Saturday, July 29, 2006

Today’s baby dykes have it made. They have the internet, with its availability of information and the ease of finding other dykes to chat with or even meet. And even though we are still fighting for simple civil rights (they are NOT special rights, so don’t even think that!), there is much more acceptance of queers today than there was 30 something years ago. If there had been this wealth of information years ago, when I was growing up, I think that my life would have been quite different. When I was growing up, I had major crushes on my friends who were girls. In fact, I had a “best friend” named Denise, from third grade until sixth grade, when she moved to another city (and broke my heart). We were never apart. We were in the same class at school. We walked to her house after school, where I stayed until my mother picked me up in the evenings. On the weekends, we spent the nights together, and back in the age where we didn’t realize that there were predators lurking out there, we spent all day together on Saturday and Sunday, riding our bikes all over town, seeing what we could find to get into. At some point, we decided that we needed to “practice" kissing, so that when we eventually got boyfriends, we would know how to kiss. I’m not sure who thought of this, but it was a brilliant idea! So we spent a great deal of time “practicing”, and I was in heaven. After she moved, I had several other friends and we all needed to practice as well (OK, I know whose idea it was these times). Finally we just got too old to call it “practicing” any more (and by then, we had real boyfriends to kiss), so that came to an end. Fast forward to college. When I got to college, I heard that there were lesbians living in my dorm. Ooh…. I needed to find them. Just to see them, that's all. I roamed the halls, looking for any sign that indicated “dykes in area” (Damn! Where were the rainbows when I needed them?). I was like the dog chasing the car…I had absolutely no idea what I would do with them if I caught them, but I definitely wanted to catch them. I was an art major, and there were some REALLY gay guys who hung out at the art building. I was no expert, and hadn’t developed gaydar yet, but anyone could have picked them out of a crowd. I wanted to talk to them so badly, but I didn’t know how to approach them. Another strike out. Then came the phone call…… It was the night before the end of finals. My roommate had already finished her finals and gone home. I was alone in the room, and the phone rang. “May I speak to Debbie?” Now, at this time, Debbie was an extremely common name. Everyone my age probably knew at least five Debbies. So, I assumed that he meant my roommate. I told him that she had already gone home. That’s all he needed. He proceeded to tell me all about how she was his friend and about how she had told him all the things that she wanted to do with me, but she was scared to approach me. Funny, I had never gotten that impression-as a matter of fact, she was engaged. But I bought into it. I listened for about 10 minutes, as he continued to get more and more involved (and more and more breathless). Finally, the climax of the story came (and so did he) and I realized that I had been listening to an obscene phone call. But I didn’t feel violated, I felt disappointed. So that meant that he didn’t really know her, that she had never said those things about me? Damn! You know, this should have been a clue. But back then, people didn’t really talk about being gay. So I never found any lesbians, never got any information about being a homosexual. I dated a lot of “pretty” boys, the prettier the better. (This was in the early 70's, there were long-haired boys aplenty.) I had posters of rock stars like David Bowie and Marc Bolan and other “glam rockers” on my walls. Still no clue. Instead, I did what I was supposed to do. I met a nice boy who treated me well and that I could get along with. I married him, and I went on with my life. (More about this part of my life in a future post) Since then I have thought about it, and I truly believe that I am one of the ones who, had I had access to the information and the acceptance that we have today, would have been out by the time I was 18 years old. It wouldn't have taken me 44 years to find the love of my life and to finally be "home". It wouldn't have taken me so long to finally be in the place where I should have been all along. But, if I had realized that I was a lesbian at 18, my life would have been much different. I wouldn’t have married the nice boy, I wouldn’t have been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law and father-in-law (who are still like my own parents, but even better), and most importantly, I wouldn’t have my son. Maybe it took me longer than it should have for me to get to where I am supposed to be, but I think that the detour was worth it. And you know, I might have started the battle to destroy heterosexual marriage a little late, but I'm in the fight now. Heterosexuals, be ready to defend your marriages! We're in love, we're happy, we're totally devoted to each other...I can feel those heterosexual unions crumbling even as I speak!


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