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-ex
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