Not too long ago I had my second “Oh my goodness, I’m lesbian” breakdown, which happens to me often. Before I go any further, let’s be clear: being lesbian isn’t something that I’m ashamed of. My breakdowns are more like: “what has the last 22 years of romantic life been?” You see, am a testament to the fact that the closet really does exist.
In June 2017, after living in a cramped closet for 20-some-odd years, I came bursting out.
I’ve always known I was bi-sexual. Well, I dated and married men, even had a couple of kids, chasing the dream that I was fed in my youth when everyone bought me skirts even though I’d rather have worn pants and shorts. I was given a hope chest and earned the shotgun wedding that came after becoming pregnant. But, deep down, while my friends were ogling Immature, I was eyeballing Aaliyah. I was drooling over Mya when they were swooning over Usher. But I did it in secret because … well … I am a deacon’s daughter. I sang in the choir. I was a sunbeam and youth usher. I was not supposed to be gay.
I sometimes compensated by offering threesomes to the men I dated, which usually ended terribly because they felt like a prop once I got hold of a woman. Truth is, they were. I dated women off and on, but the drama usually led me to say: ok, lemme leave this chick alone because prison orange is not my color.” I would go back to men, but was never satisfied and got what I called “a taste for a lil’ pussy”. I tried to tell myself that it was like a sweet tooth kinda thing, like wanting Halloween candy and sweet potato pie around that time of year. But my cravings became more and more frequent and, finally, I came to terms that it was my preference, and I was only with men because it was what I was “supposed to do”.
How did I come to this conclusion?
First, there was the fact that I never had a real orgasm from penetration. My daughter and I recently discussed “bad orgasms” which are the equivalent of having a carrot hung in front of a horse on a string.–so close, yet so far. I could get myself there, and so could BOB (my Battery-operated boyfriends). But I rationalized it by telling myself that the men I was with just didn’t know my body.
The next blaring red light was when I dated a woman a few years back. Even though we didn’t work out, she remains one of my very best friends, and she told me to stop dating men. At the time, I thought that she was just being petty and upset that I was trying to work things out with my now ex-husband, for the sake of my children. After many discussions since then, she’s explained that yes, she was hurt that I went back to him. But she knew that it wasn’t because I loved him, it was because I wanted a family unit for my children. In one household.
She was right.
I was miserable. But I was raised where we fought for our families, and, unfortunately, I fought … and lost… again.
So, there’s this girl…
The last factor, I met this woman, and this one was different. I felt like myself with her. I didn’t have to play a role, fit a stereotype or be anything but myself.
The day that I saw her, I knew I had to have her. I know that sounds wrong, but it’s the truth. She was beautiful. Everything about her made me want to speak to her, get to know her, lay her down and not let her up until her legs were spaghetti and her soul had my name etched onto it in permanent ink.
My girls and I were headed to an event for my oldest and this woman was hosting it. We had heard about one another but never met. My children and I were laughing and joking, like we always did, and I stopped mid-step and mid-sentence. I felt like, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. My palms were sweating. This was a totally new feeling. I’m not one who is easily shaken, and I was completely thrown . My daughter gently nudged me, and I started walking again. My legs felt like my feet were stuck in cement, but I made the remaining ten or so steps to the stage area anyway.
When I got there, the girl ran up to me, hugged me, and told me it was nice to finally meet me. It felt like an electrical current shot through my body. I sat down with a goofy grin on my face, and kept avoiding contact with her. I felt like a teenager, which says a lot because I’m usually the aggressor, and rarely crack under pressure. But seeing her turned the coal that was my heart into a diamond.
It wasn’t long before we were attached at the hip. We became friends, lovers and, eventually, a couple. I did something that I rarely do. I made it public, announced it to the world on FB (Because … ya know, that’s the world, right? Lol). My friends were in shock and awe. Not because I came out as lesbian, because they knew I was bi. But because I was out in the open with this love. And, believe it or not, I’m a rather private person when it comes to my personal life. Just keeps down the drama.
Our relationship was well-received… by most. A lot of people said things like, “I knew that already” and “about time” because they knew I was a lesbian in hetero clothing. This made me want to snap because no one thought it was a good idea to tell me. Then I realized that people had been trying to tell me, and I just didn’t listen.
