By: Elaine Body
My name is Elaine and I’ve been fascinated by women for as long as I can remember. I knew I liked them sexually since I was five but the title of lesbian did not catch up with me until I was twenty two years old. I was born in Orange County, California then moved to Tucson, Arizona when I was six years old and then moved to Oldham County, Kentucky at the age of twelve. I’ve been here ever since. I am currently twenty six years old. Growing up I was a typical child, I played well with both boys and girls. I enjoyed toys typically made for boys as well as toys made for girls. As I got older, I had one particular friend who was always a bug in my ear telling me, “You’re such a lesbian!” I paid no attention to this however and just shrugged it off.
As a freshman in high school I proudly carried around the title of bisexual. I had a boyfriend all through high school and into my first semester of college. I use the word dated lightly as the next two boys in my life were never anything serious. As I got closer to the age of twenty two I thought more and more about the idea that maybe, I was in fact, a lesbian. I called my best friend (the bug in my ear) to tell her I thought I was a dyke and received the appropriate response of “duh”. I wasn’t sure why it took me so long to accept something I think I always knew but then again, everything happens for a reason.
Once the acceptance of me began, so did the different versions of lesbian. I ingested anything and everything lesbian related. Lesbian folk music such as Chris Pureka (amazing artist) and slam poets such as Tristan Silverman and Andrea Gibson filled my headphones and took up space on my I-Pod. Everything about this world felt very familiar, like I was finally home but so new at the same time. I wanted it all at once.
In the journey of this new found realization I tried on many different versions of lesbian until I realized that I am a swirl, a combo, and I am just me. I embody masculine and feminine traits and I am completely comfortable with that. The lesbian dating world was also new. In my town there weren’t many opportunities to meet other women interested in women so online websites became the easiest way to meet people like me. Some women turned into friendships, flings, dating, and the occasional bullet dodged.
At this point in time around the age of 24, I still hadn’t told my mother. I knew I couldn’t seriously date anyone until she knew. I wrote her a letter and finally came out. She was upset at first but it didn’t take her long to accept the news and move on to when I would find the right woman for me. My father already knew after a conversation about a girl I liked that didn’t like me. He’s the type of father that when you’re upset he won’t leave you alone until he knows why.
Once I had the love and acceptance from both my parents I finally felt comfortable allowing myself to have a serious relationship with a woman. Let me take a moment though to clear up some misconceptions about lesbians. First of all, you may think that because I am a woman that women would be easy to date, no. We have sex the same way anyone else does and no it’s not just about sex. There is no “man” or “woman” designated half to the relationship. My current girlfriend and I are a mix of both.
I am currently in a happy and healthy relationship with my partner of almost two years. It seems like it took forever to get where I am but I am happy to be here and I am still learning.
For anyone who is currently considering coming out or just came out, cheers to you and know that it’s worth it. Being honest with yourself can be scary and hard but in the end, knowing that the people surrounding you, accept everything about you, is the best feeling in the world.
Hopefully one day soon, closets will just be for clothes.