I Don't Need To Explain Why I'm Dating A Woman
A few years ago, I accidentally bumped into a copy of a Parenting magazine in a dentist office. I don't have children so this is not my literature, but still I opened it. To my surprise, I found this amazing article about a lesbian couple raising a family. The article talks about how they have to constantly explain the fact that they are a gay family, which the author refers to as "Explaining of the Situation", (EOTS).
Image: Dominic Alves via Flickr
I walked away from it a little hopeful that maybe one day every story would be as successful as the story told in the article. The thing that resonated the most was the EOTS part. As a woman who came out as bisexual (and that is still being debated since I don't think the label fits me well) pretty late in life, I hate having to answer people's questions about my sexuality and how and when this "happened". Sometimes I don't even have answers to some questions, like Did I always know? or Was I just a lesbian in the closet all this time? I have no idea.
It is becoming harder, instead of easier, for me to come out to people who met me as "straight" (in quotations because... was I ever really straight?). Among them are family and friends whose image of me is still my old religious self. Sometimes, I find myself avoiding people while I am with my girlfriend just because I don't want to deal with the EOTS. Other times, I wish everyone just knew, without me having to tell them.
I think deep inside, I don't want to "disappoint" people, especially older people, who think of me as this strong, hard working immigrant who is making it alone in America. I fear my sexual preference will make them look down on me, after years of having a good image of me. I have yet to hear one person be happy about the fact that I date women now.
However, I am aware that the only way we will ever achieve acceptance is by coming out. Whether I like or not, I must suffer the discomfort of having to explain myself to people I don't really care about. It's the least I can do to pave the path ahead for the future generations, as a thankful offering to past generations who paved the way for me with their blood.