Some things have happened in my life lately that have made me realize that the GLBT community is totally unlike the one in which I came out. My life as a lesbian is so far removed from what my life was like as a lesbian in the 1960s that I should have already recognized this.
Young men are divorced and hold joint custody of their children. They attend school meetings, take them to doctors, go to games and performances, worry about putting money away for schooling. They live in houses and own property. The ones that I know here in our part of the state and in other states are responsible, monogamous people.
The same is true of the young lesbians I know. And, the older women. They come from all walks of life, have had successful careers, may be disabled and living on a fixed income. They may have children and grandchildren. They may have been with a partner for 50 years. They might have come out to themselves last year.
They dress in dresses, shorts, jeans, khakis – some with frills and some tailored. They wear makeup or not. They have fashionable hair styles or not. They may have some wine occasionally, but they don’t frequent bars or nightclubs. Oh, some may go to the gay bars in resort areas when they go away.
In short, they don’t fit any stereotype that I knew when I was in my 20s. They look like your neighbor, your chorister partner, your bridge partner, your nephew, your sister or your son or daughter.
However, I need to close my story about my life as a lesbian. In 1968, I moved back to Mississippi to live with my mother. I met a young man and we had sex. It was good. I was tired for losing jobs – blamed it all on my being gay. I was tired of moving from pillar to post. I was tired of feeling stigmatized. So, we married in 1969.
He became a drug addict and eventually a dealer, and we divorced in 1978. During that time, at his instigation, I slept with several women without any emotional attachment. When I finally got smarter and moved in with my best friend, I became monogamous and have remained so. My best friend and I married in 1980 and divorced in 1996 after he fell in love with the teacher across the hall.
At the tender age of 53 I met a marvelous woman and experienced love at first sight. She stuck out her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Blank.” She could have said any name in the world and I wouldn’t have remembered because I was in love. I have no recollection of what I said. We had a holy union service at our house blessing in 1999, and we had a civil union at her family reunion in Vermont in 2003.
We have taken all the legal precautions possible to gain us the same rights as married couples, and we share our resources in common. Our motto is “All that I am and All that I have, Always.” We do not fit the stereotypes that I knew or that people expect. I have far too many female physical attributes to ever be thought butchy, but I can lift over 100 pounds and have good upper body strength. She is slim and could occasionally be called butchy, but she wears all kinds of clothes and cooks and is an active boater and leader in the church. We have a wide variety of both male and female attributes that make us “normal” women.
So, here ends my series on being a lesbian. When I find some of the old pictures, I may post them.