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In Depth or in Distraction => Chilled, Mature and Deep => Topic started by: Suze on Apr 14, 2007, 05:47:53 PM

Title: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 14, 2007, 05:47:53 PM
I thought I'd start this as a possible thread for the archives, as I see another newbie arrive who might benefit from a collection of our stories .. so you are all invited to tell us what you want about your own journey to queerness of whatever colour ....

I'll start!

I have been with my current partner B for a little over 14 years ... I'm 48 now and spent the previous 30 years in a sort of denial about my feelings. .. enough to mean that I got married when I was a scant 21 (still at uni, ffs!)

he was a decent bloke, quite feminine as it happens and I found it a reasonable life .. but I also knew that part of me wasn't quite right with it, and knew that I had strong sexual attraction to certain women .. and had felt this since puberty, really .

I dunno if I would have acted on these feelings if it hadn't ben for meeting B ..  alos a married woman

we worked together and gradually got to be better and better friends, spending hours together after work and at weekends whenever we could, until one time we went away with a few other women in our "reading group" and ended up sharing our bed ...  I know I'd harboured fantasies about her for a while, and she said she'd felt the same ..

from there we acted really quickly cos B said she "wouldn't have an affair" and I said I "wouldn't let her get away" .. so we both told our husbands within the week that our marriages were over and we've been together ever since ... this is far and away best thing that ever happened to me

I now think I'd never want to share my life with a man again .. tho I guess part of me recognises that the "individual" matters more to me than their sex .. I have observed a lot of men, and husbands in particular over the years and really prefer a wife!



I'm open to questions, comments etc or ppl can just post their own stories and hopefully it will grow to a lovely, useful thread
 :-*



Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: delilah on Apr 14, 2007, 08:32:42 PM
This is a good idea.  :)

Alright. The first time I remember having a 'gay' thought was in 1st year at high school. The new girl was sitting at the desk in front of me and I caught myself thinking about how lovely her huge hips and little waist were. I told myself I wasn't supposed to be thinking about girls like that and promptly forgot about it until I was 15 and had a crush on another girl.

I decided I was bisexual - goodness knows why as I'd never fancied a boy. I suppose it was easier to accept that despite liking girls, there was still a chance of a 'normal' life.

I went out with my first girlfriend when I was 17 and it didn't end too well. Then I went out on the gay scene in Edinburgh, hated it, and totally abandoned it to concentrate on the local music scene instead. I met a guy there who I was drawn to personality wise, and although I didn't fancy him I convinced myself that what's inside was what counted and we got together.

5 months later (after splitting up and getting back together twice because the relationship didn't feel right) I accidentally got pregnant.

We split up when our son was almost two.

After that I dated another man (having completely failed to learn anything from the previous relationship). Again, I liked him very much but didn't fancy him. I'd heard straight women say that about their partners too, and I honestly thought it was normal. Cracks again started to show fairly quickly. We split up.

By this time I was happily enjoying a rock star crush on Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls. I was sitting drinking wine in front of the computer one night watching Dolls videos on YouTube when it suddenly hit me - if this amazing woman was my girlfriend, I'd be nothing but proud. If any woman that amazing was with me, I'd be nothing but proud. Being a lesbian wasn't a scary concept anymore, the world was not about to come to an end; it was just a word for me with someone I was proud to be with, with someone I truly loved.

Well.

Everything fell into place rather like a ton of bricks after that, each with 'Duh' written on them. It was such a relief.

I'm still friends with both my male ex's, and they've been incredibly supportive.  :)

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Dottie on Apr 14, 2007, 09:01:30 PM
I'm so glad this thread has been reincarnated !

I married at 17 and had three children and 6 grandchildren before I realized what my husband had meant by me being "a bit funny"!  Prior to my marriage, I had a brief encounter with a girl but then I somehow shut her out of my mind because marrying a man in the 1960s was the norm - I had never even heard of anyone being gay !

Then 30+ years later, I simply fell in love with another woman and my feelings were too strong to ignore.  My attraction to women, which had been suppressed for so long felt completely and utterly natural.  So, coming out to myself was most enlightening - and scary !  I told my best friend first and it turned out she was not at all surprised.  She supported me 100% through what was to become the most turbulent change to my life.

I couldn't live a lie and so I left my marriage to strike out on my own 4 years ago. I subsequently went to a counsellor for a short period who put me in touch with GB -hence I started the "married for many years" thread which unfortunately got lost when the Archive threads were started.  I had no idea at that time just how many other lesbians were in the same boat as me and the stories that unfolded helped me immensely.  

I feel at home on these boards and I've met and e-mailed some lovely people who frequent GB !

I hope this thread goes on and on and gets firmly superglued in the Archives !

Dottie xx



Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Namaste on Apr 15, 2007, 01:36:59 AM
I never really was a 'little girl'... I went to cubs then scouts, I climbed trees, I pretended to shave in the bath and played kiss chase with other women. I always used to kiss female friends too...

I got bullied a lot because of learning difficulties and because my Dad left us and we were hard up, so naturally in high school I really wanted to fit in. I always felt like I wanted to kiss female friends though, I watched my lady friends far more attentively and noticed women's breasts A LOT. But then at the same time I had depression and didn't start dating until I left school. My music teacher was FIT.

Anyway, at sixteen I still had the whole pretty-girl-talks-to-me-and-I-blush things going on, I never had any gay friends before, I couldn't figure it out and it scared te shit outta me. I had two boyfriends, then went in to hospital because I was so depressed... Aged eighteen, I kinda came out to my ex boyfriend, I came out as 'bisexual' because I had had crushes on boys before, if that makes sense. I wanted attention off men because other girls got it and it made me feel liked. Had two more boyfriends, but relationships never got far... I disliked the physical aspect, it felt cold (if that makes any sense).

I worked in a pub where I heard a lot of homophobic things said by customers, so again I slinked away if I ever saw a woman I liked. The fact is, growing up I knew a pretty girl could make me dizzy and blush and happy, boys? I felt a duty to like them and admittedly I've hurt people in the past because of this, I'm nt proud of that.

Likng girls made me suicidal because it was not something I ever had control over... I only ever started to question my sexuality properly around nineteen or twenty when I met Sam through a Pagan meeting. But my moods were all over the place and ths only confused me more... Enough of boring teenage crap...

At twenty one I went to university and found out what myspace was and joined. I had already been to LGBT a few times (privately, not telling anyone) and found a profile of a rather attractive, but slightly eccentric young woman. We got talking and yeah... I really liked her. I thought about her a lot, I was away from home and kinda... Well, she went home. But we affirmed how we felt and stuff. *sigh*

I travelled with another gay woman and eventually, I came out to her. The fact was that it was driving me crazy... Got sick of living a lie, got sick of trying to be girly and not being me. I didn't give a toss anymore and joined Gingerbeer after which I told my friends.

Uhmm... Nobody was really very surprised. LOL

And recently I told my Mum, but I don't think she wants to believe it, or is comfortable with it. I think she thinks that I went with the exchange student because I was scared boys will hurt me and that women make me feel safe. I really don't know... All I know is what I feel and I've finally committed to stop trying to be what I think other people want me to be.

I am still adjusting and learning about myself... This is natural I guess... I'm glad I have supportive mates too. I have a lot to learn though and maybe, I'll have a nice lady to share my world with (with big tits I hope lo jk!). I don't "identify" as "gay", but as "queer" and I hate being called a "lesbian" maybe because I'm not used to it, or because it scares me, I dunno. I really hate labels and I would say that I am 95% in to women, 5% in to guys so I guess technically I am "bisexual" or whatever stupid label people wanna slap on me.

I'm slowly becoming more confident with myself and since my image change I am for some reason getting chatted up sometimes. I would still be a bit nervous to date a woman properly (though I would have dated the American) because I don't really have loads of experience with women and I'm aware that it'd put a lot of women off that a newbie like me would wanna be with them and am scared I'd be a shit shag, or a crap girlfriend... But then my self-esteem is improving all the time so who knows eh?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Mosaic on Apr 15, 2007, 08:23:59 AM
I thought through a process of elimination that I might be a lesbian when I was 25 (12 years ago).  I'd come out of a 2 year relationship with a close male friend (known him since I was 16), I suffered from low libido - it was a hypothetical thing though as I'd never at the time knowingly been in love with another woman (looking back, I clearly had though!).

I contacted the Gay & Lesbian Switchboard who put me in contact with my local rep who happened to be my old PE teacher.....I ran a mile though as she recognised my name - and therefore knew my mum, dad and sister who'd also all been involved in the school in various ways.  And I had nowhere else to take this info as I was terrified of what it might mean.  When I'd contacted the Switchboard, I'd wanted to stay anonymous.  This was the 80s, my home town is very nice as are my parents...but very middle class and, well, lesbian role models simply aren't on the radar in any way, shape or form - hence I had no reference points for it or anywhere/anyone to come out to.  I told 2 friends about my "I thought I might be a lesbian but I'm not...." - my best female friend and another good male friend who later became my husband!

I got married and genuinely didn't think about being a lesbian again.  I assumed I was straight.  Similar to other people here - all my boyfriends always had a strong feminine and nurturing side.  I was with my ex hubby for 10 mostly happy years and we had a daughter.

Then, through work, I met a woman who I became instantly so close to....I couldn't make head nor tail of what was going on until I took the labels off....and realised that I was in love with her.  She was already in a committed relationship with another woman.  She loved me too.  I left my husband for her within a month as I didn't want to have an affair either.  For various reasons, she didn't leave her gf until the following year.  Unfortunately, we're not together now.

Coming out to myself was truly liberating for me and totally agonising for all my loved ones.  I left my marriage, broke up my family unit, caused pain to my parents......but I also had to recognise that some of this pain was other people's stuff.  I was trying to be the main bread winner, support my ex hubby (he was very supportive from Day 1 and, for the first few months, we stood together when everyone else was throwing their emotional stuff at us), be there as a mum, run a household and cope with the fact that the woman I loved couldn't be with me there and then.  Not surprisingly, I had a breakdown due to total exhaustion (throw into the mix moving away from the area, another relationship that didn't work out.....you get the picture).  Very traumatic and exhausting for the 12-18 months.

Things have moved on since then.  Life is hectic and often hard, but no longer traumatic or emotionally difficult.  I'm a single parent, my ex hubby has been with his new gf for ovr a year and tings are generally amicable between us.  I'm happy with my lesbian identity and have made some lovely dyke friends.  I've got a new gf, also a single parent, who's very grounded, laidback and all round lovely.  My parents couldn't be more supportive and my old friends have been totally accepting.  I'm glad I came out at 34 rather than earlier as I've had teh chance to live as both a straight woman and a dyke.  And I feel like I'm truly myself - I have the same sense of inner joy that I had in my early 20s before I had any serious relationships.  I'm less flighty and feel grounded.

*Update - June 08 - Married my gf (Rainbows) in Dec 2007 and soon to move to Somerset with our 2 chidlren to start family life together properly.*

**Update - July 09 - still very happy with Rainbows and loving Somerset - we've been here for over a year now.**

***Update - Jan 2015 - now converted our CP to a marriage!  Yay!***
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 15, 2007, 09:09:18 AM
Gosh - what a privilege to read these stories .. you all write in such interesting ways .. thank-you!

The FEAR of being gay seems to run through these personal histories in one way or another. 

What I missed out of my first post was my own totally unsuitable affair with a totally unsuitable women in my 20s which led me to agnonising questions and uncertainty and thus to the Intensive Care Ward where it was touch and go if I'd recover from my suicide atempt  ..

Luckily I did pull through, obviously! But later, when I came out in my relationship with B I was VERY out and VERY proud cos living a lie had nearly killed me, and I wasn'tgoing to hide myself again ..

That is why I'm totally out in my role as a teacher .. as mosaic says there are not many middle-class every day role models of lesbians around, and even in these more liberated times  I still meet young ppl who are agonised by their own fear and homophobia .. which blights them as much as it ever did us ...   

It might seem like it's easier to be gay these days, and certainly the net allows us to meet and chat in a way that is very open and helpful, but each person has to travel their own path, and for many youngsters that path is still a tough one ... conforming is still highly prized !
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: lewl on Apr 15, 2007, 10:22:29 AM
I've really enjoyed reading these. You all write very well. :)

I'm not really out, except to two people and internet people.

You know, my being a lesbian is about far more than sexual attraction to women (in fact, what worries me is that sexual attraction plays a very minor, if not completely non-existent role in my crushes). I've never had a 'lightbulb moment' which comes after realising you want to get into a woman's pants.

My crushes have always been more about emotional infatuations. And these crushes have always been on women. But it's never been like 'oh, she's so hot', etc. It's more like, 'I wish I could spend time in her office talking to her or just cuddling with her or doing something. I don't really know what I'd like to do - just be with the object of my affection, I suppose.

When I have a conversation with a female whose personality I find lovely, I naturally start to flirt with her, or at least want to. This emotional attraction only happens with females, even though I like men as people too, but I just don't seem to ever have the thought 'I'd like him to my boyfriend', as I'm sure other girls my age would have with a boy.

The realisation that I was a lesbian was a gradual one. In hindsight, I had a crush on my Grade 1 teacher. I definitely had a thing for teachers throughout school, and now have a thing for lecturers. The innocence of the nature of my crushes has not changed since I was 6, although my taste in women has. :)

To be honest, I think I'm a lot more asexual than the average person. For a while I thought I may be completely asexual, because I fancied neither boys my age, nor girls my age. I also never understood how someone could fancy a person (male or female) in a magazine, for example. I still do not understand the way people can have crushes based purely on looks. But I think I just have very, very, specific taste. I solely fancy people over about 30ish. I just don't see people my age as potential partners at all, or even as beings I can connect with. I don't know why. But it's definitely women I like as opposed to men.

I'm definitely ready to come out a bit more, maybe even get a real live girlfriend (gasp). I joined the group for lesbians/gay men/bisexuals at my university, but have yet to go to a meeting (I'm lazy and just feel like going home on a Friday afternoon most times). I haven't really 'got out' there into the gay scene because I think I always lived for the future. But I'm lucky now that I have a lot of independence and would be able to go to, say, a gay club on a Saturday night because I have my license, so I could explore my homosexuality without having to come out completely to my family first.

The reason I have not yet come out is not that I am ashamed or fear rejection from my family, but rather because, at the moment, I don't really feel it affects anything. I would come out if I was in a very serious relationship. But even then, I prefer not to share too much of myself with my family because it tends to lead to my being hurt, so this is just another part of me which I would like to keep safe for a while.


Lol, the end.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 15, 2007, 11:12:47 AM
There are some books on this topic a well:
Lesbian Epiphanies (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lesbian-Epiphanies-Coming-Haworth-Studies/dp/1560239646/ref=sr_1_35/203-1989564-4835126?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176628118&sr=1-35)
is especially about older women - tho it's American and I've not read it

Redefining The Self (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redefining-Self-Coming-Out-Lesbian/dp/074561129X/ref=sr_1_16/203-1989564-4835126?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176628660&sr=1-16)
 looks interesting, albeit a bit academic and not cheap at £18.

  Out of the Past (http://www.libertas.co.uk/default-mainmenu-44-mptid-0-ptid-248-detail-41478.htm)
Is a more general history but something I felt I wantedwhen I first came out, to get a sense of the past and the meaning of queerness to queer ppl  (as opposed to the Daily Mail etc)

There are a couple of books on  my bookshelf that I really "rated" but cannot find just this minute and trawling in Amazon and Libertas (http://www.libertas.co.uk/)
has drawn a blank  :(

I'll keep looking and would like it if others posted links to titles they can really recommend and/or coment on too
xx

right, I just found this one that I really love, it's got 19 different stories of lesbian life since the 1920s ..
 Women Like Us (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Women-Like-Us-Suzanne-Neild/dp/0704342855/ref=sr_1_1/026-9249914-1012443?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176724742&sr=1-1)

and this one which I have also read several times and recommend for lesbian history
Not a Passing Phase (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Passing-Phase-Reclaiming-Lesbians/dp/0704341751/ref=sr_1_3/026-9249914-1012443?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176725052&sr=1-3)

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: millicent on Apr 15, 2007, 11:16:26 AM
Lewl,
I can relate to a lot of things in your post, particularly this bit:

You know, my being a lesbian is about far more than sexual attraction to women (in fact, what worries me is that sexual attraction plays a very minor, if not completely non-existent role in my crushes). I've never had a 'lightbulb moment' which comes after realising you want to get into a woman's pants.

I felt like that when I was your age.
I wouldn't worry - maybe you just haven't had your light bulb moment yet.

Like you, I've had crushes on women ever since I can remember. (I adored my Kindergarten auntie. I used to follow her around and I was heartbroken when she left to have a baby.)

I had a boyfriend when I was 14 (because everybody else did), but I really didn't see what the fuss was about.
I remember writing in my diary that the only difference between my boyfriend and my other male friends was that he got to touch my breasts and kiss me and the others didn't. (Neither of which I particularly enjoyed - it wasn't repulsive as such, but not something I'd actively seek more of.) And that the rule that he was allowed to do that and others weren't felt fairly arbitrary.

(Ironically, looking back, he was probably the girliest person I've ever gone out with. He came out as gay shortly after we split up.)

When I was 16 I fell in love with a girl in my class, but still I wasn't sure if I wanted to be with her (and do what exactly?) or if I just wanted to be her.
Nothing came of it, and I never told her.

It may sound cheesy, (not that I care if it does) - I had my 'light bulb moment' when my girlfriend kissed me for the first time - I was 20. (After weeks of angst and indecision in broad daylight in a park in Weimar amongst lots of families having their picnics.)
After that I did understand what the fuss was about. I remember feeling incredibly relieved.

I haven't looked back since.
(That's the abridged version.)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: RedSky on Apr 15, 2007, 12:06:35 PM
From the age 12 I was safely locked away in an English girls only boardings school. My parents thought it would knock my boyish behaviour out of me and I will agree, I learned a lot more about women!  ;D I met my first girlfriend there at the age of 15 and at the time everyone thought it was a girly crush.

After 16 I went to college and dated boys. I kept wondering why the boys I was dating weren't as nice as all these wonderful female friends I had. I also wondered why my female friends were so intent on dating such idiots!

At 19 I made friends with some gay men I met at college and they took me to the local gay disco. Suddenly everything started to fall into place. My Girlfriend from school came to stay and we started living together, but we didn't really mix with other similar women. We considered ourselves to be bisexual at the time, mainly because we felt we didn't fit with the 'image of a lesbian'. We actually enjoyed the company of men and believed that lesbians tried to exclude men from their lives and neither did we 'dress, think or behave like lesbians'.  ::)

At 21 my Girlfriend left to go to university in the USA on her (American)parents insistance. She went on to live a 'straight' life after that, but we are still friends.  I went to live in a shared house with a gay man and a pre-op MTF, but still felt very alone for a long while. I started going out with my housemates to the bars and met a lot more women and discoverd what REAL Lesbians were like. Shortly after, I formerly declared myself a lesbian and went around telling my family and workmates who all claimed they knew anyway!

I moved to London into a shared lesbian home in Stoke Newington and went round all the bars and clubs. Dated a lot of different women and had lots of one night stands. Lots of alcohol and risk taking seemed to be involved and my career and confidence went from strength to strength, but I never settled with anyone for more than about 4 months.

At the age of 29, my career was in a place where I moved to San Francisco. I found the dyke scene VERY different there. Much less alcohol, less bed hopping, more social groups, more activites and the women wanted to spend more time getting to know you before any personal commitment.

I met my current Girlfriend at work two years before we were to go out together. She worked two desks away from me and was already in a relationship that was to last 11 years. We were friends who ate lunch together and there were no strings and had no intentions, especially as there is a 21 year age gap between us.

When her relationship fell apart, I was supportive and started taking her to the dyke places. She and I dated several other people, but I kept wondering why I couldn't meet anyone of my own age that was like her(I found out later that she was thinking the same thing!).  Eventually, after we did one fantastic Dyke march at SF Pride we got it together and have been together ever since. The relationship has thrived for 6 years now and we moved back to the UK together in the middle of it. This one seems to be for life!  ;D




Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 15, 2007, 12:57:22 PM
me and a pal of mine did that practising cuddling thing when we were 10/11
I never told anyone but when I came out to another mate, some 20 yrs later SHE said, "I'm not surprised .. you and Mand used to  .... .... 
"
I wanted to know how she knew about me and Mand's activities, and she told me Mand has "propositioned" her, way back then, and used my compliance as a part o f her persuasion..

the third party mate declined Mand's offer and has gone on to be one of the straightest women I know, tho she is a vehement feminist and rarely has a good word to say for men she simply doesn't get any erotic charge from women!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ereednow on Apr 15, 2007, 02:01:08 PM
I remember as a young child telling everyone I was a boy, I always played with boys, dressed like a boy, when we played 'house' I was always the dad so that I could be lovey dovey with the other girls, etc etc. I never had crushes on boys or thought them to be cute, but I did an awful lot of pretending to do those things while in grade school.

It was about the time I was 10 or so that I realized I had crushes on girls, that I dreamed about my best friends at night, and wanted to kiss them. But I had no idea what that was and had no label for it. It wasn't until I finally saw a movie with lesbian characters that it all made sense. I was closeted about being a lesbian for about 7 years. When I was in high school I had a boyfriend for 2 years because I wanted to make sure I was a lesbian. In two years I never let him do anything more than hold my hand and take me to dances and other things like that.

When I was 17 and a senior in high school, I noticed a sign in my guidence counselor's office about a GLBT scholarship. I found the guts to ask him (a Catholic brother) and he was the first person I told about being a lesbian. I had wanted to come out during my senior year, but being at Catholic school and some other circumstances made me wait until after I graduated.

Just days after getting out of high school I told my best friend and she was completely supportive. I then told my brother. I wanted to tell my parents before I went off to college for my degree because I didn't want them to think it was some silly college phase. I never thought they'd disown me or be awful about it and I never thought to not tell them. When I told my mother her first reaction was to never tell my father and that I needed to go to church more. She eventually told my dad within 6 months. They both still loved me but hoped I'd change.

When at college I joined every GLBT group on campus, and within the year was leading several of them. One of the things I think helped alot with dealing with coming out and being newly openly gay, was my involvement as a moderator in a GLBT peer facilitated support group. Having been trained to help others with these issues and to express my feelings in a constructive way was essential to my healing and growing process.

Today my parents are fine with who I am. They are proud of me and love me. They have met all of my girlfriends and have welcomed them fully into their homes and my family life. I sometimes still joke with my dad about this gay phase having lasted 13 years already and that I didn't know when it would change. We laugh now, but finding yourself and coming out is one of the most intense and emotional struggles a person can undertake.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: RedSky on Apr 15, 2007, 02:18:43 PM
I must admit, in my early visits to the gay bars/clubs as a teenager and in my early twenties, everyone seemed much older than me and there was an obvious shortage of women who were my own age.

Now I'm in my 30's, I go down the gay bar and there you all are!!! It seems that many women wait until their 30's and 40's to 'Come Out'. For instance, my Girlfriend was 35 and married when she had her first lesbian affar.

And even in today's world...the helpline I volunteer for gets phone calls from people well past retirement, trying to come out.

I can't help thinking it is a terrible waste of a what could've been a fantastic life!  :'(

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: chameleon on Apr 15, 2007, 09:50:32 PM
Very good to read. I really admire people who are out and provide a role model. I
I taught PE for 4 years and had made a concious choice not to be. I didn't want to risk my parents finding out from someone else neither do I want to tell them while I live at home.
However whenever I had to deal with girls who I knew were struggling with sexuality I always felt guilty and wondered if I'd done the right thing. I think I didn't want to say anything till I was sure - however this was at the same time as generally "arranging" to bump into the drama taecher or whoever was the latest crush. It was during my first year teaching I admitted to myself how I felt - there is quite a long list of women / girls I'd liked PE teacher / patrol leader when I was a girl guide. I think i had a feeling of being different but not why.
I left teaching 3 years ago having had a  breakdown,  tough school been involved in a few nasty fight (breaking them up I hasten to add), eventually had a kid with a gun in the classroom.
My experience of learning to cope with that beacuse I lost my job didn't really get any support- apart from my GP who got me counselling eventually.
I would be reluctant to risk being rejected again. While I've recovered fairly well on an outside level it still has quite a marked effect in my head. On a bad day if anyone says "Your looking well ?" I  know it's ment kindly and I try to resist the urge to bite the head off. :)
I'm now back to a stage of being able to rationally think what's best for me I am scared of being rejected if I come out but at the same time I'm becoming aware of living a bit of a lie. I've managed to never actually lie more a case of by ommision.
I work in a male dominated environment low skill / low pay and there are quite a few homophobic comments. I don't particularly like the job or aant to stay but getting the nerve up to move takes time and I haven't exactly had a great deal of sucess at getting interviews - which may or may not be linked to having to declare your mental health on a form. Thinking quiet life here/
I can't believe at 30 my parents don't have suspicians but as they didn't cope well with my breakdown I don't feel anymore positive with this one although my brother does know and was ok.
A couple of my college friends who are also gay know and the women I share my guide unit with who's also been great. Though I did decide to skirt the subject when we were drunk in a 6ft sq tent, it was one of those hypothetical questions made me realise being honest with her was important to me.
I think I ultimately know that my self esteem would improve if I felt accepted for being who I am but I'm not sure what I'm willing to risk, hence the tow in the water approach but it's very good to hear what others have done.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Monkey on Apr 15, 2007, 10:36:47 PM
Im liking this thread! Its really important to here how peoples coming out are such an important aspect to them finding themselves, me thinks.

I dont really have much to share.. but will give it a go.

Im 20 now, but starting dating my first girlfriend when I was 15 at school... I dont really acknowledge any light-bulb moment of working out I must be gay or something.. it just kind of happened, as our friendship got closer, its just seemed natural that there was this connection between us. Things started with my ex at sleepovers,etc and I guess by not smacking her round the face, and actually enjoying those feelings showed to me more so that this was a good thing. About a month or so into "things" (id like to call it "playing"  ;)) I flipped out and didnt want anything more to do with it... but at the end of the day I was far too turned on by just the thought of anything to ever let it stop. A couple of days later, we kissed for the first time, and that was the begining of a 3 year relationship. It was a kinda reasurring moment, everything was going to be ok..

Looking back now though, I do identify before then, aspects that proberbly could be linked to being gay, different feelings towards girls/celebrities etc.

I came out to my mum and sister 2 months into my first relationship, at 8 months to my friends when we left school as I felt the all-girl-school climate which wasnt all that friendly would be ideal to be out in, and at 2 years, I came out to my dad.

Im now with my second girlfriend and have been for just over a year. I look back on my first relationship as a complete learning curve, discovering how things worked in a relationship, what the boundaries were and what it all meant to be gay. I was 15 when it started, 18 and in my first year at uni when it ended. Through those years, I changed massively, learnt alot, matured and discovered slowly who I wanted to be. These changes I found really affected me wanting to be apart of that relationship, but I needed it to discover alot of those things. I feel this was a very important part of finding out who I was - something I am now able to put into practice with my now gf.

Im slowly becoming more and more confident in being gay - I find it depends completly on who I am with. With friends, its a prominent factor often mentioned in conversations and not looked upon as any different. I find with family (especially wider family) that Im not as comfortable, but I want to be. I also am aware that alot of the time, its my actions that will make me more comfortable as my family arent very proactive in raising conversations.

to pigeon hole, Im femme and a lesbian. But I dont like to deny myself that possibilty that in the future, some guy might have the same affect on me as my current gf. Its possible, though I proberbly wont go searching for it, or desire it.


Ive rambled... and proberbly not that interesting... but quite theraputic for me nonetheless.

Mx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 16, 2007, 02:10:51 PM
ooh - I just lost a really long addition to this, the short version is that we have found coming out at work a totally positive thing over the years, especially since I got diagnosed with cancer and if B wasn't out at work she wouldn't be able to get the great support and love she IS getting at work ..cos no-one would even know what hell she is going through atm ..

and also ((chameleon))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: rugrat on Apr 16, 2007, 03:09:32 PM
I am not ready to post my story as it is still a little crazy mixed up - but I have found this a very useful thread - it has helped reassure me, my situation is not unique after all.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Gilly on Apr 16, 2007, 04:05:11 PM
I came out in September last year at the age of 33.5!  I had had feelings for women on and off throughout my life.  I didn't fancy women as often as I fancied men, but when I did, the feeling was so much more intense.  I had a few times in my life thought "yeah, I am gay", but for one reason or another I dismissed it.  Last year, moving into a house with 3 other people, one of whom was a gay woman, triggered something in my mind that had lay dormant for several years.  I realised that I might be gay and that I didnt want to keep going round in circles with this one.  I wanted to know once and for all if I was gay, straight or bi-sexual.  I felt quite determined.

I had a stressful month or two whilst I tried to work out my sexuality.  I think my main concern at the time was that I could never tell my family and was worried about the reaction from friends.  I also worried that if I realised that I was gay, then I would be a different person i.e. that everything in my life would be different.  I gave myself a really hard time about having not worked this out previously.  That some people knew when they were 14 and I still didn't know at 33.5, made me feel like a failure!  I talked with my gay housemate a lot at the time...but there were a lot of things that I couldn't even talk to her about, for example, it didn't seem right to tell her that if I do eventually realise that I am gay, that it would be one of the worst things that could happen to me and that my family would never get it...oh and did I mention my fairly strict Catholic upbringing? 

Despite all my worries, I started to go out with my new friend Rhia to some gay bars, the first was near the end of August.  I joined gingerbeer, went to a couple of meets, and within 2 weeks, I was arranging a meet of my own to a club (Rumours).  I got my first snog there, and it last 3 hours and was fantastic!! ;D  And I got my first shag on the 17th of September...nice!! ;D  Apart from the first couple of weeks when I was really nervous (I still got nervous after that but could mostly relax and enjoy myself), I had a total blast when I came out.  Started going to clubs and bars and was out about 4 or 5 times a week.  I totally felt like a teenager again. 

I have come out to all of my friends, work colleagues (if the subject comes up), my sister and one cousin.  I will tell the rest of the family fairly soon, I would like to leave it a bit longer, but my cousin has told her father and he is threatening to tell my family (he is a total homophobe and finds it disgusting), so I shouldn't put it off for too long.  In answer to my earlier fears - I am not a different person, in fact I feel more myself than I have ever done.  And it is certainly not the worst thing in life.  My life is really good right now, and I am happier now that I am out.  About the being Catholic bit...well I still am, but I just accept that me and Benedict are gonna have to agree to disagree on some things! :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Treesoflight on Apr 16, 2007, 05:34:07 PM

This is a really good thread and i am so enjoying the written word.

My life has always been mixed with such confusion and not understanding what i am about, I married becasue it was expected in the 70s and having children was the next part, in my family you do not think, you just get on with normality! as my marriage moved on i felt i was very slowly dying inside piece by piece, no one noticed or cared so long as there needs were being met. For years i knew i was gay and feared the rejection and the homophobic comments so i GOT on with married life.

I had women come into my life as friends and i felt something for them but did nothing just carried on with a huge pretence.

Then over the years i realised who and what i am, took up meditating and simplifying my life, made new supportive friends and my old life began to expose itself as a huge illusion, i took a big step and told him it is over and i am gay and i want a divorce, the family took it very badly and made my life a misery not interestingly about being gay, just leaving him because my life made them feel good about theres!

4 years on and i feel alive once more and those who do not approve do not enter or stay in my life, i have expereinced a depth of love with a lovely woman that i never thought i would and even though it is over and has been for 18 months or more, it does not matter as i feel good, happy and live being truly who i am.

I also had counselling, spent alot of time with my now grown up kids helping them with the divorce hurt, to spite me, my ex hubbie told them and to this day they cannot talk about it.

They love me and i love them, i will give them all the time to come to terms with it,  i will always be there for them as i recognise the shock of it all on top of the divorce may be too much for them.

Thanks for letting me share.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Leka on Apr 17, 2007, 03:16:27 AM
I'm loving these stories! I can relate specially with some things I read from millicent's and lewl's posts.

These in particular:

Lewl,
I can relate to a lot of things in your post, particularly this bit:

You know, my being a lesbian is about far more than sexual attraction to women (in fact, what worries me is that sexual attraction plays a very minor, if not completely non-existent role in my crushes). I've never had a 'lightbulb moment' which comes after realising you want to get into a woman's pants.

I felt like that when I was your age.
I wouldn't worry - maybe you just haven't had your light bulb moment yet.

Like you, I've had crushes on women ever since I can remember. (I adored my Kindergarten auntie. I used to follow her around and I was heartbroken when she left to have a baby.)

Most of the time my crushes are more emotional than physical. I fell in love with this woman once and I wanted to be with her, love her, make her happy, be near her, support her, cuddle, talk, kiss... but there was no particular 'she's so hot! I fancy her' thought.
And I also had a huge crush on most of my teachers. millicent's description of how she adored her kindergarten auntie really put a smile on my face as I can see myself following my own around the school :D

But I think I just have very, very, specific taste. I solely fancy people over about 30ish. I just don't see people my age as potential partners at all

This also rings a bell. I look at 18, 19 year olds and I just can't see myself dating them or having a relationship with them. I always seem to be attracted to older women. 30-ish, 40-ish, 50-ish... which most girls my age - I'm 18 - would consider old. I just can't see how someone can call a 40 year-old woman 'old'. In fact, I don't like the word 'old' very much :P

I think I already wrote too much so let's make the rest a short version of my story (I tend to ramble, sorry).

I always like girls more than boys. When I was a kid I was bullied by the boys in my school so I never really felt comfortable around men. Even to this day I'm not comfortable around men I'm not used to.

When I was 13-14, my friends were always telling me I should give the boys a chance cos I wouldn't even have them as friends so I started making friends. I met guys that treated me nicely and became friends with them. I only thought about dating two of them but only to fit in and so I never put much effort in it and never went out with any of them.

Around the age of 15 I talked to my mum and said I thought I was gay. As I had never even kissed boys or girls, she said she thought I should try both and see how I felt, but if I realised I was indeed a lesbian, she'd always be by my side, specially in telling my dad, as we thought that would be a big problem.

At 17 I fell in lovewith a woman but I had never even kissed a woman before and felt really insecure and didn't know how to talk to her at all(I already knew she was gay and had ended a relationship recently). My dad had said he'd send me to London for 2 months to improve my english when I finished school so we bought my ticket. I did a little research before my trip and found GB by accident. Here I met some wonderful women and made a lot of dear friends with whom I still keep in touch. I got my first snog in London and called my mum the next day to tell her I was now sure I was gay ::)

I came back and came out to most of my friends. I was still in love with that woman and got close to her... after months of her not saying 'yes' and also not saying 'no', I got tired of waiting and called, asking if she was already seeing someone. She said yes. We became good friends. After that, already at 18, I dated a girl who started stalking me and then I met my first girlfriend. This situation of having a gf made me want to come clear with my dad so I came out to him and his wife last november. He took it really well and was not at all surprised about it - much to my surprise. The next day my aunt asked him if I was gay because she saw me with my friend(who was not my gf) at his wedding and thought we were acting in a strange way - I was just happy. Since I'm mostly bored when near my family, maybe I was acting in a strange way ::) He said that indeed I was gay and that he and my mum knew and were by my side and so should she. She then outed me to the rest of the family except for my grandma - only because I specifically asked her not to as I want to talk to her myself. I then came out at work as never wanted/liked to hide who I am and so decided never to hide it anymore. My important ones know and are by my side and that's all that matters. Anyone who does not like me simply because I'm gay can just get lost ;D

And I guess that's it... sorry about the really long and boring post :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Robiloo on Apr 17, 2007, 09:57:57 AM
I think I first realised something was a little bit different about me at the age of about 10. My first kiss.. James Briggs, a freckly, chubby boy who was best friends with my cousin. We kissed outside bells newsagents and I felt nothing.. it was icky.. I thought boys were icky.
I went to secondary school.. made friends with a boy called mark.. we went out for two years, never held hands.. attempted kissing once but we both freaked out a little bit. He's now a ballet dancer  ;D
So then at the age of 13 I moved to London, started school at a rough school that was under special measures in Peckham.. boring stuff really, then in year ten.. aged 15.. this amazing girl walked in. She'd been moved by her father.. from a girls school to my mixed school because she had been caught in an unappropriate compromise.. with another girl. Turkish, muslim.. this was clearly unacceptable. We formed a friendship.. there was a lot of us... but we became very close.. she was bothered by some boys because she was so pretty and she would tell them I was her girlfriend.. pretending to be intimate with me.. and one day.. she dragged me into a toilet cubicle to hide from them .. we'd usually giggle.. wait a few minutes and come back out. This time though.. she kissed me.
From there it esculated... kissing.. groping.. until a school trip when I discovered the wonders of her  :P
We drifted apart towards the end of year eleven, our friendship was as close but her father arranged an engagement for her when she left school.. she was terribly unhappy and once we left school I heard from her once.. she was in a bad situation and it makes me sad to think of it.
I had another girlfriend towards the end of school.. A thai girl, equally as beautiful.. and into college we went..
I then ended up not wanting to be with her and dated a boy, one that was a very good friend.. again, it wasn't anything that felt nice or right to me.. and I couldn't commit or have any physical contact. Just because I didn't really fancy him. I hurt him a lot and I'll always be sorry for that.
I came out to my mum around this time.. my brother who's a little older than me is gay.. he laid the path for that.. she accepted him, as did the majority of my family.. so coming out wasn't too painful, I was and am very lucky to have my family.
So then I discovered gaydar... erk.. made lots of friends..started going out, doing things I shouldn't, using substances I shouldn't.. messing up my first year of A levels.. I saw a lot of girls.. I don't remember many significant ones but discovered a lot about my sexuality and the levels it could go to. I had a brief girlfriend called Natalie, the first girl that hurt me.. she left me for a boy.. at the time it was painful but now I just think I had a lucky escape from that one.
At 17 I'd started to go to gaydar meets, I had been out of it but someone had been watching me and they approached me online wanting to meet up. London Pride day.. 6th July 2002 I met a woman.. 13 years older than me who to be honest, I didn't find remotely attractive.. I strolled up, mashed from a champers breakfast in soho.. with short blood red hair and she seemed uninterested in me. I drank a lot.. then I drank some more.. thinking her friend phin was so cute and I'd love to have been meeting her that day.. when this girl started hitting on the fuzzy haired older woman in question.. cocky and 17, I didn't like this.. and moved in on her for the sake of it. I can't say I felt a lot of love for her, I can't say it was romantic.. special.. nice memories or something I don't regret.. but after 2.5 years.. of not so nice experiences in a relationship I shouldn't have been in, at the age of 20, I managed to get the confidence back that I'd lost to end it and was single again.
I was a single for a while.. I dated a friend I'd known for years... who screwed me over completely and at that point I'd had it with women.
I'd had a friend.. LC, we'd been friends since I was 17.. I remember the first time I saw her.. I was stunned, she was beautiful.. I didn't have any idea she had thought the same thing when seeing me.. but when we got closer during my single time.. all this came out, we formed a strong bond.. so much more than I could ever write.. and we went on a date.. from there we got closer and closer.. she moved in with me.. and to this day I remain totally in love with her.
Unfortunately she hurt me recently and the future of our relationship is very uncertain. But she's an amazing girl.. I'm only 22 and I don't know what will happen tomorrow but I know from past experience I've had.. being happy is whats important.

sorry I went on..  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Lust For Life on Apr 17, 2007, 11:43:36 AM
hmm, good title for this thread, Suze :)

I think I found myself many years after coming out.

I came out very young indeed, was at school, had the most enormous crush on a girl in my year, which got bigger still when she went around the whole yeargroup showing people a story she'd written about her crush on a girl in our year, with short brown hair and glasses, in her maths group.....omg could it even be me? Er, no. :-[But even after knowing this I plucked up the courage to talk to her about how I felt about her (in a broom cupboard ::) ;D).  Some time later she starting flirting with me and would ask me to "tickle her back" after "lights out" (it was a boarding school).  After several weeks or months of being allowed to touch her back she scared the life out of me by turning over....  I think she did this a few times before I actually took things further.   it was a very odd relationship.  Our first kiss was after we had had sex, and it was my first ever kiss and I got told I was doing it wrong :-[  She made it clear throughtout the 13?month relationship that my feelings for her were not reciprocated, rather she was still in love with the other bespectacled girl in our maths group...  I was besotted with her and was happy to be allowed to be with her.  She finished it after her parents found out and made her travel every day rather than living in.  She didn't leave the school and we shared a lot of classes for the following years. 

