Coming out is a process for most people, myself included. I tried to write about it and realized that to do so in one post would be possible but not ideal. For me, it was an evolution. A collection of starts, stops, and pauses. I will write it as such.
It started with Daphne. She wasn’t the smartest girl but she seemed so capable and nice and pretty. And, I didn’t like Velma (she was too much like me), so Daphne shone even brighter. She is the source of my weakness for redheads, which was solidified when Jessica Rabbit made her first infamous appearance on the stage in Roger Rabbit.
Yeah, my first lesbian crushes were on cartoons. Caricatures. That’s because I was about six when I started girl watching. It wasn’t long before I realized that I liked them best when they were pretty AND smart. After Daphne and Jessica, I obsessed over some fascinating female character in just about every show or movie that I watched.
I’m not sure why I kept it to myself. I don’t remember whether I realized I was different, just didn’t mention it, or if I was embarrassed to talk about crushes in general. I had crushes on boys, too, but am pretty sure that I didn’t advertise those either.
I didn’t realize that my feelings might be a problem until I was ten.
I was in the checkout line in the grocery store with my grandmother, reading the tabloid headlines. At the time, I was an avid L.A. Law watcher and an Abby fan (a character played by actress, Michele Greene). There was a magazine with Greene on the cover and it caught my eye. The headline said something along the lines of, “Actress Quits L.A. Law Over Lesbian Kiss.” [Note: this is heavily paraphrased.]
The kiss hadn’t been aired yet so, at first, I was just stunned that these two women were kissing on television. Then, I was happy that one of them was Abby. It took a moment to realize that ‘Abby’ was leaving the show because she didn’t want to kiss another woman. I skimmed the article surreptitiously while we waited in line and my heart slowly sank. My crush, my hero, was *embarrassed and disgusted about kissing a girl.
I asked myself whether my grandmother would be happy about my crushes and knew the answer was, “no.” It was at this point that I decided to keep my feelings to myself.
I didn’t tell another soul about my same sex attractions until I was 19.
Read “Coming Out, Part II: Otherness.”