I remember it as if it were yesterday.
She was staring at me. A lot shorter than I, dark skinned and very pretty.
I had been standing there talking to this guy, we’d seen each other several times before
since we both frequented this bar often, every Friday to be exact.
The questions were always the same. How was I doing? What have I been up to?…did I want to go out to lunch, dinner, to see a movie. I always acknowledged their invititaion with a smile, a distant laugh, maybe even a “yeah, just text me.” He was probably thinking that I was full of shit.
I knew that this woman was staring at me, but it wasn’t in a threatening or judgmental way. She seemed
like she wanted to ask me something. I turned around and gave her eye contact. She smiled. So did I.
I guess that was the invitation she needed to walk over. “Hi, do you talk to women?” She asked me. I looked
down at her (literally, she was like 5 ft tall to my 5’11” stature). “No…no I don’t.” Nervous laughter coming from me.
She responds, “Oh okay, I think you are beautiful. Have a nice night.” and walks away. I didn’t know why, but
something inside of me felt guilty, like I had lied to her. I turned around and looked to see the guy still standing
there. He continued his conversation, but I was no longer listening. I just analyzed what had happened minutes prior.
Why did I feel guilty for telling that woman that I was straight, when I had never been in a romantic relationship
with a woman in my previous days?
Did I do it because that guy was standing there? Why did I feel so uncomfortable with the fact that she’d asked me that?
Like I was violated, exposed? I tried to shake the feeling.
“It was just a compliment Kym, chill!” I tried. But I couldn’t. I thought about her all night, and many other times
She had opened up a thought process that laid dormant inside me before. This night, almost 7 years ago, changed
me and showed a mirrored perspective of self that is in front of me today. My closet had been shaken up, where before, my sexuality
was very much smothered below many other things hidden. My past, my thoughts, my unhappiness. You always hear
about people “knowing” something this important about themselves early on. Not the case for me. This reality pill
was served with no influence or background of what my life was going to be like. It was and STILL is a hard pill
Fast forward to 2014, and here I am. 28 years old and a lesbian. What? How did this happen?! This makes me “different”, “sexualized” by straight men and the like, a minority below all minorities. You will find a KKK and a Black man who will simultaneously say that they hate the gays, from Australia to Zimbabwe, we deal with the hate..in many, many ways.
Believe it or not though, that is not my biggest concern with this life that I live. As a Black woman, I am no stranger to bigotry, to judgment. I’ve read it on faces, seen it on my TV screen, and even experienced it in my workplace. My past has allowed me the power of tough skin. Don’t really care if you hate me; just make sure that you do it from over there. My biggest issue with this life that I live…is the life that I live. I’ve been around for a few years now, I’ve made my mistakes, and I’ve been that childish and sometimey young adult that you have in both the heterosexual and homosexual lifestyle. It is fun. It is emotional. It is all about pleasure to ones heart, one’s body…one’s soul…right?
That’s the problem. I don’t know. In my experience with the Black Lesbian scene, Relationships are intense; the friendships can be plenty, as you meet many who share a commonality with you. That was everything to me when I first “came out”. I wanted to befriend everyone, go to all of the parties, and meet as many women as possible. It seemed to come in abundance, there was always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to meet. Long as you were available, it was there. Every.single.day. Over time, it became familiar. I knew all the faces, I’ve met plenty of girls, and I’ve done a lot of things, until all of it became my life. I figured out that my friendships were built on something so fragile, that it could be broken in mille-seconds, and all that would happen is that you would replace them with new face to the lifestyle, someone you were lucky enough to not have met before. A new friend from out of town, a new girl that none of your friends had slept with, all new until they spend a little time on the scene, then they’d be done forever too. I question, can a real relationship be established in a place that is like a whirlpool? No one likes one another, yet here they are…out at the bar every week, hugging, and taking shots. Your girlfriend will use an old friend of yours against you (a friend that has previously hit on your girlfriend while you were dating), to make you jealous. When you break up (and you most likely will), she will then date said friend…the lines are non-existent. When will we know what’s real and what isn’t? Trying to figure it out is exhausting. So here I am, 2014- wondering, can I be a lesbian and live a life outside of this dysfunctional and cliché norm? Can my friendships be built on something larger than our sexuality? Can my relationships be stronger than it being the lesbian emotion cesspool that it is, where we can be open, happy, undefined by our body parts, and simply humans who have chosen one another? I don’t know..I am hoping so.
I also hope that this is only my experience. But, if it isn’t—I am hoping we can all take responsibility. Be better friends, better lovers. That was what I’d like to do.