I started seeing someone else, from outside school, and suddenly "The 1" started to hint that she had feelings for me after all.  If I ever tried to talk to her about that she denied it, but continued to flirt and hint.  We went to university at opposite ends of the country, and within a few weeks had written to me implying that she was gay after all (throughout the sixth form she had talked and written at length about male crushes and boyfriends).  I was in turmoil.  I had loved her for years, had I missed the chance to be with her forever after all?  I phoned her, decided to go and see her, on hanging up the phone was approached by a woman who had listened to the whole conversation from behind me in the telephone queue  - went for a consolatory drink with her as she offered to listen to me talk the situation through... we spent the night together and she told me within a week that she loved me and didn't want me to visit the Ex - gave me an ultimatum.  I knew I was being played with by the Ex, felt sure I was kidding myself that we had a future together, so decided to stay and be loved rather than chase the object of my dreams.  I settled for 2nd best.  I was 17.

It was a disastrous relationship, which lasted over 12 years.  I left her when I was nearly 30, relieved to be spending my 30th birthday in a new situation - single, surrounded by friends, and ready to discover myself.  I had a year long relationship with a close friend, which we both new was on the rebound and not meant to last for either of us, and spent 2 or 3 years "trying to become a tart" (my description). 

I was a single parent of two lovely boys, I was host-mother to a series of foreign students from an english-language-learning school, I had finished my degree with the OU, I was finding ways to get back into paid work, and I was meeting lots of women and having lots of sex (yes, I was busy and exhausted!).  My confidence returned, I had one relationship that was really a step in the right direction for me, and started to really learn what I wanted and needed from life.  I learned to finish relationships rather than continue them to avoid ending them.  My cynicism about marriage-for-life was receding, my outlook was positive, I was finally finding myself, at the age of about 33.

This crazy path through life led me to my wonderful wife.  I hope we can enjoy many many years together, but I will never again judge the quality of a relationship by its length.  I was no longer looking for someone to rescue me, I entered into this relationship really KNOWING that I can manage on my own if I have to, and that if I ever have to leave I will have the strength to do so before making us all miserable.  For the first time in my life I love someone with all my heart who also loves me with all of hers.  It was finding myself that gave me the courage to know I was worth this and that I should hold out for it.  And this will have been the best relationship of my whole life, regardless of how short or long it is.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: lewl on Apr 18, 2007, 05:18:30 AM
:)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Apr 18, 2007, 07:34:14 PM
This is all very interesting to read, and currently this subject is a preoccupation for me, since I'm in some kind of review process currently (and that's why I'm here). So here's mine, bearing in mind everything's provisional.

When I was growing up, it was common knowledge (I'm not entirely sure about the origins or reliability of this knowledge, but however) that I was mad keen on boys. This being the case, despite a slightly confusing fascination with a girl at my school who I admired from a distance, I concerned myself with boys. I mentioned the girl thing to my mum (who gave me the traditional 'don't worry, everyone gets that' line, not in a mean way) and a close friend who said 'ew, you're not a dyke are you?'. I don't recall being mortally wounded by that remark, but obviously I didn't try to discuss it with school friends again.

So I had boyfriends; I was a 'serial monogamist' of sorts, all through my twenties, I even lived with one or two (not in a very intentional way) but I never had what I'd regard as a 'proper grown-up relationship'. I always lost interest before too long. I had an almost sort of fling thing in my late 20s with a good friend -- strong emotional connection there -- but she was married and wasn't planning on getting unmarried.

Over time I became increasingly aware I wasn't entirely straight, but despite the fact that I was at times mixing in queer circles I had the impression that everyone else in those circles assumed I was straight, which implied to me that perhaps I was -- ie they should know, being in possession of the magic gaydar that I apparently lack. For a long time, I assumed I was hypothetically bisexual, but that it would never go anywhere because basically I've always been romantically not assertive or subby-ish or something, and girls never hit on me, only boys did. I also assumed I couldn't possibly be gay, since I had boyfriends and liked it (for a while anyway). I grew up in a female predominant family, so boys were a curiosity of sorts, and I suppose I grew up thinking that boys were what you get sex from, and I knew I liked that.

And then just a few months ago a girl who I'd known for years online (but not in person) and who I'd had no romantic feelings for that I was aware of turned up to pay a social call, and the chemistry was like nothing I can recall. Sadly that couldn't lead to a proper relationship for all kinds of reasons, but it was definitely a wake up call. It provided some answers and a whole lot of questions. It took the hypothetical out of the queerness (although maybe I've been overly sceptical re: previous hints), and it's brought to mind a whole lot of things, and it's made me think that maybe I've been constraining my definitions inappropriately.

While I'd been so certain I couldn't be a real actual gay because of having had the boyfriends I'm now realising a whole lot of things. I've known for ages that I have no interest in visual images of men -- I spend way too much time looking at pictures of ladies' bottoms on the Internet for a straight girl. My straight female friends talk about appreciation of cock in a way that makes no sense to me. I mean, I appreciate the functionality, but I can't imagine admiring one for its aesthetic qualities. I have never walked behind a man and admired the view of his bottom, and yet I often notice women.

Another thing that has made me doubt my gayness until recently has also just started ringing some bells. I've spent pretty much the entirety of my 30s being infatuated with some inaccessible guy who pretty much strung me along really. And he wasn't even a real person. At least there was a real person he was based on, but the thing I was infatuated with was predominantly a product of my imagination. That was blown out of the water about a year ago, and I was disappointed to discover a normal human male with motivations I didn't approve of and who wasn't all special as I'd built him up to be in my head. It was pretty much a grand finale of a series of disappointments really. And I decided that it was all too much trouble, and I wasn't capable of being in love with anyone real and I was just too picky and wouldn't be able to find a satisfactory man ever.

And then my Internet girl showed up, and everything looked different, and since I got over the sad stuff associated with how that wasn't really going to be able to go anywhere, I've felt tremendously happy and relieved. I feel like I suddenly know myself so much better. I'm still sceptical -- it feels too much like some sudden 'seeing the light religious experience', and I don't fully trust it 100%, but I'm getting surer all the time. Sometimes my heart sinks when I realise I've probably reduced the size of my potential partner pool drastically, and then I realise that actually perhaps what I've done is weeded out millions of unsuitable ones which should make the suitable ones more visible. And then I realise that sitting about waiting for someone to find me probably won't work so well any more. Especially if I just sit at home by my computer going "Hey! I'm gay! Yay!" in my head. But one has to start somewhere.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: lewl on Apr 18, 2007, 07:48:05 PM
Aubergine :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Apr 18, 2007, 07:51:21 PM
Aubergine :)

Hello.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: justbeingme42 on Apr 18, 2007, 08:46:57 PM
This is great thread and makes me realise I have not been alone but maybe go on alot longer.

I always knew from an early age that I was never entirely straight, but I went along just like everyone else had boyfriends and lived in denial for years.  In the area where I live it is the norm to be husband, wife and 2.2 kids, a 4x4 in the drive and kids at private school.  When I divorced my husband 12 years ago I was the only single mum in my sons year and the only single mum in the road where we live - things have not changed in 12 years.

My parents always had expectations but I provided them with grandchildren, and they are not the sort of people I could ever come out too.

When I got divorced I started to discover the real me but I knew that I could never be truly happy as a relationship was out of the question again due to my parents living so close by, and the area.  I was in a closet ten foot high with ten foot walls and I could not budge.  Was I happy - no - I was living my life for everyone else but not me.  There was alot of sneaking about and lying to anyone and everyone, I had smoke screen boyfriends and could not talk to anyone, and another of my friends that came out 10 years before had to move away so I was not keen to repeat the same thing as she had lost alot of friends in the process  :-\

Anyway last year, I met someone who I fell in love with big time, but she had her own issues as well.   All my friends knew at that time there was a lot more to it than what I was saying and I was not being entirely truthful about what was happening as half the story did not make any sense what so ever.  Only after walking from her and a few months later I decided to start coming out. 

Once I did it was easy, sadly my brother is threatening to me blackmail me and out me to my parents - but he is the only problem.  All my friends have been great - each and every one of them, and they were all upset that I could not talk to them at the time.

This woman did change my life without a doubt, and find myself as well, though at the time I did not appreciate it. Even though I walked away and we have not spoken in a year, I wrote her a letter telling her that she did change my life and I will always be thankful for that

I am leaving London by my own choice in a few months to start my life over again, away from my family so I can truly be me for the first time in years
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Neon on Apr 20, 2007, 02:02:22 AM
Great idea for a thread :)  Good luck to anyone reading it looking for hope...

So I'm 20, at uni on a year abroad in the US at the moment.  Although I won't go into specifics, I'll simply say that I've never identified to myself or anyone else as straight.  I think if people thought about it it was pretty obvious, but I also didn't explicitly identify as queer until mid-way through my first year of uni.  At that point I came out to uni friends as gay.  I didn't feel it quite fitted, however.  My first relationship was a complete mess, and although it only lasted three months I felt the effects for at least a year after.  At the end of my second year - this past Summer - I somehow started seeing a male friend of mine.  With that I was de facto out as bi. 

I left for the US shortly after that, and while here didn't assert my orientation straight off.  Bi didn't feel quite comfortable, and neither had gay.  However, I knew that straight was way off the mark.  It was here that the US LGBT make-up has helped a lot.  Whereas it's completely social at my home university, here it is more focused on identity formation and anti-oppression discourse.  Having been to some discussion groups, met some great, supportive people, I've finally found my identity.

I identify as bi-asexual.  I have never been attracted to someone sexually.  Whatsoever.  I do, however, experience romantic attraction.  When I watch films or tv with friends they always say how attractive they find someone, and then ask round for assent/dissent.  I've always responded to these inquiries with a joke or a shrug.  I never knew why the question had never even crossed my mind up until their asking it.  It's just not something that's in me.

All I would say to people who are searching for their identity is do not worry about deciding on a box and sticking to it.  I felt a ridiculous amount of panic when I started seeing my male friend - after all, I was gay.  But sexuality (/attraction) is so fluid that these boxes are maybe useful to start with, to be able to assert yourself as something, but don't let that be the end of your formation.  If you identify with a label by all means it, but do not be scared to explore others, to move between labels, to use a label while it fits and move on.  Identity is first and foremost for yourself.  Do not be panicked by others' stereotypes or beliefs.  If it feels right, use it.  And stay open-minded that sexuality isn't something that can be boxed and sit stagnant.  Good luck finding yourself :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: angelstar on Apr 20, 2007, 06:21:05 PM
Im loving this thread and think if I had had something like this when I was exploring my sexuality it would have helped so much! thank you all for sharing.

Ok My story.

As a child/teenager I lead a very sheltered life I wasn't allowed many friends or able to go out in the evenings to friends houses. I didnt even feel like I could buy magazines like Cosmo because they mentioned sex and if my mum saw them shed be cross. So consequently I never even knew there was such a thing as a lesbian or a gay man! (please note this was only ten years ago). I had a boyfriend at 14 and we were together nearly a year which sadly enough has been my longest relationship to date. Although I enjoyed what he did to me I never felt even remotely inclined to touch him and, in hindsight, this may have told me something if Id had any prior knowledge of lesbianism. People at school used to tease me about it but I never really understood them. Anyway after school and throughout a levels I had 'crushes' on boys but was always too afraid to make any moves, claiming to friends that there'd be no point because they wouldnt go out with me anyway. I noticed girls more than boys but like many here didnt associate my feelings with anything-I just thought that it was because these girls were interesting or whatever.
Once I went to University I started to realise I had a crush on a friend and to recognise that I would quite like to kiss her. But again I dismissed it as being just because she was quite masculine and I couldnt possibly be gay because...well I just couldnt! When she came out to me and admitted she fancied another friend that I suppose was half a light bulb moment. I knew when she said it that I was jealous and that I wanted it to be ME she liked. I ended up seeing a counsellor because I was so confused and so afraid that if I was gay my family would disown me! She helped me to see that the only way I would find out was to try.
We went to a local gay bar with a member of staff from the university for my 20th birthday and it was this girl who sealed it for me and gave me my 'light bulb moment'. the second she kissed me I knew that it was right. Everything fitted into place and I realised that that was what id been missing. We had a very intense fling for a few months before I got a serious girlfriend. I remained in the closet for another 12 months, during which time I was engaged to a girl but we broke up and I went back to the first girl Id been with. She helped me find the strength to tell my parents but decided that we were better as friends.
I came out to my mum by letter just before I was 21. She didnt take it well-didnt speak to me for a week and when I did eventually raise the point with her she told me she hadnt wanted to know, didnt ever want to discuss it again and that I had to 'act normal' because the shock would kill my gran. Even now the recollection of that time makes me cry. I am still, to family at least, straight in their eyes and act like I am for them. Naturally this makes relationships difficult and for this reason I have been single since 2005. I regret not standing up to my mother more but at the time I was (and still am) quite dependent on her for financial support and I couldnt face losing the rest of my family. This is a bridge I am yet to cross.
Ive been mostly lucky with my friends-most people I have come out to have been wonderfully supportive, if slightly curious. Sadly I have experienced one instance of quite severe hate against me-the girls I was living with in my final year at Uni brought some lads home told them about me and the whole gang tried to break down my bedroom door. They hurled abuse and threatened me with some rather unpleasant things. Luckily the door held and I moved out not long after.
I am lucky now that the job Im in allows me, if I choose to be open about my sexuality and I am finding this strangely liberating and it is improving my self confidence. However I know that if I return to my trained profession of teaching I will feel obliged to return to the closet once more!
I think with your sexuality you are constantly on a journey and constantly coming out and reevaluating your ideas and at the moment I feel like Im going through another change period where Im starting to resent having to hide. Sadly I dont know how to fix the problem!
Anyway thanks for reading this-hope it helps others.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: slammerkin/ dirty harry on Apr 20, 2007, 06:39:32 PM


I'm really enjoying reading these stories, it's made me think about my own coming out process... have only just re-registered with GB (although I used to post as Sophia, a few years ago when I used to live in London) so will be returning to share a little bit of my story... soon :)

and thank you for the generosity of telling these stories...  ;)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Mosaic on Apr 20, 2007, 07:20:28 PM
@neon - great post re labels.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Apr 26, 2007, 12:16:29 PM
bounce!
Title: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: debspa on Apr 18, 2008, 05:17:50 PM
Have been mulling this over for the past 6 months ( when the penny dropped ), but am just going round in circles.
I mean I am no spring chicken ( more early autumn !) but it took me til I was 49 to realise ! I would be lying if I said it had never crossed my mind during all those years. It did quite frequently, but I always seemed to be able to reason out why I felt what I did without alighting on the glaringly obvious.
 When asked if I was gay ( on several occasions ) I denied it , yet as far as I am aware have never felt remotely homophobic
My parents were both broad minded and fair and I know it woudn't have worried them at all
I suppose I just feel I have wasted so much time that I cant retrieve
thoughts anyone?

Sorry, what a whinge  !! Will now stop bleating and work out who I shall say I am on sun at the retro so as not to be embarrassed ! :-X

Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: smiling on Apr 18, 2008, 05:29:51 PM
i don't think you are the only one who took a while to realise and then to "admit" it (admit is not the right word, it sounds like you have been doing something naughty ::)) even to yourself.
 :) it's not embarrassing, it just is.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: Bertie on Apr 18, 2008, 05:44:20 PM
I think there's a lot of people in the same position as you, debspa. There's loads of women on GB who didn't come out till their thirties, forties, fifties, some after having been married to men.

I came out pretty young comparatively, but I still understand where you are coming from. From childhood, I can see in retrospect that the signs were there, I just never interpreted them properly. I spent my teenage years fucking as many boys as I could, assuming that one day I'd lose this feeling inside me that it was fundamentally wrong. That I'd stop feeling utterly disgusted with myself every time I had sex. That I'd stop thinking about doing it with girls. I can single out women I had crushes on from about the age of five onwards, but I don't think it ever occurred to me that that was what my feelings were, or when I was older and was able to interpret certain feelings as sexual, it didn't really occur to me that that would mean I was a lesbian. I don't know why. I wasn't brought up by homophobes or anything like that.

I felt very shy about coming out onto the scene (at the ancient age of 21!) because it seemed to me that every lesbian I met had known she was a lesbian from the moment she was born, had come out at 12 and never even seen a willy. I worried that because I hadn't been like that it either meant that a) I wasn't really a lesbian and I was making a horrible mistake by telling everyone I was and it would be really embarassing when I had to retract my coming-out, or b) other people would think I wasn't really a proper lesbian and I wouldn't get a girlfriend or any lesbian friends. I think there was a bit of cognitive distortion going on for me then!

I think something like 70-odd percent of lesbians have had sex with a man in their lives. I don't know what the stats are for gay men shagging women, but I think it's a lot lower. And this is purely anecdotal, but it has always seemed to me that you meet more gay women who have come out later on than you do gay men. If I'm right, I wonder why this is? Is it because women are under more pressure to conform to societal ideals? Or because women are less black-and-white in their thinking and more open to exploring the possibilities?

Anyway, try not to dwell on whether you have or haven't wasted time. Just make the most of it now you've figured it out!  ;)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: smiling on Apr 18, 2008, 05:52:19 PM
Quote
I can single out women I had crushes on from about the age of five onwards, but I don't think it ever occurred to me that that was what my feelings were, or when I was older and was able to interpret certain feelings as sexual, it didn't really occur to me that that would mean I was a lesbian. I don't know why.
same.
looking back i feel a bit silly for not having realised earlier (i came out when i was 23), but i also wonder how no one else noticed - none of the grown-ups around me ever said anything/asked.
i did not have relationships/shags with lots of boys. i had NO relationships whatsoever. and i was obviously unhappy.  ::) guess that's quite a common experience, too, though.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: debspa on Apr 18, 2008, 06:48:27 PM
Quote
I can single out women I had crushes on from about the age of five onwards, but I don't think it ever occurred to me that that was what my feelings were, or when I was older and was able to interpret certain feelings as sexual, it didn't really occur to me that that would mean I was a lesbian. I don't know why.
same.
looking back i feel a bit silly for not having realised earlier (i came out when i was 23), but i also wonder how no one else noticed - none of the grown-ups around me ever said anything/asked.
i did not have relationships/shags with lots of boys. i had NO relationships whatsoever. and i was obviously unhappy.  ::) guess that's quite a common experience, too, though.


Well apparently EVERYONE I know seems to have been aware of my sexuality bar me. Just didn't ever feel they ought to mention it  !  And I think sparse and unfufilling best some up my relationship history with men
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: NeverEndingStory on Apr 18, 2008, 07:43:51 PM
I think as a 'minority' group (I use the word minority loosely) we're at risk of being assumed to be entirely similar to each other. Simple fact of the matter: we're not. Just because you didn't admit it to yourself, doesn't mean you've wasted time. Don't focus on what could have been because the chances are, it couldn't. Focus on what can be now and enjoy the rest of your life having awoken with a realisation about your self, your personality and your feelings. It's an amazing rebirth when you DO work out what is actually the most normal, natural and wonderful realisation.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: M&M on Apr 18, 2008, 07:53:58 PM
i've often wondered y i didnt realise earlier too.

I mean in my case it was really obvious, but fighting so hard for love anywhere didn't help me to bring who i was out to th eforefron and it was only in my 20 that i finally realised i was a lesbian and accepted that i had been subconsiously fighting it all those years.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: Jenny Talia on Apr 18, 2008, 08:06:56 PM
I didn't know.  I really didn't know.  I had a feeling that I was bisexual, but gay was something that just never occurred to me.  I liked women, I was attracted to women, I wanted to sleep with women... but I wasn't gay.

Even when I hit the gay scene and started sleeping with women I still didn't believe I was gay.

Then all of a sudden I was.

It was a bit of a shock.

I had several friends (and an ex-gf) who had absolutely no idea that they were gay until they fell madly in love/lust with a woman and it shocked them to the core.  My ex-gf and one of my closest friends were engaged to be married to men they loved when it happened.  Completely ruined the wedding plans :P

So we all go through it to some degree.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: Tikkety boo on Apr 19, 2008, 01:27:25 AM
I just wanted to 'fit in' - get married, have children etc. 

With hindsight, I should have realised at 15 when I fell madly in love with a woman that there was something going on inside there....but it took til 35, a marriage and children before I finally realised, once and for all, that there was no getting away from it.

Now living with the love of my life with a combination of kids from both relationships and wondering how I ever managed to fool myself that I may just be straight...  ::)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: koshka on Apr 19, 2008, 03:42:27 PM
It took me a long time to figure it out (well, until I was in my mid-20s).  I think I always knew, I just didn't, well, realise.

If that makes sense...
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: M&M on Apr 22, 2008, 04:09:41 PM
I didn't know.  I really didn't know....


*ditto

I should have done though.
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: electriq on May 01, 2008, 03:18:43 PM
I think I always knew, I just didn't, well, realise.

If that makes sense...

Makes sense to me, that was my experience too
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: bignose on May 01, 2008, 03:41:07 PM
yeh I was in denial since I was a kid  ::)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: midget on May 01, 2008, 04:26:48 PM
It took me a long time to figure it out (well, until I was in my mid-20s).  I think I always knew, I just didn't, well, realise.

If that makes sense...

I think its the lack of signposts which are available to young women, perhaps if there were more, then some of us would've realised what everything meant a lot earlier on in our lives.

How many books, or TV programmes, or parents or whatever will give the message to young girls and women -

look, if you find yourself having sex with bloke after bloke and you don't feel its really all that, spending years thinking that something is wrong with you, that you are too selfish, or that sex is just generally rubbish...

AND if you find yourself sitting in a group of women who are chatting about how they have fallen in love with blokes, how it feels etc etc and you find yourself thinking - err i have never really felt that way about a bloke, how the hell does this happen, maybe if i just try harder etc etc

But at the back of your mind you kind of know you find it all too easy to feel that way about women, even though of course you are 'just friends'...

Then maybe what this all means, is that men just might not be for you, and thats ok  :)

I wish someone had told me that abut 15 years ago...
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: koshka on May 01, 2008, 08:41:23 PM
Very well put Midget  :)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: Mosaic on May 01, 2008, 11:47:22 PM
^ Ditto. 

It took me until I was 34 to realise.  I thought about it hypothetically a decade earlier - then fell in love with a guy, got married and had a baby!
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: midget on May 02, 2008, 09:30:56 AM
Do you think people would be interested in contributing to something like, well i don't know, say a gingerbeer guide to coming out? Where beeries contribute their stories abut coming out, realising/recognising the signs etc Maybe tips on how to navigate the social scene, something dispelling myths...

I know there are websites offering information about that kind of thing, but the focus does tend to be overwhelmingly on younger people (and fair enough, I am not knocking that given the woeful state of alot of sex ed. for teens) - but there is very little for women over say about 25, or who have already had a marriage/children etc

Plus most of it tends to be a bit clinical and dry, not much with a personal human touch

Hope what i have just put makes sense, i am still trying to get my brain awake this morning, but i wondered if it would maybe help alot of those who find gingerbeer, and who are questioning their identity, feelings etc

Good idea? Crap idea? Anyone interested?   ???

Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: M&M on May 02, 2008, 10:54:15 AM
great idea

<=== sh*te at righting down my story/testimonies/anything
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: midget on May 02, 2008, 11:44:59 AM
^^ Thank you Ms_SoftStud

everyone expresses themselves differently, so is there anything i can do to coax a contribution out of you???

 :)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: M&M on May 02, 2008, 02:36:47 PM
^ seeing that you asked me directly, i must oblige.

Here goes.

Well, my outing came by chance as a rsult of deciding to visit a women only club and feeling like i belonged (even though no one talk to me or my friend (moral support).

I had a tough up bringing some would say. I grew up in a developing country and experienced alot of negative things as a child. Most of which  would classify as serious abuse. Over there, abuse was ignored/not taken so seriously and my upbringing dictated that i always listen to elders and do what i was told without question. It was a world where i had no voice, no choice and no one really looking out for me like they should have. A world where women came second and children came last to everyother thing.

I had alot of confusion also as i was the youngest of 7 (all grown) kids - or so i thought.

When i moved over here to live with my 'sister' aged 8, i found out a year later that my Mummy wasn't my mummy but infact my grandmother. I was told in a very matter of fact kind of way and not given an op to question. so i carried on the same and stuck to calling her mummy and my mum aunty. In hinesight i can see that even then i was a traumatised child. The sexual abuse that i suffered at the hands of countless perps in those short years left a huge toll on me and it spilled out into my new life in London.

Its weird but as a child/teenager i had seen alot and was really quite grown up. I had wrong ideas about what life was about and basically felt my only goal in life at that point was to be liked and loved by men/uncles/mum's bfs in order to make mine and their (gaurdians) life easier. I didn't understand this was to do with my history. I was such a highly sexualised child because of the abuse which went on as far back as i can recall, i have memories as far back as aged 6 and i know that wasn't the first and certainly wasn't the last time.

The truth is that family that should have been looking after me always passed the buck, i was looked after by neighbour, house helps, drivers. I recall feeling like  doll as a child being passed from one person to another to play with. If only Mummy knew (G rest her soul) I know she would have acted and put a stop to it, but there was so much contradiction and.... i just never told anyone when it was all going on.

Anyway, this social education (life exp) taught me that life was all about what i could offer them to get what i want back (love). As a teen, My mum was tied up with finding the ideal man to make the ideal family, not for me but for her.... But then my Gran died. it was a month before my 13 b-day. *Breathe*

I lost everything in a second.  My confidant, my rock and the person who wiped away all the tears that i shed for my r/ship with Mum/aunt and her b/fs. When she died, her body was flown to Nig for burial in OCT. It was on the eve of her burial that i actually had sexual intercourse the first time.
I recall a number of conversations taking place above my head that pushed me to this, pushed me into his arms.  That was the beggining of a very bad phase in my life where i searched for love in all the worng palces and put myself in so many situations that i shouldn't have been in. I was promiscious, got pregs and even ran away from home a few times all of which did not cause my mum enough concern to ask what was going on in my head. Instead she made decisions that shoudl have been mine for me and agian pushed me to the back of her mind and out of sight by sending me to boarding schol for the second time aged 15.

Back to sexuality:
I had played nurses with cousins my age and remember one day a much older cousin had asked me to get into bed with her and told me what to do. I then (14)recall her switching and chasing me out of the bed and even then i never questioned my sexuality even after this. I remember school friends making negative comments about gay couples on the train home from Baker st and thinking that i didn't understand what the big deal was. I went on as before, looking under rocks for something i couldn't name...
Never found it. Then one day in my promiscuity found that i quite liked women, the smell the feel, the touch, the look of them and most of all I liked being with women. My life had me thinking that i got on so well with men (i was a tom boy) and not really with women but that changed in a split second.

The seed was planted and started me on a journey of discovery, of sould searching to finding the real me. I wasn't trying to hide it i just never new.

I began to understand why my life had taken the path it had. My r/ship with my Mummy and mum. It took only a short while for me to see that the reason there was so much attraction to the fairer sex was because, generally, they had never caused me harm. On the other hand most of the men in my life had and if not to me directly, they had done to someone i loved. Cheating, abuse and neglect.

Now, it is obvious to me why i should have known I was gay. When anybody asks my usual answer is " because i know many women i would want to be with but i can't think of one man that i would say i want my husband to be like"
I simply had no one to compare a b/f to and that was because they were all so low. Inevitably i had r/s with men that were also low and did me wrong by taking advantage of a vulnerable young girl. That had always been the story of my life. i guess it isn't suprising cos my Mum was 10 times worse than me with bad r/ship after bad r/s for the sake of what?, i don't know. But one thing I did always know was that women in my life always looked after me as much as they could.

It was actually accepting that i didn't have to conform and be with a man, i needed to be with someone who could fulfill my needs and that just couldn't be a guy. I wanted a r/ship that wouldn't be conditional and that would be there regardless. Lucky i found it without having to look as hard as some.

There was always something about me, i seemed to have this inner strenght that saw me through alot. As young lady, i did not stand for disrespect from men, moved on way before that was ever the case. My strength kept me from chaotic r/ships in my teens but the longing made me promiscious on that search for love (boi was i looking in th wrong places).

*big sigh*
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: midget on May 02, 2008, 03:54:35 PM
^^ Thank you for your story Ms SoftStud, you've expressed it all beautifully  ;)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: M&M on May 02, 2008, 04:05:44 PM
Thanks Midge - My coming out story seems very long to me as i can trace it back a long way.

Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: midget on May 02, 2008, 04:27:20 PM
Thanks Midge - My coming out story seems very long to me as i can trace it back a long way.



I'll have to get started on mine  :) And then hopefully that other thread will have been opened up, so I'll stick it in there along with all the others. Do you mind your being moved into the thread in the archive?
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: lescot on May 02, 2008, 06:18:40 PM
Ms Soft Stud - that was riveting.  Really well written and very authentic - I'm sure lots of people would identify with lots of bits of your story.  I never cease to be amazed at what people can come through and still turn into decent human beings.  :)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: SAWF on May 02, 2008, 10:15:25 PM
^ @ Ms S-S..

that is a very powerful, personal and moving account....
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Steel on May 03, 2008, 11:09:38 AM
Merged with the original thread from the archives..

Back to the coming out stories:


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on May 03, 2008, 03:00:49 PM
nice one, steel
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: just_visiting on May 05, 2008, 01:18:40 AM
I have been straight, bi les bi

Im not even sure if I know who i am anymore.  All I know is that I dont want a relationship with anyone and wish to remain single
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Redslayer on May 10, 2008, 07:10:40 PM
Wow this has been really interesting and helpful to everyone i rekon.

My story has only just begun i guess. I figured i was gay only about a year ago, well came to terms with it anyways. But thinking logially back i was very attracted to women from about 9 onwards! Fell in love with my best friend, got my heart broken. Have had (and stil do) major crushes on female teachers...things like that.
Now i should be off to uni and would love to get some more experience, actually go out on the scene and find the one.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: candygrl on May 10, 2008, 08:33:30 PM
i agree v interestin thread. i dunno its weird cos i neva really felt lke i needed 2 come out cos i've always jus been a bit of everyting a ppl jus seem 2 accept that
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Larterlover on May 14, 2008, 08:36:28 PM
Great thread - very useful for those coming out. I will be sure to read every post with avid interest as soon as I have time. I can't really share my coming out story as I am not out.But if anyone wants me to then I will post about how I got to where I am sexuality wise.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SarahLM on May 14, 2008, 10:41:35 PM
Hi Larterlover,

As you said this thread is very useful; for people at all different stages of their life. They'll certainly be people in a similar situation to yourself. So if you feel like sharing, we'll get comfy & would love to listen.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Yossarian on May 26, 2008, 01:19:22 AM
This is such a good thread. I only just started reading through it properly.

I 'came out' when I was twenty. I'd already told a few people by then, but then it was less tentative, really.

I don't ever remember not knowing that I wasn't straight, really. It was simply this huge...thing I didn't want to have to confront. As a kid/teenager, there was just too much else going on, and so I always figured 'Well: maybe I'm bi. I'll just ignore the attraction to women bit. No-one will ever have to know.'

I had my first 'boyfriend' (G-d, I use the term loosely) when I was fifteen. He came out a little while before I did a few years later. :)


It was always niggling at the back of my mind this huge pink elephant I was stashing in the corner.
In my first year of uni, I immediately got together with this bloke. And I think 'I'm gay, I'm so gay' was so utterly there in my subconsciousness - but I was still half in denial. We split.
That year, I had an assignment to write an article for my course. Any topic. I picked all sorts of stuff around homosexuality. Interviewed a slew of people. Later, a couple of my gay guy friends I'd interviewed told me they had suspected when one of the questions had been how acceptable coming out on campus seemed to be.  ::) :-[ :P I wasn't even aware how much I was projecting, at first.
A few weeks after I started writing it, I came out to my gay guy best friend at the time, knowing  - really- there'd be no judgement - but still being really nervous about it. It felt like something I had to say.
I came out to a couple more friends. Then I just..lost my nerve. And tried really hard to be heterosexual. And convinced myself all my friends would reject me if they knew the awful truth. (Retrospectively, just *giggle.*)

Fast forward. I got together with my ex girlfriend the next year. All of a sudden, all those people I hadn't told? Actually keeping the fact I was seeing someone a secret seemed bizarre. I told my friends. In fact, I really, I guess overdid making a whole production of it. It just wasn't as big a thing, really, as I'd created. The relief, though, was immense.
And the other bit, I think, was the relief in getting together with my ex and discovering it felt right. All that time, I'd never felt like I felt I should about guys - and knew I was attracted to women - I was still carrying around this latent worry that what if it didn't feel right with women, either? And perhaps I somehow had no sexuality at all.
So, yeah, relief.


It's a little on my mind at the moment. Not in a bad way at all. I'm not in the least bit closeted, for the most part. My direct family know. All my friends know. If it comes up in conversation, I generally mention it.

For that, the only two people I never told were my grandmothers. It never felt desperately relevant - one, I didn't know well enough - so somehow my sexuality never felt entirely pertinent. The other - I always figured there was so little point in quashing her dream of me marrying a nice Jewish man. Plus the awareness that she'd make a huge production of being cool with it, and how much she'd blow it up.

Oddly - I'd never realised - a few years ago, my father - desperately inappropriately - outed me in conversation to my grandmother. Her hearing's not great - I cut him off halfway though - and I'd never realised she noticed what he said.
I only found out the other day she had. Apparently her reaction was just 'Why should it matter, as long as she's happy?' Which is awesome.
It just occurred to me the other day that I'm going to tell my other grandmother. Despite my minor grievances, there's no real reason not to. And secrets often suck.
An author I like, in a reading a few weeks ago, was being asked about when she writes autobiography - and how her family members feel having their lives put out there for the public to read.
Her response was that it's rarely what gets said that causes problems. It's the things that don't, the secrets, that do. It struck me as an incredibly good point.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: midget on May 27, 2008, 12:15:51 PM
^ Great post Yossarian, thank you for sharing  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: OlderMarriedLesbo on May 28, 2008, 03:40:11 PM
Hi!!
I'm 51 and i've only just came out, known for about 10 maybe 11 years though.
Never quite realised it, I was always in denial. Married at 26, had two children. Brought up a happy normal family. And then when my daughter was 12 she dedcided to come out to me. I asked her why and she basically described me!
Ever since I have been obsessed with women. Never cheated though and kept it from my husband. Now the kids have grown up and left, I think it's time for me to grow up and leave as well. So two weeks ago i asked my husband for divorce, and i explained my feelings for women. He said he didn't care and he'd been cheating with two other women for 5+ years anyway. So glad  i got out of it now!!
So I'm now out and proud ;D
And for the first time in my life properly happy :)
Thanks guys xxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Monsieur Croque on May 28, 2008, 03:52:06 PM
^
Good on you!!!!!! Well done

It takes a huge amount of courage and belief. 
Enjoy yourself!  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Eden on May 28, 2008, 04:21:58 PM
that f u _ k head,, your sexy,, don't you worry!! His loss,,, 8)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Kuifje on May 29, 2008, 09:00:02 PM
Hi!!
I'm 51 and i've only just came out, known for about 10 maybe 11 years though.
Never quite realised it, I was always in denial. Married at 26, had two children. Brought up a happy normal family. And then when my daughter was 12 she dedcided to come out to me. I asked her why and she basically described me!
Ever since I have been obsessed with women. Never cheated though and kept it from my husband. Now the kids have grown up and left, I think it's time for me to grow up and leave as well. So two weeks ago i asked my husband for divorce, and i explained my feelings for women. He said he didn't care and he'd been cheating with two other women for 5+ years anyway. So glad  i got out of it now!!
So I'm now out and proud ;D
And for the first time in my life properly happy :)


Thank you for the wonderful post, and welcome to GB, but dare I ask, how did you manage to reconcile your lesbian/gay  identity or feelings and stay in a straight relationship for so long, was'nt that incredibly hard and confusing.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: fluffybunnykins on May 31, 2008, 06:23:11 PM
my coming out was a long gradual process. I had crushes on boys and girls as a kid but my first chosen sexual expereinces with with girls. My first "gf/bf" in elementary school was a very rough and caring tom boy I folowed around like a puppy.

when I was 14 I told my father I thought I was gay. I knew I had been bisexual since the word "go" but I seemed to be leaning more and more towards women. My dad's reply was "you are 14. How can you know what you are? give it a few more years to make up your mind."

so on that advice I stuck to "bisexual."

I had lots of sex with men and women and fell in love blah blah... but I found it hard to have dykes take me seriously and the few that did and were my friends often told me I was actually a dyke. I told them I'd love to be a lesbian. I wanted that whole biggo pie of lezbo community support and boobs.

then of course when I did come out, it was because I slept with a butch and she won a toaster - OH!... Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... THAT's what puts the ball through the hoop! ooooooohhhhhhhhh I get it! That's why men and heteroflexible girls were fun but didn't quite fulfill me... ohhhhhhhh....

Then I went extremely feminine. It was finally safe to be that way. I sprung outta my own cake. In a big camp drag queen kinda way. with glitter. and heels. and feather boas. *SIGH*

TA-DA!!

unfortunately no one would believe I was a dyke and no one took me seriously, STILL. I got no biggo lesbo dinner of support. It took a year of going to the same one and only gay bar in town for anyone to trust I was actually a lezzer.

It was pretty wierd coming out in a smallish city, university town that was very hippy and occult orientated but who's lesbian community was stuck 15 years behind and hadn't grasped the concept of women's freedom and power in femininity - everyone had to be androgenous or just me's with short hair and birkenstocks or tivas. I looked even more like a drag queen next to the community.

didn't matter. Found others like me on the net, found my own community. fuck em.  :D

then many years later came over to london where people didn't care if they misjudged you as a stright girl, they still cruised you and wanted in your knickers anyway!  :D :D :D ;D :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Angelic on May 31, 2008, 07:23:32 PM
Here is my story.

I eventually came out when I was 40. Most of my life I have known I was "different" but wasnt sure why. When young I would rather play cowboys and indians than with dolls. I used to play with my brothers Meccano set. At school I would have crushes on other girls and teachers but dtill idnt realise why.

I went out with boys and fell pregnant when I was 17. In those days it was te done thing to get married even though it didnt feel right. I was in that marriage for ten years then I left. I worked in a hospital and there were quite a few gay women there but still didnt do anything about it. I had a  long relationship with a man. He eventually met someone else.

So it was then I thought I needed to get my life sorted. To cut a long story short I rang a gay switchboard and started to go to the womens group. That was my light bulb moment. When I got the courage to go out to the bars I met people I knew from my job ad also made lot of friends.

My first relationship was a disaster as she was married and had a lot of issues but it confirmed what I already knew. I am now 59 and in those years between Ive had two serious relationships. I am out at work and to my family. I remember being terrified to tell them. My colleagues at work had guessed and some thought I was gay anyway. My family have been great even my sister who is a Born Again Christian. Although she did say that i I went to her church I would be cured. I was polite and said no thank you I like being gay. The good thing to come from my marriage was my daughter and my grandsons who I love to bits. My daughter is a rock and we are there for each other. A few years ago I appeared in a magazine article about women who found ther sexuality later in life. I hoped it would women who were questioning their sexualty. It was a brilliant experience going for the photo shoot etc. 

Oh and I remember thinking when I did come out would I be the only married woman. lol.

