I was raped by someone that I knew and trusted back in 1999 and until this pivotal moment I never had the strength to stand up and admit that this had happened to me. My face didn’t look remotely close to the women who stared back at me on local commercials who were calling out their attacker. So like every other black woman I knew, I adapted the ability to accept what has been dealt to her and move beyond it. So when I finally came to terms with my sexuality a few years later the response from my friends and family wasn’t the best. In fact one of my very close cousins at the time told me that “ I know why you do what you do--it’s because of everything that men have done to you. So I understand. And I want you to know that I defend you when everyone else doesn’t understand”.
Oddly enough I didn’t know if she was truly in my corner or if I should’ve been offended. At the time she didn't know much about the things that had happened to me in the past but I felt like she assumed that maybe because my relationships with men were a dead end--I had chose an alternate route all in a conscious effort to be loved. Sounds a whole lot like desperation to me--all of which I was not.
More often than not people assume that you turn to the same sex relationships for love and compassion when all else has failed with the opposite sex. Almost as if it’s an act of desperation.
The truth is that being a lesbian is not the easier route--it’s the harder route. The myth that “women understand women” better is a lie because being misunderstood or being treated poorly can happen in any relationship. In fact--you haven’t known hurt until you have been hurt by a woman. Women can be clever and witty creatures who have mastered the art of lies and deception in a way unlike any other. And when you have had your heart broken by one--it cuts much deeper than a knife. In fact--it seeps into your pores, peels the weight off of you and cuts into your sleep. It’s very similar to the pain you read about in books as a young adult. Yet--you keep trying again and again because no matter how painful this roller coaster is you’re addicted to her smile, her supple breasts and nurturing characteristics. You love the way her skin feels against yours and how her cologne/perfume dances around the room long after she’s gone.
So trust me when I say I have been hurt by women in ways that men never have.
It would be so much easier to get a boyfriend and waltz off into the sunset in my beautiful wedding dress while being accepted by the world than it could ever be trying to build a life with a woman. Not only is our relationship not accepted by the government but it’s not respected nor honored by various people on different platforms. We’re often ridiculed because of the kind of love that we choose to display and given dirty looks by onlookers as we shop in the local stores. Why would I choose a life so difficult for myself?
Being sexually assaulted or abused doesn’t make homosexuals nor do failed relationships with the opposite sex. Most of us already know that we are gay before we can even identify what sexuality is and some of us have chosen to live openly rather than to live a lie.
Believe it or not--more women come out of the closet and divorce their husbands than are accounted for. Most of them prefer to wait until their children are older so that they aren’t faced with a situation where the relationship with their children are possibly damaged and the foundation of their family is destroyed. It’s not that they don’t love their husband--it’s more so along the lines that isn’t what their truth consists of and at some point she finally decided to live her life without destroying someone else's. I always speak about living your truth because it takes such great strength to do so. Living a lie is the easiest route and it’s the road that traveled most. How often do we want people to look us in the eyes and tell us the truth but we stare at ourselves in the mirror and lie to ourselves on a daily basis?
At the end of it all--
Being sexually assaulted/abused doesn't make a person gay. It makes you someone who has been violated. There are just as many heterosexuals that have been violated as homosexuals--so ultimately no situation can turn a person gay. Either you are--or you aren’t.
I wrote this because there are so many parents who are angry because they feel that their daughter's/son's partner “turned” them the way they are and because they cannot accept the truth--they’d rather banish them all together. There are other people who think that you are damaged goods which is why you turned to same gender relationships. And other are other parents who recently found out that their child was recently sexually assaulted who wonder if they would have known, could they have saved them from the clutches of homosexuality. Would they be different? Could they have fixed them? Did they let them down?
The truth is that sometimes life deals us some crappy cards and no matter if we like it or not we have to play the hell out of them. And as much as we wish that we could save our loved ones--it’s just not always possible. Whether your life is perfect or not who you are is destined to be is based on two factors:
1. How well you were able to turn your negative aspects into positive ones
2. How you define yourself and not how others define you.
Those moments no matter how horrible they were don’t make you--but they mold you. You we’re never broken so you don’t need to be fixed or saved. Remember who you are and never forget that your past does nothing but create another road on the map of your life but the ending destination depends solely on you.
This is for all of the beautiful ones--
People like you--and I