Sunday, July 4, 2010

Answering Friday's Question: Have I Always Been Gay

I have been enjoying your blog, but i have questions! You can tell me its none of my business and thats cool, but if u want to share, that would be good too. First of all, and i know this is probaly an annoying question, but the only way i can get it is to ask. Have u always been gay, was it something u knew, but decided you couldnt face and thought u could marry and leave behind? Or is it something that u began feeling later? I see so many people marry, have kids, divorce, then come out, but am never sure what that means. I am sure it is different for everyone, but for you, how did it happen? 
~Just Curious
 Dear Curious,

I actually have been asked this before, and I'm not annoyed that you asked.   I understand the curiosity.  I'll do my best to explain my situation, as best as *I* understand it (but I think I'm still learning too).  I can't answer of course for the other people that you wrote about though.  Each situation is different.

You asked if I've always been gay.  Yes.  I believe I was made this way. (Made perfectly this way!)  Did I always know... well, I didn't know what it was called.  I knew that I really enjoyed what happened with my friend and I during my second grade sleepover; and I fell in love with my best friend when I was 12 and we slept together for almost 2 years... I knew that in high school my heart was always tied to women and girls that I spent my time with.  I did date boys.  But it was more like I did so because I could.  I

I wanted to see if maybe I wasn't dating the right boy.  Or spending the right "time" with the right boy.  In essence I was trying to chose not to be who I really was.  Because when I would go back to spending time with the girls I loved, my heart would be harder and faster, my belly would be tied in knots...  I didn't have the same physiologic reactions like that with the boys.

I fell in love with a woman while dating a man and I was only a kid myself... then found out I was pregnant... and that my lover was leaving.  I told the man I was pregnant and I chose to get married and start a family.

It wasn't horrible.  We were friends.  I loved him.  I thought that the feelings I had for women might go away, or might not... but what I was so certain of at that time... was that I would never be able to act on those feelings again.  I would focus on my family I was raising.  My heart ached for the woman that left my life, and I was afraid to feel that kind of love again.  So I really thought it was better this way.  I never loved my husband like that anyway.  However, the feelings never went away.

Twelve some years and five kids later... (in the middle of all of that, of course, there is a lot I'm leaving out - this is the Digested version) I "decided" I could not live lying to myself anymore.  It was affecting my entire life.  If I hadn't been gay, I might have even gotten divorced anyway, though I might have waited for better timing.  You see, as with any marriage there were extenuating circumstances as well.

So I think that's where "choice" and "deciding" were relevant in my life.  I "chose" to attempt to deny my sexual identity for many years by living as a straight woman in a heterosexual marriage.  I "decided" to live authentically and because I wanted to love myself first and foremost... I began that process by releasing my husband of the lie of our marriage.

It's all so complex.  This is just basically the tip of it.  My truest friends know more and more of me... Some know more about me than even I know.  What is so great, is that this last year... feels like my FIRST YEAR being me.  I feel so brand new.  Being brand new can be fun and exciting... but it can be really super hard and painful.  Being brand new means I make mistakes.  I've hurt people.  I've disappointed others.  Being brand new means I'm growing.

I hope I didn't confuse you more.



Anonymous said...

Kudos on your bravery!

I have a question. How did you reach your current custody arrangement?

Elle said...

Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been out of town (hopefully a new blog post will be coming soon).

Originally, the children's "residential" custody was with me and the visitation days were the same as they are today just flopped his for mine. A few months into the arrangement it became obvious that wasn't working, and they needed to be back "home"... so we "flopped" the arrangement. The days are the same in number. I just get them on the weekends (the days traditionally reserved for the divorced father).

This change in living arrangements seems to have made a huge difference in their happiness. They are back in their "home" during their school week.