I played rugby in college. I drive a jeep. I don’t wear makeup. And I have multiple flannels.
Yep. I’ve always been…a little bit gay.
Picture: fredonia beaver club. #supergay
So I’m on a run this morning, pumping my arms, singing out-loud, it’s 7am, and it’s already hot out. I’m sweating, and feeling free, and as usual…this perfect balance of sweat and inspiration is often where I get inspired to write.
This ones interesting…this ones been brewing for a while, but even me, as outspoken as I am, is wondering what will you think? What this is not is some coming of age post, where I am come busting outta the closet. Nor is it meant for gay rights advocacy, or to start a parade. The risk I run is judgment of others, conclusions you may draw, and not being able to un-do this. But to me the risk of not sharing, is higher.
This is, and always is, the reason I write: to give voice where I feel it’s important to give voice.
My first legitimate crush was on a boy named Matt Opperman in the 4th grade. He came to NY from Michigan which of course made him exotic and practically a tourist. He gelled his hair straight back, and it didn’t even move when we would play passionate games of dodge-ball. I’d wind back and throw that ball as hard as I could at his pretty little face, while the other girls stood huddled up on the corner (again, I’ve always been a little bit gay), to profess my love through athletics. It worked, and we’d have lunch side by side often, which pretty much meant we were boyfriend/girlfriend.
I think his year book message proved it. ‘Lyndsey, math class was SO fun, stay cool this summer’ – Matt. You guys, we were totally in love. Math class? So hot.
The first real lesbian I ever met, or realized I was meeting, was my guidance counselor in 9th grade, Ms. Evans. A giant heart. A giant mullet. Kind eyes. And a girlfriend. I remember wanting to ask her one million questions about this woman who stared back at me from the frame Ms. E kept on her desk of the two of them smiling back from the top of a mountain, decked out in hiking gear. But I didn’t…even then, I felt ashamed for her? For me? I don’t know.
I remember concluding simply…that I was definitely not a lesbian…because I did not have a mullet.
Through high school and college, I only dated men. Really handsome men, I must say. Captains of things, presidents, athletes, elite. I dated rich republicans with side parts and boats, I dated business owners with firm handshakes and blackberrys at the dinner table, I dated only men with educations, jaw-lines, and high salaries.
Through all this, I’ve never ever dated an asshole. Ever. If you’re even a little bit mean, I wont date you. Forget to tip the waitress? I’m out. Complain? So not sexy. Don’t have friends? RED flag. Respond to this question ‘what do you want to do tonight?’ with ‘I don’t know…what do you want to do?’ UGH. I cant. Be decisive. Be bold. Be generous.
Whatever you do…don’t ask me in bed ‘what are you thinking right now’ and stare over at me with some dreamy look. I hate that.
Yes, so that about sums up college and my early 20’s. I had a ton of fun. Met a ton of hot guys. And made out…a lot. Some may call this trampy…and that’s pretty accurate. Before yoga, I just did not know what the heck to do with all this physicality. Ps making out is a nice way of saying, I slept with a lot of people. Did not have healthy boundaries or the ability to say who I was. My voice…was just beginning to surface.
My first job out of college…I met her. And I found myself thinking about her all the time. And going out of my way to pass by her. And when I was in front of her, saying things, that made ZERO sense.
‘yes I made breakfast, oh it was good, mmmhmmm, yep, oh my gosh, it’s Tuesday, can you believe it TUESDAY, I have reports to write, nice shoes! Does anyone have a pen?’
You know. The kind of sense you don’t make…when you have a crush.
The first time we kissed. I almost passed out, it seriously took my breathe away. I think it was the anticipation, and our undeniable connection. I could feel the pull between us, and I was so freaking afraid of it, and so afraid that I was gay. Seriously. Those were my thoughts, ‘ I cannot have these feelings, this is so so wrong, being a lesbian is definitely wrong…and wait, I still don’t have a mullet, somethings wrong’
Somethings wrong here.
Somethings wrong here.
I am wrong here.
I was not ready to move forward in any type of relationship…and continued to date hot guys with BMW’s.
I moved out of that phase and dated a few absolutely amazing men in my 20’s. I fell in love twice. One with a man with a Honda civic and a beard, who made me laugh till I felt like I couldn’t breathe, every. single. day. One with a man who hailed from a small town in England, with a baby face, and style for daaaays, who could have red the dictionary aloud to me for all I cared.
Accents are so freaking hot.
I would think about her…from work…and we had tension for sure. That undescribable, like scene out of a movie when someone throws everything off a desk, and you make out like bandits. Like pausing only to stare intensnely at eachother, holding eachothers faces, breathing all dramatically. We worked in a non profit. So if we tried to do that, the 1983 desk probably would have broke, and we’d set off the sprinkler or something…because things are never as glamourous in the movies as they are in non-profits : )
So in the past say…6 years…there’s been an evolution of sorts.
I’ve dated women. One whom I cared about deeply, until she went a little bit bonkers, and I think, tried to ruin my life (I’m not joking). I just didn’t feel like this was it, like hey world! Here I am! A leeeeeesbian! (cue celebratory hands like on a chorus line). And I know I frustrated her, because I wouldn’t let her love me completely, but then if you lined up ALL the people I’ve ever dated, they could have a support group together about this.
