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  1. Obviously Not

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    So I’m gay and I know it. And if you know me, you know it too. Even if you’ve just seen me you know it. Hell, even if you’ve just glanced at my picture before reading this, you know it. And if you haven’t met me, seen me, or seen my picture, I’ll explain it all to you while I change the oil in your car. Trust me, you’ll know it.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve been gay my whole life, but I didn’t seem to know it. I grew up playing with dolls, yes, though mine were Planet of the Apes, not Barbie. Between the ages of 8-11, I used to ride my bike passed the house of a little girl named Robyn. Day or night, rain or shine- I was like a tiny lesbian mailman. I even incorporated the act into the times I was playing with my other friends. “What do you feel like doing today? I’m not sure, let’s ride passed Robyn’s house and think about it for a bit.” It just seemed to me like something all little girls did.

    Needless to say I can’t really figure out why it wouldn’t occur to me that I was gay, even with my love of Olivia Newton -John, Kristy McNichol, and the Charlie’s Angels episode when they went undercover in a women’s prison. Oh that Sabrina, she was more than just a pretty face.

    I think I was almost scarred for life when my whole family went to the drive-in to see the movie Grease and I had to watch a sexy, leather-clad Olivia Newton-John, all the while sitting on my Mom’s lap. What a box-blocker, let me tell you. (Editor’s note: As I’m writing this, I just opened up a new window to look up Olivia’s website. Don’t tell my mother.)

    A lot of my obliviousness probably came from not having an example or role model growing up. I remember having a crush on one of my mother’s friends, whom I awkwardly had to call “Aunt” Terry, despite not being actually related. Ironically, Aunt Terry lived most of her life with another woman. Even more odd was the fact that all I know or can remember about this other woman was that she spent most of her time watching women’s basketball and working on small engines in the back yard. In hindsight, it really wasn't that inappropriate when we referred to her as “Uncle” Gracie. Now that I think of it, she was probably more competition than role model.

    The first person I told (when it finally occurred to me) was John, my best friend from high school. We spent all our time together back then and even went to both the junior and senior prom with each other. Most people even thought we were dating. We did go out once as a couple, although it was for Halloween and honestly, he looked much prettier in my 8th grade graduation dress than I ever did. I felt it was only fair to tell him first, as we were so close. Not to mention he had come out to me a few years before. If we had only known earlier- because apparently having him wear my 8th grade dress didn’t drive the point home at all. To this day he is affectionately known as “my little hint of girlyness”. I love you, John. And I’m not referring to the Olivia Newton one this time.

    So as I sit here now, I feel like myself. I don’t question anything. I don’t wonder or worry about what people might think. I’m more comfortable with my life and I don’t even mind if I look “obvious”. I do things because I want to, whether or not they may be “stereotypical”. I’m a vegetarian, I love cats- I even ride a motorcycle. Of course that last one is mainly because Robyn lives a lot farther away now.

  2. 4 comments:

    1. DreaDoll said...

      Oh you and your Olivia. She is your celebrity verison of Robyn.

    2. How delightful. I used to pretend waltz with someone to the song Sam, by Olivia Newton-John.What an icon to us little lezzie girls

    3. I've been reading your entries, Joanne, and I LOOOVVVE this one. It is so your voice and your humor. I also happen to think we do best talking about ourselves. That's my personal taste (I always enjoyed autobiographies and such).

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