Queer Woman Comes Out At 47 To Little Fanfare. “I’m Just Who I Am. And Now I Have A Girlfriend.”

by Elizabeth Green

My name’s Elizabeth Green and I’m from Austin, Texas.

About 3 years ago, I was married to a man that I’d been married to for 18 years. We’d been together for about 20 and we have a son who is 13 now. I had spent about, probably about the last 8 years of our marriage just feeling like something was wrong with my life. I did a lot of things to try to change my life to make myself feel like I belonged in it and I still didn’t feel like I was there.

So we ended up separating and then probably about a year and a half later, I just was looking at my son’s therapist and realized that I was completely attracted to her. And I knew she was out of bounds, so that wasn’t going to happen. But it, you know, got me thinking – is it just her? Is it – is this a thing for me now? Have I – has this always been a thing? So I started started exploring.

I started out in a really weird place by going to the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce meetings and went and I just felt like – people were very friendly to me there, but it felt like I was trying to profit off of an identity that I’d only just started inhabiting and that just felt weird. And then after that, I found this Outsider Fest, which is a queer festival here in Austin that happens once a year. One of the shows there was this queer Latinx guy, you know, and gold lame dress and just kind of bearish looking guy with chest hair spilling out of the top of the dress. And he’s talking about how he’s never felt like he fit in anywhere in the gay community. And then he starts doing this communion, where he’s like handing out chips with this homemade salsa that he’s made.

And as I get up to the stage, he’s about to put the chip in my mouth and he just pauses and he says, “You are so cute.” It was just such a nice moment because it really made me feel like, out of all the people there who looked like they belonged, he picked me out to say that to because I think he saw that I didn’t – that I felt out of place.

And so then, a little bit later, I went to a meetup for people who’d come out late and that was great because everybody there had had something of a similar experience to mine. Many of them had been married to people of the opposite-sex before. But ironically I ended up going out with the guy who organized the group who, heretofore, had been identifying is gay but decided to rethink that somewhat when he met me. So, yeah, it just – that made me feel a little more connected with a queer community that has come out later in life, but the relationship with him made me feel a little bit disconnected from my attraction to women.

There are a lot of pockets of the queer community in Austin and I was just trying to find the place where I fit, the place that felt like home, and up until that point, I really just hadn’t found it.

I’m not really a dating app person, but I just thought I’m – fine, I’m just gonna do this. So I get on “Her,” which is a dating app that’s just for, just for women and people who identify as women. You know, as I’m going through all these, I found this woman who looks like she’s my age and she’s got a picture of herself with her cats and a picture of herself in a pool with all of, you know, her tattoos like down her arms, and her little chihuahua sitting by the side of the pool. And there’s a picture of her with her tongue, like, so far out that it’s not even cute, it’s just kind of nuts. And I just thought, yeah, this is – this is the person I need to talk to.

We’re kind of talking about in our lives and where we come from and I tell her that I used to be a history professor and she asked me what field. I say history of science and she’s like, shut up, and she tells me about how she’s been to the Galapagos three times. We talked for awhile, agreed to meet up, and I’m getting really nervous, right? Because I’m thinking, like, I’ve never done this before.

And I tell her this and she says, you know, “I’ve never been out with a woman before either.” Okay – this I can do. So I pick out this place for us to meet that was, as it turns out, I thought it was going to be great because it had an outdoor patio and we could sit and have drinks, and it turns out it was a terrible sports bar. So in the background, there all these guys, like, watching a football game. It was the worst place to pick but we sat there we talked for five hours.

We went out again. And this time I’m, you know, starting to feel – we talked again for hours and I’m starting to kind of feel that, like, now I’m – now there’s something, something clicking here. And it gets dark and we’re walking through this park and we’re both kind of looking up at the moon and it’s that moment, you know, where you know that she knows and she knows that you know that something’s going to happen here. And there’s this dreadfully long pause. We’re both just kind of standing there, looking at the moon. And I realize, we’re both formerly straight women waiting for somebody to kiss us. So I did. I stepped in front of her and I kinda awkwardly put myself in front of her face and kissed her. And it was amazing.

We’ve been together ever since. This was 7 months ago. And we just talked last night, actually, about how neither one of us has really fully taken stock of the fact that we’re gay now. Like this, this is the thing that we are now. And I think the day-to-day experience of it has just seem to completely normal.

I have a pretty strong sense of self. You know, I’ve been here for 47 years. I know who I am. It’s just that who I’m attracted to has changed and, you know, I think I expected that change in attraction to make me – to completely change my character, but I think that was just unrealistic. I’m just who I am and now I have a girlfriend.

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