What’s Your Age In Lesbian Years?

by Mary Gorham Malia

Have I mentioned that I came out later in life? I’m a late bloomer. When it comes to major life accomplishments, I always have been a late bloomer. I definitely was late to lesbian life and gay girl dating!

It’s Memorial Day today. There are going to be parades and events across the USA to celebrate. I’m heading out in a few minutes to get a ride in before traffic picks up. I hope you’ve got plans with friends and family and people you love for today. And say thank you to a military man or woman for their commitment to serving, even if you disagree ok? My son is a former Marine. I’m anti-military but I’m pro people.

Some of you have been telling me you are recently out. Here’s some of my coming out story for you to enjoy today.

MaryBikeHeadLight Whats Your Age In Lesbian Years? Rest break at Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth, ME

My story includes my always knowing I was attracted to girls, never being able to make the connection with a girl and finally deciding I could make it work with a guy. Let me also include the fact that I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family with all the assorted craziness of alcoholism, abuse and neglect that you’ve read about in the epic Irish tales like Frank McCourt’s book, Angela’s Ashes. I felt like I finally understood so much about my father when I read that book.

That’s another story, but you get my whole Irish-Catholic guilt, going to hell, God is a mean man with a big stick and I’m a bad girl story. Enough said then…

Compared to friends, I married late at 26 years old. I also had kids late in the game at 27 and 38 years old. I started college right out of high school but didn’t have the emotional stamina or a personal vision that helped me see it as something I should stick with at that time in my life. I quit after a couple of years and focused on “doing what I want.”  Going back to school at 40 years old to finish up my bachelors degree isn’t so unusual these days. I’m glad I finally did it. It changed the entire direction of my professional and personal life.

How’s that? My personal life was changed. Yes. Dramatically. While finishing college in my 40’s, I started to meet some amazing lesbians and I could no longer deny who and what I was. I was also finally in a position where I realized that I would be able to support myself and my young daughter on my own – honestly something that had scared me for a long time and kept me married was how to support my kids on my own.

This is all to say that we all have our coming out stories. Then we have our “being out” story.  That particularly sweet and often bitter period when we are first exploring what it means to date women, love women and make love to women. If you’re seeing a really good therapist, she is telling you things like go slow in dating lesbians, don’t change what doesn’t need to be changed in this period, important dating tips and the big one… you’re like a 14 year old learning to date gay girls!

It took me getting to therapist #3 to get this important bit of information. I was shocked to say the least. Damn… you’re kidding I thought! I’m over 40. Yikes, 14 in lesbian years sounded awful.  This meant I was still way behind the curve, terribly immature and with all kinds of pent up feelings and desires. How was I ever going to conquer lesbian dating? Ugh! How can this be?  Well it is this way, isn’t it?

This is a hard lesson for late-comers to the gay girl party. You can’t fake the experiences you haven’t had. Sure you can try, but often we stink at it or let me say, I stunk at it. Holy cow, I sure did.

You know the story about learning to ride a bike. You never forget. You might need to work on balance if you hop on a bike after not riding for many years, but the mechanics of it come back immediately. Your muscles and your brain neurons remember and fire off the commands you need to get the bike moving.

Well if your dating experience includes only guys, guess what? You have no muscles or neurons that know how to date gay girls! You’re going to have to grow those neurons and develop those muscles and it’s gonna get messy now and again. Guys are pretty simple creatures when you compare them to women.

The amount of drama I created for myself was astounding because I didn’t understand this whole repeating adolescence piece. I HATED my early teen years. I hated the sense of awkwardness and not knowing how to relate to the boys I wanted to date or the girls I wanted to kiss!   I hated the competition to be liked and be part of the cool clic. I hated not knowing what to wear or how to fix my hair. My early school years were spent at Catholic schools wearing uniforms. Now I had to wear “regular” clothes every day. Ouch! And what the hell does a lesbian wear?

I know I swung through all those old adolescent fears in my first few years of being out. Some of my feeling crazy in my first years out was my own doing. My excitement at being out, finally dating women and being visible in the lesbian community meant that I made some pretty poor choices. I also made some really great choices and had some amazing experiences.  Everything was new and I was letting myself feel things I’d been denying myself for years.

