Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ann Coulter video and ex-gays


Here’s a video of Ann Coulter speaking to talk show host Joy Behar.  Behar is trying to get Ann to say that gays can’t change their sexual orientation but Ann won’t.  Instead, Coulter mentions sexual molestation, and Christians who have changed  from gay to straight that she read about in the New York Times.  Hey, Joy, I guess there aren’t any ex-gays in Hollywood or at least any who would admit to it.

But what Ann Coulter said triggered a deep memory of the past for me.  Everyone in the ex-gay community has an ex-gay story to tell, so here’s mine:

Yes, Ann Coulter is right about not everyone being born gay, but I didn’t realize that until I was in my 30’s.  I was seduced by my basketball coach, a lesbian, when I was 16.  I enjoyed the attention and extra friendship.  It was also my first introduction to sex.  We broke up when I went away to college, where I joined the university’s gay student club and found another girlfriend.  I also learned how to be “gay”; that is, to feel like I was being oppressed because society didn’t accept me on my own terms as a lesbian. 

I joined gay rights activities on campus and off.  Almost all of my friends were gay.  We went to gay clubs and read gay books for the gay book club.  I was living in  a gay bubble and didn’t think anything of it.  I defined myself by my gay life.  I had a lot of fun and it was good to belong to something.  It was an us vs. them mentality.

When I graduated, I broke up with my girlfriend, found a job in another state, and joined the gay community there.  Soon I was living with another woman.  Three women later, I spent another afternoon crying becos of a fight with my partner.  We both had our periods at the same time of the month again, and when that  happened, it was never good.  I was crying and thinking of how ridiculous mother nature could be, and then it hit me – straight women don’t have to put up with this.  Their partners don’t get periods.  Maybe this is the way it should be.

Then the next week my mother sent me some photos of me when I was a child and teenager.  I hadn’t worn a dress in over a decade, so it was startling to see someone who looked like me wearing dresses and looking comfortable in them.  I began to think of when I stopped wearing dresses, and realized that it was after I started dating my lesbian basketball coach.  I worshipped her and wanted to be just like her.

I began to wonder if I was born gay like I had always heard. I had crushes on guys in high school, but considered that to be a passing phase. As an adult, I had never been interested in men and they had never been interested in me.  But not too many men are interested in dyke looking women.  

I decided to go to change therapy to sort all this out.  It’s not that I wanted to date men, I just wanted to be a woman again.  I saw that girl in the photos and I wanted to know what happened to her and to reach her somehow.  I wanted to be all I could be, notwithstanding the past.

To make a long story short, I found out in therapy some things about myself:  I don’t think I was ever born gay.  My first sexual experience was with a woman and I became comfortable with women and women’s bodies, so it was natural to continue that way. 

I also learned that men are not sexist dogs; they’re just men and have a right to share the planet with the rest of us J  As I was going through therapy, I was changing physically too.  But I told everyone that I was changing to a lipstick lesbian so they didn’t know what was happening to me.  But my girlfriend did.  She moved out.

When I did get engaged to a man a few years later, my female co-workers were incensed.  So  many of them didn’t have husbands and here I was, a former lesbian getting married.  Oh well, can’t make everyone happy.

Marriage took some doing.  It was strange sharing  a bathroom with someone who was not a woman – men own different stuff and you can’t share clothes when you run out of clean something.  We also didn’t hook each other’s bras. 

Birth control was also a big change.  As a  lesbian, I never had to worry about getting pregnant.  But now here I was asking my niece for advice about the pill. 

I never wanted children when I was a lesbian.  But after I got married, I started thinking, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have a son that looks like my husband.  I wanted to look into my child’s face and see the product of our love together.  That’s what love can do. 

So there it is.  Thanks to Ann Coulter for triggering all these memories for me.  People have been asking me to write this for some time, but now I had the incentive to actually do it. 






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