Showing posts with label Unitarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unitarian. Show all posts

February 25, 2011

Maureen

Maureen, age 9
Pasadena, CA (1957)

I'm here on the right with my BFF Cheryl, who I realized much later, was my "girlfriend". We're snuggled up together here, and we used to hug and kiss every time we met. At our age in that era, people thought it was "cute". I really loved her, and asked my folks if we could adopt her, even though she had parents.


She was my first real "crush" - and though I didn't know why, the way I loved her was "different". Several years later, my next crush in high school was recognized for what it was by the nuns. And my parents got a letter informing them that my classes had been changed, due to an "inappropriate friendship," and my dad didn't know what that meant.

But here, with Cheryl, I knew I was in love and it felt wonderful.

In the 1950's, no one used the word "gay" yet, and I didn't know what a "homosexual" was. But I usually had at least one "girl-crush" every school year. And by the time I was in 9th grade, in an all-girls Catholic school, all the girls would get together and giggle about boys - and I would be looking at them.

Today, as I look at this photo, I wish what I felt then had been recognizable and accepted. After a marriage, kids, abuse, and a nervous breakdown, I finally came out to myself and others at age 48. At that time, I had met the love of my life, and she was a transgendered woman.

Now, I am a Witch and a Unitarian Universalist. My church recognizes same-sex unions, so I married my wife 15 years ago. Today, I am happily settled with my life partner, openly gay, and Pagan. And with children (from the first, disastrous marriage) and grandkids who love and accept Mamo and Nana for who they are.

After all the angst I experienced, I would like to tell gay kids that it definitely gets better.

Maureen's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Audrey Hepburn
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Gigi Hear Us Out!: Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present Gender and Culture in the 1950s: WSQ: Fall/Winter 2005 (Women's Studies Quarterly) Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson

January 29, 2011

Teresa

Teresa, age 8
Bloomington, CA (1984)


I remember as a kid, I was always a tomboy. I always hung around boys - or girls that were tomboys. I spent the most time with my uncle who's only 5 years older than me. He was always more like my brother than my uncle. I loved playing all sports with him, including tackle football.

"I was never a girlie girl"
I guess I always knew I was different from the girlie girls, and my favorite past times were catching lizards, climbing trees (I climbed ones that even the boys wouldn't, because they were afraid of spiders!), and I loved going fishing with my grandpa.

When I was about 4 years old I asked my mom, 'Are you sure I'm not a boy?' My mom tried very hard to make me a girlie girl, but it never worked. Although, once she entered me in a local beauty pageant when I was 10, and I won 2nd runner-up Queen.

Coming out to my parents was a very negative experience for me. I've learned over the years to just not bring up the fact that I'm a lesbian to them.

But I now have a wonderful life partner. We just celebrated our 13th anniversary together, and we have a 7-year old daughter that we adopted together.

Fortunately, my partner's family is very supportive of our relationship, and our daughter is able to grow up having a typical grandparent relationship with them.

I've found in my life that I have been very fortunate to have wonderful supportive friends that I consider my family. My partner, daughter and I are very involved in our Unitarian Universalist church, and we have many wonderful close friends in our congregation that we consider family as well.

My advise for young people struggling with coming out is: Be yourself, you're beautiful just the way you are, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If coming out is a negative experience for you, I can understand what you're going through. I've learned in my life to just surround myself with those that accept me as I am, and not who they want me to be.

I know things may be hard right now, but trust me that as you get older and surround yourself with those that love you and accept you as you are, you'll discover that the ones that didn't accept you are the ones with the problem.

You are beautiful just the way you are.

Teresa's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Nancy McKeon (Jo on "Facts Of Life")
I remember how much I loved that show because of her. She didn't care that she was different from the other girls, and wasn't afraid to just be herself.