I loved going to the local gay girl bar. It was a seedy little place with a pool table, an outdoor smoking area with a large dead tree in the middle of it and the tiniest bathroom stalls you’ve ever tried to squat in. I’m 5’2” and my knees hit the door. Pity the tall girls! But it was the only place in the city that was strictly for gay girls. Nirvana! At least for a little while.

Just openly watching women was exciting! Come on, you do remember that? Especially when it was a room full of gay girls dancing, mingling and romancing. That’s part of the adolescent experience. I was clueless to all the drama that was being played out all around me at the time. I was totally in the high of finally being out and open in this environment. It felt amazing.

Along with the bar scene and trying to figure out how to pick up women, I was also living on my own with my daughter. I moved out of the house I owned with my then husband. I didn’t want it. I had felt myself drowning in that married with children life and all I wanted was to be free to live honestly and openly as a lesbian and raise my daughter as my true self.  My son was almost done high school and decided to stay with his dad. The good of being openly lesbian had some pretty tough and painful lessons attached to it and my relationship with my son was one of them.

The adolescent lesbian in me held on to the excitement of this new life but the mom in me had a lot of heartbreak about my son and his reactions to my coming out and leaving his dad. I am grateful that he and I have patched up our relationship over the years.

Oh and I should say that I did the leaving part while not being in a committed relationship with a woman. Now, that first relationship came pretty damn quick, but my actions were based on my coming out to myself and deciding I could no longer deny who I was.

The repeat of my adolescence as a lesbian included learning how to live and relate as a lesbian in a relationship were tough, confusing and a mix of sweet and sour.  Women who came out while young often have little patience for women who’ve come out later in life. I actually can respect that now that I’ve gotten a little older in lesbian years.

This adolescent thing we grow through is important stuff to understand. I feel like I’m finally on the other side of it after 10 years of being out. That would make me about 25 in lesbian years!! That’s progress right?

Leave me a comment. Let me know what you think about this idea? And thanks for being a reader. xoxoxoxo.

MGMsignature Whats Your Age In Lesbian Years?

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Mary Gorham Malia is a gay girl who’s passed the age of 50, survived menopause, hot flashes and night sweats, raised two children, came out later in life and divorced, grew from being a baby dyke to a lesbian with many dating experiences, has been rescued from cubicle nation and now finds the wisdom of being a bit older as the salvation she always wanted. She’s gone from being lost and late to lesbian life to being a seasoned life traveler who has a commitment to reach out to the lesbian nation and make a difference for lgbt women.

Her business, Gay Girl Dating, LLC, was founded on the belief that lesbian, gay, queer, bi and transgender women can live extraordinary lives when they understand the principles and practices that make life great and put these practices into action in their own lives.

Gay Girl Dating Coach, LLC | PO Box 10924 | Portland, ME 04104 |

| Office: 512-522-7494 |

© 2012 Gay Girl Dating Coach, LLC
Unauthorized duplication or publication of any materials from this site is expressly prohibited.

 

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Curious October 20, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Love the post. Makes a lot of sense! That bar wasn’t Loafers, was it? :)

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Mary October 20, 2011 at 10:53 PM

That bar was Sisters on Danforth St in Portland, ME. It died a slow painful death and was buried with great fanfare about 6 years ago. I still miss it and nothing has shown up to take its place. Gay girl bars never really seem to last very long. Sort of sad.

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Bobby Baass October 22, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Very interesting story on your life Mary. I knew there was a lot that happened in your past, but now have a better understanding of it all and where you are coming from. “I have been gay all my life and was born that way so to speak.” I always knew what I was and what I wanted.

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@bratt_girl_14 November 16, 2011 at 12:09 AM

I really enjoyed reading your story as one who came out in high school it is interesting to see a different perspective. I can’t even imagine trying to deny how I feel for anyone or anything. I guess it’s something I take it for granted sometimes I haven’t really known any other way. Thanks for sharing your experience it was enlightening.

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Tonya cooper January 4, 2012 at 4:06 PM

im 50 been out since i was 16..i just got dumped for another after 25 yrs…how do i meet ppl…i have no idea how to date in this day and age..im so lost a fish out of water lol…i need all the advice i can get…thank you for your site

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Laura July 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Tonya,

I am confused about dating also … being single, conflicted about attending meet up events, having older lesbian friends to talk to, etc.

