Coming out to yourself


So I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’m so caught up in my busy world that it makes it easy to lose track of who I am and what I want. I can just slide right back into mommy mode, or wife mode or good little worker bee mode. I figure if I keep plugging away I can just live like living fully really doesn’t matter. But it does.

I opened a package from a friend and in it was a gift along with a few other items. It was a book about the challenge of being a lesbian and having the Christian faith. While I am not Christian, it stood out to me like a drop of paint on a blank canvas. I gazed silently at this book, as it permeated nerves I did not know existed. I was left breathless and in awe of this definition of myself I have yet to really come to terms with. I have such anxiety and fear over something so obvious that I even named my blog with this distinction. Even then my cheeks still redden when I acknowledge this self truth. All this time I go on pretending to be OK. To be so accepting of who I am, yet I cower at the notion of it, when confronted. The idea of it, so daunting and enticing at the same time.

Even as I come out to old recently rekindled friends, I dance around my truth, but need to tell it anyway. I fear a whole truth, like saying that I might truly JUST be a lesbian, might be too much for me to bear. I also fear that putting that stamp on my forehead automatically makes me a liar if I ever meet a man I might fall in love with again.

I know you don’t HAVE to define yourself. We are all humans, and our world is a 3 dimensional, full-color-spectrum masterpiece, so why wouldn’t our sexuality be any different? I fear I have more homophobia inside me than there is in my immediate world. I’m so scared to let go of my 2 dimensional world to see what this world has in store for me. I need to come out to myself to really be able to move forward. Because as long as I lie inwardly that everything is ok as it is, the longer I live out in the darkness.

Fear can control our lives if we let it. I cannot let my fears control my life any longer. I have too much inside me to hold back. I need to be free to be who I am and live a decent, happy life. I need to no longer hold on to the fear of labels or who I should be. We are always and only our best when we are being our true selves.

I’m tired. I need a hug.

88 thoughts on “Coming out to yourself

  1. hugs you tight if that’s ok…
    Labels suck. We all use em and we all victimize ourselves and others with them. You mention “JUST” being a lesbian. We are never “JUST” anything. We are many things. And yes we need to embrace them, accept all the things we are, good, bad, and in between. Trust me, I know how difficult it is. But from what I’ve read, you have gotten a lot of acceptance. Now, can you face the biggest challenge: accepting and loving yourself?

  2. Huge bear hug coming your way. And I’ll say it again, “Holy mirrored life!” I am in exactly that spot you’re in – overwhelmed with fear, fear of the unknown, fear of what if, etc. but you hit the nail on the head with accepting you as you are. My therapist had a good one for me to ponder that may help: once you realize your wants are worth honoring, the guilt will wash away. I hope our lives continue to be mirrors and we both honor our wants and desires…and tell our truths. Big hugs!

  3. I still have more transphobia in me than I encounter outside. We take it on board when young, and everywhere was a great deal more homophobic even twenty years ago. And we take on the idea that our wants are not worth honouring. And they are.

    Hug.

  4. Yes. Indeed, yes. When I finally told my wife that I wanted to have sex with men, I thought of myself as being a Kinsey 5. I’ve been drifting on up toward 5 3/4, but I’m still afraid of committing fully to this cultural construct, BEING GAY. By creating and insisting on labels, we’ve made being our real selves very difficult. I believe that it will be worth it, though.

    • I wonder where I am on that damn scale on almost a daily basis. I applaud you and your bravery. I hope that I can find the courage to get there or become more of my own advocate so that I don’t get lost in my own world. You really are an inspiration.

  5. Great post and I would hug you twice if my arms could reach…
    Fear can be disabling.. I’ve spent a lot of my life afraid and frankly still spend way too much time in that state.
    I’ve lost friends and a best friend cause I was afraid to just be completely open and honest..
    Thanks for the great post.

  6. My heart goes out to you. If you want to become more comfortable with your identity, I suggest counseling. A good psychologist can help you become the person you want to be, and it’s actually more affordable than people think.
    Oh, and don’t let fears that people will think you’re crazy keep you from seeing one. I’ve seen shrinks on and off for years for a variety of reasons. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: the people who go to shrinks are the strongest people around, becuase they admit they have problems and want help solving them.