All of these stories are inspirational and thank you all for sharing.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Larterlover on Jun 08, 2008, 05:11:08 PM
Just want to say again what a fascinating thread this is. Thanks very much for your bravery in sharing folks. :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: theshyone on Jun 08, 2008, 09:43:40 PM
susppose i did not realise wot was happenig til it ws to late.
Married with three children we had been married 19 yrs and he cheated on me, we split then i took him bk ( fool that is was)!
We were together for a few ys more but things were going from bad to worse. In the Ocotber i told him to move out i wanted out.
To cut a long story short we were parted for about 14 mths and i workred in a nursing home, i had alot of great friends and colleges there one of whom i feel in love with. She was going out with another lady and told me so but we remained friends. But this started me off looking for wot i wanted my first woman.
My best friend told me that if woman was wot i wanted then i had to go for it that was 5yrs ago. am 46 now. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: supadupa on Jun 30, 2008, 07:28:49 PM
Hi

I'm a newbie on here and heres my story

I knew I was different in secondary school, whilst all the other girls fancied guys, I never really felt anything and would often lie because I wanted to fit in. I took a year out before going to university, I was living at an outdoor centre at the time I met my first lesbians, there was a married couple living there, I got on ok with them and they brought me out of my shell a little because it was easier to talk to them, at that time I classed myself as Bi, I guess its because I wanted to test the water first so to speak, rather than jumping in headfirst!, I met a girl at the centre, who was the first person I had ever had feelings for,  we spent a lot of time together, lots of bike rides, trips to the pub, walks etc, and on a drunken night out after downing a few pints, i told her I fancied her....not the best way to do things! things were fine, nothing happened between us, but 1 member of the married couple became jelouse of me and this other girl, and whilst her partner was away she snogged the girl i liked, I was devestated. But I left the centre and tried to keep in touch with the girl, but it was over really.  When I came to university I was nervous of what to do, having been slightly put off by my first lesbian experience so to speak, I spent ages wandering past the lgbt stand at the uni, and eventually plucked up the courage to sign up! i started to go to lgbt meetings which was ok, but i still felt like i didn't fit in, I met my first official gf in 1st year of uni, we lasted 4 months before an argument by text tore us apart and she threw my stuff out of a 3rd storey window!, it took me ages to get over her, and other than fancying a straight friend and losing her by someone telling her I fancied her! I had nothing. I met my 2nd gf in final year of uni, we lasted 4 months before splitting because she met someone else,  so as you can see my introduction from lesbianism has not been smooth, I am battered and bruised but still determined that I will find the right person someday, I recently graduated from uni and moved down to London, still trying to find my feet and meet people in the area, so if anyone could point me in the direction of any decent lesbian scene in north london area, please let me know!

Sorry this is so long!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Jun 30, 2008, 09:01:48 PM
Hiya newbie!

I am battered and bruised but still determined that I will find the right person someday, I recently graduated from uni and moved down to London, still trying to find my feet and meet people in the area, so if anyone could point me in the direction of any decent lesbian scene in north london area, please let me know!

Wow, that's quite some story. Not suprised you're feeling bruised, but hey if u can pick yourself up and keep going then you'll probably do better in London.

Decent? maybe you'd have more luck if u ask for indecent .. ;)
You could start by checking out the clubs marked 'North London' on the GB listing http://www.gingerbeer.co.uk/listings.php?CategoryID=5

Good luck!

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Jun 30, 2008, 09:12:56 PM
i workred in a nursing home, i had alot of great friends and colleges there one of whom i feel in love with. She was going out with another lady and told me so but we remained friends. But this started me off looking for wot i wanted my first woman.
My best friend told me that if woman was wot i wanted then i had to go for it that was 5yrs ago. am 46 now. 

Well done for going after what you want.

There seem to be quite a few women who swap preferences later in life, which i imagine is quite a lot harder when you have kids.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: theshyone on Jun 30, 2008, 09:18:23 PM
Yer suppose two out fo three ant bad.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Hiding on Jul 10, 2008, 03:01:42 PM
Hi,

I'm a newbie on this site (I've actually created a diff username to post this anonymously - thank goodness for multiple email addresses ;-) ) I've loved reading everyone's stories as it makes me feel a little less alone.

Basically I'm in the middle of trying to work out what I am at present, which I guess explains my lurking on this site so much.
I have always identified to the world as straight - I never really thought about it, that was what was expected of me by my family -  and had boyfriends from the age of 16 because that's what all my friends did.

When I went away to uni I had a relationship with a guy, but (and sorry if this gets a bit technical) I couldn't be penetrated by him at all - it always hurt excruiatingly. Being 18, and coming from a very strict, highly religious, not talk about emotions type family, I didn't know what to do about this, and him being a virgin as well & pressuring me meant that the relationship ended badly as I couldn't get up the nerve to go to the doctor & see what was wrong. Basically this has left me feeling very alone and isolated and depressed, despite my burying my head in the sand about it all for years. It also turns out this perhaps originated through abuse I experienced at the age of 14 (that I'd buried so deep I didn't remember it until all this brought it back)

A few years later I self diagnosed myself with vaginismus, - the internet is a wonderful thing to the extremely shy -  but I was always aware that there was a real aversion to sex with men in my head - although I didn't put this together with anything other than me being possibly asexual. Being gay / bi just didn't seem an 'option' with my family background.

Anyway, I have avoided long term / any real relationships for years - not difficult as I just never seemed overwhelmingly attracted to men. I guess I always thought if I met someone I was that keen on the problem would go away and all would be fine - mean time I never did.

Anyway, I'm now 28. I finally got the courage to go to the doctor last year and she confirmed that there is nothing physically wrong with me - so its in my head.  The whole thing was horrible - imagine having to say - I can't have sex' - to a gp you've never met before!
The outcome was unsatisfying for me as it meant its something in my head and I had no idea how to fix it. I think I was looking for a magic wand to solve all my problems. Not knowing what to do next I put my head back in the sand and carried on life outwardly as normal. Inwardly I felt completely depressed and didn't know what to do next.
Then I went to a party and met this girl. I've never felt so drawn to someone in my entire life - this was in April and its now July. We meet up occasionally for drinks / dinner and while I know it isn't going to be long lasting, as she is in a long term open relationship (poly) and I don't know if I can cope with the situation, I'm finding myself completely exhilarated and more alive as a result when I'm with her than I've ever felt. I haven't told her about my problem and we haven't really 'done anything' yet - it really scares me.

Sorry again for going into extreme detail - In fact I was browsing on another site and found a comment "what use is a really tight ***** to a lesbian anyway" which I didn't really understand and makes me feel even more inadequate and that I'm never really going to be able to fit in anywhere.

I'm tempted to join and turn up at some of the organised events on this site but don't really know where I fit in.

Sorry for the long post - I hope I haven't bored everyone senseless. Sometimes its good to share even this anonymously.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: baroque-a-rama on Jul 10, 2008, 06:53:26 PM
Sorry again for going into extreme detail - In fact I was browsing on another site and found a comment "what use is a really tight ***** to a lesbian anyway" which I didn't really understand and makes me feel even more inadequate and that I'm never really going to be able to fit in anywhere.

?!?

What sort of utter cretin said this? I don't have this sort of problem (if you want to call it that) myself, but I have had partners who do. And if anyone ever said, "I can only take X fingers" or "I don't feel comfortable with Y activity" I would fully expect a) for any reasonable, worth-your-time lover to respect that, and b) for it not to make a blind bit of difference to the quality of sex you have. I would suspect that the person who said that is the sort of person who thinks that their way is always the best way, and that if women don't love what they do, they're the ones with a problem. And that kind of person is never going to be the best shag of your life  ;)

Sorry, this was kind of off the point. But, god, it made me furious to read that statement! Honestly, you do not need to worry about that kind of thing at all - perhaps in time, when you're with someone you're really relaxed with, you'll be able to take more. Or perhaps that's just the way you are (in which case, never underestimate the power of the single well-lubricated finger. In any capacity.) Either way, it's not a problem and you should not let it scare you or hold you back.

Part from that - congratulations! And welcome to GB. Sounds like you've had quite a journey.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Larterlover on Jul 10, 2008, 06:59:34 PM
Great post as ever Bar :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: StephB on Jul 10, 2008, 07:01:00 PM
Following on from B-A-R, I developed vaginismus at the end of my last relationship with a man.   Oddly enough, it disappeared when I started sleeping with women. ;)   And if it doesn't - if you genuinely don't enjoy penetration - that's fine too.  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: La Treadwell on Jul 10, 2008, 07:12:27 PM
I confess this made me angry as well, pleasure is pleasure and whatever gets you there surely is to be celebrated. And whatever doesn't, you can just not do (or do in order to give your lover pleasure).

Important: some women, including some lesbians, are not turned on by being penetrated. This includes those who can be penetrated perfectly easily without any pain.

There is a long tradition of lesbian lovemaking that doesn't necessarily involve penetration at all, in fact (thus speaketh the historian!).  An old word for lesbian is tribade, and is said to have entered the English language in the late Elizabethan period:

TRIBADE: [French, from Latin tribas, tribad-, to rub]. Lesbian.

One might also search this site for "scissoring". I remember a post or two from V.V. on the subject.

I wish you all the best in finding your way.

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: rm200 on Jul 16, 2008, 01:59:08 PM
I'm a newbie (and a bit of a lurker) so I should get round to posting something, so it might as well be here.

I think I've known I was gay since I was 5/6 years old (I'm 17). In Primary school, aged 5/6, most kids in my class played kiss-chase. I always declined any offer to play since I didn't want to be kissing any of the boys, preferring to spend my breaks reading. After a while I realised I wouldn't mind playing if I got to kiss some of the older girls on the cheek, but girls kissing girls and boys kissing boys wasn't the done thing so I forgot about it and kept it to myself.

This is how it went for a while. I was waiting for this weirdness to end and hoping to wake up one day and think 'ahh.. I get it now' and have 'boyfriends'. Then sex ed came (9/10 years old), with no mention of same sex relationships. But the diagrams of people having sex were adults, so maybe I was just being impatient.

In the last year of primary school was when using 'gay' as an insult was popular. I was pretty sheltered growing up and had never come across this word before so I looked it up. Then I had my light bulb moment. I thought it was great, this is who I am, then I remembered the kids at school used it as an insult. I was the popular uncool kid, liked the music my friends dads did, that kind of thing, and being gay was just another uncool thing I was. But I still kept it to myself.

I then went to Secondary school, an all girls Catholic school (I never did have much common sense..). I came out when I was 13. I told a friend at break who was like 'I have a gay friend- go me'  ::)

Being an all girlís school, everyone in the year knew after a few days. The majority of my class found out during a science lesson, which was being covered. Then all the sex questions came, people asking me if I fancied them, people telling me they've always known but well done for coming out.  One of the girls (very religious) came into the room late, in middle of a very graphic question being asked, and she hit the roof. She was the class drama queen. But the great thing was everyone told her to shut it. I think she only went over the top because she didn't see everyone else's immediate reaction, and it was 'just in case', because she was fine after that.

In another class (where most of my best friends were) were a few people who had a real problem with it. So my best friend suggested I pretended to flirt with one of the homophobes, so I did. Letís just say she tried to get a restraining order on me (unsuccessful I hasten to add).

Then came the trouble with girlfriends. Everyone knew I fancied her, and vice versa, even to the point of rumours going around that we were going out. However I wasn't sure if was gay or straight. Turned out she was bi. The only issues people had were that a gay girl could find a girlfriend before a straight girl could find a boyfriend. Neither of us told our parents (although since both of our parents knew I was gay it's safe to say they worked it out). We had 'sleepovers', and she even came on holiday with my family at summer once. I could never work out if they knew right from the start, or if they were telling themselves we were just friends.

That relationship nearly lasted two years. I suspect when she went off to a mixed college she started to fancy boys but just didn't have the guts to tell me (which wouldn't bother me in the slightest).

That's pretty much it, in its inarticulate glory...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: little star on Jul 25, 2008, 02:55:06 PM
some really nice coming out stories actually. Made me smile.

I guess looking back I realise I had more feeling towards girls than boys even at primary school, but it was maily teachers that I liked. Then in high school, must have been about year nine I think, or eight maybe, I watched Eastenders and got a major obsession with Kat Slater, I used to watch it just so I could see her in... I think that was my first real crush, so I was quite old. It lasted a few years too, For ages I used to think it was just a phase of liking a girl, but no it wasn't... one day I was just sat there watching it and I whispered to myself, "i'm gay" and I felt this warm comforting feeling shoot through me then I though "sh*t" lol... Anyway, couldn't let anyone know what I was feeling so I told people it was Alfie Moon I had a crush on, after a while anyway...
Well, my first 'real' person I had a crush on was a girl at work, straight (or so she said, I still dont believe her) muslim girl...of course, best choice haha! We had a really close friendship, used to talk about everything including us both watching lesbian porn and things we'd like to try etc. and other more private things, but we never did anything together, even though she had a good feel of my boob once in the cinema because apparently she thought it was my hand (dunno how??!!)... anyway, long story cut short, I came out to her, she had arranged marriage, husband doesn't like gays so she not allowed to see or speak to me...
In the mean time I had boyfriends but could never go ahead and have sex... but I tried my best to run away from being gay, my relationships with boys never lasted more than 5 months and at 18 I met my parter and she swept me off my feet. I fell so in love with her that before we were even 'going out' I came out to loads of friends, all of which were ok with it. After 4 months of being in our relationship I came out to my parents; but they absolutely hit the roof. My mum cried and my dad grabbed me and held me against a wall threating to knock me out etc. and they gave me the option of being gay and having nothing to do with them again and never being able to see my sister again (younger sis), or being straight and part of the family. At the time I was so terrified. i was at uni and wasn't financially secure and the relationship was pretty new so I didnt wanna risk it.. so I went back 'in' to my parents but led a double life for over a year...
Last week though, I came out to my parents again, I've moved out and am living with my beautiful partner, but things with my parents are so bad.
I actually dont know what to do, it just seems to be getting worse... My best mate helped me move my stuff etc so they've got him and been giving him abuse saying and threatening to get his family involved too. It's so bad i've had him in tears on the phone, which upsets me soooo much. Same for my sister, because she knew etc. they're making her life shit. she's 16 and in col etc. so she has no choice but to stick it out, but they're putting her through hell and making her depressed.
As well as this I have my mother texting me (although i've heard nothing for a few days) saying "how dare you do this to us" "you've broken our hearts" "i'm dieing from inside" etc.etc. which upsets me so much. She's also told mutual friends that she's on tablets for everything because she can't cope with what i've done... apparently they have to move away, i've ruined my life, i'm never gonna get a good job etc etc. I'm just so upset at the moment, I dont know what to do. O and my dad just said "she's dead to me" and I've not heard anything about him or from him since...
I know i'm depressed anyway from before, leading the double life, i couldnt cope... but now it's same, and worse because of my best friend and sister... they stand by me but they're getting so hurt too...I dont know what to do. I'm not allowed to contact my parents or anything...
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Jul 25, 2008, 10:17:30 PM
hang on in there, LS

Coming Out comprises may layers and families react in all sorts of ways... and where your parents are now is not where they  ay move to

as others hahve said, surround yourself with friends / family who can support you..

both you ane your parents are on parallel journies..

you are discovering who you are ..and not living a lie anymore..

they are struggling to adjust

good luck and hugs from this Ole Queen
((((((LS))))))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: little star on Jul 28, 2008, 11:54:50 PM
yeah, i guess so... but apparently i just need to get help. get help because really i'm not gay!!!! :( had enough
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Jul 29, 2008, 11:07:06 AM
yeah, i guess so... but apparently i just need to get help. get help because really i'm not gay!!!! :( had enough

have you thought about contacting one of the LGBT switchboards, so you can talk through some of this stuff with folk who are not going to judge you/try and tell you you're the one who has problems etc?

Sadly, your parents' reaction is not an uncommon one.
they are trying to control the uncontrollable, and the more helpless they feel, the more they try to do so and involve other people.


my view, for what it's worth..and you'll get as many different views as there are folk on GB- is to give them a wide berth for a while.. try not to respond to their anger/painful rants/texts..
keep the channels of communication open with your sister and don't close things down entirely with your parents..but don't give them more ammunition with which to hurt you
think you need some time to deal with all of this and to focus on your relationship wiht your partner, as all of this pain and anger will get to you


good luck
 you will find your way through this

we all do in our own ways

Queeniex


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: little star on Jul 29, 2008, 11:12:00 AM
Thank you Queenie!  :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Jul 29, 2008, 11:19:19 AM
Thank you Queenie!  :-*


Awww.. you've made this ancient old queen blush... :)


life is too short to live it by pretending to be someone you are not.


you go. Girl!!! :D

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: little star on Jul 31, 2008, 12:07:18 PM
Thank you Queenie!  :-*


Awww.. you've made this ancient old queen blush... :)


life is too short to live it by pretending to be someone you are not.


you go. Girl!!! :D



Aww!  :-* there's another then!

I had flash back to the spice girls then... girl power!!  :P x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Queen on Jul 31, 2008, 01:06:14 PM

((((LS)))))

Sounds like your parents are giving you a really hard time. I'm with the other ole Queen here  ;)  -- give them a berth at the moment; mebbe switch your mobile off for a while and get a new number so as not to have the stress of receiving their unpleasant text messages.
Yeah, your parents are upset, but they've no right to take it out on you (and your sister) in this way. That is really not on. Good on you for getting yourself out of there and into your own life.

All the best

xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: little star on Jul 31, 2008, 01:14:01 PM
thank you you fabulous queens i *bow* to you.. or maybe *curtsey* ...
really, thank you!! :) :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Jul 31, 2008, 08:01:38 PM
thank you you fabulous queens i *bow* to you.. or maybe *curtsey* ...
really, thank you!! :) :-*



ooh I say..

methinks me and the Queen of the Welsh Penguins will be quite flattered with all this bowing..

PQ does speak wise words

Qx

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: bootylicious on Aug 01, 2008, 12:27:36 AM
some really nice coming out stories actually. Made me smile.

I guess looking back I realise I had more feeling towards girls than boys even at primary school, but it was maily teachers that I liked. Then in high school, must have been about year nine I think, or eight maybe, I watched Eastenders and got a major obsession with Kat Slater, I used to watch it just so I could see her in... I think that was my first real crush, so I was quite old. It lasted a few years too, For ages I used to think it was just a phase of liking a girl, but no it wasn't... one day I was just sat there watching it and I whispered to myself, "i'm gay" and I felt this warm comforting feeling shoot through me then I though "sh*t" lol... Anyway, couldn't let anyone know what I was feeling so I told people it was Alfie Moon I had a crush on, after a while anyway...
Well, my first 'real' person I had a crush on was a girl at work, straight (or so she said, I still dont believe her) muslim girl...of course, best choice haha! We had a really close friendship, used to talk about everything including us both watching lesbian porn and things we'd like to try etc. and other more private things, but we never did anything together, even though she had a good feel of my boob once in the cinema because apparently she thought it was my hand (dunno how??!!)... anyway, long story cut short, I came out to her, she had arranged marriage, husband doesn't like gays so she not allowed to see or speak to me...
In the mean time I had boyfriends but could never go ahead and have sex... but I tried my best to run away from being gay, my relationships with boys never lasted more than 5 months and at 18 I met my parter and she swept me off my feet. I fell so in love with her that before we were even 'going out' I came out to loads of friends, all of which were ok with it. After 4 months of being in our relationship I came out to my parents; but they absolutely hit the roof. My mum cried and my dad grabbed me and held me against a wall threating to knock me out etc. and they gave me the option of being gay and having nothing to do with them again and never being able to see my sister again (younger sis), or being straight and part of the family. At the time I was so terrified. i was at uni and wasn't financially secure and the relationship was pretty new so I didnt wanna risk it.. so I went back 'in' to my parents but led a double life for over a year...
Last week though, I came out to my parents again, I've moved out and am living with my beautiful partner, but things with my parents are so bad.
I actually dont know what to do, it just seems to be getting worse... My best mate helped me move my stuff etc so they've got him and been giving him abuse saying and threatening to get his family involved too. It's so bad i've had him in tears on the phone, which upsets me soooo much. Same for my sister, because she knew etc. they're making her life shit. she's 16 and in col etc. so she has no choice but to stick it out, but they're putting her through hell and making her depressed.
As well as this I have my mother texting me (although i've heard nothing for a few days) saying "how dare you do this to us" "you've broken our hearts" "i'm dieing from inside" etc.etc. which upsets me so much. She's also told mutual friends that she's on tablets for everything because she can't cope with what i've done... apparently they have to move away, i've ruined my life, i'm never gonna get a good job etc etc. I'm just so upset at the moment, I dont know what to do. O and my dad just said "she's dead to me" and I've not heard anything about him or from him since...
I know i'm depressed anyway from before, leading the double life, i couldnt cope... but now it's same, and worse because of my best friend and sister... they stand by me but they're getting so hurt too...I dont know what to do. I'm not allowed to contact my parents or anything...
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

your story is a very common one and its a reason i havent come out to many people (no family yet).
i have a close relationship with my dad and i really dont want to loose that, but at the same time i am living a lie because i have been seeing a girl that on one know s about.

i hope your parents will come round in time hun and they at least accept you for who you are.
everyone deserves to be happy  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: magrat on Aug 04, 2008, 02:25:33 AM
Did anyone ever write the guide to coming out later in life that you were talking about earlier in the thread? I'm 30 and I could really use it  :(

The idea that I am gay has been occurring to me regularly ever since I was 18 or so and I don't know why I'm so afraid to go out and explore it. I feel kind of pathetic not knowing who I am or what I want at this point in my life :(
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Aug 04, 2008, 09:42:54 PM
Did anyone ever write the guide to coming out later in life that you were talking about earlier in the thread? I'm 30 and I could really use it  :(

The idea that I am gay has been occurring to me regularly ever since I was 18 or so and I don't know why I'm so afraid to go out and explore it. I feel kind of pathetic not knowing who I am or what I want at this point in my life :(

don't give yourself a hard time..
I think for each of us this is a unique journey, and one that is not neccessarily linear or easy to define.
being able to talk through how you feel with like minded folk is a good place to start..

maybe go along to one of the various Beerie meets (see making friends thread), there's usually a hand-hold for first timers.
good luck and of course, welcome

Queeniex
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: magrat on Aug 04, 2008, 11:42:37 PM
Thank you Queenie. I didn't mean to get so angsty but I read through some of the excellent stories earlier in the thread and had a bit of a moment. The Beerie meets sound like a good idea

This is such a good thread btw.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAWF on Aug 05, 2008, 09:13:55 PM
Thank you Queenie. I didn't mean to get so angsty but I read through some of the excellent stories earlier in the thread and had a bit of a moment. The Beerie meets sound like a good idea

This is such a good thread btw.

no worries.. :)
Title: Re: Why didn't I realise I was gay ?
Post by: Wispa on Sep 28, 2008, 06:48:03 PM
I think there's a lot of people in the same position as you, debspa. There's loads of women on GB who didn't come out till their thirties, forties, fifties, some after having been married to men.

I came out pretty young comparatively, but I still understand where you are coming from. From childhood, I can see in retrospect that the signs were there, I just never interpreted them properly. I spent my teenage years fucking as many boys as I could, assuming that one day I'd lose this feeling inside me that it was fundamentally wrong. That I'd stop feeling utterly disgusted with myself every time I had sex. That I'd stop thinking about doing it with girls. I can single out women I had crushes on from about the age of five onwards, but I don't think it ever occurred to me that that was what my feelings were, or when I was older and was able to interpret certain feelings as sexual, it didn't really occur to me that that would mean I was a lesbian. I don't know why. I wasn't brought up by homophobes or anything like that.

I felt very shy about coming out onto the scene (at the ancient age of 21!) because it seemed to me that every lesbian I met had known she was a lesbian from the moment she was born, had come out at 12 and never even seen a willy. I worried that because I hadn't been like that it either meant that a) I wasn't really a lesbian and I was making a horrible mistake by telling everyone I was and it would be really embarassing when I had to retract my coming-out, or b) other people would think I wasn't really a proper lesbian and I wouldn't get a girlfriend or any lesbian friends. I think there was a bit of cognitive distortion going on for me then!

I think something like 70-odd percent of lesbians have had sex with a man in their lives. I don't know what the stats are for gay men shagging women, but I think it's a lot lower. And this is purely anecdotal, but it has always seemed to me that you meet more gay women who have come out later on than you do gay men. If I'm right, I wonder why this is? Is it because women are under more pressure to conform to societal ideals? Or because women are less black-and-white in their thinking and more open to exploring the possibilities?

Anyway, try not to dwell on whether you have or haven't wasted time. Just make the most of it now you've figured it out!  ;)


This seems so uch like me,with the exception of sleeping around when i was younger.

I was from a catholic upbringing and sex was seen as something dirty and therefore i did not explore sex or my body for that matter,i often think that had I sha88ed around I would have known, however when I  married i was a virgin, I married a lovely man who was a fantastic father to my two kids(grown up now) but i have to say that i was not happy in the sex department,unfortunately he died 12 years ago and a friend of mine started to go out with me and I fell in love with her, went on hols with her,finished up in bed then she said she "was not like that" haha...but I knew from that day that "I was like that" I am out to my family,my kids are great about it all...best thing I have did



Great Topic
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: supadupa on Oct 05, 2008, 08:27:38 PM
I think this is a fantastic topic, its so nice to know I am not on my own, thanks all its really helped me get some confidence back :D and realise I just need to get back out there and meet new people. I went for my first gingerbeer meeting last week- and even though there were only 4 of us! it was still nice to meet likeminded people.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Valkyrie on Nov 06, 2008, 01:56:27 PM
I love reading about how it was for other people and hate when I see that folk have been rejected by family, friends etc  that have been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse etc.

My story - I came out.

Simple as that.  I suppose, like many things in my life,  I dont have to justify myself in anyway, I wont make excuses for who I am and if anyone as a problem its theirs.

 :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Dom on Nov 27, 2008, 12:02:11 AM
Hi everyone, I'm a GB newbie and have been lurking for a few days, so I though I'd write my first post and share my story here...

I'm actually in the process of coming out 'properly' at the moment, I came out to most of my friends when I was 16 as bisexual. I had noticed myself noticing women for a long time, but convinced myself that there was no way I could be gay, it was nothing and it would pass.

I haven't had the greatest of upbringings, and having relationships with anyone has never really been important to me up until now, the times when I have ended up with people have been more about the fact that it seemed important to everyone else that I did.

My parents split when I was 2 and both remarried very quickly afterwards. For some reason my mother and I have never been close, and she gave custody of me to my Dad when I was 4. Since then I've always thought of my step-mum as my real mum.

When I was about 5 I realized that my parents weren't like my friends' parents, they were always drunk and our house got repossessed a when I was about 6/7. We ended up in B&B accommodation for a year until the council moved us into a flat, however that year changed me a lot. My parents' alcoholism only got worse and there were some very dodgy guys also in the B&B, one of whom abused me during the time that we were there. It didn't really seem real at the time, and I never told anyone, there was no one to tell, my parents and my brothers were the only people I had.

For a long time I found it excruciatingly difficult to tell people about what was going on in my life and how I felt, but I managed to tell a couple of close friends about everything that was going on at home when I was 14. I was dealing with so much other stuff that boyfriends or girlfriends were way down on my priority list, but I somehow ended up with a good friend for about a year and a half. It was great, he made me laugh, and we had fun together but in the whole time that we were together we were never particularly physical until about 10 months in when all of our other friends had paired up and were getting busy. Even then we both found it pretty uncomfortable and split up not long after, and it was not long after this that I admitted that I like girls, and he came out too!

I concentrated on school work so that I could get away from home, I kissed a few girls before I went to uni but I didn't pursue anyone. It wasn't until it was nearly my 19th birthday I was suddenly bothered by the fact that I was still a virgin and I started going out more with my flatmates at uni (who I hadn't told that I was bi) and lost my virginity on a one night stand. It wasn't horrible, but it was just ... bleh, but it was my first time right? So of course it meant that I could carry on not questioning what I really wanted.

It wasn't until after I finished uni that I slept with anyone again. I got together with someone from work who I convinced myself I wanted. It's weird looking back that I could ignore the signs for so long. After we kissed for the first time I avoided him for 4 days, I made him wait for a month before we slept together and when we did I immediately got in the shower and was shivering and close to tears. We split up 4 months later.

That was last summer, and since finishing uni and getting a job I've been working a lot of stuff out and actually dealing with it rather than just living through it. The last few months I've been trying to figure out how I feel about my sexuality. I developed a massive crush on a good friend of mine, which made me more aware of how much I feel about women, and what I don't feel about men.

I went through a stage of worrying that my relationships with men have been bad because of what happened to me before, until a few weeks ago. My friend set me up with a guy who is lovely, intelligent, and a gentleman. So we went out, and he kissed me ... and it was fine...I suppose, but I still got the same feeling of dread I did before when I thought about sleeping with him.

So anyway, I've told a couple of my friends that I'm definately gay and I'm ready to start exploring that now. I even told one of my brother's, and you know what, the world didn't end!

Only problem now is, I have no idea how to put myself out there and start to meet people and make new friends. I was thinking about going to one of the GB meets or the one they do at Friend, still quite daunting though.

I've rambled for ages, but I also wanted to say thanks to everyone for sharing their stories, and for reading my incredibly long one!

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Jazz on Dec 30, 2008, 12:25:20 PM
Thank you for all of your stories - I guess I'm one of the people you're all posting for, just beginning to come out.  Like a lot of other people, I kind of thought that I'd have missed the boat in some way by not coming out earlier.  I'm only 24, but I've left uni and so on, and the ready-made LBGT community just didn't seem obvious to me and until I found Gingerbeer I didn't really know where I could go to meet more people.  It's really great to see people from so many different stages of life having similar experiences.

I have always known that I was attracted to women, but I am also attracted to men, and for a long time I just ignored my attraction to women because it was simpler to conform.  I had a couple of very very close female friends, who looking back I was clearly very attracted to, but it was something I always shied away from talking about or even thinking about.  They were straight, and I didn't want to lose a closeness I valued a great deal.  Since then I have had serious relationships with men, lasting between 9 and 18 months or thereabouts.  I usually get bored of them and I quite regularly have times when the idea of sleeping with them repulses me - I have on occasion thrown up after sex when I've gone through with it just to keep a boy happy.  But at the same time, there are times when it's great.  So I'm sticking with the 'bi' label until I can answer the questions I still have.

And then a few months ago I moved into a shared house with a married lesbian couple and some boys, all people I've known for a few years via a theatre I'm very involved in.  I got on extremely well with one half of the couple.  We have similar interests and similar backgrounds, even given the fact that she's been out for nearly 10 years.  At first, it was a bit of a game - I've always been a HUGE flirt, and have never limited THAT to one gender.  And then we turned around one day and found that our feelings for one another were a lot more serious than that.  Her partner became involved and my friend was asked to move out.  In the end, she and I both moved out and explored our own relationship a bit more - for about a week.  In the end, she has gone back to her partner and I spent a painful month more or less homeless and cadging beds from friends.  I know she still has feelings for me - we're trying to avoid one another but it's hard because we're all in the same group of friends.  Even if she were to leave her partner, she'd have to go back to the States because she'd lose her visa, so nothing can come of it.  I'd love it to, though.  Even if I know that, having just embraced this whole other area of myself, there's a million things I want to explore before I could ever settle down with one person.

I think my problem growing up was that I didn't have lesbian role models with which to identify.  For me, the idea of lesbianism was always associated with the way that men objectify women who like women, and I knew that I wanted more from a relationship than sex, as anyone does.  I knew plenty of gay men in committed relationships (I was and am heavily involved in theatre, so there are plenty about!), but until I met this couple I never really could see a way for two women to be together in a meaningful way.  The men and the ordinary heterosexuals is just not the same somehow.  I'm not sure why I needed to see that, but I did - so I'm hugely grateful to my friend and her partner (who now hates me, which is fair enough given what's happened, but who was a friend before all of this and whose loss I regret) for teaching me a great deal about myself.

Friends know, because many of them know what happened between me and my housemates.  My family don't, but I suspect that they will probably be fine as and when they eventually know (and I shall wait and see whether I end up with a woman or not before I tell them...again, why rock the boat unless I need to?).  My immediate family are liberal Christians (I'm not myself, only an obsessed chorister...), but their main problem I think will be similar to mine at the start of all of this - they have just never come across women who like women, or at least who acknowledge it.  That's not the same as homophobia, they just will have to readjust a few things and I think that will take some doing.

...at some stage, I will make it to some sort of Gingerbeer meet up thing, but I haven't got the courage yet and, for the moment anyway, live a bit (but not TOO) far away.

Thanks for your posts, they've been so comforting to read.  I hope those of you who have had bad experiences are finding/will find things easier in time...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Scarpietta on Jan 04, 2009, 04:55:18 PM
Great thread for a newbie like me, very interesting reading and an easy way for me to join the chat.

I was confused about the mixed attractions I had until 13 when I fell for a teacher, I hasten to add here it was never reciprocated!! She was a beautiful woman and cemented in my mind that I was indeed gay...unfortunately this scared the crap out of me and I proceeded to spend the next 13 years determined to prove to myself and anyone else that was in fact 'normal' and 'straight'. My detrmination resulted in some disastrous decisions, culminating in a ludicrous marriage that was a relationship just about about as unhealthy as could be.

However, after a year of recovery I went on to have exploratory and brilliantly fun lesbian relationships and finally began living the life I wanted. Had no problem 'coming out' to friends who expressed little or no surprise but critically gave me a huge amount of support.

I have had two serious relationships and one broken heart...my first ever, hurt like hell but at least it was real.

I was a relatively late starter to identifying with my sexuality and that is undoubtedly linked to th void of role models available in my youth....sadly very little has changed. Granted there are a few open people in profile positions and there is more literature and of course the internet out there. However, when it comes to youngsters reading books, watching t.v and going to school...these commonly used sources of eductaion still need a vast amount of improvement to create and provide positive role models for the upcoming and future generations of LGBT communities.

Sorry...I have rambled on undoubtedly preaching to the converted :-\

Anyway, I love the emotional and mental connection that women offer each other and having moved recently to a new part of the country, feel ready again to get back into dating and meet the beautiful, deep wonders only ladies can share and maybe this time find the soul that intertwines with mine;).

Looking forward to making new friends and sharing chats with g'beerers :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: RedSky on Jan 11, 2009, 08:45:02 PM
I actually dont know what to do, it just seems to be getting worse... My best mate helped me move my stuff etc so they've got him and been giving him abuse saying and threatening to get his family involved too. It's so bad i've had him in tears on the phone, which upsets me soooo much. Same for my sister, because she knew etc. they're making her life shit. she's 16 and in col etc. so she has no choice but to stick it out, but they're putting her through hell and making her depressed.
As well as this I have my mother texting me (although i've heard nothing for a few days) saying "how dare you do this to us" "you've broken our hearts" "i'm dieing from inside" etc.etc. which upsets me so much. She's also told mutual friends that she's on tablets for everything because she can't cope with what i've done... apparently they have to move away, i've ruined my life, i'm never gonna get a good job etc etc. I'm just so upset at the moment, I dont know what to do. O and my dad just said "she's dead to me" and I've not heard anything about him or from him since...
I know i'm depressed anyway from before, leading the double life, i couldnt cope... but now it's same, and worse because of my best friend and sister... they stand by me but they're getting so hurt too...I dont know what to do. I'm not allowed to contact my parents or anything...
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

It makes you think, what would they do if you were going to prison, developed a serious drug habit, got pregnant at 14 etc....!

Sadly, they had in their minds aspirations for you and this, in their minds, doesn't match. They are going through a 'grieving process' for the child that they had hoped for.

In time they will learn that being a lesbian doesn't stop you being a good person/having a good job/producing grandchildren/buying a house...or whatever it was that they had thought you would do.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Feb 10, 2009, 11:39:37 PM
Here is my experience of still not finding myself, still not coming out.

What's to come out about?  Is bisexual the last taboo?  Is celibacy?  Is celibacy the kinkiest thing?

I don't know the answer to that.  I'm very grateful to this thread, though, because it seems very real and there is none of the bravado I detect elsewhere.  I am 37, I have two daughters and I have been with their father, in many respects disastrously, for about thirteen years.  We have divorced, moved apart, tried getting involved with other people, you name it.  When he's behaving like a typical male, I can't handle him.  When he's more than just his gender, he's the most important person in my life.  At the moment, I live 250 miles away from him and he's in my old flat in Hackney.  Oh, and he's often thought he was gay.  In fact, sometimes I've thought he could out-gay me anyday, but he has had no gay experiences.  In fact, he has never even had sex with anyone else other than me, male or female.  So that's quite a pressure, and it's quite odd.

Myself, however- I have some experience of women.  I seduced my best friend when I was 19, but she got more carried away than I did, and I realised I didn't just want to have sex, I wanted to show her that I felt closer to her than I did to the boyfriend I had at the time.  People gossiped about it and were cruel and I have to confess I was ashamed and we drifted apart.  Later on, at college, I made peace with my feelings towards women but they weren't reciprocated by anyone and I drifted from one dysfunctional straight encounter to another.  I was happier being celibate, and geeky, but I had a lot of pressure on me to be a party girl.  I used to have a drink problem, and drink seemed to sexualise me, seemed to make me desirable to everyone else, but it just made me miserable, and I hated people who liked seeing me that way.  I felt very alone, and I was very close to another best friend, who I now know was mistaken by many people for my girlfriend.  I must have always given off a very lesbian impression, because I remember being teased for it at primary school and being utterly baffled.  We're still close, the girl and I, and I know that she knows that I know we both feel this way about each other, but we've been close for almost twenty years and I'd say that she needs another twenty before she's ready to drop her guard.  I really hope I'm not waiting for her, because that makes me angry.  We always used to joke about sharing our old age together, and my ex husband believes its our fate.  She's had same-sex encounters in sex clubs, but - please.  Yawn.  So we've kind of drifted apart, because I think that unspoken tension behind us does both our heads in.  She's raising young children and we irritate each other easily, but there's still a warmth there and an understanding that goes beyond everything.

Anyway, a few years back I 'came out' to my husband - or were we divorced by then?  I forget.  I also told my mum I thought I was gay, but she didn't take much notice.  I told the best friend, I told anyone who was interested, but because I was just involved in casual sex and didn't settle down in a cosy little set-up with a dyke, it's as if it never happened.  I had a kind of on-off girlfriend, but she was polyamorous, described herself as bisexual at that time and our 'relationship' culminated in her telling me she wanted to marry me, telling me some very graphic things she wanted to do to me (I was abused as a child so I'm a bit of a fearful type) and then disappearing to settle down and Go Officially Lesbian (oh, and monogamous) somewhere in NYC. 

I had got quite involved in the 'scene', but i didn't want to be predatory, or to have others be predatory towards me, and also my situation with the father of my kids was obviously off-putting to most women.  I just looked like the classic woman dabbling in bisexual stuff to keep her husband interested.  This was really really far from the truth and I felt more of a freak than I ever had before.  The whole thing depressed me and I 'quit'.  I didn't actually quit, I just quit the scene, but I'm back on these messageboards.  They were my salvation a few years back and I still need them, but now I'm living in a tiny remote town far from everywhere, I don't know anyone, I only know very straight mothers who I can't be bothered to frighten off with the truth (believe me, I've tried, and what is there to say?  I'm gay but I have a husband and he might be too, but we end up just continuing our long-distance semi-relationship and raising the kids?). ..and so you might say I'm living a lie. 

I think that unless you're 'in love' with another woman, and certainly if you have kids and you are still attached to their father, then you belong nowhere.  There are two big taboos.  One is bisexuality, and one is celibacy.  I've explored both, and they are far less acceptable than calling yourself a lesbian, or 'coming out'.  I don't know what I am, I don't know what will happen, but the person I'm closest to is the person who knows all of this, who wonders himself if he's gay, and who I can't live in the same house with!  So what does that make me?

I doubt if my story will reassure anyone younger - it's hardly 'happy ever after', with me settling down with another woman and having kids together.  I knew a couple back in Hackney , two women, who'd had kids together, and they couldn't get their heads round my situation.  One of them was furious with me for having picked up women and for having had one night stands and said I'd had more sexual experience with other women than she had, and yet she saw me as straight.  She also said she didn't count my ex husband as a bloke, and she meant it as a compliment!  I suppose he's androgynous.  She said she'd never fancied a man, but she fancied him.  Both she and her girlfriend lost touch with me and won't make contact again, and I thought if I could be honest with anyone in the world apart from my ex husband, then it would be them.  But no.  Maybe I should go to San Francisco.  I've often thought of it.  I was desperately lonely in Stoke Newington, which is supposedly the heart of queer culture!  Our problem was always that we didn't belong, we couldn't be categorised, and I've resigned myself to living in a grey area, and I'm no longer so outspoken, so honest, because it just confuses people. But I've been honest with whoever you are who is reading this, and it has helped, because today was lonely, really lonely.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: tayto on Mar 02, 2009, 05:25:42 PM
Hey musca

I'm really really glad you wrote your story. {{{{hugs}}}}

If it's any consolation, the feeling of not belonging, of not being in a "category", of living in what feels like a grey area - I think there are probably lots of us around!

My situation, without going in to loads of detail, is that I was an out out out dyke for more than 20 years, then about 6 years ago I fell in love with a man. Anyone who meets me now sees a woman who "appears" straight.  We have a lovely daughter, and, like you, I meet these straight mothers ..... where do you start?!!

Most of my lesbian and gay friends have sort of melted away - they were really upset with me but that's another story.

There's lots in your post that I can't respond to properly right now cos I'm in work but I noticed that you said you were abused as a child and that it's made you fearful - fearful of what?


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Mar 02, 2009, 05:42:38 PM
Thanks Tayto.

