I am a happy lesbian - I guess this is an easy, simple and goofy statement that I should have used as an <H1 title> to attract all kinds of happy readers to this post. But what can I say: it’s true.
I came out late. Like, not late late (before menopause), but late (after the time in my life when I could have smuggled a girlfriend through my bedroom’s window in my parent’s house).
I came out years ago in April, had my first woman’s (very French) kiss in August, I met my wife in November. I mean, I met my wife before I could attend my first Gay Pride. I think I can say: “Hey, that escalated quickly!”
Since then, we’ve been travelling the world and we married. As I reminisced in a recent article, we fought to have the right to marry: side-by-side with many other (unhappy and) happy (gays and) lesbians, "We Have Been Heroes".
It was tough. There’s been anger, tears and doubts. But I have been lucky. I went into trouble with my family for years, but as I came out late, I was an adult, I had a job, and I was independent enough to get over it and live a fulfilling life and stand up for my rights and identity. I know, and I remind myself every day, what an incredible blessing this is. I know I did not deserve it more (nor less) than anyone else; yet anyone else was not as lucky.
Now the idea that living a lesbian life might be hell never crossed my mind when I blissfully came out. Yet, it should have. Like, what will my parents say? How will I deal with people’s stares in the street? Not speaking of common aggressions and prejudices. Well, for me, realizing that I was a lesbian was none of that. It was not a burden, nor a challenge, nor bad news. It was fucking Wonderland.
I don’t know if I should explore the past years of my life on paper and make a decision about how and when “it” began. What’s “it”, anyway? For me it was not just about coming out of the closet. It was part of a whole long process of “coming to the world” - which in my case started alarmingly long after being born.
Coming out was just the processed result of the synchronistic co-occurrence of challenging events. Let’s say that the initial spark to the fire was a journey to the US West Coast. The initial spark to the fire was being sent there alone to improve on the international aspects of my PhD. Until then, my mind had been following its stream of unconsciousness. Let’s put it straight, there is nothing gay about the places and people I was sent to. At that time, that G word, or rather that L word, was not part of my vocabulary. Not that I considered it a bad thing. I just did not consider it at all, at least for myself: all in all, I like to define my former self as hetero by default. I never found men specifically attractive, but not repulsive either. I liked them as pals and I even managed to have a decent social, affective and sex life. I guess whether in or out of the closet, you need love, affection, and being attracted to someone. Or I did. Looking back to it, being gay, straight or bisexual is just a variable aside of being human, and one of relative relevance.
Some day I’d like to write that fascinated story about what life as a lesbian can be like; a very individual experience, but almost of anthropological value for me. Now does not seem to be the time. But soon. Yes. Soon.