on for support and understanding -- and your coming out will be much less stressful than it would be now in your life. But only you know how much pressure you can take, how strong you are to be able to announce to the world that you are a lesbian. Be patient. If you wait a few years after school, it probably will be a much less stressful event, you will be a stronger more together person, and have a better idea as to who you are in life. When you give the air of complete confidence that you know who you are sexually, your parents will be less likely to try and retrain you to their ideal daughter, as you will already be grownup.

your story made me tear up, its absolutely beautiful, your feelings are so true and so real. I am exactly where you are and I don't know what to do about it. I want to tell my parents so badly but I feel like that will be a mistake because maybe its possible... that I'm not gay. I keep kidding myself by saying that. Being with a woman feels so right, I finally feel like I understand myself but what good is that if I cant be myself in my every day life? Thank you so much for sharing your story. I've been searching for someone I can relate to and I finally feel like i'm not alone.

never been able to relate to anything more in my life, thank you for posting this. Drop me a mail we can talk.

It isn't quite such a black and white choice as people make out. There are lots of ways you can do this much more gradually. Build up trust with people in your 'normal' life (straight people) first. Make sure you feel that your relationship is at the stage where you can trust them not to tell, and then see if they treat you differently. Once you feel comfortable, move on to someone else, and build up to telling your roommates gradually, or after you have moved out. And yeah, it's **** that you feel you have to keep quiet, but the fact that you shouldn't have to feel like that doesn't change the fact that right now you do. That isn't your fault, and it doesn't make you a loser. It's just that most people are ignorant, and need educating.

Just f@8£ck of no one cares about your problem

If you don't agree to her post?? Then don't ******* go writing a negative remark!! It's not needed!! Is her life and she can express whatever she feels!!

I think it's frustrating that most of the Western world thinks people should have to "come out" or announce they are LGBT. Heterosexuals don't have to announce they are straight... I should know because I'm straight. It just seems so unfair and unequal that there needs to be a time where this announcement is necessary.

It's not necessary imo... I've been the person whom people have "come out" to & it's awesome that I was trusted but at the same time it hurts my heart because I feel it wasn't needed.


There's nothing wrong with being LGBT! And the fact that this person feared they would be judged just makes me so angry.

:/

Hang in there:)

wow. thank you. I'm not alone.

I was moved by your story Harpertrap. When I was a regular church goer some young females at church 'came out' to the community and were treated horribly by the rumor mill. That is not at all 'Christ like' in my opinion. As a consequence I no longer attend that church. It certainly sorted them out and did me more good than a hundred pious sermons. I miss it though. They weren't all like that. Some are honest and have a heart of gold but the few spoil it for the many. I understand your desire to maintain a 'normal' appearance. The choice between living a lie and facing how narrow minded people are can be costly and painful. I think it made me stronger. I still have hope and faith for the future but many of those people were not the friends I thought they were. I suppose I found 'the treasure buried in the field' but I found an awful lot of trash too. Maybe I should not judge. The treasure is still real even if the friends were not.

You write a good, true, honest story. Thank you.

Don't worry, you are NOT the only one in the closet and afraid. I've been, let's just say, different for a while now, but I'm afraid of what the family will say. They'll probably tell me it's just another phase I'm going through, but I am most certain it is not. I'm not exactly lesbian, but I'm not exactly straight, which just so happens to be the type of person my parents tend to ridicule the most. I'm attracted to tomboyish girls because, like you, I'm quite the girly girl, and no matter how many conversations I have with people, they never take me seriously. Sometimes I wish that I could just have a big stamp on my forehead saying "I'm Bi"

Yupe i been there but i was also scare to lose my best friend and scare to be treated diff. By a best friend ,i told her i was lesbian then she look at me and said it waz fine and that we are still people no matter wat no word will change who you are and excepted me who i waz but now we are closer than ever :)

I know the struggle, coming from a religious family who can't even understand my lack of faith and threatened to disown me for it.

On the other hand, the first person I ever told that I had a crush on was my best friend. I'd been struggling with my feelings for her for months, and I was so afraid she'd be repulsed by me or act different or weird.
So I brought it up slowly, asked her what she thought about gay rights and things..told her how people used to ask me if I was gay because I looked/acted/walked/talked like a typical lesbian.

And then one night I told her. Granted it was 2AM, I was exhausted and I'd been crying/running in the snow/smoking all night and I was just done with being afraid so I told her.

And she took it so incredibly well, we're closer than ever now and I KNOW that's the ideal situation (after her professing mutual attraction of course ;)) but it was so empowering and just an overall euphoric experience. Just knowing someone knows this secret of yours that you're so ashamed of [and let's be real, we're all kind of ashamed of it. If only because we assume people will treat us differently because of it.].

So that's my advice. Good luck love!

