I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not. This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.
Personally I could never live my life permanently in the closet. I can’t imagine what that would be like. I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did. I have lived most of my life out and proud. It’s just the way it happened for me. I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it. It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.
Coming out is a very personal thing. I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out. I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me. I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all. It is just who I am. In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own. If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend. Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason. My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman. They needed to know.
So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.” She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet. But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her? Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out? How has she handled this in the past? Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am? Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman? Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well? These are all questions I have about this. I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.
I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job. She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job. I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.
She seems to think it’s not a big deal. But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is. I guess I will find out when we meet in May. I will NOT like hiding myself. I will NOT do it. There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does. I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part. Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?
Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46? I am not 100% sure. But I really like this woman and do want to find out. The other piece of this is the distance thing. Guess she and I have some conversations to have…