I’m angry with my family for walking away from me. Everyday I think about missing them. I wonder if they even think about me. I wonder what they think of me. Do they hate me? Do they pity me? What do they think I am doing besides ruining my life by divorcing an abusive asshole who couldn’t stay sober or truthful for the entire course of our marriage? Do they know I’m engaged to a beautiful woman who makes me extremely happy? Why haven’t they reached out? Do they really not care that I am gay as they once claimed and have some other issue with me that they’ve never had the balls to ask me about? Do they think I’m playing a game for attention? I may never know. I will never be the first to call them ever again. I tried too many times to reach out only to be rebuffed. I’m moving on. If they want to know how I’m doing, they will have to be the ones to take the next step.
My family didn’t cause my marriage to fail. And my switching teams didn’t cause it to end either. It was doomed from the start, it was horrible, my ex did everything he could to betray my trust, and it failed on its own. It wasn’t until months after it was very much so over when I let go of the thought that divorce was not an option and began to let my heart wander free that I found a woman, the brainwashing shattered, and I found the world I belonged in. But my family did drive me into a straight marriage and forced me into a lifestyle that was doomed with a partner that couldn’t hold up his end of the marriage agreement. Had he been a faithful partner, I would probably still be “happily” married and oblivious to what true happiness feels like. Growing up, I was routinely ridiculed for looking like a dyke. My clothes weren’t girly enough, my hair wasn’t girly enough, I didn’t wear makeup and that wasn’t girly enough. The first time I shaved my legs about age 11, my older sister told the neighbor boys that I was an idiot and explained how I did it wrong in detail to kids younger than me. My family and their friends teased me into compliance and conformity. I was trained to be disgusted by gays and lesbians. Especially the ones with “an agenda”. Having boyfriends was highly encouraged. Abstinence was just as important. For me, any boyfriend was considered amazing. I grew my hair out just to make them stop ridiculing me. I didn’t wear jewelry or clothes they didn’t approve of because I didn’t want to be teased. It was made clear to me that gays were gross and unnatural and that they wanted to recruit everyone with their evil agenda (- which was what to make everyone gay?). Anytime a gay couple was featured on TV or in a movie my mom would audibly scoff at it and demand we change the channel or stop watching. My older sister fought against the “That’s a Family” materials being taught at her son’s school. Pulling him out of school for a week to purposefully keep him from learning about Jane’s two moms from a pamphlet. Her friend, a teacher, moved to another state because she refused to teach the materials. I voted against gay marriage like 9 times because I was trained to. I remember being so relieved when George W. Bush won reelection because he would be choosing the next supreme court judge and he for sure wouldn’t pick someone who would allow the abomination that was gay marriage. My only lesbian friend beat on my dashboard after he was confirmed and I remember thinking ha ha, gays lost. What was wrong with just giving them a domestic partnership – it was the same thing, why use our word – “marriage” is for straight christians. These were my words – or so I thought. I was brainwashed and corrupted by a religion and family that outwardly “loved” everyone but secretly wished they would all disappear.
So you see, I couldn’t be gay. It wasn’t a real thing. After my husband’s brother came out as gay, my husband and I discussed many times over the years about how it was just a choice. He hadn’t dated enough women. Maybe if he had women friends in high school. Maybe if their dad hadn’t treated him like a piece of shit his whole life he’d be a real man and into women. He clearly chose to be gay and should not be. But to his face, I supported him. I asked about his boyfriend, I attended his parties with his other gay friends, I made it seem like this was totally ok but once we were in the car, my husband and I went off on how wrong it was. We ridiculed their aunt for joining PFLAG after her son came out, secretly teasing her for being ridiculous and over the top. Because that’s what I was taught to do! It was just a bunch of degenerates that should just go hide that shit at home or repent because ew. My mom was disappointed when she realized her only niece was gay. My mom grew up near Buffalo, NY. Her dad had passed away and I went with her when I was about 14 years old to help sell off Grandpa’s stuff and relocate the keepsakes to my aunt’s and cousin’s. I was strong and agile and she needed my help. I had spent days climbing through attic rafters and crawling into tiny dirty spaces to find the lost treasures so my mom arranged for me to spend some time off with my cousin at her house. It was nice to relax. I’d been there for a few hours when mom came to collect me. My cousin had brought me so my mom wanted a tour before we left. My cousin happily took her around the 2 bedroom apartment. Here’s the roommates son’s room, here’s our room…. (MOM BLANKED)…., here’s the kitchen, etc. Mom noticed ONE bed in their shared room and her face went ashen and she momentarily froze in her tracks before saying “oh this is nice”. They had lived together for like 10 years but somehow this was a shock. The drive back was fairly silent as my mom processed this awful news. She asked if I realized they were sharing a room and I remember saying no. Truthfully, I hadn’t asked for a tour. I was busy hanging with my cousin and couldn’t care less what bedspread she had. For the next few years, I watched my mom struggle with my cousin’s partner and their son. She would talk to her when she called to say hi. She would send her Christmas gifts but there was always this deep seeded air of disapproval after she hung up the phone. She tried to hide it and probably thought no one really knew how she felt, but I saw it. The flicker in her eye, the tightening of her jaw muscles. These moments shaped my own beliefs. Ok to be ok with them in public but deep down, it’s ok to hate and reject them because they are sinners and gross and going to hell. Lie to their faces. Make them feel loved. Puke when they are out of site. Pray that they will find God and repent.