The answer is fearful of most things!  When your childhood was full of fear, you kind of carry that with you.  I'm learning not to fear being alone, as I've been alone in my relationship for so many years anyways, and I raise my kids alone.  In fact, I think I'm becoming almost fearless, rather than fearful...that's the plan, anyway  ::)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Mar 03, 2009, 09:09:35 AM
hiya musca

I'd just like to say a couple of things which struck me from your post

First off, it really doesn't sound to me as though you are living a lie, on the contrary it sounds to me like you are trying to be honest and true to yourself, but also to other ppl who are very important to you in your life: your kids and their father ... these are very important relationships, whatever label anyone else would like to put on them, and I'm sure it's not easy to maintain the balance ...

It makes sense to me to not be telling ppl where you live now the ins and outs of your sexuality, because it wouldn't enhance the quality of your life atm, in your remote village ... what would you gain by it?  I'd call that discretion, not living a lie!

I also felt a resonance with your description of the establisehd lesbian couple you used to know who seem to have felt free to comment on your life and choices, then to ditch you ...

hmm.... the judgements of theirs must really echo in your head .. that sort of experience can be so hard to forget .. she has felt free to label you and criticise your behaviour at a time when you were trying to define yourself and your own needs  .....  if they are the only real-life lesbians you know then it's hard NOT to see them as some sort of authority ... I'm sure you know that they are NOT an authority, but their words will haunt you  ... and probably assume a greater significance than they are entitled to ..

My missis knew a long-established lesbian couple when we first got together (we were both married to men at that time)  and this couple of women were also friends with the ex-husband, and they "sided" with him, criticising my wife and offering us no support whatsoever, when, as you say, you would think these would be the very ppl what you could be honest with, and gain some sense of validation from ... odd innit?

in our case we think they found our enthusiasm and energy rather threatening, we were very blatantly into sex at that time, and they gave somewhat the appearance of suffering lesbina bed-death ... so maybe we upset them with that?

<tangent> in the early days they came to see us once, and the butch one  stood by our mantle piece for all the world like a lord of the manor, one arm on the mantle and one arm waving her cigarette around to punctuat her remarks.  I was saying that I think that how someone looks is part of their attraction ... i.e. I think my missis looks gorgeous and that excites me .. butch one says "Oh no, it's not important, you don't look at the hearth when you're poking the fire ... "   
 :D

good grief!

we never saw them again after that visit,in fact!

<back to you>
I hope you find coming in here helpful again,and get a broader sense of being able to be what you are, which might help you to break down the feelng that you have of being part of last-taboo groups

xxxxx

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Mar 03, 2009, 04:12:04 PM
What a lovely, lovely supportive post. 

Your experience resonates.  I met a lot of lesbian women around that time, but they were the only couple with children who identified as gay, everyone else I knew was single.  In fact, it was our kids who met first, so that made the connection seem very pure.  We met up for playdates, I suppose, and they asked me lots of questions and assumed I was straight for a long time, until I told them I did a lot of queer performance (I had had a close shave once after I came offstage at Wotever and bumped into one, who hadn't seen it).  So then they wanted to know allthe ins and outs of my private life, which at the time I was very touched by, as I felt isolated.  I didn't realise they were probably just being nosey.  I took my girlfriend over to theirs and felt very much part of their lives, and very much part of their break up when it happened.  I realise from what you say that the sexual activity DID alienate me; I was very sexually active and it probably kickstarted their break up in some ways.  I know the bed death thing was a big issue for them, but since they both got new partners I haven't heard a word, I've had christmas cards, emails, mobile phone calls, texts, the lot - all ignored.  I have taken the hint now, but it seems odd that I've been judged for having a messy, complicated love life when their own has been just as troubled!  I miss them both, and what's worse is my daughter misses their son.  Perhaps the fact that they liked each other bothered them too?  Which is daft, as they were so little and liked to play imaginative games and wrestle and kick a football together.  But I suppose it was possible they were predicting they might one day fancy each other, and the idea terrified them.  It does piss me off, as my daughter still talks about him - she needs male friends in her life, and it seems so unbelievable that  a boy raised by a lesbian couple would exclude her from his life on the basis of her gender.  He's turned into very much a boy's boy.  What's worse is my daughter often thinks I did something wrong and sabotaged the friendship between us all, but that's what mothers are for:  scapegoating.  She knows the truth, and never takes it out on me, but I can see the doubt in her face.  She doesn't know yet how irrational people can be!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Samantha_Joanne on Mar 03, 2009, 07:24:03 PM
As long as I can remember, I have been gay.  As a child, I used to play "mums and dads" and I used to have a "wife" not a husband.  I always knew that there was something not quite normal about my thinking. 

Anyway, at about 12 I knew for sure, I was gay, at 13 I came out to my school friends...... and I never lived it down, I came out as a "friendly truth" since I was moving to another district. 

At 16 I told all of my family, but I did try to please my Mother by dating men, only 1 though, and to be quite honest, I was with him for 2 months and it was the most horrific in my life, I never slept with him, in fact, I have never slept with a member of the male sex full stop (I'm proud of that).  But we did kiss..... well he did, and I backed further and further away, and was always sick and used to freak out when I got home and have like 3 showers, clean my teeth loads and wash my hair like mad LOL.  I finally decided that enough was enough and I should stop trying to live a lie, and I changed my number and got a new job. 

I came out to everyone I knew, including my work place, and I have never felt better.  I have lost a few family members as a result, due to being homophobic bigots, but in the end, what's worse? I am very happy and confident knowing that everyone knows I'm gay, and not having to hide everything.  I have been out totally since I was 17 and have never looked back.  I never intend too.  Pretending to be "straight" really messed with my feelings and me as a person.  I'm just so glad I can be me now. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Apr 22, 2009, 11:21:00 PM
The entire sexual orientation issue is without boundaries.  In reality each person has their own finger print. Correspondingly,each has their own path whether it be sexual , spiritual, academic, etal .Search your heart . Close chapters Like the Phoenix bird,renew your life & initiate  new steps on your ladder.  My heart goes out to you in your search.
valerie
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Nelley on Apr 24, 2009, 05:23:23 PM
Just to say reading through these posts has been really insightful, so ta to everyone for the contributions.  I'm still figuring myself out right now.  Things are a bit confusing for me right now, debating with myself whether I'm bisexual or lesbian. I can remember many years ago, proberly from when I was 8yrs thinking about about women etc but never made anything of it.  I think I have always found women attractive but I have only dated men.  I have never been intimate with a man just because when it gets to that point I always end things. It just seems like the last year or so I've been into women completely, I no longer look at men and think I'd want to be with them.  I just think about being in a relationship with women.  I dunno, as I say it's all confusing.  My mums is always on my case about who I'm dating etc, she thinks men are the be all and end all and that you're not saying much without.  We don't have a good relationship either which doesn't help.  I thought of telling her and my family but kinda put off.  My god brother came out last year and lets just say my family's reaction was pretty homophobic which has completley made me not want to tell any of them.  A few of them were okay with it like my aunt but the rest, the things they were saying was awful.  Anyway I'm rambling now, but I'm sure i'll get it all figured out, I'm my own person, so I'm sure when I'm ready I'll tell em and I won't give a * what they say :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Apr 25, 2009, 02:09:34 PM
It's to bad that  anything to do with sexual orientation is even a topic.  I believe that  the basis of homosexual discriination was started in Genesis, "...increase & multiply..."
Every religion wants to out number the other religions & in vitro fertilization wasn't an option in biblical times...having a child  w/out marriage was a herculean stigma. In my country,we make all the 17 year olds read the Hawthorne novel THE SCARLET LETTER. The kids can't believe ..."duh,what's the big deal"  In your country, I wonder if teens are still reading Hardy's TESS OF THE DURBERVILLES
That poor thing admitted she had sex after her husband, ironically named  Angel Clare said he had sex previously...it was ok for him, but not for her...
Perhaps we will evolve closer to an enlightened lifestyle where no one feels guilty for loving anyone
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ChocolateDippedStrawberry on May 08, 2009, 04:29:47 AM
WOW!!!  Reading these stories has been such an emotional experience for me!

I'd like to share a coming out story but the truth is I haven't come out yet but will do it soon, I just can't live like this anymore.

I remember the first person I ever wanted to kiss was a girl.  I was 6 years old, she was Greek and her name was Nicola.  I remember she had a strong face (small brown eyes, a strong brow, high flat cheekbones and the fullest, poutiest lips you'd ever seen!)  Then I had a crush on another girl when I was about 10, there were rumours she had kissed a boy behind the swimming pool at our school and I was so unbelievably jealous, as were all of my female friends!  Then I figured out that they were jealous that she'd kissed the 'cute boy', not that he'd kissed her (like I was).  This was not an "aha!" moment for me, it was an "oh!" moment for me, and I've been trying to 're-orient' myself ever since.

Since then my life has been a struggle.  At 14 I realized I was supposed to like boys and so started making it up, but all of my crushes were on boys who for different reasons were unavailable to me.  As soon as I found out a man was unavailable, I fell madly and passionately in love with him.  This fervent love satisfied my (and my parents' and friends') desire for me to be straight while deftly avoiding the horrendous possibility that I might actually end up with one of them.

As much as I don't like men, they also don't like me (I'm attractive so this was puzzling), I think I've just always had a shield up that let them know they were unwelcome despite my being flirty with them.  Because men were not typically attracted to me (I had my first boyfriend when I was 21), getting their attention - and appearing straight! - became *very* important to me and I find that even today when I'm in a social situation, I flirt with men despite the fact that I have NO DESIRE to act on it (I guess old habits die hard).  I've had sex with more men than I'd like to admit in my desperate search to find some permutation of the heterosexual sex act that I might actually enjoy.  I've finally reached the point that I can admit I'm never going to get turned on by the prospect of heterosexual sex 'cause, um, it's heterosexual.

They say that the great thing about your thirties (I'm turning 29) is that you finally find the courage to be yourself and stop compromising your own needs.  I don't know whether you find the courage to be yourself or just lose the energy to continue being someone you're not (do you become more assertive? or just too lazy to keep giving a damn?), but I definitely feel like I am becoming more myself every day.  ;D


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on May 09, 2009, 10:35:07 PM
That's a very honest and thoughtful post.  I also flirt with men.  I have been thinking about flirting a lot lately, and realise that flirtation is some reflex action I do with men, women, animals, children, and not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely - like you say ChocDipStrawberry - a kind of avoidance tactic.  I have big social hang ups and I use flirting to cover them up, so that people think I am really sociable, not a bad impulse but perhaps one that I don't feel very comfortable with.  I used to drink too much in my early twenties to manage all this, then it turned to flirting, and now I'm heading towards forty I'm finding the courage to be quiet, invisible, and possibly even rather a grouch. 

Grouches might not be sexy, but it's about what somebody called the 'male gaze'.  I feel like it's there, the whole time, and if I turn it off (I could turn it off years and years ago when I was aiming to become an academic, but outside of that world it's harder)...if I turn it off, I can breathe again.  For me, that's more about what 'coming out' is, rather than presenting friends and family with a life partner of whatever sex.  To me, that's not coming out, that's just perpetuating the trap that I personally feel suffocated by.  The idea that we have to live in this cosy little unit in a cosy little house, curtains drawn, tv on, world and everyone else shut out and our ideas and minds shut down.

(Not that long-term relationships are necessarily anything like this, it's just what I perceive straightness to be atm, an idea of fear and hiding, but it's just my current thing - there are gazillions of enlightened long term couples, especially here ;)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Pandosy on May 13, 2009, 08:55:23 PM
This thread has been so interesting and informative and after 18 months of reading I want to add my experience.

It seems fairly clear in hindsight...From the age of about 8, I always had crushes on female rather than male teachers/TV presenters/actors etc. 

I had my first boyfriend at 15 and another when I was 16-19. At 21 I worked at a summer camp in the US and totally fell in love with one of the other women working there. Nothing ever happened and I was almost too scared to talk to her! However, it was an overwhelming feeling (and for a "real" person rather than someone less obtainable) that I had never had before. On return to university to I "forgot" this attraction - maybe putting it down to being attracted to her as an individual rather than her as a woman - and continued to go out with men. I continued to have crushes on women, but these were quite fleeting and not as profound as my feelings for her.

At 26 I got married and was quite happy until about three years ago when I started falling in love with a woman I work with. This time I decided to acknowledge and explore the feeling I was having and decided to see where this would take me. Cue finding Ginger Beer, reading lots of lesbian books/literature and developing a taste for the Indigo Girls!

The attraction grew fairly slowly and about 8 months ago, finding that I could not ignore my feelings anymore and that the feeling was mutual, we started seeing each other. Telling my husband was hard, but he has been very understanding about what has happened.

I don't think I ever really repressed my feelings of attraction towards women - they were always part of me - I just did not really see them pursuing them as an option. I feel much happier now - not sure if I can 100% identify as lesbian, but it feels more right than any other label at the moment.



Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: TopBird on Jun 17, 2009, 05:00:41 PM
What a fascinating and interesting thread, I have really enjoyed reading this. Its nice to know we are not alone, even at the time of going through it, it can seem that way.

I was brought up by very homophobic parents, growing up in London in the early seventies, my dad would often be heard saying that queer people can't help it, but they are not normal, they are ill. And in the eighties, I can remember when the tv seemed to be full of gay celebrities, and documentaries or soaps being pro-gay, my dad would moan that we don't need it ramming down our throats as if it's normal......

When I was about 9 I remember having a big crush on a 16 year old very glamourous girl who lived in one of the flats opposite me. She would get all glammed up to go out with her boyfriend, and I used to just watch her in awe. I didn't actually acknowledge this crush at the time, only years later..........

It was also around this time, that I had my first 'sexual' (if you can call it that) encounter. She was about 11, and I don't remember fancying her as such, but we ended up naked, me on top of her just sort of exploring each other and simulating sex, but not kissing or being really intimate. (I didn't identify as gay or straight at the time. No sense of sexuality had occured to me yet). This was repeated a couple more times in her bedroom, and even an unused garage near her flat, and I remember walking around afterwards with an inner glow, and a smile on my face, feeling that what we had done felt sooo good, but it was also bad, and had to be kept secret.

A year or so later, my family moved to the country. I had a new group of friends, and although I really fancied David Cassidy like evryone else, I wasn't really into boys, and remember thinking that boys in general are very bland and only wear dark or dreary colours, but girls were much more interesting and pretty and colourful etc etc. There were boys at school who wanted to be my boyfriend, and like the others I entertained this idea, but never really fancying them, but some of the prettier ones were ok. Lol.

Anyway, over the next couple of years aged around 10 11 and 12 I also had another few encounters of the female kind (with two of my friends). Same as before, naked, in their bedrooms, on top of them, never any kissing or real intimacy, but lots of grinding and touching. I can't remember whether it was me who initiated any of these occasions, they just seemed to happen. And we never ever spoke about them afterwards.

When I had my first real boyfriend, I remember that I didn't actually fancy him physically, but he was a real laugh, and a punk (1979) and sooo cool, that I wanted to be his girlfriend. So actively pursued him. We were together for a year. I was 15. I lost my virginity to him just before my 16th birthday. It was non eventful and bland. (Bless him). I finished with him because he was too childish for me.  I learnt about 20 years later that he is gay. (God, they're everywhere. Ha ha........................

Looking back, all my crushes apart from David Cassidy were female......Lindsay Wagner in the Bionic Woman, Deborah Harry, Michaela Strachan, Zoe Ball, Davina McCall, several school friends (never teachers, they were all mingers!)

Several times I remember thinking 'am I a lesbian?'  No, I can't be, cos they're not normal, and I don't want to be not normal. So this thought got pushed very firmly to the back of my mind. Until I was about 39.

My first marriage lasted 5 years, and I could never understand what was wrong with me. Why I didn't want to be having sex all the time like he wanted to, and all my friends did. We split up inevitably.

The second marriage lasted 13 years, and I have two lovely boys. Mostly we were happy, except in the bedroom. This eventually led to me asking myself lots of questions, and owning up to myself, and listening to all the thoughts that had been repeatedly stuffed away all those years, but it was not until I fell in love with a friend who identified as bisexual (also married, but not any more, that's another story...) that I allowed myself to become the real me. I had lots of talks with her, although she had no such feelings towards me, and I never disclosed how I felt about her, because she was in turmoil herself, after falling in love with the woman she now lives with, she helped me to come to terms with the way I am.

So I moved on from devoting all my feelings towards this unrequited love, and dealt with leaving my husband, and getting my kids used to having separated parents. It was all very emotional, and I carry a lot of guilt still about how I hurt my husband. He is very bitter towards me now, but feels that his masculinity is still in tact, it's not his fault his wife won't have sex with him, she's a lesbian!!

I told my brother and sisters that I left him, because I am gay. They were all shocked because I hadn't been in any gay relationships, how could I possibly know? And what if I wasn't really? And if I tried it and didn't like it, what then? But they were very supportive, if a little doubtful that I could know my own mind. My mum was the most shocked, and still says things like ' I can't believe my pretty little girl could be......you were always the feminine one.....you used to play with dolls.......etc'

Most of my friends were not surprised in the slightest. I still haven't told my dad. Mum says he wouldn't accept or understand like she does. And she hasn't told any of her own siblings. 'They don't need to know, it doesn't affect them.'
She says she is proud of me, and that it doesn't make any difference, but she's glad that I had my children, and didn't come out aged 17, then I wouldn't have given her grandchildren.

I now have a beautiful girlfriend of 2 years, who is the love of my life. We have both got similar backgrounds, she has older kids and one young one, none of whom we are out to. As well as her parents and my kids. This is a difficult life we have chosen, and we must tread carefully to cause as little emotional damage to all concerned as possible. But we are very happy, and will be together forever, and will face it all together. She comes with me to all the family gatherings, so my dad has said jokingly to my mum and sister that we are lesbians, so I know he thinks it, but my mum says he doesn't need it confirming. He's too old fashioned blah blah. One day, when it feels right, I will have that conversation with him.

Anyway, that's my finding myself and coming out story. Sorry it's so long.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Androgenius on Jun 19, 2009, 02:34:44 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post so bear with me!

As others have said, there are some really inspiring and interesting stories here, great for a confused person like me. As with some others, I am not really sure whether I am bi or lesbian. I have had crushes on women for as long as I can remember, yet since I was also interested in men (or so I thought) I didn't really dwell on it, and identified as straight. I had one relationship with a man that lasted for nearly three years, and ended about half a year ago, which I was perfectly happy in at the time, and ended due to reasons unrelated to my sexuality. However, in the last year or so, and particularly since splitting up with my boyfriend, my feelings towards women have become more pervasive, as I have developed strong emotional and sexual feelings towards a particular woman, which has alerted me the fact the way I feel about men and women are totally different. I now realize that I am sexually attracted to women and women's bodies generally, not merely to individuals, in a way I never have been towards men. My attractions to men (which have been quite limited in amount but a few quite intense nevertheless) have been much more asexual, focused on their charisma and personalities, and any sense of physical affection has merely followed on from the emotional attraction, i.e. I have only found a male body attractive because it belongs to him, not as it is inherently so. Also, this attraction is generally familiar and affectionate rather than sexual and passionate. I can very much identify with Aubergine's post a few pages back; I never understood it when friends talked about being aroused by the sight of a penis or which famous men they fancied. My crushes were strictly emotional and applied only to individuals I knew. With women however, I am like some horny adolescent, as well as being strongly attracted to some emotionally.

I would be interested to know what GBers would consider me to be, given what I have said. I know that identification is a tricky and personal business, but since I will be working in London over the summer, I would like to take to opportunity to meet other lesbians/bisexuals, and on a practical level, would people think it dishonest if I told them I was a lesbian? I am not out at all, mostly as my sister came out when she was 16, so I'm worried that people might just dismiss me as copying, and that she might think I'm trying to steal her identity. I am also concerned that people will think I am one of the many girls that claims to be bi as they think it will make them seem interesting or to titillate men. Basically, I don't want to say anything until I more sure about things.

Anyway, apologies for that incoherent stream of consciousness, it feels good to finally articulate it, if nothing else!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jun 19, 2009, 06:12:32 PM
Different people have different views, but I think there's nothing wrong with taking a label and wearing it for a while to see how it fits. People vary tremendously, and lots of us have difficulties with accurate, consistent labelling, and I think anyone with an inclination to think things through would be accepting of that. And perhaps anyone who isn't is not worth your time.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Jun 20, 2009, 05:19:12 PM
I think a lot about this idea of coming out.
 
I thought a lot about HB's thing about the cake, and how she wanted to dress, so she was like this hyper-femme creature bursting out: TA DA!
 
For me, I think that's what coming out must mean: it's about identity, rather than simply sexuality, and being ready to present yourself when you've discovered what your identity is.. 
 
Also, when you're 'out' you're not a done thing, like something finished from the oven ready to be consumed.  You're not fixed and clear in your head about who you are, that's it, this is me.  For ever and ever amen.
 
I have all these layers of identity that I'm not clear about at all.  I used to identify as a mod when I was really very small, just a child really.  I must have looked very comical, but I was deadly serious and probably quite disconcerting.  I saw a mod recently in a lesbo bar, and her identity spoke to me very clearly: not her gayness, but her modness, and we talked about where you can buy mod clothes.
 
So I think clothes can be very telling about your identity, and I've been reading about hyper-femme women again lately, although I don't identify myself as one.  The books I've read and what HB says and the way I've been treated when I dress in a supersupergirly way makes me think hard about identity, but I don't want to identify myself as femme, or as a mod, or as anything that I'm very clear about yet.  Maybe that will change.  Maybe it means I don't have an identity, or I'm not out, or maybe it means that I have a really strong identity and it's immaterial, but I dunno.
 
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that identity and sexuality can remain frightening and immutable all your life.  Having children can fix us into a very difficult role to escape from: motherhood is such a potent symbol in society that it's very hard to escape from and wrestle yourself free and say No!! Actually this is who I am.  Because you forget, or can't be bothered who you are, because motherhood and life are so all-consuming.
 
And then it feels like you've gone back in time to being ten or eleven years old again, when you haven't even hit puberty, and you dress like a boy and the kids at school call you a lesbian and you go, what's that?  And ignore them, or fear what they say.  Then it might percolate through, and make some sense, thirty years later.  Except that how you dress or who you ogle or have sex with really shouldn't mean a thing, and it's a shame that it does.  None of this has arrived at a conclusion, but maybe that's my point. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: misty1977 on Jun 26, 2009, 09:18:15 PM
Thank god I,ve found this thread! Reading everyone's stories has been so uplifting knowing that I'm not the only one going through this.
I haven't actually come out yet and I don't think I ever will which makes me so sad.
Let me explain... even when I was a child I had crushes on other girls and teachers etc. I had a best friend in primary school and we used to watch tv round her house with me laying on her back. Don't know why we used to do that but I remember it felt nice. I then went to an all girls school and liked the pretty girls but I thought that I only admired them and wanted to be like them. I guess I was just deluding myself. I always wondered if I might be gay but always pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. I always had serious boyfriends who I loved but looking back I never enjoyed the physical side of the relationships.
When I was about 19 I was with my ex boyfriend in the pub (who is now my husband!) And he introduced me to his work collegue who was stunning. I remember thinking I need to know her and have her in my life. So suprisingly for me as I'm painfully shy, I orchestrated meeting up with her for a drink and we became best friends. After a while tho we starting kissing every night. Didn't matter if we were drunk or sober. It was fantastic! I fell madly in love with her. We never slept together for the 3 years we were "best mates" as I guess we never wanted to admit our true feelings. Its a shame we never spoke about it as eventually she got herself a boyfriend and distraught I got back with my ex boyfriend and we had a big row and never spoke again.
I was so hurt and upset that as usual I pushed it to one side and concentrated on my new relationship with the boyfriend. I had a happy 7 or 8 years and we got married 3 years ago. Lately tho my feelings for women have come back stronger than ever which is why I came across gb. I actually started chatting to a woman through these boards who understood because she's married also and was going to meet up with her (god I really wanted to) for the night but couldn't go through with it because I,d feel awful cheating on my husband. He's one of the good guys and I love him but I don't fancy him. We never have sex and I feel so guilty. He certainly doesn't deserve me!
I know I'm probably living a lie but I don't know what to do. I have so much respect for all the girls on here who have managed to come out and only hope I have the same courage one day. For now tho i shall carry on being inspired by everyone on this thread.
Thank u all x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: misty1977 on Jun 26, 2009, 11:14:58 PM
Sorry. Me again! Just sitting here reading over what I posted above and can't believe how good it feels to get all this out. I,ve kept so much hidden over the years and suffered for it. I had an eating disorder for years and suffered bad panic attacks and anxiety which I guess was a result of all the worry about me liking women. I'm a lot more settled now which is why I feel I can explore my feelings for women more.
I forgot to say before that I have had a couple of drunken flings with women in the past but they were friends and we passed it off as a laugh although secretly I loved it and knew it was what I wanted.
This is why I'm so confused. I love my husband in everyway except in the bedroom. I don't want to leave him and cause so much upset and hurt. But I can't just keep getting cheap thrills from watching lesbian porn. I,d do anything to be with a woman properly but I guess I'll just have to keep fantasising!!!
Thanks for listening.....again!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jun 27, 2009, 09:52:56 AM
^ If your husband really is one of the 'good guys'  mightn't it be possible to confide in him?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: jad on Jun 27, 2009, 10:10:52 AM
Hey misty

i'm on my mobile on the train right now so can't do a big response, but i will later (but probably in private message) as my situation and yours are similar, and i've been living a 'middle way' kinda life for 7 years now, and my 'good guy' is still there, right by my side.

All i will add in this post though is Aub is right, if if really is one of the good guys you need to be able to confide in him, it's only fair, to both of you ((hugs))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: misty1977 on Jul 03, 2009, 02:53:29 PM
Hi China

I've been thinking about what you posted and it's awful that we're both in this situation that seems impossible to get around.

It's good that you have told your husband and that he seems supportive of you. It's a shame that you feel you can never take it any further though because of your parents etc. It's different for me because i know i could tell my parents and they would be fine about it as my brother came out about 9 years ago and they have been great. But then again i'd feel awful telling them that both of their kids were gay. I also don't want to hurt my husband as i do love him very much - but more of a friend/soul mate kind of way!
I too feel sometimes that there is no other way to get through all the confusion in my head and hit the bottle but i don't think this helps very much in the long run. It's just prolonging the agony of facing up to what i need to do.

Oh well, maybe one day we will be strong enough.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: misty1977 on Jul 04, 2009, 02:36:18 AM
Hi china

It is such a mess and I am right here with you because I know how it feels. 

I,ll IM u. Be strong and don't lose yourself in that bottle! X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Jul 05, 2009, 08:08:07 AM
It's not worth drinking to deal with this.  Nothing is.

The drinking will have the effect of stopping up the feelings, if that's what you want.  But it will also harm your children and your family and yourself.  You know this already.  I'm not being holier-than-thou, but you surely know yourself that drinking is the most rubbish solution to any problem.  There are better solutions, possibly more difficult, and possibly not obvious ones, slow and painful to unpick.  But these solutions are less harmful.  Booze will poison this.

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ChinaGirl64 on Jul 05, 2009, 12:38:29 PM
It's not worth drinking to deal with this.  Nothing is.

The drinking will have the effect of stopping up the feelings, if that's what you want.  But it will also harm your children and your family and yourself.  You know this already.  I'm not being holier-than-thou, but you surely know yourself that drinking is the most rubbish solution to any problem.  There are better solutions, possibly more difficult, and possibly not obvious ones, slow and painful to unpick.  But these solutions are less harmful.  Booze will poison this.

Musca, I know this is true.  Chums have been telling me its wrong for months. But things are changing for the better!  I only had one small drink yesterday instead of my usual amount thanks to the advice/support I've been getting here on GB. Because finally I've found people who understand stuff from my pov.  No one's telling me I'm wrong just telling me to be careful and it's not a solution.  They've been posting/IMing me with stuff I've found helpful and it's given me the impetus to try and change.  I know I won't do it overnight but previous to signing up here, I wouldn't consider it all.  So thank you to all the lovely people who've taken the time to talk to me in such a short space of time, it's made a huge difference to my whole outlook :)   CG64xxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Jul 06, 2009, 03:10:42 PM
Give yourself (and I mean literally do this, *now*) a pat on the back for that.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: swimchick on Jul 19, 2009, 02:42:41 PM
Just read all your beautiful posts and wish to thank all of you for sharing your stories *wipes a tear*
wish I had found GB years ago when I needed it!

will write my own when I have a bit more time, but still wanted to write a great big THANKS to those who have posted so far...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ChinaGirl64 on Jul 20, 2009, 02:13:07 AM
I really needed to read all these stories. Thank you. At 27 I've just broken up with my one and only girlfriend of three years. Until last week (when i found GB) I was on the war path to 'get back on to men'. I came out to all my friends and family when i was with my girlfriend but i hid behind the 'i fell in love with the person' thing and didn't fully admit that i was a lesbian. I've started spending a lot of time with one of my male friends whom i've always kinda fancied. But that's just it- i only kinda fancy him. He's great on paper. Even in the flesh he's great. But he WILL become one of those 'good guys' if we ever got into a relationship. I am a lesbian. I fancy women. Period. Your stories have made me realise that I need to embrace my sexuality instead of trying to convince myself to fall in love with a guy. I've been hitting the bottle- an attempt to drink myself straight. No more. It's time to get out there- meet some hot girls. Accept it. Love it. Live it.

Linds, all the very best to you and to your brave new lesbian future. 

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Leka on Jul 20, 2009, 04:57:31 AM
Oh my. ChinaGirl64 and misty1977 - actually, everyone who posted here in this situation - I wish you all strength to go through all this. I can't even imagine how hard this must be on you.

Unfortunately I don't really have useful advice to give. All I can do is say be strong! I'm sure you can go through this, whatever decision you make.

Best wishes! xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ForeverinBlueJeans on Aug 12, 2009, 12:37:24 AM
I want to add my comments here to say thank you for this thread. I properly came out - I mean told my family and all of my friends only this year in my mid 30s - and I don't think I would've had the strength or guts to do it if it wasn't for reading the messages here. It's impossible to express how much reading other people's comments and experiences helps with the fear and isolation being in the closet brings.

I was lucky because I'm not married and that simplified things a lot but it was still hard. I think the the biggest fear is that people are going to reject you because of it. It has definitely affected a couple of my friendships but I don't regret the decision for a second. In fact the reaction has been overwhelmingly fine. Also coming out hasn't solved all my problems by any means but it has opened life up for me finally.

Misty - I know it is very easy for me to say but I think maybe as some others have said you should talk to your husband. It sounds like you are a very strong team and maybe you can come up with a way of dealing with this together? Good luck.

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: LUCY BETHANY on Aug 16, 2009, 04:24:26 PM
[
I also have mild learning diffciulties I went to a special school. who told you you had l/d ?


quote author=Namaste link=topic=66086.msg1723205#msg1723205 date=1176593819]
I never really was a 'little girl'... I went to cubs then scouts, I climbed trees, I pretended to shave in the bath and played kiss chase with other women. I always used to kiss female friends too...

I got bullied a lot because of learning difficulties and because my Dad left us and we were hard up, so naturally in high school I really wanted to fit in. I always felt like I wanted to kiss female friends though, I watched my lady friends far more attentively and noticed women's breasts A LOT. But then at the same time I had depression and didn't start dating until I left school. My music teacher was FIT.

Anyway, at sixteen I still had the whole pretty-girl-talks-to-me-and-I-blush things going on, I never had any gay friends before, I couldn't figure it out and it scared te shit outta me. I had two boyfriends, then went in to hospital because I was so depressed... Aged eighteen, I kinda came out to my ex boyfriend, I came out as 'bisexual' because I had had crushes on boys before, if that makes sense. I wanted attention off men because other girls got it and it made me feel liked. Had two more boyfriends, but relationships never got far... I disliked the physical aspect, it felt cold (if that makes any sense).

I worked in a pub where I heard a lot of homophobic things said by customers, so again I slinked away if I ever saw a woman I liked. The fact is, growing up I knew a pretty girl could make me dizzy and blush and happy, boys? I felt a duty to like them and admittedly I've hurt people in the past because of this, I'm nt proud of that.

Likng girls made me suicidal because it was not something I ever had control over... I only ever started to question my sexuality properly around nineteen or twenty when I met Sam through a Pagan meeting. But my moods were all over the place and ths only confused me more... Enough of boring teenage crap...

At twenty one I went to university and found out what myspace was and joined. I had already been to LGBT a few times (privately, not telling anyone) and found a profile of a rather attractive, but slightly eccentric young woman. We got talking and yeah... I really liked her. I thought about her a lot, I was away from home and kinda... Well, she went home. But we affirmed how we felt and stuff. *sigh*

I travelled with another gay woman and eventually, I came out to her. The fact was that it was driving me crazy... Got sick of living a lie, got sick of trying to be girly and not being me. I didn't give a toss anymore and joined Gingerbeer after which I told my friends.

Uhmm... Nobody was really very surprised. LOL

And recently I told my Mum, but I don't think she wants to believe it, or is comfortable with it. I think she thinks that I went with the exchange student because I was scared boys will hurt me and that women make me feel safe. I really don't know... All I know is what I feel and I've finally committed to stop trying to be what I think other people want me to be.

I am still adjusting and learning about myself... This is natural I guess... I'm glad I have supportive mates too. I have a lot to learn though and maybe, I'll have a nice lady to share my world with (with big tits I hope lo jk!). I don't "identify" as "gay", but as "queer" and I hate being called a "lesbian" maybe because I'm not used to it, or because it scares me, I dunno. I really hate labels and I would say that I am 95% in to women, 5% in to guys so I guess technically I am "bisexual" or whatever stupid label people wanna slap on me.

I'm slowly becoming more confident with myself and since my image change I am for some reason getting chatted up sometimes. I would still be a bit nervous to date a woman properly (though I would have dated the American) because I don't really have loads of experience with women and I'm aware that it'd put a lot of women off that a newbie like me would wanna be with them and am scared I'd be a shit shag, or a crap girlfriend... But then my self-esteem is improving all the time so who knows eh?
[/quote]
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: PrincessaChristina on Aug 24, 2009, 12:55:16 PM
Aside from coming out when I first accepted I wasn't straight, I have found that as I get older I 'come out' to my friends about various aspects of me! I recently found myself 'coming out' to one of my best friends about a 'hobby' I am persuing!
I remember 12 yrs ago coming out to some lesbian friends, about having a crush on a guy, and wanting to know how they would feel if I persued the crush!!

They were amazing and very supportive. I didn't persue the crush but it was very comforting knowing that 2 people I felt close to weren't even hesitant about supporting me! ;D

I love being supported and supporting others in their lives!! Thanks beeries!!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: plugitin on Aug 29, 2009, 03:31:30 PM
When I joined GB I intended to stay on the discussion page but reading through this thread has made me feel quite emotional. HUGE thanks to everyone who had the nerve to share, it's much appreciated.

As for me - i've known I was attracted to girls since I was about 11, I used to try not get caught staring at more developed girls in the changing rooms and get very embarrassed, but when I was a teenager I would let boys have sex with me. I don't really know why as I knew I wasn't interested in them.

Anyway - my life pretty much stopped in 1992 when my mother had a small stroke then a heart attack then a massive stroke which left her needing 24/7 care then gradual dementia then cancer. It's only this year that my life has become my own again. The most intersting thing that has happened to me in the past 17 years is getting a job 6months ago and getting this computer a few weeks ago.

Through this interwebby thing I have learnt that my city centre has a lesbian pub. In the last few weeks I have walked past it many times, ridden my bike back and forth past it and sat on a bench further down the road and watched the entrance. I wish someone would come out and drag me inside or perhaps someone should come out and slap me!

Mostly I feel disgusted at myself by the fantasies I have about women - that I should pull myself together - that I only feel this way because i've been on my own so long everything is twisted in my mind - that I should just accept that i'm going to stay on my own - that I shouldn't inflict myself on someone.

I expect thats enough, more than enough.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Aug 29, 2009, 09:35:21 PM
When I joined GB I intended to stay on the discussion page but reading through this thread has made me feel quite emotional. HUGE thanks to everyone who had the nerve to share, it's much appreciated.

As for me - i've known I was attracted to girls since I was about 11, I used to try not get caught staring at more developed girls in the changing rooms and get very embarrassed, but when I was a teenager I would let boys have sex with me. I don't really know why as I knew I wasn't interested in them.

Anyway - my life pretty much stopped in 1992 when my mother had a small stroke then a heart attack then a massive stroke which left her needing 24/7 care then gradual dementia then cancer. It's only this year that my life has become my own again. The most intersting thing that has happened to me in the past 17 years is getting a job 6months ago and getting this computer a few weeks ago.

Through this interwebby thing I have learnt that my city centre has a lesbian pub. In the last few weeks I have walked past it many times, ridden my bike back and forth past it and sat on a bench further down the road and watched the entrance. I wish someone would come out and drag me inside or perhaps someone should come out and slap me!

Mostly I feel disgusted at myself by the fantasies I have about women - that I should pull myself together - that I only feel this way because i've been on my own so long everything is twisted in my mind - that I should just accept that i'm going to stay on my own - that I shouldn't inflict myself on someone.

I expect thats enough, more than enough.

hi -- if there's a pub there might be some sort of social group that DOES do that thing of coming out and taking your hand to get you over the threshold -- our switchboard used to do it, but paradoxically the switchboard has closed, due to lack of calls .. due to the way we all chat like this on line now  - hey ho -

perhaps try to the meeting ppl section in here to see if anyone here lives where you are?

PLEASE try to give up that feeling of disgust! Loving women is a wonderful, beautiful life affirming thing, and something you shoudl be looking forward to, and there is no reason to conclude you need to stay alone, now you are on your journey


all the best
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: plugitin on Aug 29, 2009, 09:57:31 PM
Thanks for the reply suze.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: PrincessaChristina on Aug 30, 2009, 08:11:11 PM
Quote
Mostly I feel disgusted at myself by the fantasies I have about women - that I should pull myself together - that I only feel this way because i've been on my own so long everything is twisted in my mind - that I should just accept that i'm going to stay on my own - that I shouldn't inflict myself on someone.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((plugitin)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

I am sending you the warmest, lovingest, strongest & supportive hug vibes that I can!!! 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: plugitin on Aug 30, 2009, 09:32:14 PM
Thank you PrincessaChristina.

Kinda wished i'd counted to ten before I pressed post.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: syphilisia on Aug 31, 2009, 12:50:44 PM
^^ plugitin, that is undoubtedly the kindest thing that I have ever heard or read a lesbion say to another human being.  If I was you I'd take that sentence, fold it up and put in my pocket and it give a rub sometimes when you need it.  Good luck to you.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 02, 2009, 04:45:12 PM
Hi all.  I’ve been lurking and reading for a while, and have found the variety of stories and honesty breathtaking.  Thank you.  Through some perhaps misguided sense of self-importance, I’ll now put in my tuppence worth.  ::)

I feel myself connecting with different bits of people’s stories.  I was a tomboyish child, with all male though ‘sensitive’ friends at least two are out now!.  When we played games, I was a boy.  I don’t really remember having crushes on anyone but lots of ‘you show me yours; I’ll show you mine’ plus some simulated sex games, though only with girls.

Puberty came young and made me dislike being a girl even more.  But on the upside, I was ‘allowed’ to hang out with the older kids on my estate and started the obligatory two-minute relationships of childhood.  The silly fun came to an abrupt end when the last of these ‘boyfriends’ assaulted me (I was 11, he was 14).  I didn’t tell anyone.  I went through the next 10 years with a weird sense of disconnection.  I had a high sex drive, but it was never connected to thoughts of people, just the intensity of feeling.  Emotional crushes occurred, but only on older women. I am lucky to have a high proportion of gay women in my family, so when I realised I found the idea of sex acts with men repulsive and terrifying I put two and two together and ‘decided’ I must be gay.

I withdrew from my estate and school and kept myself to myself.  I suffered from depression.  Then, at 18, I took up a job near Leicester Square in London.  Most people there were very hedonistic, from overseas, older than myself and gay.  The sexual tension was electric and everyone flirted, gay straight boy girl, whatever.  It scared the hell out of me at first!  On nights out all this multi-sex / sexuality flirting came to fruition, so to speak, and I got to have my first attempts at a sex life with some beautiful women, a couple of which hung around for a short while and helped me fix the people/sex schism in my head  :) And then at 20 I developed feelings for a boy.  ??  But because of the ‘anything goes’ atmosphere, I eventually decided to test the water…  I shortly came out to my close friends as bisexual.

