Why is it so difficult for me to tell strangers I'm a lesbian?

Why is it so difficult for me to use words like "wife" and "girlfriend" in social interactions?

Does it make you uncomfortable telling strangers you’re a lesbian? You’re not alone. Here’s why you feel this way, and how to overcome it!

Does coming out to strangers make you uncomfortable? Of course it does — you were taught that it’s wrong to be gay. Whether we like it or not, most of us were raised in a society or household that instilled heterosexual ideals onto us from a young age, and led us to believe that a woman being with a woman was unnatural. Disney movies showed us that girls were supposed to end up with princes, not princesses. In the most subtle ways possible, school trained our minds to believe that girls and boys were the ones that had sex. You shared a bathroom with your female peers because boys had penises, and those were only meant to be seen later in life… in the bedroom. In sex-ed, you were taught how to have safe sex with men, not women. You were taught that there is only one way to feel, one way to act, and one way to be.

So yeah, it probably feels unnatural to introduce your girlfriend. It likely feels uncomfortable to tell your new boss that you have a wife, not a husband. Sometimes you forget that other people assume your “partner” is a boy, and then it feels super awkward to explain that no, you don’t like men. You like women.

You’re a lesbian, and the first step in overcoming the never-ending coming out process is to accept that. Say it aloud, if it helps — and say it with confidence.

I’m a lesbian.

Do whatever you need to do as many times a day as necessary to remind yourself that having a wife or a girlfriend is right. It’s natural and normal and amazing

Even if certain people don’t ever accept that, you will. And that’s all that matters.

Emily WatsonLGBTQ+Comment