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Not-out-yet January 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Thank you for telling your story. I’m married with three children, not sure what to do, have only come out to husband so far – who has been great. Have met someone I really like, but struggle to even speak to her. My lesbian age would definitely be new born. Can’t imagine ever telling my homophobic family. Though I feel really happy to be finally understanding myself and really quite liking myself.

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Barb May 28, 2012 at 9:21 AM

My age would be 9-10ish! 51 years old, in the process of a divorce, out to all except my kids.
Thank you for posting this!

Barb

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Mary May 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Hi Barb,
Well enjoy youth! You don’t need to actually wait twelve months between birthdays, so enjoy the growth process.

Thanks for sharing. Mary

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Sophie Navarro May 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Mary,
Thank you for sharing your story! Now – I get it. It’s only been really 2 1/2 years for me and along with that I gave birth to a boy. I came out so to speak around 7 months pregnant and my labor in a sense paralleled my coming out. It was the hardest thing to do in my life because I was raised to be proper and do everything the right way. My parents weren’t religious but really imposed their rules on me. I was always the people pleaser. I am 38 now and have never felt more alive, centered and truly feel I am coming from a genuine place. It isn’t scary anymore. I have amazing friends who are all very supporting. The ones I was so scared to tell, have been truly loving and haven’t treated me differently. I really like what you are saying about those adolescent years. I definitely feel that now. It’s been a struggle dating women these last few years. So I’m just refocusing on my son and my life now. I am getting more committed to my art and really putting my heart into my work. This has become an integral part of who I am. If that right woman comes along, great! But I am no longer searching. I just need to focus on my independence and grow from within.

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Mary May 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Hi Sophie,
I am so glad this article has given you more perspective. Sometimes a shift in how we see ourselves and the world is all we need. Then we can settle in and enjoy what we have in the present moment. Congratulations on navigating so many changes in your life at the same time.

hugs, Mary

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Jullyanna June 15, 2012 at 4:53 AM

I absolutely LOVE Ellen. I’m glad J C Penney didn’t drop her as their sepkoswoman. Ellen said it best, I’m Gay. We all know that Ellen is Lesbian and Gay: She’s Lesbian and Happy!!! These groups such as One Million Moms are just bigot old biddy’s who are undercover lesbians. It’s funny to me. More people are shopping at J C Penney. Guess On Million Moms are really 40,000 Moms with no life.

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Stephanie May 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Mary, this post resonated so much too me, but with the additional sinking feeling that I never advanced beyond 14 in heterosexual years either (all girl schools, and started drinking young). First relationship with a woman was 6 years ago – and there was no lightning bolt of clarity – likely attributable to my still being so very young overall in a relationship sense.

I am particularly grateful RO you Mary that “go slowly” interlaces everything you write. Not a slurpy adolescent St. bernardd’s long suit.

All best,

Stephanie

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Mary May 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Well let me encourage you also Stephanie. You don’t have to wait an actual 20 years to grow up and mature in how you relate. Decide to get focused on knowing yourself deeply and learning and practicing relationship skills (listen, listen, listen is the big one!!!!) every where you go. It will happen more quickly than you imagine.

Thank you for sharing your experience and your kind words about my writing. It’s always nice to know the work of writing and sharing my life is making a difference. Makes me feel like I got a hug so hugs back at ya! Mary

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Heidi May 28, 2012 at 3:06 PM

As always, your blog is meaningful and helpful. I am spending my Memorial Day weekend with my children and cleaning my neglected flower beds. My one daughter envisions herself a vampire because she “likes to suck blood.” Go figure. I love it all. Oh yes the infamous “newbie” stage. This is exactly where I am in the whole scheme of all things being lesbian. I am sure all secure, happy with who they are and always have accepted their gayness lesbians can spot my “newbieness” a mile away. That’s not a bad thing. They are kind to me. However, I am not used to being on the side of the fence of vulnerability. Oh yes, I did get bit in the ass by a gorgeous lesbian. This was my very first experience of understanding how powerful the feelings for another woman can be. It caught me off guard because I have always been in charge of my feelings, thoughts, and actions. This experience has also left me totally confused because this gorgeous babe is heavy set and doesn’t have the “exciting” personality. I am still scratching my head! I have never put much thought into what the love of my life is going to look like or what her personality is like, but this woman surely put the stars into my eyes and made me feel like I could climb the Himalayas. Now do I think that this means my forte of women are unexciting heavy set women, the answer is no. Who knows the next woman who puts stars into my eyes may be skinny with red hair! I am ok with being confused. I am ok with rejection. I am ok with being vulnerable. Sure beats boring, same old same old day in and day out routines, afraid to take a risk life. I took the leap of faith and sink or swim, I will navigate this maze of lesbian relationships. I have the utmost confidence that lesbians will never let me sink. It does not matter if people think I am successful. I will always feel successful because I took the leap of faith and didn’t settle for safe and secure. Guess what? I am starting to look forward to some drama in my life! Have a blessed day.

