When I was a freshman in college, I had an older friend, let's call her Pam. She was an upperclassman (upperclass-woman?) who had changed majors and was taking some of the same classes I was taking. And she was married. I kept hearing about her "Danny" – mostly about "Danny cooks for me," "Danny is away for the weekend," that sort of stuff.
One day – after several months of friendship – she tells me she is a lesbian. And what do I do? I just laugh. Oh, you kidder, I tell Pam. Later that day, I am talking to another girlfriend, and mention it to her, and she looks at me and says, "Yes, Leesa, she is a lesbian."
"But how," I ask. She is married to Danny.
Well, Danny is actually Danni, and she is in a committed lesbian relationship. I felt like such a fool. When I was in high school, I did not know of anyone who was gay or a lesbian – before I get the response, "you did, Leesa; you just did not know it," yeah, I know. But no one "came out." So when I went to college, it just did not occur to me that Danny was really Danni.
But I thought back to conversations, and she never used a pronoun with Danni. Never once called her "her." It was always "my spouse" or "Danni", and darned it, Danni sounds just like Danny.
My first experience with a lesbian.
And one thing that sort of bothers me is that the term lesbian or gay defines a person in our society. It really does. Not that I like it, but it does. When we think of Ellen Degeneres, the first thing most of us think of is "lesbian", not "Dory."
My second experience is private – not sure she was a lesbian. I know I wasn't. I have said a little about it on here already.
My third experience was at an office setting. I worked for a non-profit organization, and she worked at our Vidalia office. I really want to write more about this interesting woman in a later blog entry. She was/is married, as the first lesbian I knew, but this was a legal marriage to a man. I never met him, but he was important in the local community, they had three children together, but this woman has another relationship – her committed relationship, with another woman. She was tall, had such wonderfully full hair – reminded me more of a mane than a head of hair, and she seemed glamorous. Because she worked so far from our office, I saw her every other month or so. She would come into the office for an evaluation, or to pick up supplies, or for some other reason (sometimes training sessions), and she and I would go to lunch.
She was such a neat person, and I felt a bit honored that she wanted to eat lunch alone with me. Nothing sexual at all – just her spending time with me talking about this or that. We actually never broached any subject that was sexual in nature, which at the time was a rarity for me. I just enjoyed how she treated me.
Was I attracted to her – I am not sure. I wanted to be seen with her, but I don't think I was attracted to her as a woman. Heck, at that time, I was fooling around and was so sexually satisfied by men that I probably wasn't even thinking about women. Funny thing – and posting this on a Thursday is even worse – but I don't really enjoy HNT. I like the idea of all of these fun and interesting people exposing part of themselves to the world, and it was sort of cool initially for me, but it has lost its luster.
Do I think of each of the above women as lesbians first? The first woman, definitely. Not the second or the third, though. The second was a brief love of mine, and the third was a friend that made me feel special. Crap, am I growing as a person?
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