A couple of years later I met a particular boy and we stayed together for 8 lovely years.  But now I find myself back in an awkwardville.  I slowly lost touch with all those gay girl friends and haven’t gone around telling people about my sexuality while I was shacked up (they just found out previously - no major 'outings'), so I am now assumed to be straight by all but those closest to me.  I have tried to make friends through Gaydar – with some limited success – but generally had bad experiences because of my stated bisexuality.  The married threesome offers aside, I was most hurt by the hostility I received from some.  After the liberation of my youth, I simply wasn’t prepared for it.  :'(

So here I am, in search of enlightened flesh and cyber friends.

On a more personal note, plugitin, you seem normal to me.  Judging from peoples stories here, all but a few figured it out with the help of people / a person that made them feel comfortable with whatever they were.  You just haven’t had that luck.  But you’ve seemingly found an entire gaggle of  ‘em here!  Good luck...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: plugitin on Sep 02, 2009, 05:54:12 PM
May I be the first.

(((((((Biscuit Queen)))))))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 02, 2009, 06:36:01 PM
May I be the first.

(((((((Biscuit Queen)))))))

*blushes and beams* 
.
.
.
I do like hugs though. :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: PrincessaChristina on Sep 14, 2009, 01:48:50 PM
(((((((Biscuit Queen)))))))))

Quote
I have tried to make friends through Gaydar Ė with some limited success Ė but generally had bad experiences because of my stated bisexuality.  The married threesome offers aside, I was most hurt by the hostility I received from some.  After the liberation of my youth, I simply wasnít prepared for it.

Haters- that's what they are and it is sad they don't have sense enough to be ashamed of themselves!!

Quote
So here I am, in search of enlightened flesh and cyber friends.

I am not enlightened but I have been told I glow!! ;D

Woo-Hoo!! Welcome!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 17, 2009, 06:15:25 PM

Quote
So here I am, in search of enlightened flesh and cyber friends.

I am not enlightened but I have been told I glow!! ;D

Woo-Hoo!! Welcome!!

Humour and a heart - Thanks Princessa!   :-*
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: raych on Sep 18, 2009, 03:57:16 AM
I came out two years ago. Recently broke up with my gf of a year and just moved to london.  It is hard to feel like I fit in, being american and all.  The lesbian community here is very different than the states.  I am hoping it gets better. i think I just need to meet the right people.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: PrincessaChristina on Sep 25, 2009, 01:21:44 PM
I came out two years ago. Recently broke up with my gf of a year and just moved to london.  It is hard to feel like I fit in, being american and all.  The lesbian community here is very different than the states.  I am hoping it gets better. i think I just need to meet the right people.  :)

Yes!! I have been here for around 6 years now and I TOTALLY understand what you just said!! You're welcome to IM me. (((hugs))) :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Hales on Oct 25, 2009, 10:06:49 PM
Hey everyone!

I am so grateful for having found this site and having read through some of the posts on here it has made me want to share my story and kinda get a few things off my chest...so here goes!

I've known from the age of about six that I was gay....(not literally as I obviously didn't understand what it was all about at that age) but have early recollections of chasing girls around the playground at primary school. I was always teased during my time at school for having never had a bf or never having "got off" with a boy, so I was delighted to be able to move to a different school sixth form to do my A levels (the school I moved to was an all girls grammer)

I absolutely loved it there and became really close friends with a girl in my year...I suppose this was when the hormones really stared to kick in for me and I found myself really fancying her. Anyway, we ended up having a massive argument and didn't speak for years.  I was devastated and spent months afterwards (she went off to Uni) crying and being miserable over never being able to see her again. I guess this was my first experience of "young love" for want of a better word and being heartbroken over a woman.

Anyway, the years move on and I joined a local amateur theatre group.  I love singing and being on stage and this seemed to be a great opportunity for me to come "out of my shell".  I suddenly began to express myself differently in the way I dressed and had my hair cut shorter.  Sadly it has only been within the past couple of years that I have started to come out (I'm 29) and expressly tell my friends that I am gay (half expecting them to be stunned by this news...none of them have been so far of course!!)

Although I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin and happy with who I am now I am still in the situation that I have never actually told my parents that I'm gay....(although I'm hoping by virtue of the fact that I have never had a bf it is a bit of giveaway!!)

Having said that I have never had a serious relationship with a woman either, but now find myself in the situation where I have met someone I really like and she feels the same about me.  I therefore feel that it's time to stop living a lie with my parents and tell them I'm gay...although I have no idea how to tackle this one!!

I guess if anyone has any advice on this one I'd really appreciated it (I'm sure there is loads of advice about tackling the parents on here but I've not had chance to read through it all yet!)

Help me out pls people!! xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Nov 01, 2009, 02:04:00 PM
someone  wrote a list of books on this thread. I have been awake forever today & read this.
There's a book right here & I delighted in reading this.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: private universe on Dec 28, 2009, 12:01:18 PM
Feels like this is a good place for my introduction  ;D

I am 39 and came out as such last year. 

As a very young teen the only queer thing I can remember is being fascinated by a friend who developed boobs before me - and I do remember her letting me feel them.  It didn't feel sexual at the time, and there was no experimenting other than that.  Later, about 13, as all my friends started snogging the odd guy at school discos, I remember dreaming of my first kiss - the boy turned into a girl from school, and it felt very weird.  I think I did wonder if it meant I was gay, but nothing else seemed to tally with it.

I then became rather promiscuous, given the chance.  This went on pretty much for 10 years on and off, until my Dad died - shortly after I met a very caring man, I was 25, and we stayed together for 9 years.  Just before we met I had realised I had a lot of fantasies about sex with women, and I went some way towards exploring that but nothing ever happened.  I was honest with the boyfriend, explained that it was something I might want to explore sometime, but we got into a relationship rut pretty quickly, and I guess I decided that despite him being able to push the right buttons, a first!, I was just not that into sex.

When he left me (I was glad really, even at the time) for not wanting children, I did join gaydargirls, but a bicurious girl with no experience isn't the most attractive option on there, and again I soon forgot about it.  I had major but shorter relationships with two men - the second was a much more feminine but definitely straight man who took me way outside previous sexual boundaries and I found my mojo again.  I  have much to thank him for.  We were only together 4 months, but are friends still.

I went through agonies after we split up, but coming out of that, I was chatted up in a straight club, by the cutest much younger woman - I jumped at the chance!  It was odd - it felt great, and right, but she was SO much younger, and foreign with a great likelihood of going back home.  I loved her, but in a bigger sister kind of way I guess, though I did start to find out what really great sex meant!  We are still friends.

My family had a varied response - my sister apparently pictures couples in bed  ???....and cannot deal with "seeing" me in bed with a woman - to that end she never met my ex.  My Mum is okay - we've talked a lot about it, and she thinks perhaps she is bi.  My stepfather and step family are all cool with it, as are friends - I do think I've lost one friend partly because of it, but I think she'd deny it had anything to do with it.

I guess at this point I identified as bisexual, but I knew I found the label difficult - titillating to men, rejected by some lesbians - the feminist in me almost wanted to be able to identify as lesbian.  I spent a lot of time single, had a few wild nights in clubs, pulling mainly young men, but not sleeping with them...and I started to feel that I really only wanted to be with a woman.  I sorted out my gaydargirls profile and started looking.  Finally I met up with someone roughly my age, who had been out since she was young, experienced....and although I fell for her and got very hurt, it cemented how I felt about my sexuality - the sex was SO right, and SO good lol, and it just felt right being around her. 

I guess I am currently identifying as lesbian but am definitely single and intend to stay that way for a while - too much going on in my life for a relationship!  I have made some good gay friends through a forum I have long been a member of for my horsey passion and I am very glad of them, navigating this brave new world :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: GentleWhisper on Dec 30, 2009, 01:35:16 PM
At the ripe old age of 38yrs, my sexuality has just been quietly acknowledged by my family.
With a strong and vocal homophobic background displayed by my parents throughout my life, I recently found myself in the most surreal situation.

I thought it was all going to blow up some months ago when my father traced my Facebook account and my profile picture was that of myself and girlfriend of the time. That led to an anxious 48hrs but it blew over.

This Christmas however, a catalogue of events collided completely unexpectedly and I watched helplessly as a conversation blossomed around me. Having accepted a job abroad which I could only in clear conscience accept if single combined with various other recent changes in my life, my Father candidly but not ungently asked some pertinent questions and with the watchful eye of my sister and a long standing friend of mine, much was said whilst few words were spoken.
I escaped relatively unscathed. I thought that the end of the matter; merely admiring my Fathers precise language as he moved seamlessly from 'friendship' to 'relationship' in his reference to others in my life.
Until last night.
The telephone rang quite late in the evening and I was surprised to see it was my fathers private line. Uh-oh...
At first he made only reference to my forthcoming absence from the UK but then without warning, moved across to discussing my most recent relationship and wanting assurance that I was ok in the face of its demise. My Father, for the first time in many years, was being a dad and I was enormously touched.
He set the tone with his own language and I was happy to work within his own comfort zone. As people of a generation with values many of us would now struggle to understand and think outright archaic, he was nonetheless the perfect gentleman and father, trying to blend his own values with the life his daughter was living.

I doubt we shall ever use the words "Lesbian" or anything of the sort between the two of us but the acknowledgement that he now knows and that my wellbeing features more highly on his agenda than 'social correctness' allowed me to bid him goodnight with a lightness and love in my heart that has long been suppressed by my sense of deceit.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: foxglove on Dec 30, 2009, 03:08:46 PM
I am so pleased for you. :)

(((((gentlewhisper)))))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Dec 30, 2009, 07:38:38 PM
That's great, GentleWhisper.

Enormously encouraging to see that change is possible.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Dec 30, 2009, 11:53:49 PM
 @ hales - re telling parents

never easy  ... even as you get older

the way I did it was very personal and not at all transferable to other situations (I was older than you and had been married!)

I know some ppl favour the idea of writing a letter, at least you can control it and take time and effort over the structure  /  phrasing

BUT you get no feedback and might spend ages worrying about how they've recieved the news ..

if indeed it IS news, your pals weren't surprised and maybe your parents wont be either ...

Phone up and ask if you can bring your girlfriend round for a cuppa next week?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Dec 30, 2009, 11:55:07 PM
@ gw .. great story that

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: PrincessaChristina on Dec 31, 2009, 12:24:48 AM
Woo-Hoo! @ GentleWhisperer!!
Your story gave me goosebumps!!
(((((Hugs))))))
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: jacque wiles on Dec 31, 2009, 04:14:19 PM
someone  wrote a list of books on this thread. I have been awake forever today & read this.
There's a book right here & I delighted in reading this.

here here and well done mods for sticking this here topic.
I am nearly ten years into fining myself.

I use to think of all those wasted years especially when I was married to some bloke..who for want of a better description was so not in my league. ( I know that sounds a bit big headed). But compared to the realisation of knowing and being with women my life was half lived.

But reading all these stories some of them so amazing ( could not comment on them all, took a few days to get through all the pages)


My opinion is that you just live your life and try your best to be happy. You are making those choices of how it will be and if that's to stay married to man for whatever reason then so be it.

There is no law that says because you have feelings for women then you have to go out there and explore . You still have to way up the pros and cons. I was sooo fortunate that there were not children involved in my situation. I have no regrets leaving that marriage but it was no easy feat. It was had. When you have had your life wrapped up with someone else the leaving involves all that unwrapping. Then you are left feeling lost and naked.It is only for a short while till you  find yourself.
But oh is it worth it!!. I have never felt more free.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Janie on Jan 01, 2010, 10:00:19 PM
At the ripe old age of 38yrs, my sexuality has just been quietly acknowledged by my family.
With a strong and vocal homophobic background displayed by my parents throughout my life, I recently found myself in the most surreal situation.

I thought it was all going to blow up some months ago when my father traced my Facebook account and my profile picture was that of myself and girlfriend of the time. That led to an anxious 48hrs but it blew over.

This Christmas however, a catalogue of events collided completely unexpectedly and I watched helplessly as a conversation blossomed around me. Having accepted a job abroad which I could only in clear conscience accept if single combined with various other recent changes in my life, my Father candidly but not ungently asked some pertinent questions and with the watchful eye of my sister and a long standing friend of mine, much was said whilst few words were spoken.
I escaped relatively unscathed. I thought that the end of the matter; merely admiring my Fathers precise language as he moved seamlessly from 'friendship' to 'relationship' in his reference to others in my life.
Until last night.
The telephone rang quite late in the evening and I was surprised to see it was my fathers private line. Uh-oh...
At first he made only reference to my forthcoming absence from the UK but then without warning, moved across to discussing my most recent relationship and wanting assurance that I was ok in the face of its demise. My Father, for the first time in many years, was being a dad and I was enormously touched.
He set the tone with his own language and I was happy to work within his own comfort zone. As people of a generation with values many of us would now struggle to understand and think outright archaic, he was nonetheless the perfect gentleman and father, trying to blend his own values with the life his daughter was living.

I doubt we shall ever use the words "Lesbian" or anything of the sort between the two of us but the acknowledgement that he now knows and that my wellbeing features more highly on his agenda than 'social correctness' allowed me to bid him goodnight with a lightness and love in my heart that has long been suppressed by my sense of deceit.

that just made me teary ... and gave me hope, thank you x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: gettingthere on Jan 05, 2010, 07:33:19 PM
Hello everyone.

Well I'm 32 years old and I,ve only just started coming out to people. I,ve known for years I was a lesbian but tried to hide it. This worked well until about a year ago when my feelings for women became too strong.

I am actually married to my bestest friend ever and he knows all about it. We,re happy to plod on for the time being as it suits us both financially and because we get on so well. We haven't had a sexual relationship in about 6 years so maybe he should have guessed sooner :)

My close friends also know and are absolutely fine with it. I haven't told my parents yet. Too scared for that! One step at a time.

Hopefully in the future I will meet someone who understands my situation and I will be able to tell my mum and dad and move on. Until then I'm just happy I,ve finally accepted who I am and the people who mean the most to me accept me also!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fooly on Jan 07, 2010, 03:52:50 AM
All these posts make me teary :( reading everyone's thought's and fears of coming out... makes me feel not alone. Reading the happy results makes me want to come out to my parents even more.

I'm 22 and I still haven't really told anyone I'm gay. There's some people, and they seemed ok with it, but since I told them they haven't spoken to me. Whether or not it's coincidence I don't know.
My parents is a completely different story. I feel like I can't tell them because it'll ruin their expectations. I'm an only child and I feel pressure to make my parents proud of me by getting married and having kids. I've always told them I didn't want kids and my mum was ok, but my dad wasn't really. I love my parents to death and I don't want to hurt them :( but this is me. I just want them to love me. I'm going through a tough time trying to forget my last girlfriend (who was my first girlfriend) who's got a new girl, but I have no-one in the real world to talk to. I could do with their help and support right now, so much so that I've really considered trying to tell them. Really doesn't help I'm very shy though.

I'm lucky enough to have quite a few of online friends who all know and all accept me for who I am, and I am so happy and gratful to those people. They keep me sane and happy. I just hope for the future I can be who I am online in the real world, and meet people who accept me for me, and not judge. I really hope my parent's will accept it when I manage to tell them, I love them too much to lose them.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Jan 07, 2010, 03:38:17 PM
on-line friends are great in this sort of situation ..

as for your folks, I'm sure you wont ruin their expectations ...

when push comes to shove I hope their main expectation for you  is that you'll be happy  ... 

and you can marry a woman, if you want to ...  and have kids if you change your mind later .... i never fancied kids even in a heterosexual marriage, tho' -----  it's not for everyone ...

your folks, are they religious?  do they live in a parallel universe where they've never heard of happy homos?

I  can't help thinking that most of this worry is probably your own fears  ....  and I hope you come to find that your folks are not traumatised in the long term  ... with a few exceptions most of us talk of families who can take it in their stride,

I think it is easier to tell family when you are feeling strong in yourself, perhaps from reading more stuff like this and feeling more sure yourself that being queer is not a scarey thing nor a crushing of expectations ..  you know we are so surrounded by hettie models of life, esp in schools and in the media ...  you've got to take time to shift that in yourself.

ppl like your internet friends who don't feel like we / they are mising out by not being straight and books about coming out will help you

xxxxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fooly on Jan 07, 2010, 07:55:44 PM
@suze - I'm not entirely sure if that's aimed all at me, but I'll answer anyway =)
My mum is atheist and my dad is agnostic, but he does come from a pretty religious family. Actually when I think about it my mum does have a gay friend, who's female, but they don't see each other hardly.

I'm sure you're right that most, if not all my worries are my own. Unfortunatly I'm that kinda person that thinks and thinks about a situation and ends up being really scared about it.

I'm not really strong in myself, but it really doesn't help I'm verrry shy and quiet in real life :P

Here's hoping in years to come I'll truly find myself and properly be happy and my parents knowing!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Jan 08, 2010, 04:52:37 PM
@suze - I'm not entirely sure if that's aimed all at me, but I'll answer anyway =)
My mum is atheist and my dad is agnostic, but he does come from a pretty religious family. Actually when I think about it my mum does have a gay friend, who's female, but they don't see each other hardly.

I'm sure you're right that most, if not all my worries are my own. Unfortunatly I'm that kinda person that thinks and thinks about a situation and ends up being really scared about it.

I'm not really strong in myself, but it really doesn't help I'm verrry shy and quiet in real life :P

Here's hoping in years to come I'll truly find myself and properly be happy and my parents knowing!

yes i was talking to you, fooly ... i guessed you could be exaggerating the chances of a bad reaction from your folks . . and you say it is your nature to get scared .. but it's not unusual, i guess many of us have shared fears like yours in the past ....

so i'm just suggesting that you can gain strength from talking to other women who've survived it, and maybe some reading of books about coming out ...

good luck
 
xxxxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: petalponk on Feb 03, 2010, 11:01:51 PM
Ok here we go....

I came out to my friends and brother as bi when i was about 20 but to be honest despite having had boyfriends, i didn't really fancy either men or women.

Several years later, after a few more boyfriends, i was single and decided to see what this gay club was like, my straight mate got chatted up :( and i got disillusioned by all the women moaning about "biodes" and why they wouldn't go out with them.

so I tried another man, still didn't do owt for me, but we had an open relationship..... and i finally started doing stuff with women, and it was like this is it i'm home sort of a moment. But just to throw me off again for a few years i thought i was trans, then i had a nervous breakdown.

So at the age of 28 i finally realised i was gay I still couldn't face going to the gay bars cos of how mean people had been before, so i ended up meeting someone off the internet and i've been with her five years now and i am happy :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Jacko on Feb 09, 2010, 11:47:04 AM
Love your story petalponk - happy endings make me joyful  ;D

Is it possible to come out twice?

I came out a few years ago (here on GB   :) ) but then a couple of years later became a buddhist nun. Before that happened I id'd as femme... Anyway, predictably - I should have known  ::) - I ended up falling for another nun which complicated matters and now, for some reason I'm not sure what I'm id'ing as. All I know is I'm having the urge to be a boy.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: petalponk on Feb 14, 2010, 05:33:55 PM
Love your story petalponk - happy endings make me joyful  ;D

Is it possible to come out twice?

I came out a few years ago (here on GB   :) ) but then a couple of years later became a buddhist nun. Before that happened I id'd as femme... Anyway, predictably - I should have known  ::) - I ended up falling for another nun which complicated matters and now, for some reason I'm not sure what I'm id'ing as. All I know is I'm having the urge to be a boy.

I had the urge to be a boy still do sometimes, but i think the practicalities of it all kinda put me off, i will remain as i am - me.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: mary lou on Mar 08, 2010, 01:02:13 PM
hi there lovelies,i came out a long long long time ago when i was 16,had my 1st sexual experience with a girl when i was 14.the 2 years inbetween were hard but doesnt everyone have a hard time whenthey are 14?in retrospect i had no language to explain to myself,let alone anyone else,what i felt for this other girl.and it was the early 80s too-3 channels on tv,no internet,no gay charcters on tv-different times.
              one time when i was 15 my mum walked into my bedroom without knocking just at the point i was starting to get friendly with my gf.i took my hand off her breast and out of her jumpsuit(early 80s-remember)and we jumped apart in a seamless movement.later mum said"is there anything you want to tell me?"-i just said "no".but when i did come out at 16 they were cool.they came from different religious backgrounds and got hell from their parents when they fell in love.wanted us to be ourselves and be happy.i got lucky i suppose.sometimes i wonder how it would have been to come out older and not spent so much of my teen years wrapped up thinking about it all.met someone else who came out very young and she said she felt like she grew up hating herself.for me it was an exciting time(once i was out) as i left home& started exploring!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Louisa1981 on Mar 08, 2010, 10:42:30 PM
Hi I wonder if anyone on here would be interested in talking to me about their comingout/finding yourself stories, or in giving me permission to write about the stories they have posted on here in my dissertation.

I have read with interest, and would love to include some of what has been written or things which other people might want to talk to me about in my writing.

I came out last year at the age of 27 and well I suppose I felt a bit like the only gay mum in the village so to speak, and when it came to doing my dissertation one of the things I was I was reading a lot about was sexuality and I wanted to do it on the experience of coming out for people like myself, who had taken a longer period of time to identify as gay. So first of all I found it difficult to find other pepole in the same kind of position, most of the gay women Iíve met has been through going out to clubs so its not a very visible thing, I asked around and posted on some sites (hadnít heard of gingerbeer). I met some contacts but never got an interview, i think maybe it is because the gay community in the city where I live can seem quite small. Anyway was on the point of giving up when I posted on here a couple of days ago and now Iím hopeful again that I can get talking to people on here about their stories.
Ok so my research aims, Iím doing qualitative research which deals in meanings and experience rather than trying to discover facts about human nature. So Iím not looking to analyse anybodyís personality, or try to find some Ďtruthí about any groups of people etc, the kind of psychology Iím into questions the whole basis of peopleís claims to those kind of things. What Iím looking to do is find contemporary coming out stories and understand the experience as it has happened for others.

I've posted here

http://boards.gingerbeer.co.uk/index.php?topic=95138.0

and would really love to hear from people on there, in this topic, or personal message
 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Mar 09, 2010, 11:57:12 AM
I dont mind talking to you - will pm
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Max71 on Mar 13, 2010, 02:13:27 AM
I love this thread.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: kate b on Mar 14, 2010, 12:34:22 AM
I love it too.  :D

I came out gradually in my teens. I first wondered when I was about 11 but when I tentatively brought the subject up with my mother she brought up the issue of sex which threw me. By 14 I was a bit concerned that I never, ever fancied boys and I kinda talked myself into an infatuation or 2 with male teachers but when I actually got so far as meeting up with one of them at his place when I was 16 I was utterly disenchanted immediately when he turned out not to be interested in left-wing politics and existentialism.  ::)

The question of my sexuality bugged me after that and I went on a school trip to France, met a boy with nice green eyes whom I decided I fancied so I snogged the face off him one evening and promptly had an out-of-body experience which spelled an abrupt end to my interest in him.

 Weeks after that I got to know a young woman at school/6th Form. She was a bright, interesting, slightly butch and very out lesbian and she pursued me for weeks. I was captivated but scared as fuck. She had plenty of sexual experience and her interest in me (and mine in her) was utterly compelling but when we eventually contrived to arrange for me to stay over at her place to 'study' it just didn't work out. I really wanted to, but unexpected demons surfaced at an unfortunate moment and I freaked out.  :-\ She wasn't up for hanging around waiting for someone who wouldn't/couldn't have sex with her straight away so that was that. I was hit hard by this and it took me the best part of a year to get myself together. But even though things ended the way they did with x and we never managed to get further than kissing, any doubts I had about whether I was a lesbian evaporated right there and then.

Six months later I went to uni (briefly) at 18 and within months met the woman who became my first girlfriend. And that was that really.  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: zucchini on May 13, 2010, 12:03:57 PM
what a great thread  :)  if i'd known about a resource like this back when i was a confused whippersnapper, i might've realised i was gay a lot sooner!

i was basically non-sexual all through my teens.  i had crushes on boys, including a few infatuations, and i snogged A LOT of them.  but i never felt any urge to do anything more - in fact the very idea terrified me.  i had the odd crush on girls, but nothing major and certainly nothing which i recognised as meaning that i might be gay.  i was bullied a lot at school, which i think instilled a desire to conform in me - which looking back probably explains why i was so keen to snog boys all the time.  that said, it was blatantly obvious i didn't really fit in!  whilst my female friends would be busy tarting themselves up for a night out 'on the pull', i'd always feel left out, as i had no desire to wear skirts or dresses, or make-up.  i was always the one turning up in ripped jeans and baggy top when everyone else was in skimpy dresses!

went off to uni and had a couple of very short-term relationships with boys.  both times they wanted to have sex within a couple of weeks and i just had absolutely no desire to - still petrified in fact.  in my final year i developed my first MAJOR crush on a girl on my course.  it confused me a little, but i told myself it was just a phase that a lot of girls go through.  i clearly couldn't be a lesbian as i too didn't identify with the 'traditional', stereotypical image of a lesbian. 

then towards the end of my degree, my female housemate and i got drunk one night and kissed - she initiated it.  she was straight but a very open and sexual person, and to her it was just a bit of fun.  to me, it was the beginning of an awakening!  i found it so exciting to be kissing a girl - it felt right, it felt natural, i wanted more of it.  it happened a couple more times when we were drunk.  then once we ended up sharing a bed and (drunk again) i tried to kiss her again, and was feeling horny for practically the first time in my life.  however, my friend just laughed and told me to stop being silly - she was clearly over her phase of kissing me, and that was that.

so i left uni, still a virgin, and developed a massive crush on my male guitar teacher.  he was ten years older than me, with a beautiful singing voice and amazing guitar skills (i've always been a sucker for talented folk!).  i ended up back at his place after a party one night, we kissed, one thing led to another, and for the first time ever i felt that i could have sex with this man.  we didn't in the end, due to lack of protection!  i ended up losing my virginity a few months later to a sweet sweet northern irish boy.  we had a long-distance relationship for 6 months, and although he was lovely and i did fancy him in a way, i never felt a physical urge to be with him.  the sex was ok, but nothing more.

i then went to oz on a backpacking holiday, not really entertaining thoughts of gayness anymore due to recent experiences with men.  however, within a few months, i met a girl who got drunk one night and told me i was amazing, and took me upstairs and kissed me. Oh. My. God.  i immediately fell in love.  we travelled together for the next 12 months, engaged in this weird, unhealthy 'relationship' which involved sharing a bed wherever we were staying, kissing and telling each other we loved each other, but by day acting as friends.  once a week or so, she would go out without me (i had to be up early for work), come back drunk and make sexual advances.  but we were usually sharing a room, or she was so drunk it was just a turn-off.  she'd also go out and sleep with men.  the whole thing was completely messed up, she was basically straight and just experimenting, and i got my heart broken.

eventually came back to england, whereupon all my old schoolfriends had heard on the grapevine that i was 'probably gay', and none were surprised!  one really close friend even decided we should get together - we kissed a few times, but i wasn't really attracted to her. 

this was all in small-town cheshire, and at the age of 23, i was still confused.  i was pretty sure i was gay, or bi, but needed to find out for sure.  so i moved to london.  i didn't know anyone there, so turned up at vespa lounge (oh happy memories!) one night on my tod - and that was it!  i felt totally at home in a bar for the first time in my life.  un-made up, wearing jeans, with my short hair - the women i saw around me were all different, yet i felt a common bond, and it was an amazing feeling!  i proceeded to go there practically every night after work, and made some amazing friends.  eventually i even pulled the barmaid, whom i'd had the biggest crush on for months, and we went out for a while.  she was my first real sexual experience with a girl and wow had i found my calling ;)  it still took me a few more months to accept to myself that i was gay.  i toyed with the thought that i might be bi for a while, as it seemed less drastic, and after all i had fancied men in the past.  but i soon realised that it was exclusively women i was attracted to, now that i was letting myself do so. 

once i finally realised i was gay, it explained so many things about my teenage years.  i'd thought i was weird, different, frigid for so long, that i'd never meet the right man for me...  turns out there was a very good reason for that!

i've had a couple of long-term relationships with women since then, both of which have left me heart-broken when they ended.  however, i am now reaching a point where i feel i might want to explore my sexuality further in the future, by having some 'flings' and not rushing into anything serious.  sex with women is the most beautiful thing, and now, at 33, i feel a need to make up for lost time in my youth!

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Max71 on May 13, 2010, 09:28:50 PM
I love this thread.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on May 13, 2010, 09:44:29 PM
I think what's fascinating is so many people who aren't straight has to do some strange mental adventuring to figure it out; it's almost like a treasure hunt - finding clues and so on. Because we grow up in a world that assumes we will grow up straight.

I wonder if anyone ever suddenly realises they're gay or bi when first presented with an equity data form which asks them to tick an orientation box.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Max71 on May 13, 2010, 10:06:56 PM
I think I like it because I dont have a coming out story.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on May 14, 2010, 09:22:58 AM
I think I like it because I dont have a coming out story.

this puzzles me ... because you're straight? cos you never seemed the slightest bit straight?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on May 14, 2010, 09:28:42 AM
^ maybe she was born already out.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: zucchini on May 14, 2010, 09:31:54 AM
I think what's fascinating is so many people who aren't straight has to do some strange mental adventuring to figure it out; it's almost like a treasure hunt - finding clues and so on. Because we grow up in a world that assumes we will grow up straight.

that's exactly it!  if you grow up in a situation where the existence of gay people isn't even in the equation, then it can be really difficult to realise that's what you are!

having said that, i'm sure there are many people who grow up in a similar situation but who would say that they have always known they were gay - that just wasn't the case with me.

i have a gay cousin (2 out of 5 of us cousins are gay - good gay genes in my mum's side of the family!) who says he always knew he was gay and was attracted to boys from the age of about 7.  sadly, though he is now 50, he is unable to come out to his parents.  i'm really glad he's been able to tell my mum and i.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Max71 on May 17, 2010, 12:21:48 AM
I think I like it because I dont have a coming out story.

this puzzles me ... because you're straight? cos you never seemed the slightest bit straight?


I dont ID as straight or gay or bi, I date / fall in love with / spend time with people....however they ID.  I always have done. I didn't get to do any 'announcement' or anything to my family as we dont work like that.  If someone is brave enought to want to date one of us then the family see this as something that deserves a medal, they dont care how that person ID's.

^ maybe she was born already out.

A couple of years ago my cousin said to me, in hushed tones, "yes, but you getting married and dating boys was a phase really wasn't it?" She was only half joking.

There is a little bit of me that wonders what it was like to have 'an awakening' or to 'finally acknowledge'  *shrugs*  I dont know.  I just wonder sometimes, that is all.

These stories [on this thread] often make me smile, so I shall keep returning to them.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: scintilla on May 17, 2010, 01:14:31 AM
There is a little bit of me that wonders what it was like to have 'an awakening' or to 'finally acknowledge'  *shrugs*  I dont know.  I just wonder sometimes, that is all.

Is it Patrick Califia? Who wrote in an essay that everybody has to have a story, that to be a dyke you have to have your rite-of-pasage story, it's like your lezzer-token. And it's always the same story, give or take.

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but everybody needs their narrative. So perhaps you put one together out of the facts of your life. I can see how an ID might be validated a little if there has been a definite journey to achieve it, and I think that's the point Califia was making: the coming out story is a kind of currency. It's not that it's untrue, it's just reified a bit sometimes.

I'm totally incoherent, and too tired. But I think I'm a bit like you, my coming-out story has never been very satisfyingly coherent, and as things roll on I've become less fussed about trying to make it so. I never had some dawning moment, I always sort of vaguely knew what I was. I did come out to my mum, but I think all I ever said was, "I'm in a relationship with X": I always felt very uncomfortable that I never had that lightning bolt defining moment. The older I get, the more at peace I become with just pootling along... I think, if I've had a damascene moment at all, that's it. To be ok with whatever happens.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: musca on Jun 09, 2010, 03:36:37 PM
If someone is brave enought to want to date one of us then the family see this as something that deserves a medal, they dont care how that person ID's.



this sounds like my family. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Jaygirl on Jun 12, 2010, 10:13:23 PM
I was married at 18 to a guy I met when I was just 15.  We were married for 36yrs and I had 3 lovely children...but during all that time I felt I was attracted to some women but never did anything about it and just fantasised about them and put it down to 'normal' sexual fantasies (never sharing them with anyone).  Then I met another woman through work who was also married with a couple of kids and we became firm friends, we shared so many interests and found we were on the same wavelength about nearly everything.  We used to see each other about 3 or 4 times a week and we began talking about being soulmates, we often texted each other at the same time (still do) or have the same thoughts at the same time etc.. it was incredible.
We were out at dinner one night when I said that it was funny cos if one of us had been a man then we'd probably be going to have an affaire and we laughed loads over this..still not thinking the obvious.
I found myself thinking about her all the time and looking forward to seeeing her next and then when I was going on holiday with my husband for 10 days, I was genuinely upset to be leaving her and spent most of the holiday texting her which annoyed hubby massively.  When we returned she came round for lunch one day and after we had eaten we sat at the table chatting but there was a moment between us where we were just looking into each others eyes not needing to say anything and then I just reached over took her face in my hands and gently kissed her softly on her cheek then very gently on her lips....and that was the beginning of our relationship.  We have just celebrated our 2nd anniversary and are so much in love with each other...the honeymoon period is certainly not over and if anything we love each other and fancy the pants off each other every bit as much now as we did when we first realised we did not want to live without each other.  The following week from that we went to London Pride and had a fantastic time, it was all very new to us but what we have between us feels so right and so natural that it couldn't possibly be wrong.  I broke up with my husband two days after that.
You can never tell where or when true love will strike, I certainly never thought I could ever be bowled over by someone who could sweep me off my feet head over heels like that, and I can only say that I just wish that everyone could have such a loving experience in their life whether gay or straight.

Hope I haven't bored anyone off to sleep, Jx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Max71 on Jun 12, 2010, 11:26:32 PM
Stories like ^ could never bore anybody.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScarletBea on Jun 13, 2010, 12:46:02 PM
Jaygirl that was a lovely story :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: controlv on Jun 13, 2010, 09:02:22 PM
And highly hopeful that our time, indeed, will come. x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: syphilisia on Jun 13, 2010, 10:14:18 PM
That is a beautiful story, Jaygirl.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Farnam on Jul 24, 2010, 08:40:10 PM
I've given over 2 entire afternoons to reading over this thread twice now, so I suppose I may as well do my own, for what its worth. I've seen some very reassuring similarities here, especially amoung people who come out a little later in life.

Like so many people here, it took me many years to even consider the notion, but somehow I should have known all along.
I was raised in a very strict catholic family, where gay people were seen as evil, and the proper solution an exorcism. My mother was also a bit psyco in several respects, and in childhood and teenage years I had many very mixed messages about my gender, which somehow overrode any questions I would have asked myself about my sexuality.
In my mid teens I did experience some fairly intense crushes on young beautiful female teachers, and somehow my mother must have noticed, because she pulled me aside for some heart to heart advice.  Apparently, in the logic of whatever planet she is from:
'its totally normal for young girls to have very strong feelings for beautiful women, and want to touch them, it happens to all young girls, but if you grow up, go to college, meet a nice man who treats you with respect and marry him, then you will fall in love with him.'
I have no idea why I believed her, I accepted hardly a single other thing she said, but for some reason I took this at face value, never named my intense feelings as 'crushes' (possibly because they were more romantic than sexual) and just plodded along, waiting to get old enough for this magic desire for men to finally kick into place. I had boy friends through my teens, who I slept with, and hated it, but then, that was perfectly in line with everything I'd been told at home and by the nuns in school about sex being horrible for women, you just did it to make a baby, etc, , so I didn't really question it.
By 19 I had my son, and for several years just concentrated on getting my life together and being a mother. I never dated anyone, or thought about my sexuality either, really. In my mid 20's I went to Uni for the first time, and had 5 wonderful years which involved one boy friend who, like the ones from my teens, was simply someone I wanted as a friend, but if sleeping with him was part of that deal, I was willing to go along with it. Just like in school, I also managed to fall hopelessly in love with one of my lecturers, and cried for a full day when I heard she was getting married, but STILL didn't realise I had a crush on her. I gave myself all kinds of other reasons for my distress. Its amazing how someone can consistently come top of the class and still be so stupid :D
It's funny though, because several of my friends at the time were constantly accusing me of being obviously gay, and I'd get upset with them when they did. Anyway, then I met the first woman I kissed, and fell just a little in love, and the penny started to drop - so what did I do? I ran screaming, of course! I moved, started my first full time professional job, met a guy who became my best friend, and I agreed to get engaged to him. Why, I don't know. It was clear it was to be a totally a-sexual relationship from the start, and that was his doing not mine, and for the first few years I just settled into that without a problem. We were together for 7 years, and the final few were hell.

The next catalyst was in fact my youngest sister ... she came to live with us in her teens, and was clearly having difficulties around her own sexuality. She had come out to our middle sister and one of our brothers, who treated the matter as a laugh, and assured her she would grow out of it, which made me furious, so I tried to do the surrogate mother thing, and ended up talking, and talking, and talking... as I tried to tell her how *I* had had these feelings all my life, and never grew out of them, and not to listen to the idiots, because it would only lead her to the same regrets I had. It was quite profound to be able to name and discuss something I had never talked about to anyone before.
Finally, the relationship I was in with the guy fell asunder, and at the suggestion of some college friends (I was back to do my PhD at this stage) I signed up for some dating web sites - listing my sexuality as bisexual for the first time. And it was really only in that moment, looking at it on the drop down menu, that I thought about putting a label on things. And THEN got really pissed off that only men messaged me. It took me another while to realise that I was still using the wrong label. (see the level of silliness that runs through this?)
Myself and my sister began to go out to some lesbian events together, but didn't find much acceptance there. People seemed naturally suspicious of two sisters, and wouldn't believe that we could both be interested in other women. It was a difficult time.
Anyway, that was 2 years ago now, and in the meantime I've moved to London. I continued to identify as bisexual until fairly recently - somehow it seemed necessary not to deny my past which only involved relationships with men, even though I'd only ever felt attraction for women. In recent months though I've slowly found the start of friendships with other women who are totally confident at identifying as lesbian, even where they were previously married-with-kids-and-a-white-picket-fence, and I've found far more confidence in using the term for myself, although I am most comfortable of all referring to myself as Queer.
And that is just about it, really. Sometimes I wonder if I haven't just brought more pain. I've created an enormous secret that has to be kept hidden from parents and work, and a strange deep loneliness in myself, somehow. All my life anything to do with relationships or sexuality was put on the back burner, I didn't do much except go along with what others wanted. Instead I pursued other goals - raising a child to adulthood, and a sister to adulthood through her teens as well, developing a career from a start point of being a pregnant homeless teenager to an end point of being exactly where I want, with a very good job I get huge satisfaction from (on the good days, anyway). And now I know I want a relationship, companionship, someone to share the rest of the journey with, and a large measure of good sex, please. *laughs* Except wanting it doesn't mean it will automatically happen. Maybe like all the other good stuff I have got in my life, I will just have to work at it, put in a bit of effort, get out and meet people.


Edited to remove the TMI bits
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Hawa on Jul 28, 2010, 09:43:23 PM
Did you read this article? she mentions white picket fences too

http://boards.gingerbeer.co.uk/index.php?topic=97592.0 (http://boards.gingerbeer.co.uk/index.php?topic=97592.0)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Deeper Purple on Aug 18, 2010, 10:40:22 PM
Hiyah,

I just read your post, and although I haven't much to say, I just wanted to let you know that your story resonates with mine (in some areas)... but the bottom line is that you need to come into yourself... This is a realisation for myself, I have been besotted with a friend of mine (we were never in a 'relationship', we just shared our space intimately from time to time).  Anyway, I had been convinced it was love, now I'm not sure, as drawn as I am to her, I feel that I may have been using her like a crutch and for that reason, I've let her go ... I had plans to provess all my inner feelings, desires (you get the picture) when she came back from holiday, but something clicked into place, the desperate confusion started to lift and now I can see much more clearer... I too have started to come out (told my mum :-*), she was great!!!  Still, I have a lot of work to do... Now, I'm feeling more empowered and optimistic...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sinsuality on Aug 20, 2010, 03:58:36 PM
i hope my story fits here, i was on another board and they suggested this one.  Basically i am married to a great guy but have just come out to him and a couple of others and you guys!! 

