My wife and I happened to be discussing “firsts” the day before I saw my published work appeared on Amazon. Yes, I screeched with excitement and did some fierce happy dancing as I ran up the stairs to check the computer screen. Come on. It had to be done. I am not too proud to admit that I lost my shit. It was a first that, up until that day, I could only imagine. There is only one first time for everything. At my age, I did not count on the amount of first times to increase much. I assumed that the number of first times would decrease as I got further along in life, but in the last five years I have added many new first things to my life resume.
First’s and milestone moments are similar, yet not exactly the same thing. Milestones can be accomplishments or even reaching a specific goal that has been set. Overall, milestones happen as often as we choose to stretch ourselves. Firsts can be milestones, but they have a special feel to them.
When I looked at the amazon page, I saw something that struck me as hilarious. I laughed as I scanned down the page and noticed that my book was sandwiched between four other books with the same title. I was relieved that none of them were memoirs written by women who came out later in life. I was troubled to find the others were a variety of fictional lesbian erotica with covers that supported the perception that switching teams is simply about hot lesbian sex. Ugh. The existence of these fiction titles is one reason why I wrote my non-fiction account of switching teams.
Trying to dispel the perception that when you “become” a lesbian, after years of the heterosexual lifestyle, your life transforms in to a constant porn movie is very difficult. Relationships, whether gay or straight, are about much more than sex. This is not a new or complicated concept to understand. However if you are in a same sex relationship, this is the one area that is consistently proffered for discussion from those who believe same sex relationships are wrong.
I have been invited to participate in countless conversations about this. I usually decline. Let’s just say my first few attempts to have a meaningful conversation did not go well, for them. Sex is one aspect of a relationship, however it seems like it is the only dimension that homosexuals have to continually explain, defend, or argue.
I purposely left out any discussion of sex in Switching Teams for many reasons. At the top of the list is my belief that what happens between two consenting people who are in a relationship is private. Period. Additionally, I felt there were other pressing issues and changes that required my attention and consideration. The fact that I was now intimate with a woman was the least of my worries as everything unfolded. Yet, this seemed to always become the main focus of everything.
I have concluded that those who are most curious about the physical aspect of being homosexual are the least able to comprehend same sex relationships beyond the physical. Why you ask? My guess is the tired old religious argument that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Seriously, how often do you hear anything else when the blatant rejection of same sex relationships happens?
Shouldn’t a healthy relationship be the ultimate goal for every one of us regardless of what our sexual orientation or identity may be? I came across the 50 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship and noticed that it was gender/sexual orientation neutral and made no mention of homosexual sex. The hyper focus on the physical aspect of homosexuality, especially from the more religious, has become the most frustrating part of being a lesbian. For those who are opposed to homosexuality, whatever the reasons may be, there is not very much that can be said to change their minds or hearts.
In a perfect world, my audience includes more than just those who can relate to my experience coming out later in life. I believe that if those who question the legitimacy of same sex relationships read my book, they would notice an eerie similarity between what their relationship looks like and mine, or any other same sex relationship for that matter. This would be both a milestone and a first that would bring me such happiness. In the spirit of the holiday week, I will end with expressing my gratitude for the many who have been so supportive of my first book writing adventure. I truly wish everyone a peace filled and happy Thanksgiving.