|Coming Out of the Closet
||[Sep. 29th, 2008|02:03 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
Half the women in my life are lesbians. That's not something I purposely sought out, it's just the way it is. I went to a college with a large gay and lesbian population, so I've never had an issue with anyone's sexual orientation. One of my closest friends in the neighborhood has been out of the closet since she was a teenager. She's still dealing with the ramifications of that with her family, which refuses to accept her orientation as anything more than a phase despite the fact that it's been fifteen years now. Her ex-girlfriend, whom I'm still friends with, is getting even more pressure from her own family to be straight, and it's messing with her head. (I have several gay male friends too, all with their own familial issues as well. I don't mean to imply only lesbians deal with this.)|
This morning, another friend of mine came out of the closet. Her situation is different from most of my other lesbian friends' in that she's married and has a kid. Luckily, her husband has been as supportive and understanding as possible for this kind of situation, and is even letting her continue living in the house until the housing market gets better. Still, it can't be easy for either of them. Her husband's hurt might be tempered by the fact that this is an orientation issue, but it's never fun to be left for someone else, and it's doubly hard when you're married. Marriage by nature indicates that you've chosen to be with someone for the rest of your life, and when that dissolves it stabs deeper than any other kind of breakup. All your plans, everything you imagined or counted on for your future, are suddenly and painfully gone. Believe me, as a divorced man I speak from experience.
But I think it's even harder for her. From what I know of her parents, they're going to go batshit (though, luckily, she's already given them a grandchild, so maybe that will appease them). She's not a celebrity, she's not going to get a "Yes, I'm Gay" People magazine cover to help everyone adjust. There's no safety net here. She's doing a brave, courageous thing, and I'm proud of her for finally accepting who she is and taking steps to embrace that.