  7. Ultimately, you’ll be okay. This sort of process is scary, as if you’re flying into a fogbank and can’t look around at the others around yourself for some guidance. It doesn’t take self-hatred of homophobia to wonder what the hell you are becoming if it’s not anything you had prepared for. It’s fear of the unknown. So just to say it out loud:

    You’ll be okay. You’re doing fine. :-)

    *hug*

    • Thank you. I do feel a bit lost in a sea of thoughts and feelings with just a few good friends to keep my bearings and a strong will to stay the course. I really appreciate it when people affirm that I will be ok. It’s like a small beacon that flickers in the distance. It levels me out and gives me strength to move forward. Thank you.

      • I just don’t want to you feel bad about feeling bad — that starts up a nasty self-defeating spiral. In a world that doesn’t show you a lot of examples of where you’ll be in a few decades unless you are Normal™, it can be unsettling to be off the beaten path for reasons that have nothing to do with self-hatred. Homophobia is one thing, but it’s quite another to worry about where to live if you want to sign a mortgage with another woman — and all that related kind of crap, wondering just how many applecarts will be upset by this new awareness.

        It’s normal to worry, and while there may be kernels of “homophobia” lurking in your mind in a few places, don’t feel guilty or self-hating about feeling overwhelmed by worries about the unknown. You aren’t self-hating or self-phobic or anything. You’re just flying into unknown territory. Forgive yourself for sweating at the wheel a little. Take it from a middle-aged woman who is also not on the center of the sexual bell curve, you aren’t “letting down the cause” or anything by simply expressing normal human nervousness. :-)

  8. Dang girl! I’m not trying to come out/accept myself as a lesbian, but still, I’m working so hard to “come out” to myself and accept myself on so many levels…and I suppose this is truly a universal struggle in so many ways. I just told my therapist this morning that I feel like I need to “take it up a level”, like “I’m in limbo”…. I suppose the journey to be our authentic selves isn’t an easy one with all the layers to peel back…great post!

    • Finding our authentic self is something that we all struggle with. It’s easier when you’re a kid. You can see it clearer but as we get older, you start hearing the “noise” of who you are “supposed” to be and you forget to listen to what’s inside.
      I wish you well on your search for clarity. Thank you for your kind words.

  9. That’s the hardest part about being gay/lesbian: accepting it for yourself. I went through the same problem a few years back, and it both gets better and doesn’t. Eventually you’ll come to accept it, but there will always be people knocking you down and getting you deflated again. And coming from a lesbian Christian, it is a heck of a challenge, of faith or not. Just keep on, head high and stay strong. ;) You’ve got the WordPress community at your back.

  10. I think we all go through this at some point and I think the world around us contirbutes to it. I’ve been out and comfrotable with myself for years but I continually meet people who say things like “I’ve never met a lesbian before” or “Whoaaa, really?” or ‘We don’t get a lot of people like you in here” (that was at the DMV trying to change my name without a marriage certificate). Sometimes I meet people who take it in stride but then I still get a game of 20 questions regarding coming out and being a lesbian mom. It’s difficult to manage the world around us and still be proud and confident in the world inside of us. You’ll find your way. Be patient with yourself and the world.

  11. Hugs, high fives, fist bumps, and major love to you. Let’s hold each other up, shall we? I’m walking the same path and it is exhausting, terrifying, and liberating all at the same time. And yes, it is the fear—that damn, paralyzing fear!–that colors so much of what we do, say, and even more importantly, what we don’t say. Just know I’m stumbling with you.

  12. Great post, I can tell from the intelligence that you’ve exhibited with your writing that you’ll be able to overcome this fear. Don’t let labels and hate get to you – you have supportive friends and readers, they will cover your back! Keep writing and spreading knowledge of how hard it can be (and how hard it shouldn’t be) to be gay or lesbian in contemporary culture. You are inspiring.

  13. What an honest and amazing post. I feel for you. I feel sadness for the fact that we have all been inculcated with so much homophobia in all of us – that it’s an obstacle to overcome either in a) accepting what our own sexuality is or b) in loving everybody regardless of homosexual orientation. You will find your way and at some point, your turmoil will give way for you to embrace what you want to be, how you want to be and who you want to love.

