I never questioned my preference in a partner. I was in a world dead set against my kind living with them in their world. I had to be sure that I wore at least one article of feminine clothing, just in case I was arrested. The very fact that I lived, challenged the ideal that men ruled this planet and if I didn’t want to lay with a man, well I was an abomination. Obviously, all I had to do was be with a guy once, and that would fix me, right? I could just scream from all of the times I heard that line.

Walking down the street in my younger days, I looked exactly like every other woman. Oh, I had it down! Strutting my stuff was my cover and at one point in my life, I batted for the other side. That’s how I created my two beautiful “straight” children. (I marvel at their courage, acceptance, and respect of their old Lesbian mother.) My children are my legacy in this world and I am proud of them.

Moving forward, I was starving for members of my tribe. Life dealt a divorced hand and my children flew out of my life to their father, until a future day of reckoning. It was never about my love for them, it was how the world worked back then. A fight for custody meant being thrown in jail for being gay, and how would that serve them? So, I walked away with my lover by my side, trying to come to terms with my life.

I wore t-shirts, uniforms, jeans, flannel shirts, boots, sneakers, and an earring in my left ear. I loved to dance and you would find me country line dancing in one of the local bars. I two-stepped with the best of them, and even took a few classes to better my moves. While serving in the military, I danced my way across many dance floors around the world.

I also had lovers. We kept our love private by using the cover of friendship in mixed company. Trying hard by not allowing our eyes to give us away. Risking our careers every time we found a way to be alone. This was the only way I could even have love in my life. It was worth every single sacrifice.

When I wasn’t in love, I simply enjoyed conversations around women. Exploring depth of thought and ideas without having to be sexual was so wonderful. I just relaxed and enjoyed laughing and sharing what life had to offer. I had friends to go sightseeing with, and when stationed in Germany, I had a native friend. She took me volksmarching in the German countryside. She taught me about wines and food. Wonderful. Germany is where my grandparents came from and I experienced the old country and saw the wall before it came down. My world changed dramatically when I returned to the states. I got off the plane, got down on all fours in uniform, and kissed the ground. I made it home.

I am not going to rehash an article I already wrote. I will suffice to say, a higher calling of my spirit won the day. My “lovers” ranged in character and somehow I survived through them. I know that women love deeply, emotionally, and connect with each other in ways that men continue to scratch their heads about. I found some off their rockers, too. But, what can I say? I am just as committed to being in their company and enjoying the mystery.

It still stumps me why men don’t ask lesbians about how to deal with the women in their life. After all, we both have a common passion. I still remember the day when my lover and I sat my son down at our kitchen table to educate him about the finer points of how to treat women. Yes, we sure did. He later wrote a whole stand-up comic routine about it. I simply gave him the tools for his next level in life. My other lover, helped my daughter, as my expertise was more on my son’s side. My son and I have had moments of appreciating women from a far. A mother-son moment to be treasured. With my daughter, I shared moments of receiving her children at their birth. I held them and introduced myself as their grandma. Moments where my worlds came together and joy resulted. I have also been known to tell my son in law to always carry chocolate in case of menopause emergency.

Today, I no longer engage in the sexual aspect, I have found another frontier to fill my cup. I am now enriched by all the other aspects to the beings of the female persuasion. I still am bowled over by a woman’s inner grace and beauty. I have learned to be enriched by the awareness. I read about the concepts that Lesbians have today about, how did they put it, “Real Lesbians”. I totally recalled my younger days through them and hope that they are much more than what is being said.

If you are a woman, who loves just being in the presence of women, can’t imagine making love without women, can observe and appreciate a woman, then you are quite possibly a real live Lesbian. How you fulfill your needs in life as a variant, is strictly up to your own expression. Drink in the knowledge that Lesbians like me paved the way for your right to live as you do now. It’s not how you dress or behave that makes you a lesbian. It’s who you are on the inside, in your heart of hearts. Some may not be brave enough yet to risk losing the people who raised them, or losing people who they thought were their friends. I experienced all of that pain and still I couldn’t help responding to my lesbian heart. Some of us just aren’t willing to go down that road, just yet.

If you have prerequisites about all the above; then grab onto those principles and help your tribe member instead of taking them down with your scorn and judgment. I changed my world because I had no one else to count on to show me the way. If you possess that knowledge, pass it on to those in need of it. I expect better behavior from members of my tribe. I am here when you need an Elder of Variant. See my rainbow chains? They are bling.
Posted by Steffie Rae

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