Shit, am I really a lesbian?

via tumblr Curves and Confidence
via tumblr Curves and Confidence

Have you ever dived into a lake, and then barrel rolled under the water a few times until you no longer know which way’s up? That feeling of floating, spinning, twirling…when under my own volition, it feels fun and exciting to lay motionless for a moment to realize which way is up, watching my bubbles rise to the surface, guiding me to my next breath of fresh air. This was a past-time of mine as a kid, and I did it in pools or lakes or any body water big enough for me to splash around in (note: I might have unsuccessfully tried it in the bathtub).

But contrast this with being thrown from an inner tube or being knocked over by a strong ocean wave, or being tossed into the deep end by a ruthless family member. That feeling of spinning under water, with panic outweighing the fun adrenaline sense of whoa dude! You know the difference.

I fee like I’m somewhere in-between those two feelings, like walking out into the waves and feeling the sand slip away from under my feet. I’m searching, searching, searching for a label to try and pin this sticky thing of sexual identity on. I came out as NotStraight (my very eloquent dip into the other sexuality pool), and then just defaulted to saying bisexual, because whoa people didn’t quite get the whole NotStraight thing. And bisexual neatly expresses why I am, in fact, married to a man. And why, in fact, I have had boyfriends in the past. And why, in fact, I have only just had my “first” sexual experience in the lady pool (with childish “experimentation” and drunken college makeouts with ladies. Bisexual explains it…right?

So I’ve spent my free time diving into the community. Reading AutoStraddle and watching Netflix documentaries like Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, or Chely Wright’s coming out story, and in the latter I couldn’t help but feel really…convicted (to use a Christian term I grew up with) when Chely talked about having dated men, but knowing she was, in fact, a lesbian.

With Anne, we refer to each other as lesbians. And yet we’re married to men. We talk about being attracted to pretty lesbians, like Chely Wright, and yet how it’s an energy attraction that we feel. Anne has some butch lesbian friends who talk about seeing women on the street and thinking “whoa, I wanna bang that chick” (to use crass language), and she (and I) don’t resonate with that, because I see a pretty girl and think she’s beautiful and how nice it would be to brush her hair or sit and drink coffee in her presence. And yet, get me alone, with my thoughts, later, and all the fantasies come crawling out. I don’t see guys and drool over them, either, so it’s not just a lady thing.

I cannot deny that I have been incredibly attracted to a handful of men over the years. And yet, if I were to really be honest, I resonate with the word or concept of lesbian much more than I do with the concept of bisexual. I can’t quite explain it. It doesn’t make rational sense. Lesbians like ladies. Bisexuals like ladies and men. I like men and ladies. But don’t really feel like the bisexual pants fit quite right (I’m muffin topping all over the place here people!).



They’re so unnecessary, I know.

But I also know that sometimes before you can transcend and feel comfortable beyond and without a label, you first must embrace and living within its framework. And I feel like I’ve been thrown into that deep end and barrel rolling and trying to blow bubbles to find my way to the surface. Reframing my past in light of my present and thinking…was I just living a lie? Were those feelings for boys misplaced or influenced by a Disney fairytale culture? Am I really a lesbian?

And, if so, what does that mean?


6 thoughts on “Shit, am I really a lesbian?

  1. I am also married to a man and have a female lover and have been grappling very similarly with issues of sexual identity and labels. I really resonate with your post and thanks so much for sharing. I love the image of the muffin topping! I too am really squirmy in the bisexual label, and am beginning to think I’m most comfortable identifying as a lesbian. But that hurts my husband’s feelings.

    1. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone! I haven’t even tested the waters of divulging my fear (that I am a lesbian) to my husband, yet. He’s totally cool with me being bisexual, but he may not understand me being a lesbian (one that loves him, and loves having sex with him!). Truthfully, I don’t quite understand how to reconcile it…but it’s the label I feel fits me best. Ugh. Glad to know I’m not the only one muddling through this out there!

      Thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

      1. You can be sure I’ll be reading what you have to say 🙂
        I’m also glad to know I’m not the only one in this bizarre situation, but maybe it’s more common than one would think…
        Good luck!!

  2. My sexual preference runs towards someone who is masculine on the outside and feminine on the inside, which has translated into digging the girlie men and the butch chicks. When I was with a man (who would not consider himself girlie at all but had a lot of emotional sophistication and caring tendencies) for 15 years my desire for women did not magically disappear. Now that I am in a relationship with a woman (3 years so far, going strong) I do not notice men as much as I used to notice women when I appeared externally heterosexual. I also prefer women socially and have had almost exclusively female friends my whole life. For those reasons I think of myself as a lesbian-leaning bisexual. Labels are so weird!

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