    Kiran

  14. Coming out is a difficult part of todays society. Its something that every homosexual must deal with. While trying to write something productive, i stumbled upon a idea. Why not write a 5 easy steps to coming out of the closet. I think that shall be my topic for my next post.

  15. I feel the same way.
    *hugs*
    I feel also that such a strong label can be so detrimental; I would hate for people to be like “Kirsty… You know, the lesbian”, because that is such a small part of my life.
    And I feel that trying to not be this label can’t help either; it’s not who I am.
    So I just avoid questions and give elusive answers :)

  16. My best advice is to just be yourself. I’ve had girlfriends in the past. Wonderful lovers who I am still friends with to this day. Our sons are even the same age. We are best friends even though we both have husbands (she’s actually had three husbands). I love my husband dearly, and devote myself entirely to him and God. This doesn’t mean that women don’t still turn me on. In some cases, women turn me on more than men. That’s just part of sexuality. I like to think of sexuality as a color scale. On one end is deep, dark, red. On the other, the purest white. Everything in the middle is some varying shade of reds and pinks. Nobody’s sexuality sits entirely on that darkest red or purest white. To some degree, we are all sitting pretty in pink. Just be honest with yourself. Love yourself for who you are today. If you want to call yourself a “lesbian”, that’s your choice. I prefer to just be sexual. Some day, you might find someone who you truly want to spend the rest of your life with. For me, it was a man, but it could just as easily have been a woman. Regardless, be true to yourself and honest with how you feel. Nobody else needs to know your business.

    • Lol, no one needs to know except the tons that just got here from the freshly pressed page! Lol! I personally don’t think everyone is pink, there are people who are honestly red and white, but they are not as prevalent as one would believe. It’s easier to side up than to stand out. Thank you for your wisdom. Much love to you!

  17. I was totally just going to say “labels suck” and your first commenter beat me to it. I’ll say it anyway. Labels suck. But that comic is awesome! And your vulnerability and bravery at putting your struggle into words for all of us to see and understand…simply amazing. Beautiful.

  18. I do not know whether my words would help, as I am heterosexual, and do not really know in my guts what you are going through. But I can understand cerebrally. Warm hugs to you, and loads of love.

  19. I think it is truly sad to know that we live in a world where we can not be who we are…without hesitation. I applaud your blog and your strength. I think we should all work at breaking down the barriers that separate us all, as human beings.

    I wish you much peace and joy

  20. One of the hardest parts for me when I came out was accepting it myself. I had always thought I was so progressive and accepting of others. But the thought of MYSELF being gay? Why did I hold such a double standard? I feared being labelled, pigeon holed, and being treated differently. I feared being different. It took many years but I now embrace being different. We are all different in our own ways, some more obvious than others. It’s the differences that make us interesting.

  21. I watched a great commercial done by a friend for a campaign here in Germany:
    A teen girl pashing heavily with a boy outside a house of a wealthy family. She pauses, looks at the boy and tells him “I’ll tell them. Today. I promise!”

    Inside a family-after-dinner scene: A woman in a dressing gown doing her nails with a towel wrapped around her hair, another woman on the couch, reading the paper. Both women are played by very famous German actors, who both live openly in their lesbian relationships.

    Entering the girl, that just has been kissing outside. She’s shifting awkwardly from one leg to the other. She clears her throat. The woman behind the paper looks up briefly and throws a “Hi, Lovely”. The “How was your evening?” is already again mumbled from behind the paper.

    The girl composes herself, takes all her power together and addresses the two women: “Mommy, Mum?! I’m heterosexual.”

    Briefly disturbed the women look up from what they are doing. “Ah, don’t worry. It’ll go over!” says Mum and goes on to polish her nails. “Wait until there’ll be the right girl!” replies Mommy and goes on reading.

    I loved this commercial. I hate my family staring at my teenage kids wondering if they’ll come home with a same-sex or opposite sex partner one day. Why can’t things be at ease, like in this TVC? What a wonderful world this could be. No?

    • I love it! I think my mom was always worried we would be affected by my gay aunt. Actually, her fear to come out fully made me feel that if I felt I was just bi, I should just keep a lid on it. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or give them the impression I was some sort of floozy. Sad huh?