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mo May 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Thank you Mary and the other ‘newbies’ who have shared here today. Bits of each of your stories resonate deeply with me, and help me feel as though I’m not alone in my ‘second adolescence.’ I was ‘straight’ for the first 47 years of my life, with no feelings at all for women until just 3 years ago. Although I was shocked, surprised, confused and all that goes with it, I also finally found ‘myself’ for the first time ever, and it felt good. I’ve only had one full on relationship with a woman so far, and felt just as you said — like a gawky teenager all over again. So much to learn and experience ! Still so many questions and doubts now in the time in which it seems to be coming to an end, but I know that it’s all for the best. My biggest ‘missing’ right now is that I don’t have a circle of lesbian friends to go to for support, and I live in a small conservative town with no lesbian ‘scene.’ (I actually like the notion of maybe starting up a girl bar !?!) And, patience is not my biggest virtue LOL ….. on one hand I believe that the universe will provide opportunities for you when you’re ready, but I’ve also got the voice in my head wondering why I’m having such a hard time, why I’m alone, aren’t I ‘worthy’ of love? Then I remind myself to breathe, to stop obsessing about it all, relax, do the things that make me feel good and contribute to the world, and trust that it will all work out. Again, thanks everyone for sharing !

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kim October 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Mo,
I too was looking for people to connect with for support…there are online groups to join called …Meet ups….that offer groups just for lesbians…they have events where people can meet and mingle and maybe even find love..give it a try
Kim

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Linda May 29, 2012 at 2:14 AM

Thanks for this post Mary.
I don’t think that I’m a young lesbian anymore because I came out when I was about 18 years old. I’m 45 now. In fact, I always had crushes on girls even when I was much younger and in elementary school. But sometimes I still feel like a teenager when it comes to women. I haven’t been able to get out and date women because I’m married. I still feel trapped. I’m not happily married and I haven’t been all along. It’s sad, I know. I did have a short relationship with a woman a couple of years ago, but that didn’t go so well because my husband became very angry with me about that. He knew about it, but when he saw how much I was falling for her he made me stop seeing her.
I’m contemplating divorce now but I’m afraid to leave because I don’t want to hurt our children’s feelings. My youngest is 16 years old and he and my two daughters already know of my sexuality. So part of me says that things will work out in the long run. I want to live my life as my true self, the way I was meant to live. Why have I been denying myself this part of my life for all these years? It’s time to make changes. Time to be happy.

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Ana Maria August 14, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Hi Linda, I think you just answered yourself at the end “Time to be Happy”! If you are not happy and your children know about your sexuality, how are you going to hurt them? You are hurting yourself, and denying yourself happiness….be positive and take a step forward, believe it,it is hard, but you are already out!!
take a chance on your happiness…I wish you all the best. xxxx

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Linda October 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Thank you Ana for your reply. You are right about me just hurting myself. I’m still going through struggles with my husband but I am working toward taking that step forward. Even my children see the struggles we go through. They have even told me that there may be more calm in the house if my husband and I were to take that step apart from each other. They are very understanding. I know I have their love and support.

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Debra Jean June 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Wow! It is really amazing to read about how people came out. I am not even sure yet that I am a lesbian, but I think so. I am only 15 and the only person who I’m attracted to is my friend Annmarie (she’s 14). Boys don’t thrill me at all, and I’m kind of scared to find out about me and Annmarie yet. But reading what everyone said is important and I think I will try to figure out if we both have feelings for each other. I think we do, really, and I kind of hope we do too. Thank you all for sharing this.

