I’d known I was a lesbian since I was 11 or 12. I always liked girls better than boys in that intimate respect. I had my first real Lesbian romance when I was a senior in High school 1979. I was in love or so I thought. She had other ideas, after graduation she left, I never saw her again. By my mid-twenties in the early 80’s I tried to be with a man for the sake of my parents, I even got engaged. None of it ever worked with me and men. The engagement broke up, I joined the Air Force and started meeting all kinds of women who were gay. Back then DADT didn’t exist. A person just couldn’t say anything period.
I came home from my first out of state military experience and the first time I had ever been away from home. I finally told my parents that I was a lesbian. The once very close knit family now didn’t speak to me for another two years. Fortunately for me I had a lot of great friends who helped me through that tough time. I tried to kill myself twice and never succeeded. Not because I was gay, but because my Mom and Dad couldn’t handle it. After two years they decided that they loved me no matter what, but we could never talk about it.
20 plus years later, I’ve been with my partner for over 20 years, and my parents love her, but we still can’t talk about it. I am as out of the closet as I can be, being a professional in the Healthcare industry, I have to be careful still who I tell, sad really when you think about it. I’d love to tell the whole world, but for fear of losing another job because I’m gay I keep my mouth shut. Yes, I’ve tried to be out of the closet, but when people I’ve worked with in the past have found out, I’ve been fired. Oh, they call it something else, but plain and simple, “you’re fired because you’re a lesbian, we don’t want your kind around here” If they’d just be honest about it and call it what it is I might have more respect for them than telling me that after 5 years of employment… “You’re just not working out”…….RIGHT!!! I don’t know if it ever truly gets any better, or if we just get thick skinned and use to the abuse. When people make nasty comments now, I just smile at their ignorance.