If I have to be 100% honest, I would have to say that I have always held a strange fascination for women.
Watching them as I go about my day, climbing onto busses, all floaty skirts and gusts of wind, hair tumbling over eyes and smiles.
My glances mostly going unnoticed. When on the odd occasion, when instinct warned of an observer and eyes locked onto mine, I would smile in guilty acquiescence. And more often than not, my smile would be returned. And my heart would burst!
But it would be years before I locked lips with one of my own kind.
For that is still, all these years later, something that I find hard to define.
Who, or better still, what, am I?
‘Dyke’ doesn’t slip easily from my painted lips.
Nor does lesbian in its purest form, as I have a child. A daily reminder that I have lain with ‘the enemy’ and in so doing any hopes of rising in the ranks of Lesbian Hierarchy, dashed. No gold star status for me, sorry.
So where do I fit in? Not just in the world of same sex liaisons and strap- ons, but in the world I technically left behind, because when I crossed over, I got crossed out by many.
The biggest surprise to me when I came out was who left, and who was left standing.
And it was a radical shock.
I had no idea that I would be judged so severely. That the closest of the close would balk and defect.
Leaving me stunned and reeling; as a lesbian relationship was not really what I had envisioned for my life. Surreptitious looks under blackened eyelashes was about as extreme as I was ever going to get, I thought. Flying under the radar was what I had become accustomed to, not standing in the headlights of gossip, scorn or abandonment.
And all I wanted and desperately needed was to touch base with those who knew me, ‘from before.’ So that I could figure it out and process the upheaval in a constructive and joyful way, as one does in any new relationship.
When my soon to be love of my life said ‘put your hands in my pants’, I almost fainted. But I did. Feel the fear and do it, I thought, what the heck.. And I am so glad that I did.
Because love like I have experienced with this woman, cannot be compared on any level with that that I have experienced with any other. And I have loved deeply.
Over time I have made peace with those who have hurt me. Forgiveness takes balls.
I have however not really made peace with my place or my choices, yet. My comfort zone has grown, a little. My fear of being hurt or my family being hurt because of my sexual orientation is still a reality for me. My son bearing the brunt of stigma is a certainty as we live in a small town.
But still my ‘place’ seems uncertain. And it is my insecurity that dictates my instability.
Yet for all my uncertainty, I live out. And proudly so.
I stand proud to be associated with women and men who have been beaten and bloodied in the name of love. For the right to love without fear, for the right to touch without retribution or ridicule.
So perhaps I may not be able to ‘label’ myself as easily as some, but I do in fact know my place.
I know who and what I am.
A human being, 100% committed to love.