When I started to wave my rainbow flag…..

I was surfing around in blog land and came across Mama and Mummy’s blog…  I read her most recent post (bfp! whoohoo! congrats!) and I read her coming out story. Which of course made me want to share mine.  It’s going to be long!

In my early teenage years I remember my mom flat out asking me if I were gay. I must of been 14ish at the time…. I remember it very vividly in my head, we were sitting in her car and she just asked me.  I didn’t even know it yet –I denied it. 

I never really thought about being gay or not being gay after that. I had some gay friends in school but I never really interested in anyone. 

I went though a stage that most teenagers go through.. I thought my mother was awful.  At the time she had a new boyfriend (now husband) and we (my brother, sister and I) thought that he had taken her away from us.  My mom was a single parent until that point.  So, having her attention on someone other than us was devastating.  I thought it was better that I went to live with my father in Ohio.  I hadn’t ever met him until a few months prior to me moving there.  My brother and I went to visit and we had such a good time.  Little did we know he was trying to fit 16 years of not being there into a weeks time, of course it was fun!  We went anywhere we wanted go, ate ice cream, and he bought us anything we put our eyes on!  What more can a kid want?! When we went home my brother got into some trouble and my mom was sending him to our father. I wanted to go too! So, I packed up everything and moved to my father’s house.  A few weeks later my brother moved back home because he missed his girlfriend. I stayed.  When I think back I have no idea why I stayed, but I did.

Still to this point I never really thought about being gay –until school started and I noticed a girl in class.  She was pretty and I knew that I wasn’t suppose to be looking at her like I was. She was out but I was not.  I remember writing notes back and fourth with her, but nothing came of it.  We considered ourselves each others girlfriends but we never were together “like that”. I went to her house one time and it was so awkward!  We played video games and just hung out as friends would and that is how it stayed.

One day while driving home from school my father and step mother asked me If I were gay.  At this point, very different from last time I was asked in a car (why do people ask serious questions in the car?! So you can’t run away???) I knew I was.  I said “Yes, I am”.   One day it just hit me, Yes, I am gay! I just knew it.  It just took me a little while to figure it out.  I asked them how they knew and they showed me a note from the girl in class.  I left it on top of the dryer while washing clothes, Doh!!  They let me know that being a lesbian was not an option while living under their roof.  I was to go to school, work and home.  I’m not sure what they thought I was doing?? Having sex with every girl I saw?! I was not. At that point I had not had any sexual experiences with girls or boys for that matter. 

I did not have a computer or anyone to talk to.  I was in Ohio (!!??!!) I would call my mom often wanting to come home.  But, my father wouldn’t let me.  He wouldn’t let me even visit. He knew that if I left I would not be coming back. He was right. Why did he even want me there?! He said himself that I was not welcome under his roof because I was a big bad lesbian!  My family here in NY did not know anything about the lesbian thing.  I wrote them a letter.  Well, I wrote my Grandma a letter.  I knew that if I told her first she’d tell everyone and I wouldn’t have to.  A few days later I got a phone call from my mom saying, ” I always knew it! I was just waiting for you to know it.”  From the beginning my mother has been nothing but supportive.  She loves me no matter what.   I wanted to go home so bad. I thought about running away and some how getting back to New York.  Living in Ohio was horrible.  I wasn’t allowed to hang out with friends outside of school because I might do gay things. I wasn’t allowed to go home. I wasn’t allowed to do anything.  I wanted to die.  This was the only time in my life that I really considered suicide.  I had nothing. I felt like I was being held hostage and that would of been the only way out.  I tried, but it didn’t work (thank goodness!)..That only got me time with a counselor which I went to a few times.  I walked out after a few sessions because I thought “I was gay…not crazy!!” Maybe I should of stayed and she would of been someone to talk to.  There was one thing that helped me though it all.  Music. I found Melissa Etheridge’s music and listened to her day and night.  Thinking if she can be gay, happy and free –so could I!  She really got me through a really rough time in my life.  I would just sit in my room with headphones on singing, “Coooome to my wiiiindooow crawl inside wait by the light of the moon…..”  Her music saved me.  Which is why I got this tattoo (when I was 20) which is a symbol of her. You’ll find it on a lot of her work.  I love it!! (Laurie hates it!  She thinks it too big)

((this is the only picture I could find))

I started riding my bike to the library to go online and to talk to people like me. I never met anyone offline until a couple years later.  It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I really felt like I was 100% out. I got a lot of crap for it being in Ohio not very many people really liked us gays. A lot happened with me discovering myself in my senior year.  I met some new friends (gay ones!), had my first encounter with a woman ::cough:: ::cough:: with one of my teachers ::cough:: cough::  I was 17 she was in her mid 20s.  It just happened and I wasn’t about to stop it. 

I was that gay girl with the rainbow belt, the gay t-shirt, rainbow earrings….yeah..the whole sha-bang!   I went from not really knowing I was gay to letting everyone on the planet know  I…WASGAY!  There was no denying it.  I was a lesbian under his roof and there was nothing he could do about it.  It wasn’t until I met a co-worker who was older, married and a lesbian that I started to really get in touch with my “actually living as a  lesbian-ness”.  I would spend hours talking to her about how to ‘be a lesbian’, different types, what do I do, wear, say, act….all of it. I needed guidance. For starters she let me know that the rainbow gear had to go. It was “too loud”.  As I got older my rainbow gear wearing self got further and further away.  Today the gayest thing I have is…..Laurie. hahaha.

The day I turned 18 my father kicked me out of his house.  He said I wasn’t welcome there because I was gay (even though he was the one who wouldn’t let me leave!!) .  I could not of been more happy to be kicked out.  I had no place to go and I didn’t even care! I didn’t have to go back there.  I stayed with a friend and her wife (the manager at Burger King where I worked) for a few days, went to my first Melissa Etheridge concert for my birthday and then took a bus back home to New York.  I was so happy to breathe the smog and hear the horns when the bus was going though the city. I was so happy to see my mom and siblings, the dogs and everyone else.  I was finally home.  I have had very little contact with my father  It is only until recently (though facebook) that we’ve talked since then.  I think it is sad that he lets something that neither one of us can control get in between his only daughter. 

Since then I’ve dated here and there. Moved to California (twice) to meet  live with girls I met online.  Who knew the only girl I needed was right here just a few miles away. 


6 thoughts on “When I started to wave my rainbow flag…..

  1. thank you for sharing this with us! wouldn't we all be so very lost without great musicians like ME (or, for me, the indigo girls)?? btw, i got your comment on my blog about participating, but didnt get filled out form w/your address etc – did you do one and it just got lost in cyberspace?

  2. Great story but odd how he kept you prisoner–you big bad lesbian. Glad you escaped and I agree, funniest line ever… Made me laugh outloud! Guess the gayest thing about me is Tiff, if I think about it;)

  3. Strangely intriguing story. Glad you found support even if it wasn't under your father's roof. I also love the line about Laurie being the gayest thing you have now.

  4. Great story! I love hearing coming out stories and I'm always amazed by the parallels, even when people came out under totally different circumstances. I think we ALL had that unfortunate rainbow period, didn't we? 😉

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