This guest post was written by Marci Warhaft.
“Straight with a twist!”
That’s how I order my vodka and, coincidentally, how I used to describe my sexuality until very recently. While I stand by my drink order, it turns out that I was very wrong about the second part.
Who would have thought that at 50 years old I would realize that I was a lesbian? Certainly not the man I had been married to for 22 years or my children! Luckily, by the time I experienced my epiphany I was divorced and my kids were old enough to process it at their own paces.
Truth be told, until I was in my early 30s I considered myself 100% straight. That changed when during my marriage I developed a strong and surprising attraction for a female friend. The friendship became intimate. Our relationship was brief yet impactful. Despite a curiosity to explore what I was feeling, I didn’t believe it was the right time. Instead, I convinced myself that it was “just a phase” and stuck with that theory for fifteen more years. Even after my marriage ended, I still wasn’t ready to fully acknowledge who I was and continued to (unsuccessfully) date men.
“Maybe I’m just lousy at love”, I’d wonder every time I ended a potential relationship. “Or terrified of commitment.”
Last year as I was turning 50, I finally understood that neither was true. My inability to sustain a relationship didn’t mean I was incapable of love, just that I was looking for it in the wrong direction. I had reached a point in my life when I couldn’t fight my feelings any longer and more importantly, I didn’t want to. My decision was made: I was going to come out as a lesbian.
Coming out at 50 years old is tough; add a worldwide pandemic into the mix and it can feel virtually impossible! Meeting people in person wasn’t an option. I was basically starting my gay life in the privacy of my own apartment!
All I had was social media, so I used it. “Outing” myself felt important. I suppose I felt like I needed to make up for lost time. I joined LGBTQ+ social media groups and posted a noticeable amount of gay content. A lesbian friend agreed to be my “Sappho sensei” and has supported me along the way.
I am so grateful to be in this place of self -acceptance but did have some concerns that I know are common for women in this situation:
1.Will women I meet judge me for my experiences with men?
Some will, but those aren’t your people. You’ll find your community.
2. Is it too late?
Absolutely not. There is no expiry date on living your truth and finding happiness.
3. Will I know what do when it comes to physical intimacy?
Don’t worry, when the connection is real, nature takes over in the most enjoyable of ways.
Regardless of how long it took to get here, you’re here now, so enjoy every second!