- RainbowChildSpectatorNovember 26, 2018 at 1:45 pmPost count: 21
Yes, I came out to myself at the age of 51. Call me a late bloomer or a slow starter, or maybe I just had no clue.
I had no clue that crushing on a girl in high school while I had a boyfriend was anything out of the ordinary. I mean, I liked boys. I also liked her eyes and her skin and her long thick hair. But who didn’t, right?
I had no clue that most other girls weren’t having fantasies over one of the Topp Twins (Google them). That didn’t mean anything, right?
I married. A man. I had four children and enjoyed being a mum. The relationship started out okay; there were some good times in there, and some happy years. I threw myself into motherhood in a big way. Looking back I can see that, underlying it all, something wasn’t right. Something was missing.
I had grown up in a church-going family, and was taught ‘right from wrong’. Marriage between a man and a woman who stayed together forever no matter what, was right. Anything that differed from that, was wrong. Not that we ever talked about any other ways to be a family, or even knew anyone who lived life in a different way than we did, in small town New Zealand.
Life ticked along. Kids grew up. My marriage endured a couple of splits, but we came back to give things another try.
I’m not sure what propelled me to question why church people think it’s so wrong to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or anything else in the queer category. But question it I did. I read and looked on line. I had conversations with my then Pastor, about how inclusive or accepting our church group would be if a gay man or a transgender person happened to attend our meetings. Hmmmm….we obviously disagreed on this topic. It became apparent that I would no longer be able to keep attending this church, when it claimed to be a welcoming place and yet was so exclusive. Where someone from the rainbow community could sit on a seat but was not allowed to minister in any capacity and would be encouraged to change.
I became a ‘straight ally’. Mostly on Social Media. I searched for an affirming church, and found one. There I encountered a diverse group of warm, friendly, non-judgmental and fun people, who loved God and each other….and who weren’t straight! And I’m still there.
I experienced the freedom to be whoever I was. And before long I discovered that I was actually not completely straight myself. I was attracted to women, and one woman in particular, who I would go on to marry.
The coming out process wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought it would be. I wanted to reveal all immediately, so as to live authentically, as I’m not one who likes pretense or play-acting. So after getting some help to work out a way to do it, I told my then husband, and my adult kids, and my siblings. The worst reaction came from my husband. It was a bit hard for the kids to grasp, at first, but they each processed the news in their own way, and I have a good relationship with each of them. Their father took it badly, and we are still not on speaking terms 7 years later.
This has been an exciting journey. There were a few bumps and hurdles to maneuver at first, but life has gotten easier as time has gone by. I have come to see myself in such a different light and can accept that I’m not perfect, but that’s okay. The process of coming out can be painful and daunting, but nothing compares to living authentically, and accepting who you are. I’ve lost some friends, and have a sister who strongly disagrees with my ‘lifestyle’, but it’s their loss.
I am me.
RainbowChildAnthony Venn-Brown OAMKeymasterNovember 26, 2018 at 8:31 pmPost count: 26
Hey RainbowChild….thanks for sharing your story. Interesting how we come to some realisations later in life when others seem to have a clear understanding in their teens. Glad to have you in ABBIchat and as a moderator. We appreciate your volunteer work. I trust you find it rewarding.RainbowChildSpectatorNovember 27, 2018 at 6:21 amPost count: 21
Haha yes it’s funny how things work out. I’ve come to see how fluid sexuality really is.
Thanks for this opportunity Anthony.
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