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Mary June 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Debra Jean, You are welcome. You have a long life ahead of you, so take your time and you’ll figure out where you fit and what you like. Enjoy each day. And I wish you luck with Annmarie. You won’t know till you try but keep your heart safe and strong. hugs, Mary

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Deb June 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

I came out when I was 17; I’m 59 now. I’ve had 3 long term relationships; my last one ended after 14 yrs., only because my beloved died from cancer. I can totally identify with not knowing how to date, and now understand the phenomenon of the “U Haul on the first date”- its because we never learned how to simply ” date “, merging quickly as a result. I admit I am very ambivalent about on line dating and have to develop a certain mindset and playfulness about the process- I appreciate all the info, tips and support; thanks Mary for your website, you are cookin with oil !

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Mary June 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Hi Deb, I had a girlfriend a few years ago. Her motto was “cooking with grease.” I’m glad you are here and I’m so very glad that what you are finding out here is helping you in life. hugs, Mary

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giveitawhirl July 25, 2012 at 11:26 PM

… the Okies said “now you’re cooking with Crisco”… ;)

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Danielle July 31, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Hello Mary,
Thanks for sharing your story… As I was reading, I realized my coming out, ressembled yours. The kids, house,job, etc. Most late bloomers, our stories, are basically pretty much alike! With a few differences.
My Differences were;
I’ve always knew I was Gay! Raised in a catholic (homophobic family). Which had me do what was expected! Husband, house, 2 cars, dog and 2 kids… lol
Once Out, for the 1st time, at 38 years old, “I WAS HAPPY”! WOW! What a Great Feeling!!! =D I’ve Freed Myself(Soul) from Myself(Head)! Finally! “I, ME, MYSELF” is the Most Important Person! I did have several rejects & heartbreaks… All, had me realize that, I wasn’t the reason for each & everyone’s decision or reaction! That in fact, it was “Them”! That’s what saddened me most… =( Since, some have come back, the most important one’s, for me. =D
Presently, I’m single by choice. I like not having to answer to anyone… But! I haven’t shut the door to “Love”… <3<3

Thank you, for your creating this site… It's nice just read, chat and share with women just like me… =D xx

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Ana Maria August 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Hi Mary, wow can I relate!!! Now I understand all this messed up feelings….Unfortunately I never dated when I was a girl/teenager ,I meet my husband at 19 and we were married 2 years later so he was my one and only dating experience!! So I believe in Lesbian years I have just been born! and at 53 it sounds crazy!! hahaha
I have been going to Lesbian groups and have been listening and taking all their experiences in…plus talking to some of the girls has been very enlightening…
I am terrified of my first “date” with a woman, as I don’t know how I will react, but it’s all part of my new path.
I was brought up a Catholic and will not be telling my mum, she is 83 and I know she wouldn’t coup ….there is no need anyway we live in different states…my kids don’t know either but they will when the time is right, thank goodness they are all adults and don’t live with me!!
Thank you for sharing your journey it is so helpful!! I look forward to mine with excitement and trepidation!!
It’s a great site for all of us to share and learn !
Ana Maria

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Pam August 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Hi Mary,
Your story is a little like mine. I am 52. A late bloomer… Married twice, Three kids, they are all grown and on their own. I have always been attracted to women. But I did what I thought was expected of me. Raised a “southern” Baptist.” GOOD GIRLS didn’t do those sort of things.” So I kept my feelings buried deep inside of me. Then after I left my second husband in 2004…a woman came onto me at my doctor’s office, Oh my, the feelings I had…but I ran from them. But I kept coming back to them…going to gay dating sites…talking to different Lesibans. I have made several friends… I haven’t “been” with a woman yet. But I have been out to my family for about a year. My mother refuses to accept it, and seeing how she and I share a house…it has been difficult. I even considered selling our house and going our different ways, But my mom, being 70, doesn’t want to start over again, so I keep that part of my self separate. I guess my lesbian age is 6.

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Mary August 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Hi Pam,
Well congratulations on having the courage to come out to your family. Yes, it certainly must be tough to live with your Mom and NOT feel you can date. However, there are women who would understand your situation. Don’t give up. Lots of older women don’t want to give up their own house and move in with someone but do want a lover in their lives. Keep looking girl! There are lots of women in your situation. Get an ad out there, be honest about your situation and look for other women that are also recently out to date.