I was told I was glowing and looked happy for the first time in my life, in photos and in person. It was dope. I was happy, but it was because I was comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life–35 years, to be exact.
Damnit, She’s Gay… Or Is She?
Remember when I said it was well-received by most? Let’s discuss.
There was a shitload of men who have been trying to convince me that this is just a phase. Some asked for the opportunity to change my mind. Because, ya know, sex was definitely gonna change my sexuality. I guess cause it has the word “sex” in it, huh? And the most baffling thing was sex with them was the cure to my “condition”. They need to bottle that dick and sell it, then. They’d have Oprah money if they got it like that.
Then there was the “you just ain’t been with the right man” that was followed by them hitting me with all the perks of being with them. They got offended because I would usually respond with, “I mean, if you got all these admirable qualities and you’re single, maybe you’re the one in need of a good man.” I can’t tell you how many times I got cussed out for that one. I went from “great catch” to “bitch” in 5 seconds flat.
I’ve received unsolicited pictures of penises, poems an incessant questioning about how I can be lesbian when I was married twice to men and had two children. None of them seem to understand that being a lesbian doesn’t mean I hate black men. I love them, I really do. I just don’t want them in my bed.
Holy Shit, I’m Gay
The relationship with the beautiful girl was a flop. Heart shattered. Feelings hurt. I moved on. But not once did the thought cross my mind that I was no longer lesbian because of the breakup. As a matter of fact, my baby girl tickled me so one day. We were explaining homosexuality to her. She knows her sister’s best friend is gay. That a lot of my friends are gay. And she started going down the list naming people she thought were. When she said, “Mommy used to be gay,” we stopped her. I asked her why she didn’t think I was lesbian anymore. She said because my girlfriend and I broke up.
After I stifled my laughter at her cuteness, I explained that being lesbian isn’t something that I am when I’m in a relationship. It’s who I am all the time. That’s when the light bulb came on for her. It was the best conversation ever, for two reasons. One, it gave her understanding. Two, because she gave me some insight into the nut cases in my inbox and DM who found out I was single, yet again. Sadly, my six year old understood what I was talking about better than the men.
I did have a neighbor admit to me that he thought it was a phase, because he knew what I had been through with my ex-husbands. But he said, after watching me with ole girl, and even since the breakup, he saw that I really was happy. And it was the kind of happy that comes with settling into who you are. No, it’s not an identity crisis. Or “fuck men cause I been done dirty too many times.” Women are dogged by men every day and are still Team Penis. Heartache can be cured with some Beyoncé, Fantasia, and Mary J Blige not a whole damn change in sexual preference. That wasn’t the catalyst. I’m not searching for something. I actually found some ONE.
A Stud in Stilettos
So, I’m now in this whole new world. Well, not really new, but before I was dipping my toes in the waters. Now, I’m so deep in ’em sometimes I’m dragged below the surface by the undertow. Learning about labels, none of which fit me. I had a friend who was lesbian, and said she was called “A Stud in Stilettos”. Honestly, that’s what I feel I am. I dress like a “Femme”. I like dresses, heels, etc., wear lipstick, but when I open my mouth, you’d think you were talkin’ to a dude. My guy friends tell me that often. They always did. I’m also the dominant one in my relationships. This was the case in both my heterosexual and homosexual relationships, which is often unexpected as well, because I come across as quite modest in public. So, I’m a lesbian who rocks stilettos, wears a strap, cooks, is raising two children with all the love that a mother could possibly give their child, and is usually the financial breadwinner. I’d say I was the whole package. Wouldn’t you agree? *insert head nod here*
And, like any writer, what have I chosen to do? Write about it. Not just here, but in my first lesbian novel appropriately titled “A Stud in Stilettos”. It’s been so much fun to write, and I can’t wait to see what others think. It’s not completely new for me. Because most of my urban fiction novels have lesbian scenes in them. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, they all do. But, a full novel about a lesbian relationship, that’s the new part. And, of course, the autobiographical aspect sprinkled in there is making it one helluva ride, too.
Being honest, the more I write this, the funnier the entire situation is. How could I not know?
Yeahhhh, I think I might be lesbian… maybe, I think, winking at the pretty girl who just walked past with booty for days, a pretty face, and a smile that would put the sun to shame.
You’re invited to read a sneak peek of this new title, which has my nerve on edge. Click the link for a sneak peek of A Stud in Stilettos.