I have always known even if I couldn’t realize it. I secretly tried on my dad’s ties when the house was empty. I have always wanted a man’s suit. I gawked at men wearing khakis and polos when I had to be in a skirt and wished I had been lucky enough to be a dude so that I didn’t have to wear skirts. I fought with my mother over clothes almost daily. I wanted jeans and a polo or button down. She wanted nice slacks and a blouse on me. The most epic battle I recall winning was over a canvas belt. She didn’t want to get it for me because I wanted a navy blue one. She made me get a tan one too, I only ever wore the navy one. When I was about 8 years old, I was brought into a counselor’s office. The walls were a dark color and we sat at a small round table. The counselor, my mom, and I were there. My mom doesn’t recall this happening and flatly denied it occurring but I remember almost every word. The table was next to a window but it was too high for me to see out of. The counselor sat across from me with my mom on my left between us. You see, it was the first time I was told that I couldn’t be what I wanted to be. My favorite teachers were sexy blond women. My favorite actresses were women. I remember being grilled about the colors pink and blue. Blue was my favorite color. I was asked why blue, why not pink? Every girl likes pink. Blue is for boys. Blue shouldn’t be my favorite color. The counselor made me agree to green being my new favorite color. For years I was afraid to ask for anything that was blue because I wasn’t supposed to like blue. Blue was for boys and I was a girl. I had short hair a few times growing up but each time was an awful experience. One time a lady yelled at me to get out of the ladies’ bathroom at a store because I was a boy. Mom told me she was probably drunk. My mom loved repeating this story and embarrassing me with it. Then on my first day of sixth grade at a new school all the kids thought I was a boy and through the window I could hear them saying I wonder what his name is. Only to witness the shock and horror that I was indeed a girl with a girly name. I managed to find two friends that entire year. So within a year, I grew my hair to shoulder length and didn’t cut it off again until after high school. I didn’t want to be a dyke anymore. I was tired of being teased for having a haircut I liked and wearing clothes I liked. For the next twenty seven years, I obeyed the hetero rules to avoid being called gay. When the teasing kicked back up again, I asked for help with makeup or had a sister take me clothes shopping. I wore what they said was in style even if I hated the way I looked. I let the hairdresser choose my hair style. I let my sisters and mom plan my wedding so that it was up to their standards. I quit. I gave up trying to be who I was supposed to be because I wasn’t supposed to like the color blue and short hair is for dykes.
Even after getting married the signs were there. How was this a surprise? When watching porn with my now ex-husband, I refused to watch any porn involving penises. Each time I realized this I became enraged and broke the porn DVDs or tore up the magazines because porn was evil and wrong. I hated sex with my husband. I avoided it as much as possible for the entire duration of our marriage. Touching his penis was gross and felt unnatural every single time. The ten blow jobs he got from me over 16 years were all in desperation and I would violently wretch or vomit if he finished where I could see or feel it. He never, ever turned me on. I had sex with him out of obligation. I pretended as if I were into it. I honestly cannot ever remember initiating sex with him. When we were done, I rushed into the bathroom to clean up because – gross. We slept with the comforter rolled up between us because I didn’t want him touching me. In the mornings, I would wait until he left the bedroom, hop up, quickly lock the bedroom door then get dressed. Pajamas were an absolute requirement. If he knocked, I made him wait until I was fully clothed before he was allowed to enter the room. When I showered, I not only locked the bedroom door, I locked the interior bathroom door too. I made it a challenge for him to ever see me naked because it was so unnerving to be naked around him.
Now that I am who I really am, I have a much healthier view of myself. Sex with my fiance is amazing and is nothing like the dreadful engagements with my ex. I’m excited to be there with her, I initiate sex as often as she will allow me to. I never ever have to look at a penis again if I don’t want to. I enjoy touching her intimate places and exploring them as we explore and excite each other’s bodies. I walk around my house naked when she’s home. I have never, ever felt the need to get dressed after she’s left the room. We sleep holding each other, spooning, holding hands, cuddling, foreheads touching. Rarely apart. We shower together almost every day. I wear mostly men’s clothes. Not because I want to be a man but because it’s what I’m comfortable wearing. Oh and I wear a lot of blue, and black and gray! I don’t like the cuts and colors most women’s clothes come in. I even wear men’s underwear because panties just don’t feel comfy. I like the way boxer briefs feel on my legs under my jeans. I like the freedom from having elastic around my girl bits. The thick cotton and wide waistband are home.
Is this why my family hasn’t spoken to me in years? Because I am finally who I was supposed to be and they lost in the battle to hide it from me?