Start dating! Throw off the years of homophobia from being Baptist and start asking women out on dates.

Congrats on finding yourself and I wish you only the best in love. Mary

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Mary August 26, 2012 at 10:56 AM

It is so nice to know I am not alone in all this. I came out at age 30. I never really dated when I was in high school and married at 19 and had 2 kids soon after. I always felt I was living a lie but wanted to fit in, so I did what was expected of me. I have been out for 5 years now, working on divorcing my husband who thought I was just “going through a phase” and not being supportive at all. I have had such a hard time dating or even finding lesbian friends because I’m not a “gold star”. It is truly frustrating and very lonely at times, but am glad I don’t have to hide who I am any longer

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Mary August 30, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Hi Mary,
Congrats on finding the courage to be your true self. Men don’t typically support their wives leaving them for a women. My ex-husband was less than supportive.

About the “gold star” thing, don’t let that stop you. I’m not a gold star and there are plenty of women who have NO problem with the fact that I was married. Once you are finally divorced things will get a little easier on that front.

I’m glad you’re not hiding either! Hugs, Mary

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debbe October 29, 2012 at 6:19 AM

hi mary
sorry to hear of you’re recent losses.
i can relate to much of what you’ve said. ild put myself at a 50 yr old…early 20′s lesbian age. ive also discovered you’re right in that lesbians are less tolerant of the late bloomers.. sometimes i hate to admit being late bloomer butdo…it is what it is and another experience-good or bad i accept them all.
later, debbe

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Mary October 29, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Hi Debbe,
You are right. It is so important to love and accept yourself right where you are. You can’t change anything that’s happened but you have made the move to live in your integrity now. Congratulations to you!!

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kim October 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM

thank you for sharing your story….i too came out late…48….and it negatively affected my relationship with my son…that is one of the hardest things i am dealing with…i am currently 50…the other was the hurt i caused for my husband of 25 years….he is devastated….this is definitely a period of adolescence and I too came from an Irish catholic family of dysfunction…this coming into myself has been the hardest, most painful and most exciting growth periods of my life…

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Mary October 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Hi Kim,
Yes when you are coming out and it means the disruption of a family it is very painful. My son didn’t speak to me for almost 3 years but that has changed with time and my just consistently loving him right where he is. I am sending you love and strength in this season.

hugs, Mary

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kim October 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM

thanks,,for the response…it has been 2 years of not speaking so far…i still send him texts about how much i love and miss him and hope someday he will respond…hopefully it will change soon…

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Lizacat October 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Hugs to you Kim…this is the highest price of all for this new life…losing the respect and love on one’s children. Like Mary, I just kept consistently loving my daughters..one has forgiven and the other is speaking but I can feel her distance. It wasn’t over my being a lesbian, but over my cheating…and leaving their father whom they see as a victim, although, as my therapists and friends have assured me, none of this happened in a vaccuum…our marriage had many issues and both of us were equally responsible for it’s falling apart. But there is so much you cannot say to a child about your own life and relationship. So hard.

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Lizacat October 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

My lesbian age?…15 I’d guess. I was super late coming out…and it was awful…cheating with a friend at age 58…Now I am 61…that first relationship gone..the divorce, anger of my kids..not over being lesbian but cheating on their dad.
I was sad and lonely and I jumped…fell for a woman 18 months ago…and just now the doubts and fears are surfacing. I would recommend to pay close attention to your lesbian age because I am handling life like a 15 year old in so many ways…I am questioning if I want to be free and dating or in a relationship, I am not sure my gf is Ms. Right, but we are already in pretty deep, I am, in short, a mess like any 15 year old, but I am hurting and my gf is hurting.
I guess I will find some answers eventually because in other aspects of my life, I am a mature, wise woman…but, yeah, if you are a lesbian “adolescent”…heed the words of this article.