Hi and thank you for so many replies so soon.  I know my situation is crazy.  By being ďsurprisedĒ by my husband I guess I mean I was utterly bewildered.  I didnít know how I could love this guy when Iíd never loved any other guy, or looked at any other guy, not ever!!
I was confused as everything in me said I had to progress it further and I guess I fell in love with the inner person and the packaging was just wrong!!  Iíve lived with it and I love him, but something is missing.  Emotionally he keeps me happy and he does please me physically, but I am besotted with women, and I guess I am looking for a feminine influence in my life.
I donít know how it will start or end or progress but Iíd like a girl / friend to share life with and maybe more I guess.  I have zero confidence and self esteem, probably from the years of telling myself what a monster I must be to be attracted to girls instead of boys like my friends.  I wasnít ďnormalĒ.  But I wanted my husband to know who I was on the inside and yes, itís caused a lot of hurt, heís basically been lied to for 12 years, I am not who he thought I was.  I played the game and pretended to be straight, to the point where he doesnít really believe that I am not!! Fair enough.
I have issues talking about my real self, again perhaps because I kept It all in for so long, and he is trying to understand and help.  I guess thatís why I want a girlfriend, for myself, but also to share the relationship with my husband.  Not really the catholic view I guess, but Iím looking for that one big happy family and I guess it might be hard to find.
Not sure if the best of both worlds exists, but want to try.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Spells on Aug 20, 2010, 04:19:26 PM
Hi sinsuality. Welcome to Gingerbeer  :D

I am kinda in the same situation as you. I always fancied girls from a young age and had a long term relationship with a woman but it was all very hush hush and consequently never worked out.
I then fell for my male best friend and got together. Looking back i wasn't in love with him but i loved him dearly as he is such a nice sweet guy and we had the best times. We ended up marrying and i managed to push away my feelings for women. As i got older though i realised just how selfish i was being as he deserved to be with someone who actually was in love with him and wanted children with him. After going through a lot of hell, i broke down and told him. He was obviously shocked as he never had any idea even though we only slept together about once a year! His first reaction was for me to go out and meet other women to see if it was what i really wanted but i couldn't do this to him. For me it didn't feel right but everyone is different. So i stayed with him for a further 6 months but by then, once i had admitted it all, i couldn't really take it back so i gathered all my courage and i told him i wanted to split.

It hasn't been easy at all and i'm still too scared to brave the gay scene but i know i have done the right thing for both of us.

I still live with my husband in the same house but we have seperate rooms and no-one other than close friends know the situation. maybe we're both not ready to totally make the break but we both know the day will come and hopefully we can still be best friends after the divorce etc. Only time will tell. Its all very complicated.

For me now i guess i'm just trying to get my head together and i think Gingerbeer is the best place to do this. I don't contribute much but i like reading other people's journeys and it gives me hope that things will work out for the best in the end. I'm even going to be brave and go on a bowling meet. Get me!!

Anyway that's my story. Sorry if i've bored anyone  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: loulou_plus_plus on Sep 09, 2010, 03:22:01 PM
Hmm here goes at my experiences of finding my feet having a lesbian identity and being trans.

Well I think it's best to put a bit of background when I was male bodied.  I was very confused back then mostly because I was very feminine but also new that I was attracted to women so felt I couldn't possibly be gay (it's kind of ironic really).
I sort of plodded along like this until my late 20s when I met some awesome people and experimented a bit (I had my only gay male experience about then).  I identified as a androgynous Bi guy for awhile.  In the end though I accepted I was trans and started transitioning.
After some time taking female hormones which made my body loads more feminine I started to feel far more confident about my body.  I think it was about this time that I realised I like women a lot!  I wasn't expecting that if anything I was expecting the oposite.
So between then and now I've been trying to find my feet as a femme lesbian and in the earlier days actually realising that I could identity as lesbian without people being offended.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: dollydimples on Sep 14, 2010, 09:26:26 PM
I knew when i was very young that one day i would be with a woman. I took it as read. I was about 10 then and it was the mid 70s. In the years that followed i grew to learn bit by bit that feeling that way wasn't 'normal'. I began to dislike myself for being 'a lez' and secondbest- in the world that i lived in back then.

I escaped to uni and when i was 19 i rebelled and came out. This was met with shock and rejection by my family. Other students either didn't care or were slightly embarrassed. I hadn't had a relationship with a woman upto this point. I had my first relationship when i was 22. It lasted a glorious 2 weeks! I was simultaneously hooked and petrified!

I spent the following 2 years searching for the woman i was meant to meet. Instead, when i was 24, i met a bloke. At first he was a drinking buddy, but i soon started to enjoy feeling 'normal' and part of a couple. It just seemed so much easier. Years passed and children came and grew up. I knew all along that i was leading somebody else's life.

When i was 36, i got my first computer...  Within months i had met another married woman. We called ourselves 'bicurious'.  We didn't quite click and 6 months later, i met my first love. It was then that i just knew that this was the life that i should have been living all along. She was also married. Throughout our 5 year relationship we  had men in the background and it was all very hush hush and painful. Neither of us wanted to take the plunge to make serious changes. Not for each other  anyway.. The relationship fizzled out and she soon started a relationship with another woman, who she soon moved in with. She broke my heart.

A year later i met my current partner. 4 years on, there are no blokes in the background and we are both becoming the women we should have been years ago. I no longer feel that i'm playing somebody else's life in a screwed up soap opera!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Sep 29, 2010, 11:17:03 PM
HELP & ADVICE REQUIRED PLEEEASE.

I've been lurking around these boards for a while and am inspired by some of the stories on here.  However, I am still in a situation that I can't see a way out of and would be grateful for some advice.
i am a married woman (28 years) with two adult children.  I had a fairly intense lesbian relationship with my best friend from high school in the 70's.  However we drifted apart and I got married and led on the surface a so called 'normal' life.  Over the years I have had strong feelings for other females but never followed them through.  I have now met someone at work whom I am absolutely besotted with.  We spend hours together and it's getting more and more intense.  Texting, msn, having lunch together, coffees, etc etc.  We have been away for short breaks together and shared rooms, even double beds.  We both have problems sleeping on these occassions and I suspect that's it's because that there is a major issue simmering between us that neither of us wants to bring up.  She is single and has a couple of friends who are in lesbian relationships.  I think about her constantly. Please, please can someone give me some advice about how to deal with this and how to broach the suject without compromising our friendship.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 06, 2010, 12:34:15 AM
Well.....I have had an 'interesting' time of it as I have been petrified of being rejected by the people I love and care about.

When I was in junior school I used to love playing house but my house always had 2 mummies and the children (daddies weren't any fun...). However due to being bullied for being different (maybe this was why?  :-\ ) I soon started hiding everything about me and when I ended up in care at age 11, I had more important things to worry about.  As I grew up I did make friends with guys and as far as we were concerned we were 'dating', however I didn't want to kiss them and when I then met someone when I was 15 I thought what I felt was 'attraction' but again - no kissing (I asked...).  In the end I decided to see what everything was about age 17 (month away from being 18) and kissed/snogged my first guy & actually felt wrong and yucky but thought that was just because I was 'new' to it. So over the next few years I tried every type of relationship there is with a guy and came away every time feeling slightly more bored and dead inside. I then discovered erotic movies/programs and reawakened my attraction to women properly. As I then started opening up to the idea I realised what I'd ever felt for guys was not attraction, it was just liking people. I mean I knew i'd always liked looking at girls but had no idea what attraction actually felt like.

However when I started going out in places like heaven, G-A-Y, g spot etc it hit me within hours and have fancied girls since but now have the biggest attraction/crush on a girl and it's just like 'WOW', I actually don't think I could have a bigger attraction than this ever again.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Oct 06, 2010, 10:19:35 AM
hi peanut lover ... sorry not to have seen this b4 .. hope you are still reading in here ...

it's so hard to give advice, we know so little about you and your situation ... and what has worked for one of us might not work for you ..

what have you got to lose by asking her to take the relationship to the next level?

The harsh answer is she might enjoy the flirting and tension but be really terrified of acting in an explicilty homosexual way ... this happened to a mate of mine after he'd been in an intense and flirty friendship with a guy for several years .. the other guy liteally pulled up his skirts and ran away from his job and town and married a woman when my mate put his cards on the table about wanting an openly sexual relationship ...

so that's one possible grim outcome that could arise in your situation

on the other hand, when I was married and on a reading group weekend away with with my married friend we just started kissing when we were in the same bed ... and we never looked back .. we're still together after 18 years

and that's the other extreme of what might happen if you push the boundaries of what you are feeling with your friend

and then  it might fall in the middle where she goes along and you embark on some roller-coaster of ups and downs or she could reject your sexual over-tones but you can still carry on being mates  .. or, or, or, or, or, or, .... especially complicated that you work together!

you wont be able to control her reactions, that is for sure -- but she is single, and that's a big plus point in the deal

When the ppl closest to the situation can't guess what the outcome is going to be, then outsiders have no chance of predicting  ...

So, what should you do?

I guess you  have to decide whether the risk of meeting the "total-loss" outcome is sufficiently scarey to stop you taking the chance of a much more exciting massive change which could end up with you  being together in a loving relationship ..

bearing in mind that even if she goes along there is no guarantee of happy-ever-after ...    :-\


ME? I'd risk it, cos that's what I did!  ;D
 and at the time I thought that any time together with her was worth it, however short it might turn out to be ... it was so intense and so delicious and so JUST RIGHT  ... and looking back: even if it'd fizzled years ago I would still have had the joy of when it was great in my memory store ...

As for how, actually, to broach it .. the most direct way is to get in the bed and get on with it next time ..!   Just reach out and touch her, if she is at all willing you'll soon know! and then you can lose sleep all night for quite other reasons  ;)


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Oct 07, 2010, 12:10:10 AM
Suze. Thanks soooo much for your response.  It means a lot and makes so much sense to me.  I am getting closer to telling her.  I have started to 'up the ante' on the MSN chats etc and am being more direct about our feelings towards each other.  I have been trying to think when we can get a chance to get away again together and am determined to take the plunge and make a move.  I don't think she would run, I think she would be totally honest with me and we could carry on our friendship somehow, albeit with different feelings.
I appreciate your thoughts and will take on board yoiur comments.  You make it sound so easy although I think we all know it's a bloody difficult situation to be in.  Thank you.   :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Oct 08, 2010, 09:32:58 AM
Good luck with it

I make it sound easy cos for me, it was, mostly ...

we moved really fast once we'd got over the original hurdle of admitting what we were feeling ...

obviously there were things to sort out, and stuff that was stressful but we first got into bed together on Nov 28th and moved into our shared home in the following April, with two divorces set into train and families told and mortgage raised!  ;D  less than 5 months!

It was a pretty crazy time, but sooosoooo worth it, and sooosooo right for us ..

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Oct 09, 2010, 01:13:28 PM
Well Suze,  I took the plunge and told her on Friday night.  She was surprised and said she hadn't read the signals.  However, she didn't flinch and said that nothing would change between us a best friends.  I asked her if there was any chance of us "crossing the line" and she said "I'm not saying no".  Sweet music to my ears.  I told her I didn't want to pressure her into anything she didn't want to do.  We hugged and sat together in silence for a bit holding hands and just let the moment 'be'. She eventually said said that she thought it probably was going to happen sooner or later although she was scared as it as all new to her.  I told her I wouldn't plan anything I would just make the move when the time felt right and we'd see where it took us.  After a bit we discussed the potential problems we could face wiith both work and families and stuff if we did take the plunge.  We know it will be difficult but we are going to just let things run their course and if it happens it happens and we'll deal with the consequences in due course. You sound so happy and in love.  It's a lovely story. X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Hetty on Oct 09, 2010, 07:59:55 PM
Well done Peanut Lover for telling your friend how you feel. I did the same with my best friend 6 and a half years ago and it has turned out to be the most amazing, fantastic thing that has ever happened to me.

We were both married with kids but things do have a way of working out if you are meant to be with someone.

I spent so long wondering whether or not to say anything, but I have to say, I never thought in my wildest dreams it would turn out to be so good.

Good luck with everything x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Oct 09, 2010, 09:36:07 PM
Thanks Hetty.  I'm very hopeful, she certainly didn't panic.  She's away for a couple of days.  hopefully when she gets back we can sit down and chat about stuff and find an opportunity to get physical.  Exciting times indeed. X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Oct 10, 2010, 11:06:38 AM
sounds like an excellent reaction, she certainly acknowledged that it was "there" between you

one thing I'd say about anticipating the responses of other ppl if you go further with this ....  the chances are that  you will get it wrong more likely that not, ppl you tihnk will be ok might be funny about it, and ppl you expect to be upset witll be fine ..

so the moral of that aspect of it is you just have to be storng about your own needs and let the rest of the world keep up / catch up or drop off, as it evolves . .

well done

and send me an invite to the wedding!

 ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Oct 15, 2010, 10:59:19 PM
To the lovely ladies who replied and messaged me, just to let you know that my friend and I had another long chat during the week and decided to 'go for it'.  We had a lovely afternoon together today.  we went for a coffee, then to one of our favourite places when we go for walks.  It was lovely and peaceful and quiet and we just lay together and touched and hugged and kissed. Her reactions told me she was enjoying it.  Nothing more, we've agreed to take it slowly a she's been alone for a long time and a bit 'scared'.  It was so right and I think over the next few days my fantasies will all come true.  Thank you all for giving me the courage to tell her.  You're fab. X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Oct 15, 2010, 11:59:34 PM

aw ... that's so lovely

xxxxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: tofu on Oct 16, 2010, 12:22:46 AM
peanut lover that's fantastic...i'm so happy for both of you xxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Oct 19, 2010, 11:22:59 PM
It was so right and I think over the next few days my fantasies will all come true.  Thank you all for giving me the courage to tell her. 

Maybe I'm missing something here but I thought both of you were married? If so, I'd advise some caution as other people are involved here. Go and be happy by all means but bear in mind that you are breaking up your main relationship at the same time, so you might want to think about how you'll deal with that. I hope your new life goes beyond fantasy and becomes the life you really want for yourself.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Oct 19, 2010, 11:36:23 PM
And now I know I want a relationship, companionship, someone to share the rest of the journey with, and a large measure of good sex, please. *laughs* Except wanting it doesn't mean it will automatically happen. Maybe like all the other good stuff I have got in my life, I will just have to work at it, put in a bit of effort, get out and meet people.

Thanks for your long story. It's a useful reminder to me of the the long and winding road that some of us take. I need to remember this now I'm aware of women flirting with me even when they're married or if as they head in the opposite direction to date a bloke when I know they considered me for a moment too.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Oct 20, 2010, 10:23:47 PM
It was so right and I think over the next few days my fantasies will all come true.  Thank you all for giving me the courage to tell her. 

Maybe I'm missing something here but I thought both of you were married? If so, I'd advise some caution as other people are involved here. Go and be happy by all means but bear in mind that you are breaking up your main relationship at the same time, so you might want to think about how you'll deal with that. I hope your new life goes beyond fantasy and becomes the life you really want for yourself.

Hi,  I am married but she is single and has no ties at all. My marriage has had many problem over the years and we are really just going through the motions. I am prepared to take the consequences.  We are aware of the problems we could encounter.  Thanks for your thoughts. X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Jaygirl on Nov 03, 2010, 07:02:32 PM
To the lovely ladies who replied and messaged me, just to let you know that my friend and I had another long chat during the week and decided to 'go for it'.  We had a lovely afternoon together today.  we went for a coffee, then to one of our favourite places when we go for walks.  It was lovely and peaceful and quiet and we just lay together and touched and hugged and kissed. Her reactions told me she was enjoying it.  Nothing more, we've agreed to take it slowly a she's been alone for a long time and a bit 'scared'.  It was so right and I think over the next few days my fantasies will all come true.  Thank you all for giving me the courage to tell her.  You're fab. X
Hi, I've only just come across this thread. My story was very similar to yours only I was with my husband for nearly 39years!! before I made the break to be with the woman who was my best friend and soul mate.  From our first tender kiss it took 5 months for us to actually 'sleep' together like you we took it slowly and we have been together now for 2 and a half years and haven't looked back, we have grown together in our sexual experimenting, finding what feels right for us, we are continually trying new things and learning with each other all the way.  I hope you find your relationship as deep and exciting as we do, now neither of us can ever imagine being with anyone else, we are so totally in love with each other and still text each other sometimes 20 times a day or more.  Good luck Hun I wish you all the best...
J x

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Nov 03, 2010, 10:25:31 PM
Jaygirl,  Thank you for your kind words.  We have now been 'together' for 4 weeks and are having a wonderful time.  We are still taking it slowly but are progressing at a pace that suits her.  I am ready to move on but respect her anxeties and will be patient.  We are getting there.  We are communicating deeply and honestly and both know how we feel about everything.  It is difficult for us to get real quality time together at the moment but hopefully once we are sure it's what we both want and are ready to come out completely all that will change.  So for now we're just enjoying our precious time together and getting to know each other on a deeper and more physical level.  It's fab. X
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: redred on Nov 06, 2010, 02:31:15 AM
Jaygirl,  Thank you for your kind words.  We have now been 'together' for 4 weeks and are having a wonderful time.  We are still taking it slowly but are progressing at a pace that suits her.  I am ready to move on but respect her anxeties and will be patient.  We are getting there.  We are communicating deeply and honestly and both know how we feel about everything.  It is difficult for us to get real quality time together at the moment but hopefully once we are sure it's what we both want and are ready to come out completely all that will change.  So for now we're just enjoying our precious time together and getting to know each other on a deeper and more physical level.  It's fab. X

is your husband aware yet?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Peanut Lover on Nov 06, 2010, 03:38:16 PM
Not officially, but he is starting to comment on the amount of time we spend together.  Once my GF and I are absolutely sure it's right for us and that we do want to be together forever I will tell him and am prepared for the fall out. It's certainly not fair what I'm doing at the moment and I'm not proud of it at all.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Nov 07, 2010, 07:54:38 PM
I came out relatively late in life, after a long marriage. Some people have struggled to understand how it happened.
This article is very enlightening and explains exactly what happened to me!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality)

Thanks to B for sending it to me.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Jaygirl on Nov 07, 2010, 08:10:10 PM
I came out relatively late in life, after a long marriage. Some people have struggled to understand how it happened.
This article is very enlightening and explains exactly what happened to me!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality)

Thanks to B for sending it to me.
I have also used this piece to help some people understand a little more about the fluidity of our sexuality, though I have to say I could never imagine me being with a man now whereas I always fantasised about being with a woman when I was married...
J x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: red-tulip on Jan 28, 2011, 12:42:00 AM
Hi, Iíve been reading through this thread over the past few weeks and have found them to be very helpful. I thought I would share my story too although I donít think it is massively different from other peoples really. I feel I have been avoiding this for a long time. I am 27 and feel like everyone else seems to know they are gay from the age of about 13 itís taken me a good deal longer than that!

When I was at school I was a complete tom boy and I remember having crushes on other girls and female teachers. One girl in particular but was way too shy to ever do anything about it. My friends would always fancy various boys and I guess I played along with it. But I couldnít understand why I didnít feel anything for any of them but assumed I just hadnít met the Ďrightí guy yet.  When I got a bit older I started going to clubs with my friends. Their aim was always to see how many guys they could pull in a night. I remember snogging quite a few guys but never enjoying it, it was just something I had to do to fit in. If any of them wanted to take things further Iíd ignore them and run away the thought of them touching me sober disgusted me. I guess it wasnít until I went to uni that things changed.  I fell head over heels for another girl I was absolutely besotted with her and incredibly confused about it. I thought maybe we just had a lot in common Iíd always felt a bit different from my friends but she made me feel so happy. I think I got a bit out of hand I guess I was just so confused and feeling very lonely. I remember wanting to kiss and touch her so much and I realised this probably wasnít just friendship. Then I didnít know what to do I couldnít tell her in case she was horrified and never spoke to me again. I think she may have realised because she stopped spending time with me and started making excuses all the time. At the same time a male friend had been trying to persuade me to go out with him for a while. Eventually I cracked and we went out for a while. I remember being quite disgusted by him kissing me wishing we could stop. I thought though if we could go out for a bit people would get off my back about not having a boyfriend so I grinned and bared it. I couldnít keep it up though and we split up. After that mostly I just didnít go out with anyone people got used to it and stopped asking. The girl I mentioned above got a boyfriend and I was crazily jealous but didnít do anything about it. I was very unhappy for a long time. I used to be very close to my mum and she appeared very liberal and had a lesbian friend at work so I decided to talk to her. That proved to be a mistake she didnít talk to me for a few months afterwards and then told me I was making it up. Shortly afterward she had a nervous breakdown and I went firmly back into the closet. I tried for a few years after that to go out with guys. I always felt uninterested and disliked intensely the physical side of it. I convinced myself it was that I didnít connect properly with the men. Then I met a guy who I got on really well with and who wanted to date me. I honestly tired with him but I would have to be very drunk to do anything with him, sober him touching me appalled me. Iíve always had some good male friends but never wanted anything else from them.  I began to accept that I just couldnít do this anymore. I went to a gay social event and met this girl there. We got on really well and when she first kissed me it felt amazing I know it sounds corny but it really was a light bulb moment. Things didnít really work out and she dumped me. I was absolutely gutted and Iíd never felt like that before about anyone Iíd gone out with so it was a bit of a shock. I think I am pretty much over it now but she confirmed everything I had suspected about myself. I have told some of my close friends and they have all been very supportive. My Dad also asked me whether I was seeing a woman to which I said yes. He was fine with it and spoke to my mum who has since told me it was just a bad time for her before. I am feeling quite lonely though I donít know many gay people. I am trying to get to know more going along to any events I can find. I have quite a lot of friends (one of the advantages of being single for most of my life) who I want to talk to. I am just scared about doing. I was wondering how you all went about it? I have ended up rambling on considerably longer than I thought I would sorry to bore you all rigid but it has been very helpful for me to write this as down.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Logos on Jan 28, 2011, 12:58:14 AM
Welcome to GB, red-tulip, and congratulations on making such a courageous first post.  :)

What is it you most want to know? How to move things forward with a friend you'd like to be closer with? Or how to go about meeting loads more friends to make the chances of meeting a prospective girlfriend much higher? Because if it's the latter, GB is the perfect place for you because of all the events in the Making Friends and Finding Dates section - often they will offer "a handhold" which means someone else to go in to the venue with so you don't have to walk in alone.

If it's the former, well, my own style is tied in with my identity as a femme. I find it almost impossible to make the first move, even when someone is giving me really strong signals that they like me. I'm just too shy. So I let them make it or nothing happens.  :-\ I know, I'm a wimp! I find it easier to let someone down gently than I do to make a move myself.

But don't despair because my reply isn't that helpful. There are loads of women here and you'll get some great advice from them. Keep at it, going out and meeting people, and it will all come together over time. These things can't always happen as quickly as we would like them to - especially when we have a sense of having "wasted" earlier years when we were too shy to admit our sexuality to ourselves or anyone else. This is a very friendly place. Good luck!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Jan 30, 2011, 01:19:43 PM
Sal's last parargraph=perfect advice...get out, make friends, make friends, & make friends.
Then, someday,when  maybe you least expect it or paradoxically, when you are ready & it shows because you have a ready smile on your face ... someone will look at you and say,"She seems like an interesting person to get to know...a positive, happy, uplifting person..."
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on Jan 31, 2011, 12:11:32 AM
Sal's advice is cracking :D

However I would also like to add that your story reminded me of me and even though I have been out almost every night of the past 5 months on the scene I still took a while to meet anyone who was more to me than just a friend. It isn't something you can rush. Just let things take their course and everything will work out. If you're in London and want some things to attend to meet new people why not take a look at the 'making friends & finding dates' thread? There's always something happening every week (well actually 2 permanent somethings and a few monthlies) So come on down :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Logos on Jan 31, 2011, 07:10:10 PM
Sal's advice is cracking :D

Are you implying it is structurally unsound?!  :P  ;)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on Jan 31, 2011, 07:13:34 PM
Sal's advice is cracking :D

Are you implying it is structurally unsound?!  :P  ;)

No i'm implying exactly the oppposite :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Logos on Jan 31, 2011, 07:14:06 PM
I know, darls. I was only playing.  :-*  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: red-tulip on Jan 31, 2011, 07:17:08 PM
Hi,
Thanks for all your relpies they have been very helpful I will definateley try and come along to some events with Ginger beer. I live just outside London so it can be a bit difficult to get in and out espically late night. I am hoping to move soon so hopefully will be easier then. 
 :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on Jan 31, 2011, 07:34:12 PM
Wheerabouts do you live? There's quite a few outskirtish things that go on too rather than just central london events :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: red-tulip on Feb 01, 2011, 10:57:15 PM
Hi,
I live in Surrey it is annoying difficult to get anywhere really  :(. I don't know why I was so open before about everything it is quite unlike me normally people have to drag anything out of me I blame wine! But i think it helps to get things off your chest or so they say...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Paddybabe on Feb 01, 2011, 11:04:14 PM
Hi red-tulip

I really liked your post, I was a late bloomer myself.

There's a gay bar in Horley if thats anywhere near you  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: red-tulip on Feb 01, 2011, 11:17:08 PM
Hey,
Yeah that not too far is that by Crawley? what's it called?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Paddybabe on Feb 01, 2011, 11:22:44 PM
Bar 429, might be a website, I'm not sure
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: caffeinegeek on Feb 18, 2011, 10:06:20 PM
I'm so grateful for this thread.

I barely know where to begin. I had quite a few crushes on girls when I was growing up but my mum always said she'd freak out if any of her daughters were gay so I didn't act on them. I experimented as an adult and was quite prepared for a relationship with one woman in particular but she didn't feel the same way. Then, I met another man and got pregnant. Quite accidental but my son is the world to me now so I guess everything happens for a reason. I tried to hold together the relationship with my son's dad but after nearly two miserable years it clearly wasn't working so we ended it.

I haven't told anyone that I'm looking to meet women now. I don't know how I'd broach it and I'm afraid what sort of reactions I'll get. As if being a single mum wasn't bad enough!.. ::)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on Feb 19, 2011, 08:43:00 AM
^ There are many single parents in similar positions (not me but I know of friends) so maybe try the rainbow parents board and chat to like minded women? I heard talk they do family events and get togethers, which IMO would be a perfect way to start easing the anxiety of meeting women without the fear of what reactions you may get. A fair few of the parents are lovely lovely women and a really friendly bunch so I hope you are able to branch out and put yourself out there a little more :) Best wishes and good luck!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: caffeinegeek on Feb 19, 2011, 10:59:40 AM
Ooh I'll go have a look, thanks! :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: geekychick on Mar 27, 2011, 04:28:46 PM

Hi Everyone

Was so glad to find this discussion, I am 27 and Im a single parent. I have had a attraction to women since I was about 14. I have had straight relationships but often fantasised about women while I was with the men I have dated.

I have finally found the confidence in myself to realise that I am not straight. I have never kissed another woman, dissapointingly ( I fantasise about it alot lol ) I have been starting to go out at weekends to the Gay Village in Manchester which makes me feel more and more relaxed and happy with who I really am.

I am nervous and have no idea how to even get chatting to someone I was pretty useless at getting male attention, has any one got any little confidence boosters that might just help.

It would be really helpful to hear anyone elses experiences as this is the first time I have actually told anyone but myself that Im coming out  :D

Thanks xxxx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suze on Mar 27, 2011, 05:03:06 PM
Welcome and well done for posting, geekychick!

I think the best thing is to try and make some friends, maybe using the friends section in here?  so you can get out with other ppl a bit more. At least if you are in / near  Manchester there is scope for building a social life that might lead to meeting someone special for you

all the best
x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: geekychick on Mar 27, 2011, 07:29:55 PM
Thanks Suze
I will do that  :D x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Sally Jo on Mar 31, 2011, 09:10:47 PM
Hi Everyone!

Hmm, my journey to queerness...

Although Iíd been a tomboy as a child it was when I hit puberty that I first knew I was gay.  I found myself wanting to kiss and touch and cuddle women and other girls.  Now I'd been told that homosexuality was 'something wrong with you' that "made a lot of people hate you" and meant you would be "terribly unhappy" so naturally I was scared witless.  As far as I could see I was having all these thoughts and feelings that meant I was doomed.  In my stupid 12yr old brain I decided that I would try to stop myself from being gay.  I did it by not thinking about girls or women at all and keeping away from them.  I also started deliberately dating boys.  This was difficult because they always wanted to kiss and cuddle etc. but I never felt like that with them.  In fact kissing boys made me gag.  I found the whole thing horrible.  I went through quite a lot of boyfriends before I realised that I had to do things I hated with them to get them to stay.

While I was actively avoiding girls I still had problems with my natural attractions.  My biggest difficulties were around dreams because I couldn't do anything to prevent my homosexual feelings surfacing there.  I ended up having a lot of trouble around going to sleep because of it.  There were also those women and girls that somehow ducked under my defences and made my heart and/or my body sing.  One was my piano teacher who I loved so fiercely I would have done anything for her.  She was kind and understanding and looked out for me at school.  Another was a girl I went sailing with who was quite openly sexual with me.  She could make my brain take a holiday just by looking at me sideways - I was putty in her hands.  I was also scared to death of her.

Anyway eventually I got the hang of dating boys and learned not to gag when they kissed me although I never learned to like or want anything like that with them.  It was always a case of grinning and bearing it.  I ended up with a fairly gentle unassuming guy who didn't demand too much from me and seemed happy most of the time with friendship.  We got married.  After a year or so I miscarried.  I was sent to see the occupational nurse at work to check that nothing on site had caused the problems.  She was absolutely gorgeous.  I don't know if my hormones opened all that up in me again or what but it was really clear that we were very attracted to one another.  She would make excuses all the time to come over and see me and I would do that same.  When we were together we would find ways of being physically close and touching each other.  I was totally head over heels.  We couldnít keep our hands off each other.  Unfortunately the firm moved me to a different site shortly after that and I didnít see her again. 

It took me a while to realise that this was really how things worked for me and hadn't just been my reaction to her specifically.  It took me even longer to be able to admit it openly to myself.  Unfortunately by that time I was properly pregnant.  So I decided to try to stuff my feelings back down inside and just get on with being a mother and a wife.  It was an uneven struggle.  I fell for 2 other women in the intervening 9 years and could no longer cope with sleeping with my husband or even sharing a bedroom.  Eventually I accepted myself.  Rather than being the huge painful defeat Iíd always thought it would be I found it was really freeing and empowering.  I felt so alive and so real.  Then a year or so later I came out. 

Iím out now everywhere except at my sonís school (at his request) and with my parents.   Me and my husband are separated and are planning to divorce in a way which, hopefully, is supportive and secure for our son and honest and decent with each other.  I am now and always have been a lesbian - and it feels really good!

(Oh yes, and Iím hoping to find a nice warm cuddly woman someday soon too!  LOL)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Darkriver on May 01, 2011, 11:19:44 PM
Great stories.
I was 11 when I first had my lesbian experience. It was a girl in my maths class and she caressed my leg. To be honest it freaked me out because I enjoyed it so much. I then went on to have a boyfriend. Two years later I left that school and went to a new school where I meet this girl. I developed a crush on her. A couple of months later we slept together and I thought it was true romance but she revealed that she was only using me for the experience.
I then went out with a couple of boys but they didnt really do anything for me and then I met Laura... She turned my world upside down. I fell head over heals in love with her and we slept together for two years hiding it from her family. Then one day for no reason she broke things off with me. She destroyed me. I then dated a couple of men and had a serious relationship that led into a engagement. I admitted to him in my sleep that I was gay and liked girls. I didnt love him and sex was a chore. I then resumed a friendship with my ex and we got back together and then she broke my heart again.
A couple of months later I moved to Glastonbury and met Tim. We had a relationship and then got engaged but a week before the wedding I broke it off with him because I liked girls.
I then met M... I dont know what that relationship was my best friend likened it to a midlife crisis. She tried to turn me into a man
and then I met A. Now A turned my life upside down. The day she walked into my life it was like everything came true. The problem was A was in a relationship with a  man and she had 4 kids. I hid my feelings from her and became her friend. I was still going out with M at this point and A hated her. Anyway M said I had to choose either her or A and I made it clear that If she was making me choose then I wouldnt choose her. Ten minutes later I was on the phone to A. We went for a fry up and she admitted she had feelings for me. I am ashamed to admit we began a brief affair but it was the most intense relationship I have ever had. I loved her and when she broke up with me something in me died. She went back to her boyfriend and we tried to be friends but it didnt work and we fell out. We didnt talk for a year and to get over her I went to America. I meet N a guy and tried to have a relationship with him but I knew I was kidding myself.
Two years on. I have been single and I admit I have craved for a man but last week I came to the realisation that I love women more.
So this is me coming out.... and choosing to be a lesbian rather than a bisexual.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Dietrich on May 08, 2011, 03:39:09 PM
This is a lovely thread.  :)

My girl curiosity was strong as a child and in my early teens, but it was just something that was part of me and I never really questioned it. Girls' bodies were attractive, boy's bodies didn't interest me. Yet, it was boys I chased after. Close friends of mine came out in our late teens, and on going to gay clubs I realised I was also attracted to the female species. I felt so comfortable on the gay scene. Yet I remained in my straight world, with the odd bit of playing around with girls - this was just normal stuff, right? I even got married. My attraction to women continued, untested. Only when my marriage ended did I face my feelings.

I met my partner on gin-filled evening one year ago and she grabbed my attention like a mega-watt bulb. I knew she was gay, and gorgeous and full of fun. But what was I? Our attraction locked us together and eventually I had to admit to myself I could not let this girl go, that being with her was what I wanted and needed. I don't regret the life choices I made, but wish I had taken better heed of my attractions. I'm so glad to be here now, with this amazing woman.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: hay girl on May 17, 2011, 01:43:24 PM
reading these threads has made me feel a bit sad  :'( :'( I don't remember having feelings for girls or women.  But I am not sure if it was because I had a bad up bring that has lead me down this path.

Then in my twenties I  tried to sleep with one my friends I was very drunk she was horrified!!!!!!

I then had a encounter with another friend if that's what you call it we kissed then touched a little I found myself  getting excited and also ashamed!!!!!

I used drink and drugs to help me through until i was 28 (Been sober now for over 7 years)

Last year I met a women at my old work she was gay and we become friends I really cared for her (yeap I wanted to sleep with her) It freaked me out a bit.

I got honest and told her about how I felt she told never to contact her again!!!!  :'( :'(

I have never slept. with a women but would love.  But cos of my bad experiences in life I would like to meet someone to grow with!!!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Suzywongster on May 17, 2011, 02:45:59 PM
^ Sometimes you don't, then sometimes you do. Sometimes you just don't realise it. Do't be sad though as life makes us who we are and it's better to be different than a clone of everyone else.

Hope you find that person to grow with.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Aphrydya on May 24, 2011, 03:26:47 PM
First gf at 14 (she was 11)... many other girls throughout schooldays .. bisexual phase from 21 to24.. back to being a lezzer again (many women) to this day :P .. oh yeah and I 'married' a woman (CP) but have been separated for two years.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Stevie on Jun 08, 2011, 09:48:38 AM
Tomboy - 11years old
Gay - forever
Butch - You know it ....  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Evan on Jun 10, 2011, 01:00:21 AM
Tomboy - 11years old
Gay - forever
Butch - You know it ....  :D
brief and succinct
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Gyda Gwen on Jun 13, 2011, 06:45:09 PM
I was very young when my parents realised i was a lesbian, so when i did come out they were really happy i had finally accepted myself. Its really weird because it was i who couldnt accept things not my family.

I went to a church that was very homophobic, and i really struggled with being a gay christian. When i told my youth leader i was gay she announced it to the leaders of the church and they outed me. Thankfully, most of my friends and family didnt care, but as a result i struggled with the whole church thing. Thinking i was evil and disgusting. I subsequenlty left the church and was a happy lesbian. It only took 10 years but now i am happy to be both gay and christian.  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Aphrydya on Jul 02, 2011, 12:11:33 PM
aaah some of these stories are so sad... here's me feeling sorry for myself .. missing my wife on Pride of all days ... I hope y'all find somebody nice and honest and true.

Happy Pride to everyone.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Chablis on Jul 04, 2011, 10:36:16 PM
Hi
This is the first time ive been on here, having come out 3 months ago after marriage and children and doing what was exspected.
Its good to hear exsperiences from others who have been in my situation
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Evan on Jul 05, 2011, 10:44:43 PM
Hi
This is the first time ive been on here, having come out 3 months ago after marriage and children and doing what was exspected.
Its good to hear exsperiences from others who have been in my situation
well done for being brave enough to join us.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: belles101 on Jul 18, 2011, 08:57:45 PM
Hi All,
This is my first post on here, but I wanted to say how helpful and reassuring it is to hear that some women really don't discover their sexuality until they are older. I am 32 and started to question mine when I fell for someone at work - big time. I had had feelings for women before but I always dismissed them and put them down to the fact that I grew up without my Dad around and with 3 sisters so it was natural I was going to feel more of a connection to women than men right?
Anyway, when I met this women at work my feelings which I think had previously been emotional (maybe because I wouldn't allow myself to go there) became much more physical towards her and I couldn't get her out of my head. Unfortunately she is already in a civil partnership so there was no chance of going there.
That was a while ago now and it took me probably about 8 months from them to realise that I am gay, despite the fact that I have never been with a woman I know my feelings for them go far beyond anything I have felt towards Men. I have since come out to my family and close friends and am just beginning to come out at work to colleagues. I thought that I was the only 'older' woma going through this and felt like a bit of a freak at first, always questionning 'how could I not have seen this?', but I suppose everything happens at exactly the right time it is supposed to but I do wish I had realised sooner as it feels like I have a lot of catching up to do!! Thanks for all your posts, so helpful!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Evan on Jul 19, 2011, 01:58:05 AM
we are born into a straight world it takes a lot of umph to resist the conditioning. Well done for coming out and being brave.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: k*satch on Aug 30, 2011, 09:57:27 AM
Still trying to find myself.
I'm fairly new to this scene, but I did begin to explore it in Australia.

I never intended to 'come out' until such time as I was in a long term relationship with a female & it became necessary. 

However mum took it upon herself to snoop around my Facebook (the joys of moving back home to save money). What ensued was rather dramatic and saw me kicked out. It's never been spoken of again and I daresay it never will be.

Back in Australia I would have identified as bisexual. However the more time I spend here without the pressures of family, the more I think I'm not interested in men at all. 

I am finding this scene more overwhelming than I care to admit though ; especially as lesbians are  wary of me and afraid that I'll string them along. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Indigo on Sep 07, 2011, 01:28:23 AM
I'm still finding myself and although people say you don't need to label yourself, I find people are more comfortable knowing what you class yourself as.

For me I would say bi, I've had boyfriends and also girlfriends, I feel more comfortable and myself when I with a woman.  Now whether this makes me just Bi-Curious or Bi I'm not sure.

I came out to a friend and he has been very supportive but I know his reaction will be in the minority.  Join this site as I was information that it was very welcoming off everyone. 

I understand the comment made above 'I am finding this scene more overwhelming than I care to admit though ; especially as lesbians are  wary of me and afraid that I'll string them along' as I do find it hard too
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Sep 12, 2011, 01:13:11 AM
k*satch, indigo

If you feel more comfortable with women, maybe you are just struggling with the labels. Try on the 'lesbian' label in your head and with women you meet and see if it fits. Maybe you are hanging onto the idea that you are 'bi' because you still have one foot in your past life, maybe you just don't like the word 'lesbian', so how about 'dyke', 'queer' or 'gay woman'?

Whatever sexuality you truely have will defy labels and can change over the course of your life. You could be a 'lesbian' now, 'bi' later, a 'hasbian' (has been a lesbian, got fed up with the scene, now going out with a guy), 'poly', a 'stone', etc but your essential core remains unchanged. Be true to yourself and what you are now instead of what you may have been. Rather than having to decide on a fixed label, be prepared to vary the labels you use to describe yourself to others as you learn more about what you like and who you want to share it with. One day you may love blondes, the next brunettes, maybe women with blue hair and red stockings, I expect you don't want to have to stick with one of those choices all your life either. Beware tickboxes, check one now if you have to but don't let it stop you learning.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Indigo on Sep 12, 2011, 01:54:36 AM
^ Thanks for the food for thought, you are probably right although I say bi now I myself prefer not to be labelled, noting remains the same forever so what ever I am hopefully it will be happy
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Rosie on Oct 22, 2011, 08:06:41 PM
I was 24 and had identified as straight up until then. I met N in the workplace. At first I was convinced she didn't like me and I just tried to be friendly to get along. As the relationship developed over months she opened up to me a lot about her past. We got really really close. Nothing physical happened beyond holding hands but it was so emotionally intense.
 
