Michele O'Mara

The Friendsbian

Filed By Michele O'Mara | December 11, 2007 11:56 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: coming out of the closet, lesbian, straight

Dear Michele,

I am a heterosexual woman and three of my best friends are lesbians. We've been friends since high school where we all became close playing sports. We often socialize with other lesbians and I am frequently assumed to be lesbian. While I do not mind the assumption, I do feel like quite a minority among my own group of friends. Now I know how it feels to not belong among your own people... Any advice?

~aka The Friendsbian

Dear Friendsbian,

It's brave of you to post on a GLBT blog seeking advice for feeling like a minority as a heterosexual woman. I'm glad you did. Often the focus of being glbt is on the shame that accompanies not feeling like we "fit in," are somehow "not normal," or the resentment for feeling robbed of equal rights for our relationships, fears of job-loss, and fear of physical harm in some instances, when really these are only part of the equation. The other part of the equation is the sense of aloneness you describe while spending time with those we care about. Even when we are "accepted," and "supported" in our glb or t lives, there is often an invisible wall that separates the "us" from the "them" - even within our own loving families and circles of friends. It is during this time of the year - the holiday season - that we are really reminded of this aloneness among our loved ones.

It can be a lonely place to spend time among people you love, and whom love you, yet feel so invisible, unseen, or overlooked. When, or if, this happens, it's time to make some changes.

I find that the GLBT folks who continually take risks to reveal more and more of themselves, sharing without censorship, and don't hold-back, eventually assimilate best in their lives - be it at work, at home, or with friends. You would never hear these folks, for example, saying "I don't want to shove my homosexuality on them." Our sexual orientation is not a pile of garbage that we place on top of someone - it's something we are either openly sharing, or we are not. It is best when it is natural and authentic, such as a partner discussing her life naturally, like: "Jen and I went to a movie last night - I loved it, but she hated it." This simple statement is an example of natural sharing - just talking openly about your life, without censorship. Doing so becomes easier and easier with time, and doesn't require that you are constantly "coming out" - it's just being open about your life. People are less likely to make inaccurate assumptions if they have more information to work with - so don't censor your heterosexual thoughts and feelings! :)

What's important in relationships is feeling connected. Perhaps it would help if your friends knew how you really feel... and I encourage you to take the initiative to invite your friends to more of your activities of interest. Talk about the guys you like. Take your friends to places you enjoy going that are not so lesbian-laden.

ANd if this advice doesn't help, here's a funny brochure designed just for coming out as straight!,


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