I have struggled my whole life to connect to and to be accepting of gay women. What I have learnt, recently, is that when I reject lesbian women, I am actually rejecting the lesbian in me and it makes sense, because I am a complete homophobe and the self love and the love for my sexuality doesn’t exactly grow freely in the climate which is my life.

You may ask, how can a lesbian be a homophobe? I ask myself the exact same question. I love women and I have been with many women, yet I am totally unable to intigrate myself into the LGBTQI community, because I am overwhelmed with judgement and fear. I judge myself, which I project onto these women and my greatest fear is that if I am one, my family will reject me. It sounds strange when I have been out of the closet for 12 years now, but my decision on the partner I am with is so firmly rooted in the fear of whether she is good enough to bring home to my mother.

So who am I looking for? The perfect lady, who is very lady like. She can’t be too young or too old, too tall or too short and for God’s sake no tattoos or short hair. Her body will be judged, so it must be skinny/lean. The smarter the better. She should clean the dishes after I cook and no matter how much my mom loves her or how much we love each other, there is absolutely no holding hands at the dinner table!

Makes me sick just reading about it, but the homophobia and the racism from my childhood is so ingrained in me, anything less than that does not qualify and if the bar is set that high for other women, you can only imagine how high it is set for me. My mom accepts my gayness conditionally as long as the relationship I choose is palatable to the family at the dinner table. its probably eased off a bit as time has gone by, but the initial shame is still there. I don’t feel I could ever be who I am with a girl without it making my family uncomfortable.

A lesbian woman referred to her friend the other day as family, she had to ellabrate a little before I realised that she classed me in the same category and that all three of us are part of the LGBTIQ family. A little embarrassed At my misunderstanding I couldn’t quite comprehend the magnitude at what she had just said to me… A few days later, I broke down to a girl friend when I explained how meaningful it was to be called family.

For the first time in my life I felt accepted, not for who you think I should be, but rather who I am. I felt like I wasn’t alone and that I was part of… I felt like I was part of a family.


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