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Mary October 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Hi Lizacat,
I hope you’ll spend some time here and read a few more articles. Going slow is really hard when you are really physically attracted to another woman and haven’t had a lot of experience as yet. You can slow down. Really you can. Try to step back from the emotions and take a look at what would be the best thing for you right now. Thanks for sharing here and keep asking the Universe, God, Source, Spirit, or whatever speaks to you to show up and help you out.

hugs to you brave woman! Mary

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Sophie Navarro October 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I love reading your story Mary! I’m 38 years old now. I realize I am most likely 20 in Lesbian years. I still have so much to learn. However, what I’m doing now is putting my energy into raising my boy, finalizing the divorce, taking care of things so they don’t become an issue with anyone I decide to date and learning to embrace being alone. Being alone is a hard and scary place to be but if you can master it and deal with it – its quite liberating.

I’ve decided to break certain patterns and try to re-invent how I live my life. My path is about choosing to not be dependent on anyone. I used to always be searching outside myself for someone to help me or complete me. Now it’s about how to rely on myself and love all parts. I think on a lot of levels I’ve neglected loving those parts that feel insecure, awkward and nerdy. I am pushing myself to try new hobbies to test my comfort zones through dance, art, poetry and learning how sew. This builds confidence, joy, passion and fills me with more self love than I ever realized I could tap into.
When I’m ready, I’ll know. There are days when I think “oh will I be alone forever”? I realize that’s ridiculous of course not! It’s just a more challenging time since I have a 2.5 year old. I don’t want him to get too attached to anyone anyway right now. I have to be aware of this dynamic. Another thing to realize is – Yes, I’m a mom. Someone will need to be MORE than ok with that right off the bat. I’m a package deal. A sweet, independent and loving mama that has a huge heart! I’m takin’ my time and it’s awesome! Thank you Mary for writing your columns! They heal me! <3

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Shannon 1981 October 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Mary, I have to say the part I admire the most is your being so upfront and unapologetic about your past. In lesbian life, the whole “later in life” part can be a social and dating killer, particularly if you still have a relationship with your ex husband, or have kids or friends from your former “straight” life.

So, i truly admire you for not going all stealth and pretending none of that ever existed like so many do. My age in lesbian years is pretty old LOL- I came out when I was (chronologically) 14. Plenty of people come out way later, and that is ok. Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story.

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Linda October 30, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Thank you Mary for your article. I wanted to comment again here saying that I’m older in lesbian years. I came out when I was about 18 years old. Now I’m 45. I’m still married and we don’t have such a good marriage. A lot of ups and downs. In the mean time, a certain woman who I have been working with for 12 years recently divorced this year and she has become very flirtatious with me. She has been touchy feely and she jokes about “coming out”. She doesn’t act this way with anyone else in the office, but only with me. We have plans on going out together in the next few days. She says that she’s looking forward to doing something different in her life for once. She wants to open up her mind and broaden her thinking.
I guess I’m a little confused and don’t quite know how to take her behavior. I don’t know if she’s trying to come out to me or not. She doesn’t know that I’m gay but just today she was joking about being out of the closet. She laughs when she says these things, so I don’t know what to think of it. Whatever the outcome, I will always remain her friend. This is the first time that she has opened up to me so much, even as co-workers. Now I am becoming more and more attracted to her on an emotional level, but I don’t want to let my heart get too attached if she’s just joking about these things.

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Cindy October 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Thank you for sharing your story. I always knew who I was but denial overwhelmed me. Then of all places came out in the U.S. Air Force in the late 70′s. Seems like I have been in and out most of my life. Plus I took care of my parents for over a decade, went through chemo myself. Now I am back involved with the community, attend some meet up groups and out at work. I guess at 57 I am about 18 or so. But at an age that either I am too old or too young, still feeling awkward like early teens. Or perhaps it is my mindset that I need to work on. I enjoy reading your article and comments from other women, even though the community here in Phoenix does exist, it still seems to be very diffused. I don’t feel alone when I read your articles for that thank you.

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Giorgi October 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

My therapist recently told me that I was dating like it was the 1950′s…lololol. Of course I think that I am some kind of chivalrous being, who has come to save the day. Certainly, I am living in a world where I am either lightyears or still in my Baby Dyke Panties:). Either way I am considered to be living in a fantasy lol.

Thanks for keeping the conversation going. giorgi

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Isis November 22, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I am definitely a newbie, and I usually fall for anybody who shows any kind of interest in me. Right now, I am stuck on a young lady I just met about three weeks ago online who won’t even return my texts. We have never spoke on the phone, she asked me about Skype and Instagram, I went and got both just for her and she will not respond. She showed interest at first, but now nothing no kind of correspondence. I live in Nevada and she is in Delaware. I am guilty of asking if she was still interested followed by telling her I do not like to send messages and not receive a response, then i had a friend prank call just so that I could finally hear her voice(idk if she figured it was me or not), but I am so confused because in a weird way I really started liking her.

