'Be Beautiful You': A Lesbian's Advice to LGBTQ Teens

I certainly didn’t always feel this way. In fact, for much of my life I hid away in my musty, dark closet because I didn’t want to come out for fear that I would be...well. Rejected.

SMH, for sure.

I figured out I was a lesbian when I was 17 and just out of high school. That summer I happened to meet my very first lesbian crowd and before long, I had my very first lesbian crush. You must know, though, that this occurred more than 20 years ago.

You know, when homosexuality was like the plague? A mental illness. Disgusting.

SMH, again.

I played around in the gay crowd secretly my first couple years of college and felt pretty good about my life as a lesbian, but still I did not “come out.” No. Instead, I ended up getting married to a man mainly because I wanted to settle down and have children.

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It never occurred to me that I could have children while in a relationship with a woman. Remember, back then couples were not really doing that and, in fact, some mothers were getting their kids taken away from them by social services if their homosexuality hit the public.

I settled into marriage with a man and life was alright, but I truly was never happy because I hid my true sexuality. I adored being a mother, but something was missing.

Once my kids hit their teen years and my role as a mother decreased -- you know teens don’t NEED mom so much -- I was faced with a decision to stay in a dead relationship or bust out of the damn closet once and for all to live the life I wanted to live.

I so wanted to be in a relationship with a woman!

So I made the break. Scared out of my mind, I left my marriage and I came out as a lesbian. I declared that no one would dictate the way I would live my life one more day. I wanted to be in full charge of my life and that included my sexuality.

Was it easy? Oh, no way. It was the hardest thing I ever did and it was hell for a while. I faced rejection, ridicule, fear, shame, and a lot of emotional turmoil.

That was almost 8 years ago and today I am grateful that I came out of the closet and faced all that came with it. I have embraced my sexuality and my children have embraced it as well. They love me for who I really am and that means the world to me.

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Today, I stand as an example to others who fear coming out of the closet and assert that being gay is quite normal. It is my genetic makeup and I find that being with a woman is what suits me and brings me joy relationally. It is refreshing to be completely open and honest about my sexuality and be able to have a loving relationship with another woman.

Nowadays homosexuality is more accepted than when I was young, but there are still pockets of resistance. If you are struggling with your sexuality, maybe it’s time to discuss your feelings with someone who has been there and has come out embracing and celebrating his or her sexuality. You can be freed from the shame that has plagued you for years and live your life loud and proud.

My advice? Go gay all the way. Allow courage to rise. Get around those that will support and encourage you. Fall madly in love with yourself, because you are so worthy!

Did you hear me?

You are worthy! Beautiful! Uniquely fashioned in a most epic way.

Be you.

Be beautiful you.

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To read more about my story, visit me here: Everyone Has a Story. Here's Mine.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.