My Mom, the hippie late-blooming lesbian
I'm very close to my family, especially my mother. She is basically the coolest mother who ever lived. For one thing she went to Woodstock, the original one in 1969, and walked around with her shirt off. There are no pictures, unfortunately, but I found this one here at some Woodstock website and it's how I imagine Mom in those days.
I wasn't born yet, but my oldest sisters were. Mom was already with my dad, but he didn't go. He didn't do fun stuff much I've been told. He died when I was two so I never knew him.
There she was with five kids, still in her early 20s and a widow. But it was as if this was exactly what she had planned all along to do. She was totally in control. Our father had good life insurance and a good pension, so Mom was able to live off of that for several years while we were all young. Then, when I was about ten and my sisters were in their teens she took a job and we watched ourselves.
When she went to Woodstock she didn't go with my dad, who was too serious and too busy to do such things. She went with her best friend, Anna, who whom she has known since kindergarten. Mom and Anna were best buds all through school and all through college and all through both of their marriages (Anna's ended in divorce, not death). So then in their early 40s when their children were grown they lived together, often sharing the same bed because they liked staying up late watching movies or the Tonite show, but it was still just Platonic "best friends" stuff.
Now about this time I came home from college and said, "Mom, I'm gay." And of course I never worried that she would freak out about it. She did what I knew she would do -- she wrapped her arms around me. It was wintertime and I remember we spent the whole afternoon cuddled under a blanket on the couch, talking. I told her everything that was in my head that day.
But then not too long after I came out to Mom, she came out to Anna -- and Anna came out to her! And these two 40ish women who had been literally sleeping in the same bed, finally acknowledged to each other that they had feelings for each other.
In a way it's like -- what took them so long? They were both cool chicks who went topless at Woodstock for Christ's sake. Coming out as gay wouldn't be as hard for them as for the average prim debutant, right? And they probably would have come out long before if they'd been oriented same-sex from the start. Some people definitely are -- like Mona and Andrea. Some people probably are, and it just takes a while to realize it, like me. But other people are naturally oriented str8, but for whatever reason it just doesn't work out for them that way. They don't find their true love in that gender group. And then, after decades, you look up and there she is, staring back at you from across the dinner table where she's been all these years.
That's how it happened with momma and Anna. I swear I cry every time I talk about it, because it is just about the sweetest, most romantic story I've ever heard.
I am also pretty tight with my sisters, and "Aunt Libby" dotes on all the kids (wishing for one of her own)