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Mary November 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Girl,
Many of us have been in your shoes. We’ve done crazy things and made ourselves crazy. So I’m going to give you some advice.

Stop that and let it go. You’ve never met. You’ve never spoken. Find someone where you live. Stop making yourself crazy and let it go. This stuff happens in online dating all the time. And she lives thousands of miles away. So there is no confusion, get a hold of yourself and stop.

Love is a lot closer than you think and its not waiting for you in Delaware. Hugs, Mary

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Ellie December 3, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Im not even sure where to start! I’m 31 and I guess I’m bisexual. I’ve always been attracted to women since I was young, but also attracted to men. I went the man route because of my family and religious upbringing. Plus dating men is easy! And women terrify me! I’ve had one relationship with a girl and went on a few dates with 2 crazy women. So currently I’m engaged to a man that I love dearly he is my other half. Unfortunately he is in prison-falsely let me add, please no judgements-and our relationship is open during the time frame. I find myself disgusted by being with a man now. I’ve tried and I find no joy. Well I met this woman a while back and I never thought about if she was gay or anything like that. Well we were at the same party and she hit on me quite aggressively. It was wonderful! We are going to go on a first date and I’m terrified. I don’t know how to date a woman or if it’s even fair to her. She knows my situation but I’m just not sure what to do. Any advice would be awesome, thanks!

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maria alejandra April 17, 2013 at 5:51 PM

hola tengo miedo de ser lo que soy , y hace unos dias me decidi a decirle a la chica que me gusta que me sentia atraida por ella, ahora estoy mal porque tengo un hijo y con mi pareja estamos separados pero estamos en la misma casa. tengo miedo por mi familia que odian a las personas gay ,siempre me lo hicieron saber no se si sospechan algo , pero perderia todo por ser gay,necesito ayuda, me estoy volviendo loca .

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Keeley June 14, 2013 at 3:00 AM

I am totally a babe in these new woods. I am 50 and just left my husband of 23 years. I have 2 kids, my son is 21 and my daughter is 19. my daughter is dealing well with the whole my mom is a lesbian, but my son is pretty mad and barely talks to me, which is an improvement from leaving the house whenever I came over. I think that the loss of my close relationship with him had definitely been the hardest part of this.

I’ve been working on the whole coming out thing for over a year and finally left a couple of months ago when I couldn’t live the lie anymore. I’m living on my own now for the first time in my life and couldn’t be happier.

I had a bit of a fling while on holidays earlier this year and it helps to confirm all my feelings I’ve had for years. We still talk, but she is in a relationship and I am very happy for her, as I am certainly not ready for any type of relationship and that is what she wants.
I have really been enjoying everything I have read on your blog so far, it has been quite educational. I have not yet really “been” with a woman yet, and although it is a bit scary, I am looking forward to starting to date.

I have been around gay people most of my life, both my brother and my husband’s sister are gay, as are several of my friends (mostly men), so being involved with the gay community has never been a problem for me, although always as an ally.

When it comes down to it, I’m really quite shy, at least at first and am kind of worried about being out in the community with my sister in law (she and my ex are very close) and we live in a fairly small city.

Thanks for sharing your story, I don’t feel so alone these days

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Mary June 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Hi Keeley,
Congratulations on owning your true self. It is unfortunate that this step often creates pain for everyone, but on the other side is peace and real freedom.

My son didn’t speak to me for two years. It took my demanding he speak with me before he went off to Iraq (he was a Marine) and that we clear the air to break through his wall. I wouldn’t say we are close but he has accepted me and we have moved on to living our lives peacefully with each other.

I would recommend that you tackle the issue with your sister-in-law head on in an attempt to mediate peace in your family. Ask her what she needs right now. Let her say what she needs to say. Attempt to create a bridge of communication that is about respect and caring in spite of your moving on in your life in a direction that has taken everyone by surprise.

I wish you all the best that life has to offer and that often includes surprises we weren’t anticipating. Warm hugs, Mary

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