Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can't get used to the word Lesbian!

I think I've come up against a stumbling block to my coming out. I feel awkward saying the word Lesbian out loud.

I have no problems writing it here now, but there was a time not so long ago that I couldn't think of it in relation to myself at all.

I honestly don't know what it is. Even before I realised that I like women, the word made me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it was my subconscious telling me something? For years I quickly pushed aside any thoughts about women before I really had the chance of realising what they were so maybe the word made me uncomfortable because it is confronting. There is no avoiding what that word means unlike my thoughts at the time.

Once I did realise I liked women, for quite a while I thought of myself as Bi. Mainly because I thought I couldn't be a lesbian if I'd been in a relationship with a man and hadn't had an experience with a woman yet. Probably also because my husband has been the only man I've slept with... for a while I was thinking maybe it was just him that I wasn't attracted to and that I would be with another man.

I didn't have any problems saying the word Bi in relation to myself. In fact the small group of people I have told, I told I was Bi.

I know now though I definitely can't identify as Bi. I have absolutely no urge to be with a man whatsoever... in fact the very thought of it makes me shudder - and not in a good way!

So... I am a lesbian and happy to be so. I have no problems accepting it of myself these days, and not that many fears in regards to coming out with the exception of the effect on my kids.

But I still just can't say the word! I'd use the word Gay instead, but as Deborah over at All Things Queer  says, "I can't use the word "gay" because invariably I hear "man" right after it". GLTBI seems to separate me from the word Gay by adding the L in there. I know most Lesbians would probably be upset if the "L" wasn't there, and I probably would be too as the emphasis of the word gay seems to be on gay men. But it does make me quite reluctant to use the word for myself.

My problem? How on earth do I come out to people feeling so uncomfortable with the word? My comfort with actually coming out is partially taken away by the word.

And why on earth am I still uncomfortable with it anyway? I mean it is ridiculous. I'm not ashamed, I am comfortable with who I am so why on earth can't I say it out loud easily? 

4 comments:

nina said...

Ya know, its just a word. i happen to have run as fast as i could toward the word. to me when i say it it means i belong to a elite group, a historically powerful, sensual, creative group. my friend on the other hand, felt the same way you do. its been a year now and she is now comfortable using it. but it doesn't matter. you are what you are and only you have the right to define it. (((hugs)))

nina

Meka said...

When i read your post it reminded me of a movie I seen a while back called But Im A Cheerleader. Its a good movie to me. Im not a lesbian but I respect everyone. To me Id rather say the word lesbian that gay. But you will get comfortable with it soon. Happy parenting.

Sh@ney said...

I know how you feel,
Being a gay guy, I still find it difficult to utter those words in conversation.

I guess knowing how society percieve 'homosexuals' has not helped me at all.

Yet ever so slowly my confidence has increased. It just takes time.

I have been 'out' for 5 years now and like you I was in a straight relationship (many in fact) and I often wondered how I could be gay if I were dating the opposite sex. But it is all to do with acceptance and however long that may take to grab hold of you.

How do you feel about the word (I disagree with Meka)'gay' it too can be used to define a Lesbian, & trust me a woman saying she is gay does not sound as gruelling (to other's) as it is for a man to say it.

The most important thing to remember is 'how you feel' not what other's think. Just be proud of yourself no matter what.

Hey Lesbian is far better than Dyke and it rolls off the tongue a little sweeter too.

I will promptly add you to my LGBT Bloggers List & welcome to our fabulously large family.

P.s Your concern for your family is a tough one, I would hope that your husband would be understanding, but I guess it all depends on the situation involving your seperation. Kids, well are they old enough to make their own conclusions? Do they undertsand what being gay represents. I think so long as they are mature enough to understand you should tell them.

best of luck always

hippiemeg said...

I found your blog through Shaney at LGBT bloggers. I've only read a few of your posts, but a lot of your words sound like words I've said to myself, my friends, and on my own blog. I just wanted you to know I was lurking... :)