      • First time ever posting on anything on a website… I can relate to your blog. In the instance of marrying a man and being attracted to women being “bi” is a lonely place to be. Neither side really “accepts” bi sexuals as truely existing. While on one hand there is a strong desire to be with a woman and there has been my entire life, I did get married to a man and cannot pretend that I havent had/ continue to be sexually attracted to him from time to time. If I weren’t married, I honestly think i would most likely be with a woman. I would never openly admit this to anyone because most lesbians would think I was straight and just a slut, and most straight people would think I’m a lesbian (or at least, That is what I have gathered from my straight and lesbian friends over years of casual conversations) therefore I choose to keep a lid on it. Its almost as if they would think I was some sort of mythical unicorn that doesn’t exist. It’s even harder to come out and say who you are when you have a husband, young children and everything to lose but no one who believes you. I’m glad you have been able to define who you are, I can relate in being a wife and mother with the same issues on so many levels, I am afraid I
        will never be able to define who
        I am. It’s a hard position to be in.

  22. Sometimes it’s hard to just “be” when you’ve got people expecting you to act and love a certain way. In spite of what others think, you can have a kick ass life, it doesn’t matter who you love…only that you are happy with them and yourself.

  23. Hugs coming your way, with the message that it does, actually, get easier. I always knew I was lesbian, so I cannot speak to the difficulties you encounter dealing with bringing greater definition to who you actually are, and the obvious confusion engendered in others who have known you as mother, wife and worker bee. I am no fan of labels either, but I actually like the word “lesbian”. It is so, well, lesbian! :)

  24. Pretending is the most exhausting thing ever. You just have to remember that no matter how busy you are, or the situation that you may find yourself in, including the friends that you associate yourself with, through it all, be yourself. There’s no great feeling than that of being loved for who you truly are.

  25. Trying to fault gays and lesbians for standing up for their rights and feelings is backwards and unconscionable.We have no idea how powerful we actually are. We were never considered part of the general, respectable population. I am not so much angry as trying to find my own voice in the world, to find enough courage to speak up in the first place, then to go forth and use it, which both are monumental tasks and require more confidence than you’d think.

    You’ll get there !

  26. No one should ever judge you in the name of Christ, your life is between you and Him. When people do that it gives them a bad name. I don’t think people realize the impact they have on others..way to be so open! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Keep writing! You are an amazing and honest person!

  27. uncomfortable questions,
    are all feelings equally valid? what about the ones that are directly contradictory to physical and genetic realities?
    aside from the ‘moral’ or ‘religious’ context of homosexuality being abberant, what of the physical, genetic and societal aberration (as well as the health effects)?
    again, are all feelings equally valid? with intelligence and rational and reasoned thought, i would encourage you to reconsider the ‘validity’ of homosexual ‘feelings’ in light of these contexts. thanks.
    -mike

  28. Big hug! I recognise so much of this post. I think I certainly had more homophobia within me when I was first coming out, certainly no one else gave me as a hard a time as I did myself. I remember looking at the lesbian role models in the media at the time and just despairing. Things got a lot better when I moved on to just being me, which sounds simple but it still took most of my early twenties… but got there. And feel much better for it.

    Stonewall in the UK used to sell t-shirts saying ‘love your inner lesbian’, and although they were awful t-shirts it’s a pretty useful message.

    Wishing you all the best.

  29. Hugs and hugs to you. I can relate so much to your story. I am gay, but only came to accept this in my late 30′s having got married and had 3 lovely kids. But how to simply explain this. How could I tell others when I couldn’t accept or acknowledge it to myself. I needed counselling and my counsellor commented that I had so much internalised homophobia but was so accepting of gay people, wierd but seems similar to you…. Christian here too :-)

    • I’m actually not Christian, but I do have a very spiritual heart. I was always so accepting of everyone else but I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I might be gay, and if II was bi, well, I could just choose a side. Easy Peasy. Right? Wrong.
      I totally get where you’re coming from. Thank you so much for reading my blog.

  30. Congrats on a great post and on getting Freshly Pressed. The only thing that I can say is that it does get better, as trite as that might sound. My biggest regret in life is that I waited so long to come out and wasted so many years trying — really, really trying — to be someone I wasn’t. Group therapy helped a lot. I really needed to know that there were other married women out there going through the same thing. I see you have Joanne Fleisher listed as a resource on your blog. I participated in several of Joanne’s groups. She is fantastic.

