April 13, 2011

You slept with a girl before, how could you not know you were gay?

I get this question a lot.

Yep, I slept with a girl before I got married.  I kinda thought that's what people do in their early twenties.  You know, experimentation...like this:

I didn't even really consider her my girlfriend despite the hot sex.   Eventually, she married a man and she asked me to be her maid of honor...awkward.

I lived in the southeastern US at the time (shudder) and I didn't know any lesbians, I never saw any gay people and it never occurred to me that I could share my life with a woman. 

So, then I married a man. (She was my maid of honor too, and at my reception I really considered asking her for one last fuckfest for old time's sake.  It would have been more sex than I actually had on my wedding night.)

It wasn't until about 5 years into my marriage that I started having crushes on women. Not just feeling-drawn-to-you crushes, but fantasize-about-you-in-the-shower crushes.  I slowly started to put the pieces together. 

I have mentioned before that I had a major crush on my college math teacher.  Her name was Sue and my little heart would palpitate when I saw her.  I was sure she was gay until she mentioned her husband and daughters.  Confusing. 

All the signs were there that told me she was gay:  she had a crew-cut, wore polo shirts and khakis and was the girls' volleyball coach for God's sake.  I wore my cutest outfits and started to hang around after class. 

One afternoon, she asked me if I could help her carry things back to her office.  During our walk, I mentioned that some of my poetry was published in the college's literary magazine. 

"So you're the new Emily Dickinson?" she asked with a wink. 

"You know, a lot of historians think that Emily Dickinson was a lesbian."  I held my breath. Pleasebegay. Pleasebegay. Pleasebegay. Pleasebegay.

She sighed. "I always wondered what it would be like to live with a woman." 

Sue really was straight despite my wishing and praying and offering my first born.  But she unknowingly set into motion a process that  brought me to this moment.  And I got an A in her class.


  1. I imagine it makes "explaining yourself" a lot more difficult. I never had that experience before marriage and people drive me crazy expecting explanations as to why/how I could NOT know I was gay. It's pretty simple; heterosexuality is SO implied that some people just don't realize until later. And we owe no one any explanation. :)

  2. It is my hope that soon, self-repression like that will be a thing of the past.

  3. Love this posting. I totally relate in many ways :

    The crush on the teacher that is the catalyst to everything that will follow. (My teacher was straight too, and she gave me an A too.)

    Acknowledging you might me gay (or bi) AFTER getting married to a man. Duh.

    Publishing poetry.

    The reference to Shrek.

    Even the sexless wedding night.

    And never know, that teacher might have come out to herself a few years later. To paraphrase the L word, "Everyone is straight until they are gay".

  4. Never once in my 20's or 30's did I ever see a successful lesbian couple creating and raising a family, having the picket fence and shopping at IKEA on Sunday afternoons. Only straight people did that. So said my family, friends and society in general - at least what I saw.

    So, when I fell for my coworker, 2 1/2 years ago, that was the first time I ever thought that I could create a life with a woman. That I could imagine doing the exact same things (grocery shopping, paying taxes, watering the grass) with someone who wasn't male.

    I think so many women who come out later all have experienced many of the same things - experimentation, youthful crushes, etc. But many of us had no point of reference for making a cookie-cutter family unit and being a lesbian.

    Our LILL (late in life lesbian) trend seems like a fad to some, but it makes perfect sense when you look at how many out gays are creating lives and living openly - with their children. We now see that it's possible. And wonderful.

    My two cents...

  5. I can relate to this!! One question though, if you saw that teacher today, would you still find her attractive?

  6. Fatty, oh HELLS YEAH! I google her occasionally to check up on her...sadly, she is still married. I wonder what she would think of her cameo in my blog... ;)

  7. Food for thought. She may be in the closet. :) Maybe a little spotlight on your blog would help her coming running out of that closet. ;)