I wanted to get a place together with her but she was caring for her father who had terminal cancer and there was no way her family could handle her leaving home at that time let alone coming out.
 
In the end I left that job because I had to move on. Unfortunately I couldn't maintain a relationship that had no chance of going anywhere further than holding hands after work.
 
She's the only woman I've ever felt that way about. Sometimes I think about what might have been and it's sad, but it opened up a whole new world for me. I had never felt like that about any man, and after meeting N there was no going back to believing I was straight, or even bi.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Underdog on Oct 23, 2011, 11:44:24 AM
I've been in and out of the closet like I have a time share property in Narnia...  I identified as bisexual between 18-20 and pulled a few women in clubs. It was acceptable in my circle of friends and on the rock scene... Loads of people said they were bi. I also pulled and played with guys, though less often. I'm not gonna say I didn't enjoy it, but there wasn't an emotional attraction too.

In university I briefly dated a couple of women... To be honest, I had a lot of issues at the time and my sexuality was one. I went to Gingerbeer meet ups, made some friends, it really helped... I had a job after uni I hated, so pulled away from relationships as I got quite low, I identified as asexual for perhaps two years, but in retrospect, I think I was just depressed and afraid and I'd put on weight so I felt so unattractive, I didn't let myself fancy people...

Just over a month ago I met somebody... She contacted me over OKCupid, about films... We talked and eventually we met up. I haven't been drawn to anybody like this... It's so weird, but it's also lovely... I mean so far anyway. I'm a bit edgy still, on the whole public thing and I am working out stuff in my head... Like what this means for my identity, how to be in public, how to tell people... I wonder if I'll spend the rest of my life 'coming out' to people... But at least now, I'm at peace with myself. I don't really have an ID for my sexuality, but my gf teases me and calls me gay and points out stereotypical gay things I do... I kinda like that though.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: dreamer17 on Nov 09, 2011, 01:44:09 AM
Would you think travelling/ moving away for a few months could help one find themselves and make it easier to come out to new ..effectively random people.

I have this urge to travel more and more and try to find myself. Part of me wants to do this because I'll be far from home, maybe I'll get more courage to get this whole coming out process rolling... Is this the solution? Or am I just running away/travelling for the wrong reasons?

I don't think I'm lost, I just think there's so much more to find out there... somewhere!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScarletBea on Nov 09, 2011, 08:54:15 AM
^ hi, I have moved countries twice, and one thing I found out is that, although it made me more independent, the fears and problems I had in one place are still with me wherever I go. It's only when I have the courage to stop (wherever I am) and look inside and say the things out loud, that I can face them and move on.
Instead of going away 'for a few months', try a week's holiday in a different place, where you're completely alone. I love it, and think and reflect a lot when I do that.
It wouldn't be as drastic and it would show you what you can and can't do, I think...

Good luck!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: [Anna] on Dec 21, 2011, 01:52:52 AM
Hi everyone,

well i am still at school and had my first gay feelings when I was 14, i still havent fully come out (as in my parents don't know). I am finding it hard to tell them probably because their lifestyle is so conservative and I am scared they won't accept me or worse treat it as 'a phase'. What i am really lacking is people to properly talk to about this issue. My friends are all very supportive of me but in the end they laugh about it with me rather than help me overcome problems i'm having. The problem is that I have grown up with a lifestyle that had made this hard for me - I am the only lesbian at my school an I don't actually know anyone else who has come out or is in my situation therefore I end up feeling quite lost a lot of the time. If any of you could give me advice or just act as someone I could talk to I would be so greatful. Thank you.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Dec 21, 2011, 02:01:42 AM
Anna, have you done a search for LGBT youth groups in your area? A young people's group would be ideal.

http://gayyouthuk.net/

http://www.queeryouth.org.uk/community/

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: whatsitallabout on Jan 09, 2012, 01:04:39 AM
Ii'm not really sure what I want to say here. So, I'll just tell my story and see what response I get.

If you had asked me for my coming out story 3 years ago, I would have said that it was the best thing I had ever done.

I married in 1986 when I was 23. I knew I was gay and I had had a relationship with a woman before I married but I'm not ashamed to admit that I was a coward, and I couldn't face the reaction from friends/family if I came out. So I got married to a guy I had known since school. He was 'safe'. He didin't know I was gay, but he was 'safe', he just wanted a quiet married, respectable life. We had two wonderful children, a boy and a girl, who are now 21 & 18.

However, after we had been married for around 11 or 12 years, I just couldn't live with the deception anymore. I met someone and ultimately (cutting through the months of acrimony!) we divorced. That was in 1999, and I have had a number of partners and dodgy dates and a CP since then.

However, I have been single since the middle of 2009, and to be frank I feel old and lonely. Both the children are at Uni, I have a successful career as a Solicitor, but I long for companionship, and more. I don't want to spend the rest of my life on my own and I sometimes wonder whether it was worth giving up my comfortable life for. I've been messed around by various women, and when I look at where I am now, I'm not sure if it was all worth it.

I'm not sure I can face another round of Soulmates, so maybe this is now my fate.

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, and I'm glad that so many people have found happiness through coming out. Maybe I am glad I did it, it's just that right now.........I'm not sure.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: demonia on Jan 13, 2012, 02:00:32 AM
Hi Wotzitallaboot!   tks for your story.   New to this site as well, and haven't contributed on any messageboard for years.  Too busy and no balance.  This may sound sad, but, with age and the current nature of business, there's really not much time to be thinking about one on ones, although some times I wish for a like-minded individual to chat with.  Currently, most of my fun is either philosophical debate with a 19 year old genius, or, enjoying the shenanigans of young males on the shot, who are really good fun most of the time. 

Bout to head off to sleep now as up early.  Night and perhaps will chat again soon.
  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Feb 12, 2012, 11:38:40 PM
oh dear.  i just wrote my response to this thread and then realised it was far, far too long to post :(  i've written more than i did for some essays at uni fgs - it's over 2000 words long.  i suspect that means i need to talk and it's the problem with being 36 and having taken a very winding road to get here - the story is too long.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScarletBea on Feb 13, 2012, 08:47:37 AM
Hi SAF54, if you feel you do need to share, then you can always split it into 2 or 3 posts.
It will be an interim replacement for talk :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: g37 on Feb 13, 2012, 01:21:54 PM
I second ScarletBea, SAF54 - definitely split it into 2 or 3 posts - no story is ever too long, and  we're here to share and talk whenever needed. :)

Hi SAF54, if you feel you do need to share, then you can always split it into 2 or 3 posts.
It will be an interim replacement for talk :)

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Yellow on Feb 26, 2012, 10:04:01 PM
SAF54 please post what you wanted to say.  I'm 32 and confused as hell.  I don't know who I am and I'm driving myself crazy.  I'm also terrified of dealing with how I think I feel. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 10, 2012, 10:17:52 AM
ok - i saved it in a document (and tellingly forgot all about it again till i got an email notification of a personal message on here today about my post on this thread).  i'll copy and paste it in,in chunks - i do feel a complete twat though as it's very long and way too much self indulgent navel gazing! ....

"have read this thread on and off throughout the day and have found it really helpful.

i became sexually active before i had any sexual feelings really.  i remember never having thought of myself that way and only having enjoyed back tickling with my friend where we'd take off our nighties and take it in turns to roll over and have our backs tickled.  i really clearly remember seeing a tv show with a lesbian couple in it, hotel or something, and it really speaking to me somehow - that stands out.  anyway.

i went to secondary school and suddenly had a lot of male attention from older boys and all the girls around were really into boys.  the attention and the change in the way people were treating me was just totally confusing - everything changed very quickly.  the female friends i'd hung out with became sexual young and there were always boys around and pressure to have a boyfriend.  eventually i had sex (feeling i had no choice) even though i didn't want it but assuming it was something wrong with me.  frankly i didn't like it and i had a lot going on at home and my head was in a mess really.  i think i dealt with sex by dissociating - like i wasn't even there.  it's actually quite hard to think of that little girl laying there frigidly letting someone fuck her - bleurgh.

i had a pretty coercive relationship with a much older guy when i was 15 who i found physically repulsive in all honesty but a combination of grooming and force meant i ended up stuck in it for about a year.  i was aware that i formed intense attachments to a couple of female friends in my teens and that there was 'something' i wanted and needed from the friendship that they didn't, as if it meant more to me and i felt more for them than they did for me, but i never put a name to it.  i was a fairly screwed up teenager between home stuff and the guy who i now think of as a pedophile rather than a boyfriend and a bereavement i took hard - lots of stuff went on that meant i was busier dealing with depression and trauma i guess than thinking about sexuality or identity and i had to move out of home young.  i had boyfriends but i don't recall enjoying sex - it was like something destructive i put myself through but boyfriends were company and buffers to the problems.  god i sound messy when i look at it.

when i was 20 i met a woman, at the time i was engaged to and living with an absolutely lovely guy.  very safe, very undemanding, cool with the fact we barely had sex and ok with the fact that i was struggling with trying to get over stuff and having depressed periods.  we'd bought a nice house and had cats and it was all very childlike and simple despite being 'serious' - he was my best friend.  but this woman/girl appeared in my life and it was like she shone (daft sounding i know).  i couldn't get enough of her, i wanted to be with her all the time and i was just absolutely hooked on her.  we were inseparable.  she was bisexual at the time (she's now married with a child) and very out about it.  everyone would assume we were a couple but we were just friends but it was driving me mad - i'd lie in bed with her when i stayed at her house and i'd ache to be able to cuddle into her, it was such an urge to touch her but i was terrified - i knew she really liked me, we spent all our time together and it was intense but i didn't know what that meant for her.  i was in love with her really though i went on to deny that to myself later.  we did eventually (after i split up with my boyfriend with a burning sense that i didn't know who i was and i wasn't ready to close the door on everything out there - in reality it was that i thought i was gay but i couldn't really be honest with myself about it i was so scared) end up having sex.

the physical was disappointing - she was quite restrained (i later found out she'd never had an orgasm even from herself) and unresponsive and it didn't feel right really.  not because she was a girl but because (i now think but didn't realise at the time) she wasn't really into sex or able to really let go and be 'with' someone, she was held back and unnatural so quite rightly it didn't feel like we were connecting.

we went back to our intense friendship and never had sex again nor did i want to.  i became aware of a lot of her issues and the ways she performed oddly around other people and pulled and pushed in confusing ways that made me feel small and powerless and used and confused.  i loved her lots but we weren't going to be together.  no one knew this had happened and i was a bit burnt by it.  another girl fancied me and i sort of tried seeing her but she was young and we didn't really click so it was half hearted and short lived - we weren't compatible at all really.  now you'd think at this point i'd know i was gay or at least bisexual but i just put it away again. 

...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 10, 2012, 10:24:08 AM
....i met another older guy just back from travelling, very charismatic and impressive and into taking care of me in simple ways like cooking and a bit controlling and foul tempered on the flipside.  we moved to london, i went to uni and i had an intense relationship with him for 2 years.  i didn't enjoy penetrative sex with him but he really liked giving head and i enjoyed that in a drifting off in my own head fantasising way (often about women but everyone tells you that's normal and lots of straight women do) and we did a lot of partying in those years.

anyway he was very hard work in the end, his temper and jealousy and headfuckiness eventually left me exhausted and i ended it determined i would be single and learn to be totally independent ra ra ra.  around that time i was living in brighton and would sometimes go to gay bars with friends and women would hit on me and a couple of people just started kissing me and i'd happily go along with the kiss and love it and find it really flattering and yet STILL not really make much of this.  i remember once being in a straight club out with straight male friends and this gorgeous girl being there and we were dancing together and there was mad chemistry and i came onto her really assertively (where did that come from - and she was straight) and we ended up snogging all night.  my male friends were all a bit gob smacked like that really meant something and asked if i was gay or bisexual or what and i was like no, i've just liked snogging girls occasionally that's normal isn't it.   the fact that kissing them was better and more exciting and beautiful and grabby and addictive and etc etc etc never struck me as a reason to think i was gay - i just somehow thought oh well that's what kissing girls is like or it's that i'm a really open person and surely everyone could enjoy the same sex but it doesn't mean anything. 

i'm aware that doesn't make sense.  it's like a weird cognitive dissonance that you've so accepted the conditioning that you are x that all the aversion to x in the world and all the attraction to y in the world doesn't lead you to the most basic conclusion.

after the two year guy i was never with anyone more than briefly.  i took off abroad for a year and worked as diving instructor and focussed on my determination to be single and independent and stronger and not end up being as weak and worn down as i had been by him ever again.  i couldn't imagine loving anyone again and slowly grew more and more conviction that i'd be alone for the rest of my life.  attempts at relationships were short lived and messy, i'd convince myself i liked someone because they really liked me and for a short while i'd be able to have sex with them under this weird delusion head state and then i wouldn't be able to bear them touching me, they'd make me feel ill and like they were vampires trying to suck something out of me that i didn't have to give.  no one lasted long. 

when i was 25 i had an amazing one night stand with a lesbian.  she was a friend of a friend and we all went out together to a club and there was loads of chemistry and she was gorgeous and we ended up kissing in the club all night and i couldn't care less who saw us because i was so turned on and into her.  we ended up spending the night together and she was fantastic in bed - very confident and giving and she had a great sense of humour and was totally comfortable to be with and to let yourself go with.  i had to go back to brighton the next day and the mutual friend had a massive tantrum about the two of us and made me feel really guilty (this being the friend i'd had sex with about 5 years before but it hadn't been right and we'd stayed friends) and ashamed.   what had been a wonderful, lovely experience got twisted into shame somehow. 

i moved back to where i live now to start teaching.  i no longer came into contact with lesbians or any kind of scene and so having never really acknowledged my sexuality the opportunity was gone - i wasn't going to bump into experiences and i wasn't going to actively look.  i spent long periods of time single, never fancying any men but eventually becoming lonely and trying again with someone who fancied me with the same results as previously.  assuming it was something wrong with me - i was too independent, i was x, y or z rather than i was still looking in the wrong places.  at 30 on one of these brief delusional trips into heterosexuality i got pregnant.  i didn't stay with the guy but i kept the baby - now my nearly 5yo son.  life has been swamped with having a child and raising him. 

recently it's all come up again - not through meeting someone or anything.  part of what did it was that i went through a broody stage of really wanting another child but feeling i wanted to do it with someone but also being totally unable to imagine being with a man in a relationship, or living with one, or growing old with one.  i realised when i looked into the future and imagined an ideal it was sharing my life with a woman.  having taken myself pretty much totally out of societal expectations and norms by choosing to have my son alone and not having a problem with that and not caring what people thought and not buying into the whole heteronormative story and being single for a long time i'd maybe broken the spell of that conditioning a bit to be able to see what i really wanted.  i pictured myself living with a woman and realised how right that felt and no it wasn't because there was something wrong with me and i wanted to live with a friend instead of be in a relationship it was that i wanted more than a man, i didn't want to settle for a man i wanted a woman, i wanted the real thing not an enactment of something that wasn't for me.

i 'think' the reason i never identified as bisexual despite acting like one is that i knew i wasn't bisexual, it never sat right with me for an instant and i 'think' that that is because i am a lesbian but i guess i wasn't ready or able to make a choice or label myself and passivity equals going with men really because it's the 'norm', it's what's expected and it's the path of least resistance.  in not being ready to label myself i just went with what i'd been labelled as which was female therefore meant to have sex with men. 

another factor that came in was that i suddenly realised it wasn't just about sex - it wasn't that you had to go round going rah i want to have sex with women/men.  the word 'orientation' suddenly made sense to me as i realised that my life, my attachments, my interest etc was orientated towards women.  that meaning and depth and intimacy and all the good stuff was for me in women.  men don't interest me that much.  i always had the sense of them being smaller, two dimensional, not big enough to wrap your love round.

i have waffled on for ages - i'm so sorry to be so long and boring but i think i really needed to type all of this out and even if no one reads it and comments i think it will have helped me to write it.

i'm scared - scared i'm wrong, scared i'm right - i don't know which.  and i don't know where to start or whether to start.  i'm 36 years old and i have a child.  i live in a little place where i'm the only single mum 'in the village' let alone lesbian mum!  i've been living pretty hermit like for quite a while now.  what do i do?  how do i meet people?  how do i change my life?  how do i explore this?  should i bother?  is it just a phase (ffs -still trying to write it off!)?

or maybe i am just someone who can't do relationships and is meant to be on their own for life and is now adding 2+2 and making 10.

if you managed to read all this and not fall asleep please give yourself a huge pat on the back and some kind of medal.  now wondering if i'll ever post on here ever again or run and hide after posting"

see - it was ridiculously long!  seriously do give yourself a pat on the back or an orgasm or something if you managed to plough through that.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fox on Mar 10, 2012, 01:15:57 PM
Saf54, even the most intelligent women can be a bit dim to what is right in front of them (sometimes in neon flashing lights). Its not surprising, given all the intense social pressure and conditioning we get exposed and thrown into from before birth and every second after that.
Then you realise well actually, nothing else actually matters, not what other people say or think they think. It's what is inside your head and heart that feels right. Just takes longer for some and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Being a dyke or a lesbian can sometimes be felt as a hard choice, but actually, the truth sets you free. The only time limit on truth, is death. So if you manage to figure out that you're now realising that being one of us isn't being on the path of monsters, you are free, free to live a perfect non perfect attempt at life, never giving up hope of finding the 'right fitting' woman to entwine your life force and possibly soul around.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 10, 2012, 11:34:43 PM
that's a lovely reply fox - thank you  :)

i never thought it was like joining a monster club btw  ;D 

still unsure of whether i put all this back in the box again or do something about it - and if so what? 

thanks for replying x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: સરસ on Mar 10, 2012, 11:39:40 PM
that's a lovely reply fox - thank you  :)

i never thought it was like joining a monster club btw  ;D 

still unsure of whether i put all this back in the box again or do something about it - and if so what? 

thanks for replying x

If you put it all back in the box SAF54.. only thing that will happen is in yet a few more years you will sit and stare at the same box..

You have tried again and again being straight but yet here you are..

Why not just go with it in full force..

All your questions about how when why and where are easy to answer once you yourself made the decision to let yourself be who you are..


So .. The ball is in your court.. what is it you want?


Can you answer that question?


Not here.. but to yourself when you lie awake in bed at night thinking about life..
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScarletBea on Mar 11, 2012, 12:21:00 PM
what is it you want?


Can you answer that question?


I second Ougat.
This is what happened to me: to be able to answer this question, to answer the 'what is it that makes me happy, not holding my breath, not tiptoeing through life'.
It's not what's the easiest option - because even what seems easiest in the short term, and creates this facade of you that other people 'understand' and 'get' and 'can relate to', will create enormous problems for yourself in the long run - so go around, and act normally, for you. Act how you feel is normal, without labels, and names, and groups, and then you'll realise that eventually, there is a name for what is normal for you, and things will make sense once more.

Good luck :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Amaury on Mar 11, 2012, 01:48:51 PM
SAF54, you might be the only single lesbian mum in your village but not here, so welcome and be careful with that box  :).
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 12, 2012, 03:55:08 PM
thanks  :)

so if i did want to go for it full force like you say ougat what would i do?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: સરસ on Mar 12, 2012, 04:00:48 PM
You have to make sure in your own head how much you want this and how much effort you will put into it SAF54..

I am not suggesting you try and find a lover of some sorts.. I am thinking friends here..

It can be via the internet at first if you live in a small-ish place but it would be lovely if its in person as well..

Also.. you should try and figure out what it is that scares you about being a full on lesbian.. is it family or friend's reactions or society or just yourself?

The more you communicate with yourself and others the more you will know..
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Yellow on Mar 14, 2012, 11:11:29 PM
I didn't really envisage myself responding to this, but it seems I am!

SAF54 you know yourself more than you give yourself credit for.  I read your post and think you have huge bravery, you are honest with yourself, you've had relationships with women that may not have worked out, but you know how good they've made you feel and those feelings sound very real.  I'm not in a position to give you any advice, just wanted you to know you aren't alone in finding things really tough.

The article below resonated with me and made me feel like I had to do something...what exactly that will be I'm not sure, but some days, like today, I'm not quite as scared of who I might be....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: સરસ on Mar 14, 2012, 11:18:27 PM
I didn't really envisage myself responding to this, but it seems I am!

SAF54 you know yourself more than you give yourself credit for.  I read your post and think you have huge bravery, you are honest with yourself, you've had relationships with women that may not have worked out, but you know how good they've made you feel and those feelings sound very real.  I'm not in a position to give you any advice, just wanted you to know you aren't alone in finding things really tough.

The article below resonated with me and made me feel like I had to do something...what exactly that will be I'm not sure, but some days, like today, I'm not quite as scared of who I might be....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying

Lovely Article and oh so true.. Points number 1 , 3 and 5.. That for me is the biggies..

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: સરસ on Mar 14, 2012, 11:22:32 PM
I even stole your link for fb..  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 16, 2012, 11:01:54 AM
i'll read that article now.

i don't think anything specific scares me.  i just don't know what to do or how to explore this further.  there is one gay bar in this town and i'm thinking it will probably be a pretty small clique of people who go there and it would be odd me going and sitting in a pub solo anyway especially if i'm the only person over 25 ;)

also what to say to people who ask if i'm gay in a situation like that.  i don't want to mislead anyone by saying yes i am but i'm not going to tell my life story obviously and 'i think so' sounds a bit of a dodgy answer.  and what if i hurt someone with my uncertainty?

also sex i guess - the idea of being like a virgin again and not knowing what i'm doing. 

waffling on sorry.  off to read that article.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Mar 16, 2012, 11:12:43 AM
SAF54, I know when I was deciding whether or not to come out (at 40) I was scared to do it in case I turned out to be wrong. Was this the solution to everything that puzzled me about relationships etc, or would I come out, and still be clueless? I decided it was okay to decide I was gay provisionally in the interim, just to see how it went. You don't have to make a bit permanent one way commitment.

The being a virgin again thing is tricky but fun! You get all the thrills of adolescence all over again, but without having to be an adolescent. And when you start meeting and talking to people, you'll find there are plenty of others in the same stage.

Re: hurting people with your uncertainty, just be really honest about it, and try to keep it light and casual. If you're asked if you're gay, you can say you think you might be but you're not yet experienced enough to be sure. Not everyone's necessarily looking for a deep, committed bond. There will be people around who talk about 'baggage' and 'time wasters' and stuff like that, but those people are bound to be hard work and not much fun so best avoided.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 16, 2012, 11:29:33 AM
thanks uncle pants - i like that answer, "i think so but i'm not really experienced enough to be sure yet".
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Mar 16, 2012, 11:34:28 AM
Seriously though, once I stopped worrying about was I or wasn't I, it's all been a really wonderful adventure. I wasn't really looking forward to the rest of my life before, but now I'm happy about the future. It helps to have a sense of humour about it all.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Mar 16, 2012, 12:17:15 PM
i am in northampton btw in case anyone localish reads this or anyone train distance away fancies taking me under their wing for a day or night out and chat. 

you know a lot of it is the discomfort of feeling like a child or quite helpless and out of one's depth again.  not much does that to us by this stage of life.  i remember when i was teaching scuba diving older people needed quite a lot of hand holding sometimes because of this very fact - being new at something, unskilled, needing to rely on another for one's own safety etc really could throw them and bring up some weird stuff and anxiety and acting out like toddlers.  anyway - bit random sorry.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Uncle Pants on Mar 16, 2012, 12:19:43 PM
http://www.lesbianline.co.uk/

They seem to play a lot of badminton.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: nix819 on Apr 05, 2012, 03:39:19 PM
From when I was about 5, I didnít like wearing skirts, dresses, or doing anything girly Ė I was a tomboy, loved playing football, wearing jeans, trainers etc.

I had crushes on teachers, and a lot of girls at school Ė but had my first kiss with a boy when I was 10, had my first ďboyfriendĒ when I was 15, and this was also my first long term relationship Ė lasting until I was 19. We were more like best friends, and over the time we were together, slept with each other a handful of times, otherwise it was kisses, cuddles and doing things socially with friends. At this point (just before we broke up) I started to question myself, and the reasons why I didnít enjoy sex with my boyfriend and it didnít bother me that we hardly slept together. I also questioned why I didnít like dressing up when going out, wearing make-up, high heels, and wondered if I was just anti-social, or why I just didnít seem to ďfit the mouldĒ of what a girl should be like Ė I just wasnít mixing with the right people, but wasnít aware of it Ė this was a very confusing time for me.
Looking back on it now, all the signs were there, and in a way I strongly believe my family saw the signs and tried to steer me in the opposite direction Ė which is ultimately what ended happening!

When I was 23 one of my work colleagues invited me out to her birthday celebrations in G-A-Y Soho, and thatís when the penny dropped.
I just felt so relaxed surrounded by girls who were just like me! Ė I felt like I belonged somewhere, that Iíd finally figured out this jigsaw puzzle with 1000 tiny little pieces Ė all the parts of the puzzle came together at the same time.

I told my family when I was with my first girlfriend, and they were fine with it! I am now completely open, of course I am always having to ďcome outĒ to people who donít know Iím gay, but itís not really a big deal. What I did find interesting was coming out to my friends Ė a couple of them still talk to me, and some of them have disappeared, but I guess they werenít true friends!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: nix819 on Apr 05, 2012, 04:58:21 PM
I have just finished reading this whole thread, and just wanted to add how inspiring it was to read everyones story, its very comforting to know we all share a similar theme... we were all born into a world where society expects hetrosexuality, but it takes courage, passion, and confidence to be honest and true to who we are as individuals.
Hugs to you all x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: oops on May 14, 2012, 10:10:19 PM
the word 'orientation' suddenly made sense to me as i realised that my life, my attachments, my interest etc was orientated towards women.  that meaning and depth and intimacy and all the good stuff was for me in women.  men don't interest me that much.  i always had the sense of them being smaller, two dimensional, not big enough to wrap your love round.
Wow, loved your story SAF54, especially this bit. Made me think, yeah, that's how I feel!!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: readyellow on May 21, 2012, 06:14:00 PM
My narrative is as follows: i'm out, but coming out/being out  is proving to be a strangely disorientating experience- quite the opposite of what i expected. i guess there is stil much to figure out. Sorry, this probably  isn't helpful to anyone.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Another Dyke :/ on May 21, 2012, 07:08:13 PM
@ Braid

If you are a London gal, go CHANGES @ London Friend!
Everyone there will be in the same boat as you, all exploring and finding their way..!
There are excellent Facilitators (or atleast there was when i 'came out' decades ago..wouldn't see that it could have changed!)
YOU will be there for the same reason as the others - it's a marvellous experience 'meeting likeminded'  and making new friends, hooking up, going places together (where ever Life takes you : pals for a Gay Night Out or a 'Friendship.')
I'd give it a try! It's a good place to start!!
86 Caledonian Road (bit further along from Tesco's)..and it starts 7pm.
Thread how you get on ! ;) ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Evan on Jun 30, 2012, 09:20:12 PM
OK so I have been suppressing my sexuality so much in the last four years that I feel like I might explode. I haven't been with a woman since 2008 and I went back into the closet almost to the point of considering being straight or conforming to the pressure I was feeling to get married and have kids. My brother has two kids and my other brother is about to get married next year and I feel like I am standing still not moving watching the world fly by having sex and reproducing without me and I am left high and dry because of my own guilt and oppression and fear. Last time I attempted anything with a woman it went wrong it seems to fall short. I know it was because of me and nothing to do with anyone else it is my own perception of myself that is holding me back. I had such a late realisation that I was gay at 35 after living a sheltered and catholic upbringing where i was told from a very young age about praying for the right man to marry and waiting till you are married to have sex and confessing your sins especially sexual thoughts. I felt like my thoughts were not my own property and they belonged to God. At 18 I was so frustrated that i hadn't got a bf that I joined a dating agency and found one and my first attempt at having sex was a disaster as I didn't really want it. I tried and tried again at university to have sex and managed to get into bed with quite a lot of guys but never really had sex with them just a bit of fumbling under the covers. So I was getting older and I didn't get anywhere and so I stopped trying till i was 29 and I met this younger guy who was very camp and girly but straight and he looked like a woman he had soft skin and blond hair and he was the best option I found at the time as I didn't know I was gay. When I was ten I did experiment with girls and explored my sexuality but I was ten and I soon forgot about it as my peers influence took over and I followed the crowd.
I have realised I have been going against the crowd my whole life and rebelling. I exploded with rage at 18 so much so I had a nervous breakdown and ended up in hospital for 3 months on heavy medication and with a serious mental health diagnosis which I have recently found out was a miss diagnosis. I never had a mental health illness I only had a mental breakdown because I was suppressing my sexuality not because I was mentally ill.
If you suppress your emotions strongly enough you die or you kill your motivation to live which is the same thing in effect.
So now I am back here again frustrated and wanting to be free from my self constraints.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Fennec on Jul 06, 2012, 05:37:28 PM
Wow Evan sounds like you've had a really rough time of it, but I really do think the fact you can say that is a massive deal. Do you feel like knowing all this is helping you...'un-surpress' those feelings? I think most people here would agree that being yourself is the most important thing you can do, and you know what, 35 is still pretty young in my opinion. It may be a 'late awakening', but you've got there, like one more rung on a ladder.

Or something. OK I'm not making my point well, or making you feel any better, but I appreciated you telling your story and I hope that GB makes you feel like maybe you can start getting free of those restraints? Please keep sharing!





On a personal note, I came out as bisexual when I was about 13, and had a fairly smooth run of it excepting the usual schoolyard stuff. Weirdly, the big thing for me was when I finally admitted I had never liked guys only about 6 months ago. I had always hated sex with men, but felt like I *should* like it, and that no woman could ever love me back anyway.

But yeah, around Christmas I finally told my Mum in a strange 'second coming out' situation, and her reaction was anything but what I expected. She just simply refused to talk about it, saying "It doesn't matter in this day and age so why bring it up?" and in fact accused me of being attention seeking and 'Wanting her to be angry'. It was a weird experience, and I feel like I shouldn't complain because she's not actually seemingly against me being gay. Her new husband however, is quite religious and although reluctant to say it outloud, is obviously not as liberal as he states himself to be. Perhaps this explains her reaction?

SORRY!  ;D Turned into a long post! ANYWAY I feel like I've been let out of a cage, and will work on my confidence issues so I can finally get back onto the dating scene ^^

Thank you for all your inspiring posts~!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Evan on Jul 06, 2012, 11:04:42 PM
Hi Fennec, thanks for your encouraging post. I was feeling really emotional the day I posted that and needed to let off some steam that was building up in me. I think I was triggered by the sexual politics going on in my office. The male sexual jokes the underlying sexual tension. The heterosexual power games which I don't feel part of. I notice everything but feel detached from it like i am not interested in it. This gets noticed and interpreted but I am not sure what they make of me. I don't react the way they expect me to but I am keeping myself detached to protect myself from the subtle underlying themes that follow peoples thinking. If you think things in your head they come out in your body language and gestures and well as conversation. I have to watch my thoughts in the office carefully so they don't veer into sexual thoughts as my face is easy to read so i protect myself by not thinking anything but work stuff. I know gay guys in the office can get away with being obviously flirtatious with other men but I have learnt that peoples reactions to gay women are different to how they react to gay men. But what overcomes this fear is that i am hoping my workmates get to know and like me for my personality and not a label that they might have preconceived stereotypical prejudices about when that's not me so that's why I haven't come out at work yet. It's too soon.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: su_cate on Jul 18, 2012, 06:13:30 PM
Iíve loved this thread that much I thought i would post, a newbie and not a poster so here goes.
I had the usual crushes on girls when I was a teenager, a couple of stolen kisses but nothing much.
My first proper boyfriend when I was 19 and that lasted for 7 years, he was a not a good choice and broke my heart. After that I didnít have another serious boyfriend for a long time, but a few short romances with women, it was the 80ís and although there was a lot gay and bisexual pop stars it still wasnít discussed with my friends. During that time I had a lot of mixed feelings about my sexuality and put it down to the way I had been treated and got on with my life.
I then met a very special man, in a gay club of all places. Anyway, we dated and eventually we fell in love and got married. He was amazing, he knew I had an interest in women, I knew he had an interest in men, but we got on with our life together and it was a very happy one. Those feeling didnít go away and we often discussed it but we were happy together and our marriage worked well. Our family and friends adored him, me and us as a couple, we were an example to everyone of a blissfully happy couple in love and it was true.
6 years ago, we both moved home and had total career change buying a holiday business and leaving all our friends and family behind. Then one year into our new venture, my husband was killed in an accident, I had lost this special person, the one person that knew me inside out. I was now living in a remote village, having no family and friends where I now live (I donít have children).
The point in telling about the relationship my family and friends had with my partner is the reason Iím struggling now, I had a fling with a female friend of mine, I knew it wouldnít go anywhere but it brought all the old feeling to the surface again and Iíve realised that itís a woman I want to have a relationship with. Iíve told both my sisters about this woman and they have been great, they knew a long time ago anyway we just never discussed it.
My sisters say that my family and friends will understand. Iím very close to my mother in law and it would crush her Iím sure. There is no LGBT community here and not much chance of me meeting someone new, my sisters bless them want me to come clean and let my friends know Iím ready for a relationship but I should tell them the truth.
Iíve been on my own now for 5 years, it can be pretty lonely and miserable here and I know how I feel but donít know where Iím going with it!! Iím not worried about coming out per se but donít want to cause any anguish. I feel that I should wait until that someone special comes along and then maybe Iíll have the courage to be more open and honest. Does that sound like a cop out!!


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: SAF54 on Jul 21, 2012, 12:58:48 AM
sorry to crash in without catching up on new posts but i just re-read people's responses to me after not being here for a long time and god everyone was so lovely and supportive of me.  thank you!  might have been a bit too muddle headed at the time to really appreciate the kindness and show that x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: minty on Jul 22, 2012, 05:28:15 AM
I never came out to my parents.    My dad died a few years ago and to this day my mum does not know that I have fancied the same sex.   She has very old fashioned ideas so I am never going to tell her.   I am not in a relationship so it isn't an issue.

Actually my mum is encouraging me to be single because she thinks being single is better than being with the wrong partner.   My mum did not have a happy marriage but plenty of people do.   It is just luck of the draw really.

Having said that, I don't particularly want a partner and thats not for fear of having the wrong one.... its just being too independent and too busy.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Sep 04, 2012, 04:06:35 PM
Iím very close to my mother in law and it would crush her Iím sure
[/quote]

I suspect  that the worry of upsetting your in-laws would not be completely absent if you were introducing a new male partner either . Itís an understandable worry, donít get me wrong, but it doesnít take away from the fact if it is not reasonable (nor will it help anyoneís grieving process) for you or them to expect you to never to have another partner, you are not responsible for their happiness. Your relationship with their son sounds like it was real and genuine, the new situation you find yourself in now and the new directions (perhaps glimpsed once long ago) you are setting off in are no betrayal of this. I suppose what Iím saying is that there is may well be a certain element to this which is just about grieving and moving on, ok itís given a different flavour and extra dimension by the fact a new partner will probably be of a different gender but itís a big issue in its own right.

But thinking about the coming out issue, when and what you tell them is your decision and yours alone, and waiting is not a cop out,  there are lots of merits to just presenting them with a new partner and dealing with it then (it may be better than letting their imaginations run riot). Although you clearly care about them and thatís admirable, you donít owe them an explanation of why you might have a female partner from now on, if their son was blonde and you had a new brown haired male partner it wouldnít be necessary to explain your feelings about brown haired men before and during your relationship with their son nor would it be necessary to announce before dating that you were now only looking for brown haired men. Youíve done nothing wrong, there is nothing to come clean about.

When coming out, those who are already in the know can put pressure on you as they donít enjoy having a secret they canít tell, (oh the irony) and claim that you are putting them in a difficult position but none of this is your fault, (its societyís attitudes that makes you have to come out and them just be) -  ask them as people who care about you to help you in this.

Good luck!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: su_cate on Sep 12, 2012, 12:01:44 PM
Thanks Bewilderbeast, yes I see that whatever partner I choose maybe I would worry about upsetting my mother in law, valid point.
She's eager for me to get out and socialise a bit more, she was also widowed young and never had another relationship, and doesn't want me to go the same way.

I accept your theory that 'certain element to this which is just about grieving and moving on'. I recently went to a festival with my friends it was a memorial to my husband, it being the 5th anniversary of his death. I looked at all my friends and realised they have all moved on with their lives, some are now married, or with new partners and some have children, I've been so isolated for 5 years, this slipped me by. I too must move on, make a move in the right direction, forward, I suppose.

As for coming out, well I'll hold off telling all my friends, (some know, and aren't pressuring me to come out), and family too, I'm not likely to be in a relationshipn any time soon, so I'll deal with it when that situation arises I guess.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, Su
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Sep 13, 2012, 10:51:00 AM
Hey no problem.

Just do what feels right, if you want to tell your in-laws before anything happens do that, if you want to wait do that. Its up to you and you can change your mind as you go along.

See if you can find a Gay and Lesbian group organising meets and events near you, (just to get freindships going rather than dating at first) even if you have to travel. Keep posting on here, try online dating but just as looking for freinds. There may not be a visible gay community near you, but you exist where you live so how do you know others don't? We are everywhere - when you are coming out it seems like you are leaving one world for a new unfamiliar one. You 're not, you are actually just learning to see the world as it really is! Telling people you are gay is showing them the world as it actually is, it's not telling them about a choice you've made, becuase you had no choice.

B


Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Creative Whistler on Dec 16, 2012, 07:53:07 PM
I've read a few pages worth, - it takes me a lot of concentration to read but I am enjoying reading other people's experiences.  I find it a comfort after feeling the odd one out for so long.

My turn now.

I can remember back to even in my infant school admiring the older girls, they seemed so much older than me and were somehow appealing - I think I was 5 and they were 7 years old!  Later in primary I used to think I'd have preferred to be a boy so that I could marry one of the older girls and I found one of the female teachers attractive too.  Oh yer, and I have memories of regularly playing an intimate game with a local girl and my Mum once finding us and she confiscated the blanket we were under and told us to get dressed.
There was no confusion regarding my feelings for girls


At about age 12 I watched Tootsie.  As usual I was attracted to the lead female and in this film the word gay and lesbian are clearly spelled out.  After the film I went upstairs and cried in the bathroom.  Typically the concept of gay and lesbian was a bit of a joke here, something that didn't go unnoticed, and the shame I felt has been difficult to shake off.
I told a few friends and it stayed quite between them and it wasn't spoke of much. 
My teachers, when I finally got the courage to reach out were rubbish.  0 help, and succeeded in leaving me feeling even more ashamed and isolated.  I truly felt dreadful for most of my teenage years.


Things got better when I found a LGBT youth group, and I made friends eventually dated.
My parents weren't horrified and I was too embarrassed for it to be a point of discussion.

I met my kid's Dad when I was 21 and I think the relationship was built on friendship from my side, no attraction.  I just got used to having him around.  I liked spending time with someone I felt so comfortable with and I also liked relaxing and not worrying about what people felt.
There were other problems apart from not being attracted to him and it couldn't last, and now we have a son.
I am so glad I had chance to have a child because I AM maternal and I worried that this would never happen for me.

My kid has neurological issues so bringing him up alone has been tough and I never considered it appropriate for me to introduce someone new to his life for either's sake.  I haven't been out much for 15 years.
Now my boy is becoming more independent, also he understands now that I prefer women so I feel like I can 'switch my life back on' again.

I'm slowly coming out all over again.  Nobody seems to gossip these days!  I presumed that if I tell a few people then they will pass it on, but no!  It comes up in conversation and I say "but didn't you already know?"  I am trying my darnedest to make it obvious.  Sigh.

