Thank you for giving me a place to share my story. This is the first time I have ever sat down to share this part of me. As a little girl I always knew I liked other girls in a way that no one would understand. Growing up in the LDS Church made that even more problematic, because we had the Strength of Youth, President Hinckley and YM Leaders who relentlessly pounded a message of worthiness and expectation into our young brains.
Because it was different, growing up, I decided to volunteer with a few LGBT groups around my community. Fortunately I grew up in California, so we generally were more liberal in our family and there were visible LGBT groups in our community. For all intents and purposes, volunteering gave me a place to look for answers to the questions I couldn’t ask my parents or church leaders.
In time I determined to bury my sexuality and try to do what the church wanted me to do: date men and get married in the Temple. So I tried it and started dating a guy. We dated and it was really really really hard. After several years, we eventually married. But deep in my heart I knew the truth..I was different and I had made a terrible mistake in getting married. During the summer of 2011 I decided I needed to find myself. It was like I was having a breakdown and a breakthrough at the same time.
At this time, my husband and I were living in Colorado. My best friend at the time was a tattooed, flannel wearing lesbian woman that groomed our poodle, Cliff. Long story short, as I sat in her shop, I began to explain my dilemma and life story to her, all of a sudden we kissed…fire works exploded inside of me. I had never felt like that before in my life.
All this happened so fast, and so unexpectedly. I walked out of her shop in a daze.
“I am a lesbian”, I kept smiling and saying out-loud to myself as I looked into the rear view mirror on the drive home. My poor poodle sat in the backseat unaware of how much had just happened in the last hour. Surely he must have thought me nuts. I didn’t care. For the first time here I was, officially coming out to myself and for the first time, not feeling shameful about it.
The hardest part was telling my husband. I had to do it that night, I couldn’t keep it bottled any longer. I remember going home, cleaning the house from top to bottom and waiting for him to come home from the office. I didn’t say anything at dinner. I didn’t say anything as we watched T.V. I was waiting for the perfect moment. We eventually went to bed and he rolled over to kiss me good night, a tradition of our years of marriage. He recognized that I was crying in bed. He moved the hair from my face and asked, “Princess, what is wrong?” I turned to him and said, ”I can’t do this anymore, I am sorry, I am a lesbian.”
We spent many hours discussing what that meant. And it wasn’t easy for either of us. But I was honest and I needed to share this with him.
Fast forward to today. It has now been five years since I came out and we have been divorced about 4 years now. Life isn’t terrible between us. In fact, my ex-husband has remained one of my very best friends and has been my biggest supporter. When he tells this story to people who ask about us, he always includes in the conversation that “closets are for hangers, not for people.” That is our truth.
Today, we both are in relationships with woman. He and his new wife are still in Colorado and I am with my partner of two years living in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. Together we are happy, healthy and raising an adopted son. Life is good.
Come out. Come out and make the world a better place.
We want to hear your story–here’s how to share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy–but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.