My Path to Lesbianism
Here's an old family recipe i've recently uncovered. Take two broken people and let them have children. Once the children are born, stir in the unmet needs and expectations of the parents while blending in the hurts and disappointments of their pasts. Pour the batter into a deep baking dish and place in the oven, which is fueled by the ups and downs of the household and of life. Recipe yields enough dysfunction to serve a family of four, or more.
For me, the dysfunctional yield of that recipe was a search for a home and a name, a place where I could feel like I belonged. That search led me down many paths, including the path of lesbianism. But I found a fork in the road and took it. What I discovered was a way of hope and healing that I never thought possible. My healing has come first by making a decision to give my life, including my sexual orientation, over to God; and second, by beginning to deal with the wounds that left me with an intense desire to connect with a woman. One area I've had to come to terms with is misogyny. The hatred or devaluation of women shows through sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, or spiritual abuse, pornography, and the ideology that women are less than men.
I grew up in a home where this was the case: both my mother and father favored my brother. He excelled in athletics and was an above-average student. It is said that children are the best recorders, but the worst interpreters, of information. I interpreted this favoritism to mean that my brotherand not mewas the one who was supposed to succeed. As I watched my parents pour their hopes and dreams into him, I felt like I was on the sidelines. I could either cheer him on or sit back and watch. I chose to cheer.
Cheering for him meant that I gave up on myself. I developed patterns of not following through with commitments and giving up on anything that was difficult. I was never taught how to persevere, how to handle pressure, or how to set and achieve a goal. I didn't learn how to compete, how to win, or even how to lose. I lived in a vacuum I created with self-destructive behavior that included drugs, alcohol, and self-mutilation, and I have battled the effects of depression for many years. Over time, misogyny eats away at the core of women's souls and leaves them feeling unprotected, ashamed, vulnerable, and frightened. That's how it left me.
I remember a time when, as adults, my brother and I, living on opposite ends of the country, both bought computers. As I was telling my father about my computer, we soon found ourselves in an argument as he insisted that my computer wasn't as good as my brother's. It was ludicrous: The two computers had the same amount of memory, same speed, same software applications, same everything. I could only conclude that mine was inferior just because it was mine.
Then there were the college degrees. My father said to me one day that my master's degree wasn't as good as my brother's master's degree because his was an MBA and mine was just an MA. He didn't say that his was more useful in the marketplace or that it would yield more money, but that mine was just not as good.
Cut Off And Alone
Little girls need a strong masculine presence as a covering and as a protection, but also to call us out to take risks and to make us feel comfortable in our girlishness so that growing into a woman won't feel unnatural, uncomfortable, awkward, or unsafe. Our fathers are the ones who are supposed to do this for us. Mine didn't.
As I watched and listened to my mother and father interact and comment on my friends, my brother's friends, their friends, and even movie stars, I, too, began to form a low opinion of women. The messages I received from my father were that women are weak, stupid, supposed to look sexy, and that they are to serve men. One of his favorite sayings was that my mother couldn't find her way out of a wet paper bag. Because she didn't learn to drive until she had children, she read maps poorly and wasn't as good at finding her way as my father was.