From the fifth grade on, I knew I was different. I felt it on the inside. I didn’t much care for the idea of dating or kissing boys. In junior high there were dances, but I never attended them. Why would I want to spend my time with a male? They held no interest for me. In high school, male and female students paired off, broke up, attended dances, and went on dates. They talked about who was dating who, who was easy, who had a pregnancy scare. None of this meant a thing to me. I was always on the outside, never fitting in. I do remember how I felt when an attractive female passed by me. I would watch her walk away, heart racing, palms sweating.
I can count on one hand how many friends I had that I enjoyed hanging out with. However, even then I knew I didn’t really fit in. I pretended to be like the rest of them, but didn’t enjoy it much.
In the summer of 1979 I attended boot camp for the USCG in Cape May, New Jersey. Our company was a mix of males and females; again, I felt like I wasn’t going to fit in, but something happened. I met another who felt the way I did. Who didn’t fit in and she gave it a name — lesbian. She was from California, where the more progressive thinkers live.
Lesbian. This single word changed the way I thought of myself. I finally knew why I felt different from the others. I now knew why I didn’t fit the ‘ordinary’ mold of other females in school. Of course, this revelation brought a new set of problems. In the military at that time, if you were homosexual and they found out, you were discharged. This happened to my friend from boot camp the following year. I was discharged for a pre-existing knee problem, that I didn’t know about. If I had stayed in, I would have ended up being kicked out for being a lesbian.
Now that I knew what I was, I still had a problem. By nature I’m a shy person, and an introvert to boot. From what I can remember, no one discussed homosexuality in our family, so I kept quiet. I kept this secret to myself until June 26, 2013 — for me this date is when I truly accepted who and what I am and I announced it on Facebook. Before that I never told my friends or family what I was. I was too afraid of what their reaction would be. My parents never knew before they died.
I had a secret, but now it has been told to any and all who read this. I am a Lesbian!