Dating a woman is different for very obvious reasons : ) but what I found was just an entirely different connection. We’d stay up through the night and talk, and make coffee in the morning with messy hair, and sleepy smiles. Women are soft, and have curves, and emotional, feeling creatures. Men are too of course, but it’s just…it’s just different. She was thoughtful towards me in a way I had never experienced, intuitive and kind. She probably would have president of the support group…
‘oh, she kicked you out of bed at 7am? Yeah me too’
‘she never talked about her family either? And would take solo road trips on holidays? So weird right?’
‘isnt it weird? I feel like she asks me tons of questions, but I don’t know anything about her’
Yep. Anyway, she for sure wanted to be the next Portia and Ellen. And she was HOT. Blonde hair, green eyes, abs, 5 inch heels on the reg….and a subaru (not kidding).
One day I went over to her apartment, and she started playing the guitar for me. Honestly guys, it was just too gay. Here she is, strumming along, singing her heart out, doing that eyes closed, head to the side thing, and all I’m thinking about as I’m swigging a beer….is I cant do this. This feels so wrong. This is too much.
So I left. Not right away. (that woulda been so mean…she opens her eyes and I’m gone) but shortly after. Explained to her that I just couldn’t do it. I mean…I still didn’t have a mullet. I started dating the adorable guy with the beard shortly after…the one that made me laugh. And one night, she marched up to him, and revealed our big giant lesbian affair.
He comes home that night, and is all ‘I need to talk to you about something’ and I’m all ‘cool, what’s up’ and he says ‘well, I met J’ and immediately, I was like, ohhhh lawd, here we go.
And before I could explain anything, or go into all the ways it was wrong, or any of that.
He just looks at me, and takes my hand, cause he can see the look of guilt on my face and says. ‘I don’t care Lyndsey. One of the things I love so much about you is how open you are, and how you just see people. I don’t care…your with me and I’m with you…I don’t care’
I. Broke. DOWN. I had been quite ashamed of my relationship with her. And so frustrated and annoyed that I couldnt just pick one side of the fence to be on, I felt like a fraud. Very few people knew about her. And here is this sweet man across from me, who loves me, who I sleep next to, and love…and he says, he doesn’t care, that he loves that I’m open.
AND. He didn’t even try to leverage this new fact into a threesome : ) what a guy. I get nervous every time the guy I’m dating finds out that I’ve dated women…is gonna be all…we should go out to the bar. GROSS. The trampy ship has sailed people.
In the past 5 years or so, I’ve just gotten so much more honest about it all. And now? No shame. How did this happen? This happened because I just kept saying outloud, and expressing a part of myself that felt wrong and bad, with more and more people, and you know what happens 100% of the time. Seriously, 100.
My friends look back at me (take a sip of beer, wine, coffee, whatever)
‘Oh, I’m not surprised’ (as though I just said I was out of cheese and needed to go to the grocery store)
Me. Honest reaction ‘you’re NOT?!!?!?!’
‘No. duh. Lyndsey you just move through the world and you want to see and experience it all…you see people’
I’m so convinced that the people who love you most in this world, they’re just going to LOVE YOU. period. So stop hiding.
And then it’s like…we move on. They laugh, and ask me if I have any actual news. I have wonderful people in my life. Every man I’ve dated knows this about me, and again, no one is ever surprised…this feels good. This feels like I am finally reaching a place in my life in the past few years where I am totally and completely done hiding from myself.
It’s become light and something I talk about, much more openly…my friend Katie and I, we have a running joke about gay percentage points, and depending on the outfit/activity/etc…you might be running anywhere from a 2% (not gay at all) to an 87% (pretty gay).
And yet, I’m still afraid in a way to hit publish…because for some of the people in my life…you’d rather now know this. Maybe you’ll love me less…maybe you’ll judge me…okay. Well, okay. That’s okay. I reached out to my dear buddy, fellow writer, and one of my very favorite human beings today, let her know, I might write a blog about this, her response was just what I needed, my sweet friend to tell me I am her favorite beaver : )
A few years ago, I’d despair over WHAT DOES THIS ALLLLLL mean! And oh believe me, I still have my moments. I’m dating again since Paul and I broke up… dating men, for you nosy people. Going on dates, here and there, nothing too serious. I know I want a family, I for sure know I want babies, and I’m looking to find the place that feels good, move into a home, with the person I love the most, make a baby, work in an environment where I am passionate and creative, and end every single night, wrapped in the arms of my partner in crime, slow dancing in the kitchen, barefoot, heads back, laughing. Moose running around. Friends that are family, so close by.
So here’s what I know. Most of you reading this aren’t going to be compelled to now announce ‘OH MY GOD, I’M A LITTLE GAY TOOOOOOO!’ that very well could not be, the thing you are not saying.
But what is that thing you are not saying?
That part of who you are that you are afraid/ashamed/resistant to acknowledge?
Its so freeing to sit at a table with the people you love, and tell them the truth. You tell the truth…and other people tell the truth…there are no exceptions to that. That is EXACTLY how truth happens.
So again, this is not a coming out of the closet essay, this is not a gay rights pledge…it’s just a part of who I am, that I felt so ashamed about, and hid.
And one disclaimer, I just don’t want it to get weird with anyone who is wondering if I’m hitting on you now that I am a free agent. I am flirtatious and passionate, and I will full-body hug a stranger if it feels right. But if I was hitting on you, you’d know. I’d for sure try to make-out with you.
If you see me bust out my chap-stick. I’m coming for ya. Chapstick. My only form of makeup. How gay.