Coming out…… finally

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  • #14777
    Profile photo of Pollyesther
    Pollyesther
    Member

    I want to share a story…..

    I was raised “in church”. By that I mean a very traditional church background. When I was 16, I joined a Pentecostal church. I am not naming the particular denomination, ¬†just going to say it was ¬†a very strict apostolic, what I called a “long haired skirt wearing” church. Very judgemental and closed minded church. ¬†Going to let that lay there for a minute…..

    I always knew I was different. I was always more attracted to women than men and it troubled me because, not only was I taught it wasn’t normal, I was taught it was sinful. So I struggled within myself and tried to stuff all those feelings down and ignore them. I spent hours on my knees, sobbing in prayer for God to change me. He didn’t….

    When I was 19, I met my first and only girlfriend. She was also a Christian. I fell in love with her, enough so that I entered back into a relationship with her in my 30s, but that’s a whole different and bizarre story. Anyway, we kept our relationship a secret, since we both taught in Christian schools. For me, it just had to be that way. For her it was a dirty secret, I was something to be repented of on a daily basis. I couldn’t live like that, and I thought maybe she was right. Maybe these feelings were wrong.

    So I went back to living the straight life. I married at the age of 39 to a younger man from Egypt. He was physically and emotionally abusive and it ended in divorce by the time I was 44. I have been single since, still trying to deny my inner self.

    Last summer something wonderful happened to me. I met the older sister I never knew existed. My mother had gotten pregnant 2 years before she met my father and had been forced to give my sister up for adoption. We were raised in neighboring towns and never knew the other existed.  She is practically my twin in every way. Likes, dislikes, heck she is even a huge Mike Nesmith fan like me. That is really rare. Our mannerisms are similar, we look alike. Twins born 5 years apart, and, yes, she is also a lesbian.

    All these years,  I bought into the thought that there was something wrong with me. Meeting my sister taught me differently.

    Yesterday afternoon, at the age of 52, I finally told my mother. You see, several months after meeting my sister, I moved in with her and her wife, leaving my home in KY to get to know the sister I always wanted. ¬†She asked me yesterday if I was “that way” too. And I told her. I got a nice serving of guilt, that I broke her heart, ¬†was told I was not born that way, of course. Lol, 2 daughters, raised separately, both gay….. hmmmm, must have been something in that South Jersey well water where we grew up….. ¬†told I needed to pray that God would change me, but was not rejected, was told she loved me. Not at all what I expected…..

    I am happy it’s out there now. I have been slowly coming out to friends and relatives. To most, even the most conservative, like my immediate family, ¬†i have been accepted and in ¬†sone cases embraced. I have lived in fear of their reactions all my life. Goes to show you just never know…..

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of mary mary.
    #14788
    Profile photo of DaytonaTom
    DaytonaTom
    Participant

    Hi PollyE…..

    Welcome to our group, and I hope you enjoy reading our posts. Your story resonated with me in a couple of ways….Although I had a few gay experiences in my 20s, I didn’t fully come out — meaning, come out to myself, until after I divorced my wife in my early 30s.

    Coming out to yourself is the first, and hardest step, in my opinion….Then to your parents….siblings, close friends etc.

    At the second stage, I had a partner, and that made it easier. Most in my family didn’t care.¬† My father was disappointed but didn’t lecture me about it….his attitude was along the lines of “it’s your life, do what you want…”¬†

    My mother was quite opposed, and unloaded on me big time. Since I was an adoptee, she fired the nuclear weapon at me, i.e. “I wish we never adopted you, you have broken our hearts, etc etc.”¬† As a result I stormed out of the house and ceased all communication with my parents for about a year and a half. Ironically, it was the reconciliation effort of my partner Jay who reunited us, and over the next 20+ years, until their deaths, we were a very close family. In retrospect, I’m sorry the breach happened, but I wouldn’t un-do it¬† — it was the only way I could liberate myself from the domineering aspects of my mother, and, in a way, I think it was good for the entire family, she mellowed quite a bit after that incident. She learned that if she couldn’t give unconditional love, she wasn’t going to get it either.

    The other part that touched me was your reunion with a sibling later in life. In my 50s, after my adoptive parents were dead, I did a search, and after a couple of years, tracked down three of my 6 biological siblings, and have met them several times. I was open about the gay thing right from the start, introducing Jay as my partner¬† (not a “roommate”).¬†

    One brother is an ardent evangelical and considers homosexuality a sin, but he has never lectured me or tried to “save” me, and his whole family has been very friendly toward me. My older sister doesn’t care in the least, nor does a younger brother.

    In researching the biological family tree, I learned that there was an aunt, now dead, who was a spinster schoolteacher in Vermont who lived with another woman for many years. That was the only possible gay connection I have found so far.

    I attend a predominately gay Christian church in Daytona Beach, and we have a men’s group that has explored “how I learned I was gay” many times.¬† Our stories vary a lot, but there have been some similarities — typically having an absent or emotionally distant father, and/or a domineering or emotionally distant mother. I know “gay at birth” is the popular theory right now, but I still think early-childhood nurturing is an important factor. ¬†

    All the best to you and your sister…

    DaytonaTom
    member, New Church Family, Daytona Beach http://www.newchurchfamily.org

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Profile photo of mary mary.
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