It’s not what you think. Really. Actually, maybe it is. Since I can’t read minds, I have no idea what the phrase “Born-Again Lesbian” brings to mind for other people. If it’s anything related to “born-again Christian” – baptisms, a rigid stance that the bible should be taken literally, tambourines – then you are way off. I actually just liked the way it sounded when it popped into my head one night. But I digress. I’m not one for labels, but this does fit in some ways. You see, I’ve spent most of my life “being” heterosexual. I had boyfriends. I even got married. But it never felt right. I always felt like I was playing a role that I just wasn’t cut out for. Like asking Roseanne Barr to play Scarlett in Gone With the Wind. Some things just don’t fit. It wasn’t like I didn’t have some clue. I just pushed aside those little voices (and I have lots of them) that kept telling me guys weren’t for me. I kept my girl crushes to myself. I told myself “you just feel this way because so-and-so is such a great person.” But the feelings got stronger and my interest in guys was merely me trying to play the role I thought I was supposed to play.
I blamed hormones, stress, depression, and pretty much everything under the sun for my lack of interest. I was living a lie, denying who I was and making myself and my then husband miserable in the process. But I still kept the masquerade going. It wasn’t like we had horrible lives. We had fun and enjoyed each other’s company. But we were more like two roommates than spouses. Then something happened. I met someone. We became friends and I assumed that’s all we would ever be. But the more time I spent with her, the more I wanted something more. I thought about all those years I spent denying who I was. I couldn’t do it anymore. Not with the way she made me feel. For the first time in my life, I felt at home. I could be myself. I didn’t have to hide who I was. But I was married. It wasn’t fair to keep asking him to make so many sacrifices. He wanted kids. He wanted things I just couldn’t give him. It was a difficult for both of us, but it was also the right thing for both of us. He could live a life that was better suited to his needs and so could I.
My girlfriend and I have been together three years now. It hasn’t always been easy. But we both feel like we finally have the chance to live our lives on our own terms. As much as anyone really can. And as anyone who watches the news knows, being gay in this country isn’t always easy. Most of us still can’t legally marry in the state we live in. We still face discrimination and are victims of hate crimes. But I hold out hope that someday soon we’ll have the same rights as everyone else.