Ideas and imagination…unfettered.

I’m Coming Out!

I’m Coming Out!

It’s funny how I “came out”. Toronto is my hometown. I was born here and I know it like the back of my hand. I spent two years living in Montreal. That’s when I discovered I might be “gay”. I couldn’t say the “L” word, couldn’t utter it for a long time. I later found myself in Vancouver. I had married this really sweet man. We lived in West Van and we both worked in downtown Vancouver. I got a job with an office supply company as their printer. I remember becoming more and more depressed. I’d had to have my beloved cat that I had schlepped across Canada, put to sleep because he had feline Leukemia. I knew I was a les…les….lesbian, but I felt trapped in a marriage, trapped in a city I didn’t know, and I hated the job and people I was working with and for.

One day, a very bad day, one that just put me in the very hell of depression, I’d been handed a job to do and I took it out to my working desk. I wasn’t crying but I had my head down and suddenly my head shot up and I thought to myself, “Wait just a cotton pickin’ minute! I don’t have to put up with this crap. This isn’t where I want to be! I’m stuck here, trying desperately to live someone else’s dream (my husband’s) and I’m becoming a basket case. I can quit, and go back to Toronto and come out and find out who and what I am!” Wow! It was as if a huge gunnysack of unearned guilt and crap had been lifted from my shoulders. I cannot possibly explain to you the relief that that decision gave me.

I was gay and wanted to go and find out who I really was

I went into the main office and told them I was giving my two weeks notice as of that moment. I’m sure they couldn’t figure out why I had this huge grin on my face and why I was singing as I ran down the stairs and out the door (I slammed it!).

At home, that evening, I told my husband about the day I had just had and the decision I had come to and that I wanted to go back to T.O. because I felt I was “gay” and wanted to go and find out who I really was. His response was that he was glad it was women and not men because he knew he couldn’t compete with women. He and I are friends to this day and he remains a very classy guy. I came back to Toronto and stayed with some friends until I could find a job and a place to live.

I gloriously but nervously traipsed into my first Lesbian bar

I was so happy to be back. I gloriously but nervously traipsed into my first Lesbian bar. I ordered a draught beer and took it over to an empty seat at an empty table. Actually the bar only had one or two people in it. I put the beer on the table and took out my cigarettes. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking quite violently. I couldn’t drink the beer because it would have shaken and spilled (very uncool). And I couldn’t light my cigarette for the same reason. I solved that problem by going into the washroom and lighting the cigarette there and came back to my table. Now I had to tackle the beer. Hmmmmmm. I put my shoulder bag on the table in front of the beer and proceeded to lower my head as nonchalantly as possible and tip the glass gently until I had drunk about a quarter of the glass.

I dated some fine women. I hadn’t found the right one yet but I figured it would happen at some time when I least expected it. One thing I found was that most of them, when they first came over to my place, seemed content and almost relieved just to cuddle and spoon, which was fine with me because usually I was too inebriated to do anything. Yep, I had slowly developed a real drinking problem.

My future lover/partner is out there somewhere and I’m quite content
to wait until she appears

After a while, I started getting bored with the bar scene and one day I went to the local gay Community Centre Women’s Coming Out meeting and it was there I met the woman who was to become a huge part of not only my life but my family’s for the next twenty-three years. She and I are no longer together.

I’ve had some really bad times as an out “Lesbian” but mostly good ones and I realize that I only started living when I came back here. I wouldn’t trade one second of it. My future lover/partner is out there somewhere and I’m quite content to wait until she appears. Oh and I quit smoking and drinking so that’s two messes I won’t be dragging into a new relationship.

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. The young women and men who are coming up now don’t really have to face “coming out”. It’s legal and that’s good. They may have to worry about family and friends but there are far more agencies set up to help them than when I came out. And I rode on the shoulders of those who came before me.

If you wish to leave a comment but are afraid of being recognized, please feel free to either use your initials or make up a name. I’d love to hear from you. You may find it’s very cathartic.

May the Universe bless you and keep you safe and happy.

photo credit: StePagna

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