Your story is quite moving...I certainly empathize with your feelings about coming out to your friends and family. My family is very religious. When I told my grandmother that I don't identify as a Christian, I thought she was going to experience a traumatic brain event. However, she came to accept my decision and continued to be very loving and supportive. Also, I have, due to my political beliefs, received some rather hateful responses on FB. Returning to the issue at hand, many of my friends have lost their families and have experienced discrimination from both the LGBT community as well as the "straight" community. I humbly request you check out my profile, DarkWillow92. I am currently conducting research on discrimination--as it relates to structural and direct violence--and would very much appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. I know it must be very difficult to find yourself in the position you describe above. The 'civilized' world you mention does not seem so civil at times, yeah? Take care of yourself. You deserve to be happy.

Try not to think too much.Just fucus on the one you want love. Centre your thoughts on career, purpose and objectives in this world. Always you will find yourself being attracted to others and they you, but you must be in control of your life if you wish to progress. LOL. Willomeana.Please vist my profile.

oh men were in the same boat.. it sucks right... being a coward, afraid that everyone will turn they're back on you once you came out of the closet..sometimes i just want to explode for keeping this secret identity all by myself..

Harpertrap,

I dated a girl that was a closet gay. At the very beginning of dating I didn't put things together because we were still getting to know each other. I begin to notice little things that might hint she might be gay and I just ignored it. I became more attached and she became more annoyed. For the last year we fought every other day. We have broken up and got back together so many times that it isn't even funny. I think that we both suffered in are relationship due to the fact that I was deeply attracted to her and she didn't have the courage to tell me the truth. I wish she had told me early on that she struggled with her sexuality. It would have been better than the last year that we spent going back and forth with each other. I tried asking her if she had any interest in other girl but she always denied it. You owe it to yourself to do what makes you happy. I just wish I was enough of a friend to the girl that I dated that I would have never judged her for doing what makes her happy

I just want to start this off by saying that this is beautifully written. Sorry, I couldn't help but think that the first time I read it. The second thing.. I can't say I completely understand, but I do get what you're saying. We live in a society that cannot recognize the term 'lesbian' naturally, and I don't think we ever can with all those stereotypes. It can't be helped..
If only.

It is hard. Before I came out to my family about being bisexual I use to think like you too. Then came depression, anxiety, low self esteem and I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to get rid o this, tell the people I love. I couldn't protect them any longer because if I did for another day then I was going to explode and harm myself. Love mom and dad, but I had to live own life too. They lived theirs already; now it's my turn to live mine. Our parents did things that our grandparents didn't approve off either so I'm not the only one to disappoint my parents. Can live a lie anymore, if I fall inlove with another woman I will fight for her and no it is not a choice because I don't choose what I feel. And so do you. My friend, I encourage you to stop living by what others might say or think, don't be afraid. Other already think you are weird by not dating so minus well. Only you know how you feel and I hope one day you'll have that inner peace that I found when I became honest.

lostandconfused16sej,
That is Dangerous Ground on which you wish to tread!! If you attempt to pursue your Best Friend then you not only risk losing your Best Friend, and they are Difficult to come by, but also you cannot go after your Friend. There is a term for that. It is called a "Home-wrecker!!" It would appear that the two of them are very Happy together, and deep down, ask yourself How you would feel if you infringed upon that Happiness?? I think you know that is not right. You are just desperate for Love, and you already have established a close relationship with your Friend so, you Trust Her and Love Her, foundations for a relationship. But, She is UNAVAILABLE!! Not to mention the possibility of you having to face Her Girlfriend's wrath, if your Friend went along with the whole idea. No. Don't pursue this. It spells Disaster!! I'm sure that you are a Lovely Person, and, there are alot of other Lovely Women out there. Your Lesbianism you need to Embrace. However, these other feelings you have Must remain Closeted!! You are latching on to your Friend because She is close and Familiar and again, Trust is there!! Deny this and keep a good Friend. And, be patient, Love will find You, when You are not even Looking for it. And, with any Luck, it will be someone who will make your dreams come true!! You'll find someone. We are "Good and Plenty!!" By the way, I am an older Lesbian so, the advice I've given you is based on personal experience!! I have made alot of mistakes, along the way that Have Blown up in My Face!! Good Luck to You. "Good things come to those who wait." Keep your chin up!! Take Care.

Your story breaks my heart. Your life was mine for a long time. But it will be okay. It's always ok in the end.
You are probably on the other side of the world but if you ever need someone to chat to, I've been there.

It was nice to read "I like my hair long and blonde, I like Victoria's Secret, I like painting my nails and overreacting about bugs" because i was beginning to think i was weird. I'm 15 so still figuring out my feelings whether I'm Bisexual or Lesbian but reading things like this makes me seems less alone. I don't want to tell anyone yet, i need to figure it out but i now know it's not just me who isn't the stereotype of a lesbian!

I think I understand, there are all these people saying that if your family and friends care, they'll accept you, but you doubt that life is that easy, right? Something like that..

Anyways, I'm in a similar predicament and I wish you the best :) I hope you'll find what you're looking for

I'm 21 and in the same trap, except in Ireland. Smaller place, and smaller mindset perhaps. Thank you for this!

I'm 19, lesbian, hubby has no clue that mommy seduced me. Liked it became lez, love "closet", dark, secret and very forbidden!! That's how I like it!"