Do I “Come Out” Or Wait Until I Know For Sure?

June 15, 2011

Q: I’ve been struggling with my feelings for quite a while now. Right now I’m a single mom (divorced 2 yrs ago) with 2 boys. All my life I’ve noticed an attraction to women, whether it be my teachers, friends, or celebrities. Even though I can look at a man & say that they are attractive, it’s definitely women that I’m drawn to. I’ve never dated much. My relationships started out as friends with people I worked with, and I’ve only had 3 serious relationships in the past & really just faked my way through it, only being able to achieve orgasm with the help of toys & my imagination. Now, I haven’t been with a woman yet either and I don’t even know where to start–what do I say, hey I just want to experiment? Can’t see that going over real well. I work from home and can’t get out much with the kids so that’s another wrinkl e. I’m not sure I want to “come out” until I know for sure, because what if I just haven’t found the right guy yet? I do not know anyone personally (only via internet) who is gay and since I live in the “Don’t Say Gay” state I’m not sure who to talk to or where to go to meet people. I don’t have health insurance so the only counseling that I’m aware of would be Christian based and I don’t think that would work in this instance.  I think my family for the most part will be supportive so I’m not too worried there. I don’t have any moral/religious issue with being gay, it’s just that I’d rather be normal. I want the fairy tale, you know? But I also want to be happy and I’m not and I haven’t been truly happy or comfortable in my own skin since, well, forever. I don’t want to lie or be fake about it anymore, it’s not fair to anyone, and I know my ex-husband was very hurt too. I guess my question is, how do you know for sure? And is there anyone I can talk to in my area?

A:Dear Want to be Normal,

Sounds like you are very confused and unhappy and that is the most un- normal thing for anyone.  Happiness is your birthright.  There are lesbians and gays everywhere in every state.  Dig deeper and I am sure you will find LGBT organizations, churches, clubs, and bars.  There is not a simple formula for relationships.  Each one has its own style and people come together for many reasons.  Love, companionship, friendship, sex.  What do you want?  Every relationship is its own experiment.  Don’t let that stop you from exploring.  Life is about exploring. And most professionals say the biggest sex organ is the one on your shoulders.  It’s ok to fantasize.  That is not a statement about your sexual orientation.  Could be a statement about not knowing your body or having a partner that is not meeting your needs.  Explore.  Try different things.  Go out with some women, have sex, see how it feels.  You wouldn’t buy shoes without trying them on.  Just know a date is not a wedding.  Don’t make any commitments.  Get to know people.  Have some fun.  Grown and learn. Enjoy this great life and don’t feel like you have to label yourself today.  Be patient.  Stay open and the answers will come to you.  You have to do the work.  Get out there and explore.