Outed by God


Have you ever been here?

I’ve been in that hollowed out place in the earth this past week or so.

If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know all too well the place I’m talking about.  It’s filled with shadows and spider webs and bone gray nothingness.  It’s the land of fatigue and apathy and why-the-hell-should-I-bother-anyway?

I just finished up my coming out chapter for my memoir, and my awakening came from a very serious bout of depression.  So, I’ve been slogging through the past.  Thanks, memoir.

Naïve me: Oh, why can’t I be a fiction writer like all of my friends?

Blunt me: Because your ego is the size Dolly Parton’s breasts.  Not just one, but both of ’em.

Girl meets girl

Girl meets girl

Now, most lesbians realize that they’re lesbians in a more organic way.  Girl falls in love with girl.  See Ellen and Portia.  Or, Ellen and Ann Heche.  Ok, skip that example.  But most of the women that I know who came out later in life fell in love with a female friend or a co-worker or a neighbor.  And there they were — head over hiking boot heels — dissecting diagrams on scissoring, becoming vegans, ordering flannel shirts by the dozen, following around a Melissa Etheridge tour, organizing potlucks for community events.

But Middle-Age Butch?  Yes, I was attracted to women over the years.  I sold myself on the concept that I was just admiring the beauty of the female form.  Because, damn, that soft flesh and those curves that seemed to roll for days. And anyway, didn’t all girls prefer the company of other girls?  And didn’t all wives at one time or another daydream about having a threesome with a hot blonde that was really a twosome because their husbands weren’t included in this fantasy?

I never really put it all together until I was in my 30s.  I was depressed.  Out.  Of.  My.  Mind.  What did that look like?  I wanted to hide in a tiny, dark, enclosed space like a closet.  Yes, for real, in a closet or under a desk or in some other place that would shield me from the rest of the world.

I had been dealing with depression for the better part of a decade, so I knew the slippery slope that I was sliding down.

And that’s when I started to pray.

Now mind you, I’m not a religious person.  I wasn’t brought up going to church or indoctrinated in any faith.

I'm a lesbian because of this dude.

I’m a lesbian because of this dude.

So, basically, I just cobbled together what I knew: the Serenity Prayer that I had memorized from tagging along with a friend to AA meetings and the Lord’s Prayer from Prince’s song Controversy.  I asked God to show me who he intended me to be.

I kept this up for several weeks and then one day it hit me like a ton of rainbow bricks or a boat load of flannel shirts or a truckload of Dr. Marten’s or …. I could keep this up all day, folks.  I was a lesbian.  It just popped into my head as if I was Horton and the word “lesbian” had been whispered into my ear by a very intuitive Who.

Me.  A lesbian.  Who would’ve thunk it?

And the rest is history.  But not herstory, because I hate when womyn do that.  D’oh!  (Note to angry feminists: You cannot just change the English language.)

So, the moral of this story is:

Be careful what you pray for.

Or maybe, God’s okay with gay.  In fact, he actually encourages it when you’re …. um, gay.

Rainbows can come from mud puddles?

Or maybe it’s that we all need to get really still sometimes and listen for that small, quiet voice that tells us what we already know.

* * *

So, let’s open this bad boy up.  Coming out … tell your story.

21 responses to “Outed by God

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Had to be quiet and live by myself for a while to realize that I was gay. It’s been two years since I got that whisper in my ear and there are still days that I question it, but I can’t ignore it anymore. It is completely like it is just a part of every fiber of my body and there is no way to deny it anymore. It’s like my views on everything has changed since realizing it. Awesome post, loved it!!

    • Hey, thanks. Glad you could relate. Sometimes I write these posts, and I worry that no one will be able to relate. So, it’s always nice to hear that someone gets it. Good luck on your journey.

  2. I wish this post had a ‘Love’ button.

    • Oh, Fever, you are too kind.

      • You’ve actually inspired me to start writing something that I’ve been churning over in my gray matter for a while now. It will probably take me a while to put my thoughts in order, and it could be a while before it’s ‘ready enough’ to be published, but I appreciate the nudge. I will link back to your post when mine is finished.

      • Cool. That’s the wonderful thing about this blogging business. One post leads to another. Glad I inspired something. Can’t wait to read what you are churning in that head of yours.

  3. Excellent writing as always 🙂

  4. I love this. Prayers (and tears, and sleepless nights, and tons of reading, too) brought me out of the closet. I really want to know how common that may be?

    • I guess everyone’s coming out looks different. Mine came from prayer. It wasn’t until after that I read anything and everything that I could get my hands on (embarrassing myself AND the clerk at Barnes and Noble). And watched lots of lesbian movies, repeatedly.

  5. I was driving home from work late one night when it dawned on me…I actually said it out loud and started to laugh. It felt so right and I couldn’t believe it had taken me until I was 40 to figure it out! You are not the only late bloomer 🙂

    • Here’s to late bloomers! I remember saying *I am a lesbian* out loud like forty or fifty times, trying it on for size. My moment of self-awakening was a joy-filled moment because everything finally made sense about me and my life. It was the missing piece to the puzzle.

  6. I can’t even imagine going through life without realizing I was gay! How scary! I guess that is something I’ve always taken for granted – finding comfort and truth in who I was at a relatively young age. Thank you for such a beautiful post!

    P.S. I do find overtly feminine-inspired word changes annoying, but when RuPaul does is I LOVE IT! She changes everything like “Herstory” and “Condragulations” and “RuPaulogize”. Haha it’s freakin great.

  7. I knew, and never dated boys. But Donna was also a late bloomer (late 40’s) and had a lot of intense emotional relationships with women friends while continuing to have unsatisfying sexual relationships with men. Until she came out and could have unsatisfying relationships with women.

    I always thought it was a bit easier for butches to figure out they were gay than for more feminine lesbians – the societal discrepancies are clearer. But I can see how you could convince yourself that you were a straight tomboy. At least until you fell for another woman.

    • I started putting the pieces together in college when I had a very erotic dream about my roommate, but I told myself that I could never, ever have those thoughts again. I thought that I wouldn’t have any friends and maybe not even any family. So, I guess I was the queen of repression.

  8. I love this post! Also, love that picture of Prince and that he helped you in your time of need. BUT, while I’m not a fan of the word womyn (although I did spend a year in womyn’s awareness house in college, but that’s another story) I do believe we are collectively changing the English language all the time. That’s one of the things that’s so gorgeous about language. It’s growing, dying, moving always. I think that’s so cool. Also, I think you are so cool.

  9. Pingback: Leaving Normal: An Interview | Temperature's Rising

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