I had always wanted to tell my friend Tracy about my sexuality. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding (and could easily have been my maid of Honor if I didn’t love my sister so much.) I was a bridesmaid at hers as well. We hung out during our college days and told each other EVERYTHING, except this. I don’t know why I was so worried about telling her about my attraction towards women. Honestly, I don’t know if I really even owned up to it to myself, at the time. I knew I’d be safe telling her anything yet I held myself back.
After I moved back to New England I hung out with a new-found best friend, Mary. For the sake of labels she was kinda a boi/dyke. We went to gay clubs and I was the “Fag Hag” if you must, and I danced the night away. I rarely got hit on because I was playing it straight. I was too afraid to come out in a Gay Bar! Who fucking does that? Sorry, but really? I looked and silently wished someone would pull me over the rainbow. I’d pretend to put up a fuss, but not really. Anyone? Please? I wasn’t attracted to Mary, I wanted a femme, someone like me, soft and pretty and loved how women looked and felt. While she was pretty she was so strong and masculine, she was not what I was looking for.
Even though we lived far apart, I was keeping tabs with Tracy and almost told her then, that I was a lesbian. I was on the phone with her and was dying inside to tell her my truth. But I didn’t. I was so worried that if I made that leap, I could never go back and if I did, I’d be this wishy washy person who didn’t know what the hell they wanted. So I kept that part of myself firmly in the closet, which was a relief because it would been difficult to explain to her why I was marrying a man, 1 year later. She then might have asked me about being gay and then I actually might have had to been real with myself. Dear God NO!
Fast forward 7 years later…For some reason, during pregnancy, your hormones really kick in and make you crave things like you never craved them before. I didn’t want pickles and ice cream, I wanted to be with a woman in the worst way. This awakening in my body told me, “hey, this isn’t gonna go away.” Just after the birth of my first daughter, I was playing catch up with her. We hadn’t kept in touch. We both had busy lives and we lived hundreds of miles apart. I was filling her in on my life’s events and then almost told her but quickly decided it wouldn’t help anything.
So now your really getting the point of all of this I think. I knew. I knew deep inside my soul, so very long ago, who I was and I kept that from someone who loved me for the dorky, loud and fun person that I was/am. When we talk, even now, it’s like not a moment has passed. Why did I hide something so very much a part of who I am from someone who cared so much about me? This is why I had to tell her as soon as I realized my mistake. I had to get it off my chest.
So I called while she was shopping in Costco. We hadn’t talked in over 4 years. Our conversation was easy. And then the drumroll time came, so I stumbled but managed to get out “I’m pretty sure I’m at least bi, or even a bit more than that. I’m not quite sure exactly where I’m at. I just wanted you to know and wanted your thoughts.” Did she scream and hang up you ask? Do she call me a Fag? Did she ask why I never told her? The answer is no. She said she always had a feeling and then wanted to help me in any way she could. You know, like good friends do. I apologized for dropping the bomb on her while she was shopping in Costco. We laughed, talked about life and caught up. It felt so good to have her back. It felt so good to be 100 percent myself.
So if you are struggling about telling your best friend, keep this story in mind. It took me over 13 years to tell someone I considered like a sister. It wasn’t easy getting up the nerve, but it’s been so much easier after the truth comes out. Like the levy has broken and now the water flows free again. I’ve come out to my close friends, but socially I am still very much in the closet. I still have a long journey but it’s about taking those difficult steps that get you there. May you find acceptance within yourself, to reach for acceptance (not approval) from others. Take it from me, it feels good.
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