” I am currently writing a memoir and I would love any comments and opinions from this wonderful online community of writers. I will be posting various excerpts, paragraphs and chapters here that I am more or less happy with, or absolutely hate, looking for help and feedback. The memoir is about how I came out as lesbian a little later in life, blind to my sexual orientation up until that point, but harbouring this profound feeling of being different and failing at relationships with no idea why. Any comments will be greatly appreciated, even if you just want to tell me you don’t really like it, or I shouldn’t have put a comma in that sentence. Thank you in advance!! “
I’m currently living with my girlfriend in Spain who’s also a lesbian, we share a room, kiss regularly and slap each other’s arses so I assume I am what you would constitute as a successful lesbian. I think it’s important to say the word lesbian a lot as it has a bit of a stigma attached to it. If you’re feeling uncomfortable from having read the word lesbian a lot, well then, it’s working. Lesbian.
The ‘before’ of when someone comes out isn’t talked about very often. When I was coming out and trying to understand myself, I wanted to see my experiences mirrored in those of other people, and to know that I wasn’t the only person in the whole world that took a little while to figure it out. People don’t talk about the confusion, numbness, wrongness and grief you feel when you believe that you’re heterosexual, but you know something isn’t right. So I’m writing my own story in the hopes that it may resonate with some of you queer folk: out and proud, closeted and anything in between or for the more progressive straights that are genuinely interested or homophobic straights that realise they ought to open their minds a little (or my family and friends that are doing me a favour by buying the book).
I’ll be glad to provide some insight into a lesbian brain, albeit a brain that over-analyses everything and spends a lot of time confused. I really struggled to understand myself and come out to myself, to face my own fears, internalised homophobia and feelings that I had been repressing and hiding from my entire life. I spent a lot of time thinking I was straight, wanting to be heterosexual like everyone else around me and justifying my lesbian tendencies with well-constructed arguments and excuses that were convincing. I really believed them and had enough validation from other people that I didn’t think too much about it for a long time. It seemed to be normal not to enjoy sex or to have orgasms. It was normal to be annoyed with a guy you were seeing and not actually like them very much. Even though I felt like the only single person in the whole world, even that was still fairly normal. It wasn’t until I got a little older that this started to feel less normal and I truly started to feel different to the people around me and wonder what was ‘wrong’ with me.
I told a few super close friends, randomers and girls I fancied over the years that I was bisexual, but that was just to justify the fact that occasionally I slept with and/or had crushes on girls. Lesbian? Who? Me? Nah. I really didn’t have a good enough understanding of the word lesbian or what it meant to be a lesbian to be able to apply the word to me or my feelings.
Labelling myself as different was scary, and I’d learnt at a young age from being bullied that ‘different’ was a bad thing. I have struggled with my weight, depression and anxiety, and a dysfunctional family ever since I was aware of what it is to be me. My upbringing and fatness singled me out and I thought a boyfriend would solve all my problems, show the rest of the world that I was valid and normal. Alas.
Through self-discovery and self-acceptance, I am currently happier than I have ever been. I am in a beautiful relationship with a, shock, woman. I am not on a diet and kind of fat, and, shock, happier now with my body and weight than I have been my entire life. I am also on anti-depressants, pills I refused to take for many years until my depression almost ruined my degree, and now I am able to feel truly happy and truly sad and, shock, love feeling the whole range of emotions. For the first time in my life, I am viewing life through the lens of a healthy mind, and it’s incredible.
So, if you do feel like perusing a few excerpts from my book, please go ahead and leave your opinions in the comments section below. All will be hugely appreciated.