Now back to reading more of these stories :O)

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Twin on Jan 15, 2013, 04:12:20 AM
Thanks everyone for sharing your amazing and touching stories! I've been reading them and they are all revealing and helpful, since I'm very new to this.
I will share mine too :)

I guess I was straight all my life....right? I say so to myself.
Never had anything with a woman.
BUT looking back in time, I wonder if I would have been/felt supported, would have I lead the same life? I will never know...
When I was around 4, I think, all I wanted to be is a boy. So much so that my mom took me to a psicologist. I DO remember that visit. That great professional advices her to totally ignore me when I wanted to play pretend that I was a boy....so in early age I learnt, I guess, that not going with the flow would not bring me any love. Later I realized that it isn't so, but for a little girl, 4,5,6 years old, her parents'  attention and love is the reason for living.
I stopped that, and I became a mix of tomboy and normal girl, though not very girlish...
In my all girls school I had a crush for my gym teacher. I was SO young but I was enchanted by her....
The fantasy of being with women have gone on all my life I guess, as well as my curiosity.
But all the while I was with guys. I've had my share in relationships, two marriages, one kid....
My relationships haven't worked in the end, always lacking that connection, but I never wondered about my sexuality, since I also enjoyed sex with guys. It's just that after a while, I was not there. Emotionally I was disconnected from them...

Then, last year, I met this woman through Internet, due to my job. I've talked about this a little in the presentations....we became so close! We started to message each other constantly, amazed at our connection, love for each other, need for each other...we knew we were moving into something deeper, but did not talk about it at all. My second marriage ended somewhere in there, but it was not because of her...it had been dead for long and because of work my ex and I had been living apart for years already, though we saw each other often.
Anyways, when my friend and I saw each other, it triggered it all. Our feelings went far beyond the friendship line, and soon we found ourselves hugging and kissing each other like teenagers....
Now we know we are in love, but since she is still married (this has been going on for a few months in which she had to admit to herself that she was in love with someone though being married, that this someone is a woman, and the age difference between us)
SO we are at the stage of finding out what we have , what we feel...and well, mainly her figuring out what life she wants to lead .
And as for coming out...well, my friends know. I didn't go and say hey! I'm gay! But I did tell them I was in love with this woman, and we were having a relationship. The same way that I would have done if it would have happened with a guy.
To me is not different...I found a wonderful person, and I love her! So I told the people I love, too.
If that makes me gay, then I am gay. I don't really care for labels. Really. I am who I am. The labels are for the others to compartment people into recognizable groups....but for me, people is people. Regardless of who they sleep with.
I just know I have never felt so comfortable and right about being with someone...it feels so utterly RIGHT.
In my family only my sister knows...but mainly because my gf is married and until our situation doesn't clear up, there's no reason to like tell my parents. But I would do the same if she were a guy.
I don't know how they will react, when I go and tell them I am with a woman...but if that time comes that would mean we're together, and honestly, that is such a golden dream that the rest of things don't seem that important...

Everyone that knows, which is, well, most of the people I know except of my parents, have been wonderfully supportive, they are just SO happy for me! They say they haven't seen me so happy and glowing ever, and they share the excitement of our relationship developing in the right direction so far :)
For me then, the coming out has been super smooth. I am only a bit nervous about the day my parents know, and maybe the daddy of my child (I am sure he won't be surprised though...)
It has been so very touching that my sister came to me and told me hey, you just go ahead with her and be happy, solve this mess, and when the time comes, we will be there to back you up (we meaning her and my other siblings). They will be fine about it. And we'll be by your side, don't worry about that now ... Gotta LOVE my sister!!!!!!
But as I said. Whoever that wants to call me gay, can do so. Or not. Or bi (though right now I can't think about falling for a guy again, after this!) ....I don't really care.
I think it is very silly to define people for who they sleep with. We people are so much more than that!
I am a woman, who loves another woman with all her heart. That is it. No fuss :D

Umm...this turned out to be a LONG post, after all  (>__<)  I hope it's not too badly written, since English is not my mother language :)

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Jan 15, 2013, 05:57:08 PM
Twin,  keep a journal of your experiences because you are not in an "easy" situation. I wish you well & believe you should pursue your heart,but keep your head handy.
I wish you well.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Twin on Jan 15, 2013, 11:34:47 PM
Thanks a lot, Valerie!
Well, sheīs coming in two weeks, weīll see how it goes...
Definetly a non easy situation, all around. But this time, unilke in the past, i gotta keep my head handy, as you say...I have a kid, 6 y/o, and for a few reasons my role here is more pasive than hers, since i need a parental permission if i wanted to get the kid outta EU, which i donīt because it is not fair to him to almost no see his daddy. And besides that, i am self employed. No way i can move to the US, even if many of my customers are american...You know how that goes. Even if this has the bestest outcome, itīs very unlikely i can move there, at least for now... So I have just to wait and cross my fingers...
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sherbert on Jan 16, 2013, 02:39:05 AM
There are two Gingerbeer members who were married when they met.  They left their husbands and got together.    It seemed to work well for them.   Not sure if they ever had a civil partnership but they have no regrets about what they did.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Twin on Jan 16, 2013, 04:01:04 AM
Yes, i have read...  Thank you so much for pointing it out :)

The fact that is not easy doesnīt mean that canīt be done. Living in the same town or even country would make things smoother, but still, iīve gone through so many situations in my life already, big changes, most unexpected outcomes sometimes, and i am positive by nature... SO, for now, we are together and exploring our relationship. Thereīs a time for everything, and after denial and acceptance now itīs time to know. And time for life changing decisisons, to make them or not, will also come. I will face those when itīs time. The best i can. But i have never been taken aback by difficulties...Terrified, dived. And i am happy i did...Got myself a few scars, but still standing and wiser, hopefully  ^__^

But thanks again, so much! I appreciate the support, because even if I believe this is possible and worth the risk, it feels good to know that others can see it that way too, and not like "OH, RUN!!"   ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on Jan 16, 2013, 09:48:53 PM
. So I have just to wait and cross my fingers...
my fingers crossed  4 u Twin
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Twin on Jan 17, 2013, 12:06:46 AM
Thank you tons Valerie! Iīm moved by your support and well wishes, they mean lots to me  :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: onmyway on Jan 17, 2013, 01:53:08 AM
I only just read your posts here Twin so I'm a bit late to the party but hey - what a great sister you have!  And how wonderful that you are in love with someone who loves you back.  More power to you, and best of luck with everything.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Appley on Jan 22, 2013, 11:30:49 AM
I wanted to post something on this thread as it has been so helpful to me.

I'm just coming to terms with my sexuality after many years of deep denial/internal homophobia. I'm married to a lovely kind man, and have children. I'm in my mid thirties and live in the countryside, a deeply conventional life.

No wonder I feel trapped.

I have confided in a couple of friends and am having some therapy to try and make sense of this new stuff. I feel like a crap straight woman (I know I'm not straight, how could I not have realised??) but I'm a pretty crap lesbian too, what with all the heterosexual privilege I've been enjoying for the past 20 years, and still being married etc.

I am trying to be kind to myself and have a sense of humour about it all. (How many straight women do you know who have copies of The Well of Loneliness and everything Sarah Waters has ever written, not to mention the mahoosive crush on Jodie Foster.... ;)) But also I'm really really scared, about what's going to happen to my marriage, and children, and wtf my husband is going to say when I tell him.

Hmph. I have a long way to go. I have found the askjoanne website but am having problems getting registered so can't post on there.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness (all v Virginia Woolf, how apt).

Appley x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Katy1of3 on Jan 29, 2013, 11:51:58 PM
Can't believe how many of us that have been married to a bloke and/or have kids.
I was so cross with myself at first for not realising what should have been pretty obvious in hindsight but feel a little better knowing its not just me.  Although I wouldn't wish the telling your husband your gay thing on anyone!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Appley on Feb 10, 2013, 09:07:27 AM
Can't believe how many of us that have been married to a bloke and/or have kids.
I was so cross with myself at first for not realising what should have been pretty obvious in hindsight but feel a little better knowing its not just me.  Although I wouldn't wish the telling your husband your gay thing on anyone!
Apparently it's pretty common. I told my husband a couple of weeks back - pretty horrific as you know, but we're getting there. I don't know what's going to happen to 'us', especially with the children etc., but I'm so glad I've found a place to chat to other lesbians; it makes me feel much less alone, and gives me hope for the future.
All the best. x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Yellow on Feb 17, 2013, 09:50:18 PM
Mums aren't always the easiest to speak to.

Maybe it would help to talk on here about what's going on?  Independent advice from people who know a bit about what you are going through?

It's worst facing things alone. I've started to find these boards a bit of a lifeline, just reading them helps.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: spanky @ass on Feb 17, 2013, 10:59:24 PM
Have you got anyone to talk to Megan? If it's stressing you it might be a good idea to thrash it out (with someone supportive).
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: spanky @ass on Feb 17, 2013, 11:07:52 PM
It's an ear and they might help you sort through it all.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: spanky @ass on Feb 17, 2013, 11:23:32 PM
I hope you find some answers.

This place often gives support when people want advice or just to vent. But it is a public messageboard. Post what you feel comfortable with.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on Mar 19, 2013, 09:56:11 PM
I have enjoyed reading the stories on this thread. I have my own story, although it's probably not that interesting.

I am 30 now, 31 in  a couple of weeks. I am married and have been for nearly 11 years and we have a 5 year old son. I have just come out to my family and my husband and we are going to seperate and divorce as soon as I can find somewhere to live.

Ever since I was young I have never been interested in the opposite sex. I had a few crushes when I was a teenager but they were all on older men. I wasn't sexually or physically attracted to them, I admired them and kind of hero worshipped them I suppose. I went through school and college and only had one boy friend for a short time. There was also a lad I messed about with a bit but I never enjoyed it, I thought it was just what young girls did.

Anyway, I met my husband when I was 18. Again, he is quite a bit older than me. When we met he was going through a bad time in his life and he used to talk to me about what was happening. I suppose I  fell in love with him emotionally. I've never fancied him physically and as soon as the sex began I knew something wasn't right. I was so excited the first time, but I didn't enjoy it. I put it down to being the first time and assumed it would improve with experience. It didn't really though. I'm not saying it was always bad, sometimes it was ok, but I never felt like it was all it was cracked up to be. I always seemed to have to concentrate and really think about it in order to get any enjoyment out of it. I was besotted with my husband but the physical aspect just wasn't there for me.

It never even crossed my mind that I might be a lesbian. I used to have cureous thoughts now and again, but I dismissed them as being sick and dirty. I would also get erotic dreams about women from time to time and I'd wake up feeling confused and a bit kind of sick and ashamed.

When we had been married for 4 years I finally decided I wanted a child and I had our son. That was when the relationship really went off the boil. We have hardly had sex at all since his birth and I have been less interested than ever, to the point where the idea would actually make me feel sick.I would just let him get it over with and try to get away as soon as possible.

A couple of years ago the dreams were becoming more frequent and I briefly thought I had a bit of a thing about one of the girls at my college. I dismissed this as being sick and wrong yet again and got on with my life. I used to get slightly aroused when she wrote statuses about her and her girl friend on facebook though and I somehow felt slightly jealous.

Anyway, I suppose it would have been about last september or there abouts when I started to really question myself. I started having sexual thoughts about women all the time. It took a lot for me to allow myself to even entertain the idea that I was, well, not as straight as I'd tried to convince myself I was. Once I started to ask myself what these feelings were all about, they seemed to come flooding in like a storm serge. I found myself fantacising about women all the time and looking at them in a way I'd never done before, in a way I'd never looked at anybody before. When I started totting up all the evidence in my mind, it all seemed to point to one thing.

It didn't take long questioning until I realised the answer. Rather than there being something wrong with me, which I had thought there had been since my early teens, I was actually a lesbian. I had surpressed itt so much that it has taken me until I'm nearly 31 to acknowledge and accept it.

I have come out to everybody now and even though I have a lot of complicated things to sort out in my life, I feel like a new person inside. I finally feel like I am being honest and I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have before. I have always felt different to other straight women in the way that I'm not very girly. I'm not really butch but I'm in no way girly. I've always dressed in jeans and boots etc and acted a bit masculin, I like beer and football. I've never wanted to wear flowerey frilly things or makeup and I'm just a bit tomboyish I suppose.

Despite the difficulties with the break up of my marriage and taking my son away from his family home though, I am still looking forward to what the future has in store for me. It's going to be daunting, being on my own as I have been with my husband since I was 19, but I know I will cope one way or another. I have got a lot to learn and it's nerve-racking to say the least, being inexperienced at my age is an odd feeling, but I'm excited to learn. All in all, I feel like I am moving closer to the person I should be. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Rachael on Mar 19, 2013, 11:04:41 PM
Hi Slantrhyme,

well done you for getting through all of that!  now comes the fun part of diving in the lesbian pool and not looking back  :D

welcome to the board

Rachael
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on Mar 20, 2013, 10:29:12 AM
Hi Slantrhyme,

well done you for getting through all of that!  now comes the fun part of diving in the lesbian pool and not looking back  :D

welcome to the board

Rachael

Thanks Rachael x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Mar 21, 2013, 05:07:22 PM
^ And I say well done for doing it by 31. Plenty of us didn't do it until much older than that!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sally33 on Mar 21, 2013, 06:31:37 PM
^ And I say well done for doing it by 31. Plenty of us didn't do it until much older than that!

Yes I was 42 ...so you've got 11 yrs on me ...good luck!!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Chablis on Mar 21, 2013, 06:43:59 PM
I was 46. so you are loads younger than me ??? ???
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on Mar 22, 2013, 04:13:11 PM
Thank you all xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Vera9 on Mar 26, 2013, 12:40:47 AM
I'm still skulking around here; partially out to the world at large (everyone except family), still not lost my virginity... but my lovely lesbian mate has promised to get me hooked up asap (or lead me to some lesbians and let me hook myself up, at any rate). So things are moving on, and I'm more tolerant of others' misconceptions/ opinions about being 'bi'. If I am that anyway. As someone else pointed out, it's perfectly ok to accept yourself as you are, as you go, rather than trying to be it all and do it all at once. I've seen that it's one long learning curve basically. Very interesting how some people feel threatened by it all though, straight/ gay men and women. Awkward moment in a crowded bar when I realised my friend had let her friend know I was a virgin..it was written all over her face..but f# it; who cares?! If anything it helped me lighten up, and see the funny side of it, and stop taking myself so damn seriously.

Really encouraged to see that I'm by no means the oldest virgin-ahem- late starter here (36). But it will be one label I'll be pleased to see the back of  :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Mar 27, 2013, 01:57:46 AM
Good luck Vera9. Being able to see the funny side of it all is a good start :)
Hope you don't have problems with your family though.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on May 05, 2013, 12:00:43 PM
I just spent an age typing this out for a thread on another forum that was asking how long people had known they were gay and how did they come to realise. I remembered this thread which I have posted in previously so I thought I'd paste it in here. It goes through some similar stuff to my other post but there's probably some other things in it as well.         

I was always told when I was a kid that being homosexual, especially lesbian was disgusting and somewhere along the line that must have gone in a lot further than I'd imagined. Then when I was at school I was dealing with the usual growing up stuff, plus having a severe visual impairment, so I used to get bullied a lot. I was hurt, confused and angry and I just shut my emotions down and built a massive wall around myself to protect me and keep people out. People used to say I was thick skinned, nothing could affect me and I just didn't care about other people. This wasn't true, things did go in and they hurt, I just never ever showed my emotions in front of people because I felt it gave them something else to pick at, it was a show of weakness I suppose.

Then when I left school and went to college I got quite heavily into drugs. Just dope at first but I was always smoking. I'd wake up in the morning and skin up. Then I started doing other things as well. My head was completely mashed most of the time.

All the way through school and college I never had a boy friend, not even so much as a crush. I had infatuations with a couple of men but they were all older. I think I admired and kind of hero worshipped them. Never any boys at my school or college though and they were never interested in me.

When it came time for me to leave college I met my husband. He was having a bad time and used to tell me how unhappy he was. I fell madly for him. Again he is a lot older and I think in some ways I wanted to save him. There was never a physical attraction on my side though and when the sex started it never felt right.I was so excited the first time, I was desperate to try this sex thing that everyone raved on about so much. I didn't really feel anything though. I put it down to it being the first time but it never improved. As long as that emotional attachment existed between the two of us then it was nice to be close, but as for any pleasure, than never really happened.Then when the emotional bond started to whither the sex became less and less interesting and more and more uncomfortable. Sometimes I would have the need and I'd try my hardest to concentrate and I might get a little bit of enjoyment out of it, but afterwards I just wanted it over and to get away. My husband would like to cuddle me and talk about it but I just felt uncomfortable and a bit sick.

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to go to university to study English. I was accepted on to a degree course. This was the first time in ten years that I had been somewhere by myself, had my own identity and had the chance to make friends.There was a bisexual girl in my class who I used to sit by most of the time. Sometimes I used to get a flutter when I saw her. It was only a tiny thing because I wouldn't allow it to be anything more. Then when I found out she was bi I ran a mile. I felt sick and stayed away. Then I started my second year and was with a different group of people. I made friends more easily and I made one firend in particular.I've never had a crush on this friend but she is the first female friend I've had since school, through her I learned what it is like to emotionally engage with a woman. Then I made more female friends.

About this time I started to get fantasies about women. At first I pushed them a way but they were getting so insistant that I allowed my mind to let them in and think about them. I went like this for a while, I'd think all the time about women but I would never a tribute these fantasies to myself. I never allowed myself to own the thoughts. Then one day I had a major crisis. I thought to myself, 'why are you thinking all these thoughts?' There was only really one answer. I then admitted to myself that I was questioning my sexuality.

While all this was going on, I was going through the worst spell of depression of my life. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, I was shaking all the time and I would shut myself away from people and not want to talk. This only happened at home though, at college I was fine. It was my space to be who I wanted and most importantly, to be myself.

It took me a while before I could verbalise my issues surrounding my sexuality. That was where Internet support forums helped immeasurably. When I could finally say it, just questioning at first, I started to accept myself in my own mind. I did a lot of thinking, a lot of self reflection and a lot of adding up the evidence in my life and my conclusion was clear. I am a lesbian.

I came out to my family and my husband two months ago and now all of my friends know as well. I am getting divorced and am in the process of finding myself a place to live.

Since I have realised my sexuality and openly admitted it, I have felt so much calmer in myself. All the residual anger I used to carry around with me all the time has gone and I feel like a massive, massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I still have a lot of things I have to deal with in order to get myself into a comfortable space, but as long as these problems have practical solutions then I can deal with them.

For most of my life I had this ball of worry inside my head and I couldn't get to the middle of it, it was impenetrable. Now I feel like I have managed to get to the core of the ball and I have started to unravel it.

This is the first time in my life that I have felt comfortable in my own skin. All my insecurities about not being feminine enough have gone, I no longer feel like there's something wrong with me because I'm not into men and I don't know, I just feel freer to be myself. I have a lot of things to work through with my divorce etc but as long as there is a practical solution, I can get my head down and just push on through. I feel my own mind is clearer and I can deal with all these things, now I know who I am.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: MzB on May 05, 2013, 12:12:39 PM
Thanks for posting that, Slantrhyme. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to it. Coming out obviously brings big challenges, but the self acceptance and potential for fulfilment make it worthwhile. And finding people and places to share it with makes such a difference.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: onmyway on May 05, 2013, 09:04:01 PM
Yes, thank you Slantrhyme.  I really appreciate your honesty and openness.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on May 05, 2013, 10:30:05 PM
Well, that's what I'm doin now. I'm finally being honest with myself and everyone else. Also, I know how lonely it feels when you're mind is turning itself inside out, trying to deal with something that you previously thought incomprehensible, hell, it nearly had me under the wheels of a train or in the psychiatric hospital. Somebody might read my post one day and see that they aren't the only person who has had to deal with it. I imagine most of the people on these boards have had similar experiences, just knowing you're not the only one makes all the difference.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: valerie on May 06, 2013, 11:58:42 PM
I loved reading that Slantrhyme,very interesting.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Vera9 on May 07, 2013, 01:56:41 AM
Good luck Vera9. Being able to see the funny side of it all is a good start :)
Hope you don't have problems with your family though.

Thanks Musette. I'm dropping massive hints here and there. My dad is quite old school (or bigoted to put a finer point on it) but my mum probably wouldn't care either way. Actually, they might even be relieved, as I've a terrible track record with men.

Thanks to Slantrhyme. Again, I'm in awe of people's honesty and the fact that I'm not the only person who hasn't just wafted into queerness without noticing. What is funny is how narrow minded I've been in the past- in fact my own narrow-mindedness has actually masked my identity! I used to think you have to be a certain 'type' or things have to be a certain way in order to be gay. I didn't equate my 'weirdness' as I used to put it, with those other people. I think I thought that a little dyke with a banner saying, 'You like girls', should dance in front of my face first. I had to logically 'put the evidence together', before the girl with the banner entered. I think this seems like quite a common thing for people who have a lot of 'issues' in their lives. The sense of self is overwhelmed, and it can be like living in a labyrinth, trying to find yourself in there with all those emotions! x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Noodles on Aug 30, 2013, 10:23:28 PM
 Posted this on a different thread but this seems to be a better place for my post :
 Hi , well I have been searching for somewhere to help take a load off , looks like you lot may have  ;)drawn the short straw!!! Lol !!! I'm 37 & have two wonderful sons . Divorced from their dad in 2006 ( we became more like brother & sister, no sex) I've since been in a relationship that is more or less over as the same thing is happening .i care about him but I just don't want to be intimate .  I have always known I have been attracted to women but have never ever verbalised it to anyone. Lately my sexuality is on my mind all the time. When I was in my early teens I had an experience  that was same sex . I have also kissed another girl , as a mess about , sounds stupid but I was really turned on . I have been so down the last year , as I working through things I've been trying to find me . I've gone from long hair to short hair . Changing what things I do. I'm becoming to realise that it's more down to this then anything else . I know that it's only me that can deal with this but really need any help or advice or opinions. As I said I haven't spoken to anyone . So many things going round my head , Lol feel like a blathering idiot but , hey it's typed so I'm sending it ......
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sally33 on Aug 30, 2013, 10:30:07 PM
Posted this on a different thread but this seems to be a better place for my post :
 Hi , well I have been searching for somewhere to help take a load off , looks like you lot may have  ;)drawn the short straw!!! Lol !!! I'm 37 & have two wonderful sons . Divorced from their dad in 2006 ( we became more like brother & sister, no sex) I've since been in a relationship that is more or less over as the same thing is happening .i care about him but I just don't want to be intimate .  I have always known I have been attracted to women but have never ever verbalised it to anyone. Lately my sexuality is on my mind all the time. When I was in my early teens I had an experience  that was same sex . I have also kissed another girl , as a mess about , sounds stupid but I was really turned on . I have been so down the last year , as I working through things I've been trying to find me . I've gone from long hair to short hair . Changing what things I do. I'm becoming to realise that it's more down to this then anything else . I know that it's only me that can deal with this but really need any help or advice or opinions. As I said I haven't spoken to anyone . So many things going round my head , Lol feel like a blathering idiot but , hey it's typed so I'm sending it ......

Well done noodles ...I won't wish you good luck as you won't need it....a whole new exciting lesbian world awaits you.  You won't regret jumping in. 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: whome? on Sep 23, 2013, 05:40:26 PM
Hi all.  :)

I have just spent the afternoon reading this thread and WOW thank you, thank you xxx So many stories, I feel that I am not alone any longer.  My heart is warm with feeling that I have found somewhere that I could belong to and excitement of things and friends to come.  I am so glad I have found GB :0)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Sep 29, 2013, 09:35:51 PM
^ that's how I felt when I joined about 3 years ago :D

Welcome to GB, whome? :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: whome? on Sep 30, 2013, 02:52:21 PM
Thanks MuSeTTe xx

I have been doing a lot of reading and also read half of the book Lesbian Epiphanies, Women coming out in later life by Karol L. Jensen.  Makes very interesting reading.  Lots of thinking too, which is good and well not so good too.  I feel happy and relaxed with who I am but also well a bit unsure of what the future holds for me.  But that is ok ;)  Living and learning as they say. xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Naturale on Oct 02, 2013, 11:48:21 PM
Thanks for the name of that book i may need to read it!!! I've been a lesbian for 5 years now though i'm very comfortable in my skin and fairly confident i often feel like the lesbian world is a very harsh place that i'm finding incredibly hard to navigate! but i'm certain i'll get there at just the right time :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: entish on Oct 11, 2013, 12:56:30 PM
I have been living with my now ex g/f and my children for the best part of 5 years but I'm still not sure I am out. I recently as part of my uni course had write a piece introducing myself as a person. I still haven't done it because I'm not sure I can actually write the words - I am a lesbian. I don't know if that's because I am fundamentally stroppy and refuse to be labelled, whether I am hedging my bets in case by some extremely unlikely chance I fall for a man or whether I am just scared of my colleagues reactions .
So I am testing it out . I am a lesbian. I love women.
I left my children s father 6 years ago and threw myself onto the scene. I knew that it was absolutely the right thing to do . Despite meeting the odd unpleasant player I have never felt more comfortable or relaxed in myself. I admitted to myself that I have had real feelings for women for years .
My family have been awful about it and I have been totally excluded. That said my children have been amazing.
Now single again I am free to start rebuilding my life and I would very much like that life to include a realationship with a woman.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Megan on Oct 20, 2013, 05:01:49 PM
I came out last Friday, to some people, and it feels...good!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Slantrhyme on Oct 21, 2013, 08:28:43 AM
Hooray for you Megan. Congratulations  :)

Coming out feels great. I had a load of other crap to deal with when I came out but still, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Good luck with your emerging lesbianity. It's really good fun you know...  ;D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Dec 17, 2013, 12:11:12 AM
Didn't really know where to post this and I don't often use the word awesome, but this is.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-4-year-old-girl-asked-a-lesbian-if-shes-a-boy-she-responded-the-awesomest-way-possible?g=3
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Klasse on Dec 20, 2013, 10:54:48 PM
I came out last Friday, to some people, and it feels...good!
We'll done Megan, that's awesome!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: bros_86 on Jan 31, 2014, 11:12:53 PM
well i dont know if this is the right place to vent.....but I suppose this is the start of my coming out journey, so after reading all your stories and personal journeys I shall share mine....

I have always been interested in guys or so i thought, Had boyfriends, fancied guys, never really even questioned my sexuality.  I'd kissed girls and it had never been a issue, even kissed lesbian girls and never thought anything of it.  Was turned on by both men and women, but just thought that was a normal feeling. I've always thought females more beautiful than men and I always connect better with women but thats always been on a friendship level. 
So much so that even in my second year of uni when me and my best friend drunkly made out it was never really an issue, I think she was more freaked out than me.....but when it became more regular the sexual tension which we never noticed before just exploded!  This threw us into our own little secret world of every wonderful thing that love brings.  We had our own private relationship and it was wonderful.  It lasted for 2 and a half years.  Know one knew, not even the people we lived with.  I denied any rumours and she just went along.  We broke up when uni finished on mutual terms as i was going traveling and she was moving back home.  It was painful but I suppose I distracted myself from the pain with men!  She however came out fully and had a few other relationships.  After a year and a half apart we decided we couldn't live without each other and again got back together.  Unfortunately my fear of the dreaded 'outing' was still too much and I forced her back into a secret relationship....which ultimately was the end of us.  we were together for another 2 years until she had had enough, and it resulted in her cheating on me because this person accepted her.  I feel I lost a real love and it was all down to my own fear and selfishness. 
Now after a year I am in a position to learn from my mistakes and explore what I should of done all those years ago.  As much as i have only outed myself to a few close friends I am making the steps to explore my sexuality and learn about myself and what I want. 

Your stories have really encouraged me and made me realise I shouldn't be afraid and I shouldn't focus on what other people think of me.


So here is to the start of my journey, being myself and learning to love it.....
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musette on Jan 31, 2014, 11:48:27 PM
^ good luck with your journey, bros_86 :)
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Klasse on Jan 31, 2014, 11:49:52 PM
Hi bros, congratulations on taking the first steps to coming out! Everybody starts somewhere even if it was a few years coming. I came out at 27 and I can say that life has only got better now I'm out. It might take time to feel comfortable but it gets easier. You'll get there. Life's too short otherwise.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: truestory on Feb 01, 2014, 03:03:02 AM
What if some people don't feel like coming out? And generally share the personal stuff..Anyway, why such irrelevant bunch, for example as co-workers, should know the details of someone else's life?! Why everybody care so much about what's going on in other people's bedrooms?
So basically, if you're private person, everyone assumes either you're single, or gay. ;D Do I work with morons, or it's just common everywhere, where you sort of getting to know people better?
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Porridge on Feb 01, 2014, 09:02:57 AM
I think it's human nature to want to get to know your colleagues better. After all, you potentially spend huge periods of time in their company.  I'd hate to constantly have to avoid answering questions about what I did the weekend, or who with.  And even if they didn't know or ask about my sexuality, the amount of times my partner and her kids come up in conversation would be a give away.  I've never declared my sexuality to work colleagues, but they've all figured it out fairly quickly.

I can certainly think of situations where I wouldn't want to announce my sexuality to work colleagues, and I'm very aware that it's a hugely personal thing to talk about.  But I'd struggle to live a lie after 4 years of working 48hrs a week with those people.  And, it's nice to be able to talk about what I've done, who I've seen, where I've been in my time off work.  The fact that we have such discussions, and that my colleagues ask how my partner and her children are means a lot to me, and makes the working environment more friendly and pleasant.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: truestory on Feb 01, 2014, 01:02:16 PM
I think, you'll just feel/know/6th sense it when the time is right and, especially, the people are right. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Because I simply cannot drop it, like bomb and not care, or pretend I don't...I don't want to be responsible for someone else's feelings (bad mostly) afterwards. I know who I work with enough to keep some things private. Just leaving it to their freedom of imagination. But I must admit, it's mildly annoying.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Mar 14, 2014, 04:15:50 PM
It is annoying, because of course no one should have to come out, no one has to come out about what they have for breakfast do they? Breakfast, unlike sexuality, is seen as range of options all equal, there is no default breakfast from which there are certain variations which are either tolerated or despised. Nobody freaks about about people who like more than one kind of breakfast nor does anyone expect that youíd like the same breakfast for ever.

Think about your straight colleagues, I bet you know if any of them are married and you may even know some their spouses names even if you have never met them. You still know nothing about their private lives from this but you know the basic things about them, things it would clearly distress them if they to felt they had to conceal. They are expressing their sexuality in all sorts of ways but none of it involves telling you about their sexual activities. Well sometimes but hey you get over sharers of every stripeÖ

Part of the coming out process is reversing the brainwashing that says that when gay or bisexual people mention partners and relationships that we are rubbing sexuality in peopleís faces, something clearly not thought about straight people doing the same thing. If someone is hearing ďI have sex with womenĒ when you say ďmy partner Jane is coming to pick me up laterĒ then thatís about them not you! To bear responsibility for that persons feelings is above and beyond the call of duty as they say.

This is totally something that you have every right to approach in your own way and time and it can be very hard to get past. Please donít take what Iíve said as criticism. Iíd been out for years when I ended up doing some temping work in various primary schools and I found very hard to come out in that environment, there are some careers that are harder than others in this respect. Compare this to the fact that none of the women married to men felt the children shouldnít know that. But in all other jobs Iíve found a way to bring it up and it always feels better once that cat is out of the bag. In my last temp job in a school I did finally out myself in the staff room in response to a particularly ignorant comment made by one of the staff about ďgay peopleĒ. It was terrifying but fine. Good luck!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Klasse on Mar 16, 2014, 10:52:14 AM
Well put Bewilderbeast.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: tash on Oct 02, 2014, 03:12:17 AM
When did I realise?.. I never actually had any feelings for a woman until I was around 16, before then I just never really liked boys and I thought there was something wrong with me; all my friends were in relationships and having sex and I was just this weird virgin. Whenever I got close to having sex with a guy or doing something sexual, I always would bail at the last second, I just didn't like it?
But it wasn't until I was at least 18 I really started to connect the dots, and the penny dropped. I always focused on girls more, I always wanted to be around girls more. I would get more into a lesbian storyline in a film than a male and female one, now I know why I hated those soppy romantic films my friends used to make me watch, because I just didn't feel anything?
I had strong feelings for this woman for a couple years, but to begin with I just thought it was adoration, then I started fantasizing.. you know... and I started to realise these feelings are more than adoration, but she is too mature and straight and inappropriate, and currently not a strong figure in my life anymore but I still think about her. I came out to my best friend but haven't really told anyone else yet, too scared to tell my parents.
I don't know any other lesbians either, so that makes it harder, because I really want to explore this life style more, and I am ready to embrace it! I'm struggling to come out, but I want to meet someone, and really explore this more. It's like recently its all I've been thinking about? I just want to enjoy it. :) x
 
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Inara on Nov 11, 2014, 11:13:54 PM
when did I realise?
oh, I've always known that I was different. when exchanging clothes with my girl buddies was more interesting them going with them to kiss boys behind the library... all that. and then... around 10 years ago I met a real lesbian. the first lesbian I've even met! and... I loved her. we never had sex, though she was my gf for a brief period in time. but we loved each other more than we wanted. but I couldn't identify with this... I just wanted to be 'normal'.

I haven't come out.
I haven't even had a proper relationship or lots of experience. I've been on my own. but now I think it's time to move towards acceptance. my own acceptance of myself.

but all the stories that I read were so inspiring... moved me a lot.

thank you everyone for sharing.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Small fry on Mar 28, 2015, 04:31:26 PM
Hello,
I am 48 nearly 49, I have never been interested in women sexually I have always been with men until recently, I started to develop feelings for a lady who came to work at my organisation. She is a lesbian and married to a women they have 4 children.

We got on really well from the start of her joining the team 21/2  years ago, we have talked so much about families, job, daft stuff etc. She rang me one night after drinking telling me she loved me, I waited until she was sober to bring this up with her, she was very honest and open and still insisted she had feelings for me, up until this point I have never considered being with a women, but then my feelings started to change towards her, then at Christmas when out on the works do we kissed it was so passionate, soft and OMG my feelings deepened that night for her.

We have snatched moments together as she would never leave her wife or her family and I would never expect her too, I was left totally confused about who I am as I thought at my age I knew exactly who I was....

This experience has opened a whole new side to me I never knew existed, I know this women and I have no future but I also know now I would not rule out a relationship with a women, I am a very sexual person always have been, but since this has started with her I have not been with a man and I have no interest of going with one... I am still confused but learning to live with this whole new me


Julie x
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Piper on Mar 28, 2015, 07:19:24 PM
Would I have come out if I had known that my parents would chose not be involved in my life....that their love,or maybe approval is a better word, would be conditional upon me living a conventional, hetrosexual life...I think the answer has to be yes.....

Would I have come out if I had known that my friends would distance themselves from me because I no longer fit in to their 'straight subrban life'.....again yes

But it does hurt when I let myself feel it

I've made mistakes, not handled it terribly well.....my friends felt hurt I didn't tell them earlier, that I wasn't honest .....but I was scared, exhilarated, overwhelmed....

My children have been fantastic, so accepting and amazing.....and my partner, well if I hadn't come out (at least to myself) we wouldn't have what we do

Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScobieC on Oct 07, 2015, 06:30:48 PM
Well, I suppose I'm not really "out" yet but it is something that I'm coming to realise that I may have always been but it has been something I've fought for a very long time.  I'm 38, was married for 10 years and still best mates with my ex-husband, even though we've been divorced for 3 years.  I consider him a brother and I do love him deeply, in an unconditional way.

When I was young, I was always the tom-boy - running around with my male cousins, always wearing tracksuits and trainers and being quite horrified when my friends insisted I had to be Princess Leia whilst playing Star Wars in the playground!  I always put this down to the fact that my Mum and Dad had always wanted to have a son, and having had 5 girls already, they were pretty much happy to raise me as a little dude.  I didn't go to Brownies, or learn the piano like my sisters before me.  I was happy just reading comics, drawing and hanging out with my friends.

It all changed for me when I went to secondary school, or should I say an "all girls, catholic, convent, grammar school" which, of course, all my other sisters attended before me.  I hated it.  I was such an outcast, bullied by nuns, and found it hard to relate to any of the girls that went there.  Don't get me wrong - I eventually made some amazing friends that I am still in contact with today, but I was truly miserable.  You see, the worst thing, the absolute worst thing you could be in that environment, is a lesbian. 

"Les-be-friends" was one of the worst put downs to say to another girl.  Sleeping with lots of guys and getting a rep as easy, was nowhere near as bad as being gay.  Really horrible things were said about some teachers who probably were gay and how they "perved" over girls in the changing rooms.  But the most defining thing was, everyone hated the nuns who, of course, were all lesbians too.  Of course, none of this is true but when the pack mentality believes this crap, it's difficult to go against it.  So, being a lesbian was never even an option for me.  In fact, I remember wanting to be a boy so badly because then it would be ok to fancy girls.

Time passed, and although I could chat to guys and have a laugh with them (as I had done since I was little) I could never quite get the hang of "fancying" them or being comfortable having them attracted to me.  It didn't seem right, but practice makes perfect, so on it went.  I had meaningless sex with men, as I thought that's what I should do, for years and years.  I was even brutalized by one guy in a relationship, but that didn't feel too much worse that the other relationships I'd been in - I'd always just been something to be f**ked. 

I got married to this lovely fella because we had so many of the same interests and he loved punky girls and although sex was chore which I didn't enjoy, I really loved him and our geeky life.  The last time we were intimate was the night before our wedding.  Due to some medication that he was taking, he lost his libido and that suited me fine, to be honest.  I had never had an orgasm with a man, and still haven't to this day. 

So, that's the story in all its gory detail.  I'm now starting to realise that this is a part of me that I have ignored or fought against for a long time.  I don't want to do that anymore.  I think it might be the reason that I've never, truly, felt whole.  It messes with your mind on a epic level, but not anymore.  I've spent too long running and hiding.  This is me.  And to be  honest, as soon as I came to this monumental decision (or realization) I'm doing pretty good.  Hell, who knows, I might even be happy with being me someday!  ;)

Thanks for reading and letting me get that off my chest! xx
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Daffodil on Oct 07, 2015, 09:03:21 PM
Interesting read.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Musicality on Oct 10, 2015, 02:20:41 PM
Glad you're realising more who you are and what you want. I can relate to some of the comments about your school and how lesbians were viewed. At my school it was the most disgusting thing you could be and I'm pretty sure that contributed to me not realising about my sexuality until I was in my twenties. It just wasn't an option I even considered as lesbians were never talked about as real people, it was just a label for an insult.

Luckily my mum had a lesbian work friend and used to invite them round for dinner otherwise I may have tried to repress it a lot more than I did.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: ScobieC on Oct 11, 2015, 01:34:36 AM
It really sucks that school life can affect someone so deeply that they can't admit who they are until many years later.  But, I suppose, better late than never!
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Vickilipstick on Mar 10, 2017, 02:53:29 AM
Wow, so many interesting stories! Thank you for sharing them (i havent come close to finishing them yet though, at 24 pages!!! )
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sarah_m on Apr 20, 2017, 05:45:55 PM
I didn't know I had been lesbian until last year after writing. I was an unconscious mover of words.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: Xof the Elder on Apr 20, 2017, 10:41:00 PM
My name is Xof ... and I've been looking for love in all the wrong places. Here.

I've been a raving bender for 21 years and came out aged 16 to my non-plused mother who asked me if we could "talk about it after Corrie" - best answer she could have given. She'd been pretending she didn't know for at least 18 months and embarrassed me greatly with every girlfriend I ever brought home for the subsequent 4 years including banging on the door and asking my girlfriends to keep it down and giving my partners cold showers, on purpose.

I knew I was gay from age 7 when I wanted to be Jason Donovan when he married my Kylie #suddenly you're seeing me... just the way I am# - I cried and put myself to bed that evening - at 5.30. I never fully recovered.

My first girlfriend was 6 foot tall and drop dead gorgeous. Being a total div I cheated on her. She ripped up my full size Manic Street Preachers merch that I'd nicked from HMV - my pride and joy. Since then, I've had my laptop smashed, expensive wines mixed with cherry coke/poured down the sink and had suitcases slashed, stolen and flung at me. Even when I haven't cheated! How's that for being born under a bad sign? (I'm a Capricorn).

Despite 9 straight years of good behaviour I'm still imprisoned in my own world of terrible short lived relationships and/or being used as a Duracell bunny sex toy.

I'd say, after 21 years, finding myself is about the only option left. I think it starts with throwing away all my mini-cheddars and giving myself a good talking to/seeing to/manicure.
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: scouser on May 15, 2017, 02:05:52 AM
^ :D
Title: Re: finding yourself or coming out
Post by: sarah_m on Jul 24, 2017, 07:42:29 PM
I find myself each and every day.  I don't find men attractive. I don't want to see them naked, I don't want to have intimate relationships with men. I don't know what to say other than I'm glad I'm not as confused as I was as a teenager. I had no idea why I was the way I was. I thought I was bisexual.