    • Yeah, I love AJ. It was truly helpful in getting to know what I was looking for. I still go there but not as Honey. I’m glad that you are now on the “other side,” I hope I get to my truth soon.

  31. Pingback: But then… « Someones Complex Muse

  32. One baby step at a time right honey….
    Another shout out to AJ…
    aksjoanne.net an amazing resource where you meet very very LOVELY people..
    I don’t know where my world would be today without them…
    And i must say one thing.. Girl… it is time for another baby step. Or one of your “12 steps”… put your money where your mouth is. Cause you got this… and we all got YOU!!!!! Just sayin… ;)

  33. This is a beautiful post.

    Four years ago, I had a falling out with a friend who lashed out at me by calling me a lesbian. I couldn’t believe it. My reaction was, “Really?!?!” I wasn’t but I guess in her little teeny tiny narrow-minded brain, calling me a Lesbian was the ULTIMATE insult. Suffice it to say, we have never made amends and as far as I’m concerned we never will. She likes to judge and criticize others while hiding behind her King James Bible. I cannot allow negative hateful people, like her, to be a part of my life. I prefer to surround myself with people who maintain an open mind and accept all walks of life. I have no room in my life for haters.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :-)

  34. Enjoyed yout post. it was killer real – and I love that. I’m not a lesbian but I’m surrounded by the topic (and the inner evaluation it kicks up). My brother, my best friend from college and now my son are all gay. While I’ve by no means come to any definitive answers about anything, I cling to a few things to help me keep my sanity and perspective.
    1. Of course, I believe in kindness, compassion and equal rights for all people. Those things come with being human – there is no other criteria.
    2. The power that rules the Universe, God, Spirit – or whatever name you want to call it – is the only one who knows the right or wrong of it for sure. But I KNOW that it wouldn’t want me to turn into some cruel, judgemental jerk about it. So I try to live – and let live – believing that all will be revealed in time – if it’s ever meant to be revealed.
    3. Labels suck. I think you hit the nail on the head there. Don’t reduce yourself to just a “lesbian.” You’re so much more than that. In fact, the nature of life is change, so who knows what lies around the corner. I know you’re probably bristling at that comment right now – but it’s always just seemed strange to me that gay people are so definitive about it. It’s just one aspect of yourself (although maybe one that the world makes seem huge at times). Try not to play that game, if you can help it. It interferes with your ultimate love and respect for yourself.
    Here’s hugging you, love. No worries about this. There are plenty of other things to worry about. :)

  35. Hi Honey, I hope you’re having a good day now. :) Unless you really haven’t been online much I’m sure you’ve heard about the It Gets Better Project. I know you may not be dealing with bullying of any kind, but the true power in that project is that it shows that there are people out there who care. I think the comments on your post today are much the same.

  36. I enjoyed this: “We are all humans, and our world is a 3 dimensional, full-color-spectrum masterpiece, so why wouldn’t our sexuality be any different?”

    Absolutely. This is the problem with humans as conceptual thinkers. We simply cannot conceptualize direct experience to the point of “knowing” someone else’s perspective. We can only admit we don’t know, and be open to better understanding by listening as much as possible.

    Good article, thanks!

  37. It takes courage to be who you are when that means standing our from the crowd for whatever reason.. For many years I hid my spiritual side…the fact that I coudl communicate with the Spirit World for fear that it would jeopardize my career as a writer/editor. I am out of the closet, being myself, and loving it! Hugs to you!

    • Cheers to you! It’s hard to keep who you really are suppressed for so long. When you do finally acknowledge it, the world becomes a little more tolerable and sometimes it just opens right up for you. Thank you.

  38. Cyber Hug.
    You don’t have to admit to everyone for you to be who you are. Its your opinion that matters, Once you acknowledge it your life becomes easier. But living your life for you is what really matters, whether your straight or not its your happiness that truly matters.
    I admire your confidence to be so open about it and that is the first and biggest step that you have just taken. You should be so proud of yourself!

  39. Pingback: Inspiring Blogger Award! Spreading the Bloggy Love around the Globe. | From Dapto To Visaginas And Back Again !

  40. Pingback: Inspiring Blogger Award! Spreading the Bloggy Love around the Globe. | From Dapto To Visaginas And Back Again !

  41. Pingback: National Coming Out Day | Love and the Law

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