"We will both burn in hell, my Angel", a powerful phrase with which "Pomme" begins his song "We will burn". She expresses both her love for a woman, but also the weight of rejection and homophobic prejudices. As if the two went hand in hand! His mother, religious beliefs and "all prayers, all wishes for a change" condemn his homosexuality and his love affair with a person of the same sex.
So for you, it may not be your mother who rejects you or the religious argument that is raised. By embracing your homosexuality as a woman, you will finally be able to be yourself, and that sometimes means encountering new difficulties.
To be a woman is to face gender bias. To be a homosexual woman is to suffer twice the weight of discrimination. Some understand their sexual orientation very early on, sometimes as early as college. Coming out as a lesbian to your parents at this time is often a source of rejection. Committing to a heterosexual couple and family life doesn't make it any easier to come out of the closet. Obviously every lesbian comes out uniquely [link to page A level 1 on the words "uniquely coming out"] and the context varies from person to person.
Assume your homosexuality when you are a woman
Living your homosexuality with authenticity is a dream. And for that, we reassure you, no need to pose on the cover of The Times like Ellen DeGeneres! The step to take may even seem terrifying. Coming out as a lesbian is not trivial. It is often the light at the end of the tunnel that attracts and frightens at the same time. How do you get out of your years of secrecy and lies towards yourself and those around you?
This moment requires not only a period of reflection, but also of preparation to anticipate the possible repercussions on his life and those around him.
There are many different conditions that allow lesbians to come out, but the main ones are:
- The own acceptance of their homosexuality;
- An environment in which they feel safe;
- The family and social context.
Indeed, a young woman raised in a family where religion is omnipresent and the weight of traditions strong will be from an early age destined to find a good husband and to have children. Shocking? Yes, yet even in less conservative circles, this traditional pattern weighs heavily and sometimes prevents full acceptance of one's sexual orientation.
When discovery (or full acceptance) of his attraction to other women is later, it becomes more difficult to come out of the closet as a lesbian. Heterosexual marital relationship, children, vision of the mother of a family, etc.
In general, it is education, sometimes in a homophobic environment, and the weight of heterosexual and misogynistic social norms that are the main obstacles to assuming one's female homosexuality. Fear of judgment, fear of rejection, shame and guilt, sometimes even self-hatred. So many negative feelings turned against oneself!
Fortunately, this is neither inevitable nor an end in itself. You can achieve your lesbian coming-out in a serene way so that you can finally come to terms with yourself outside of the heterosexual norm.
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Loving women and announcing it, a story of acceptance
As with any coming out, the number one imperative is safety. Physical, moral, financial.
Lesbian and coming-out: how to use it
Once you are comfortable enough with your sexual orientation, that the journey in your head has taken you towards who you really are, you will certainly feel the need to express it.
Indeed, being in agreement inside and outside on who you are allows you to come out of lies, which are often anxiety-provoking, and to live better on a daily basis. And then, you don't have to "wait to be sure" or "want the situation to be perfect" to announce it. Amandla Stenberg did her lesbian coming out in 2018, having identified herself successively as bisexual and pansexual. And you know what ? These successive questions allowed her to explore her sexuality and learn to really get to know herself.
It is understandable that you are feeling stressed, anxious, and uncertain about announcing your homosexuality, what it takes is rationally weighing what you can tell whom to begin with.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before coming out to someone, to assess the risks and keep your safety and well-being in mind:
- What made you choose this person to announce your sexual orientation?
- Is anyone generally open?
- Did you anticipate the possible reactions of this person?
- Will you be able to deal with any negative reactions from him?
- Are you financially dependent on him or her?
And the bonus question to always keep in mind: are you supported in your process?
A support network is essential. There are many associations nationwide, but also closer to you. For example, reach out to LGBT centers near your city or broach the subject and ask your LGBT questions confidentially with openly queerfriendly people. If needed, HappyGayTV is there.
Mothers and lesbians, what possible coming-out?
It has been maybe 2, 5 or even 20 years that you have lived the daily life of a heterosexual woman. You are even engaged in a family life with a man, without knowing or without succeeding in accepting your sexual attraction and your love for women.
Sometimes it is the question of children that is at the root of repressed homosexuality: will it be more difficult to have them in a homosexual relationship? Will my current children accept me for who I am? And at the end of the day, can I be happy by continuing to hide my gender identity?
Whether the relationship has been going on for a few months or for 20 years, you are going to have to tell the man who until then shared your life. So obviously, the situations can be radically different depending on the quality of your relationship, the state of your communication as a couple and obviously the presence of potential violence from your partner.
Take some time for yourself, and ask yourself these 5 questions to prepare for announcing your homosexuality to your spouse and children:
- Are you financially dependent on your spouse?
- Do you have other possible financial resources?
- What are these potential negative reactions?
- Should we announce it to children now?
- Do you feel strong enough to deal with their possible negative reactions?
Obviously, getting closer to lesbian communities upstream can be of great help. You will find not only information, but also listening which can be saving and many testimonies of those who took the plunge (line à mettre ici) and lived emotions and situations similar to yours.
It is also possible to break up and end your relationship without coming out. Follow your pace, be accompanied and ensure your safety (and that of your children) at all levels.
Lesbian women, trapped in a male fantasy?
An additional point remains to be addressed when talking about female homosexuality: its image in pornography. The thought that two women could have sex is tolerated when it comes to fulfilling the male fantasies that are often associated with it.
Porn sites even make it a category of its own. Lesbian sex is therefore enhanced and acceptable when it is aimed at satisfying the desire and pleasure of certain men.
As if :
- The woman was there for the men and their excitement anyway;
- Lesbian relations were confined to sexual acts;
- A lesbian couple could not be fully satisfied without the presence of a man.
It is not only deeply misogynistic, but also lesbophobic. Unfortunately, this porn image of love between two women is still prevalent in society.(lien ici)
Coming out as a lesbian will be, like all coming-outs, an important step, with its share of difficulties, but what a joy to be able to finally assume who you are. By being properly surrounded and accompanied, you put the odds on your side to finally live the life that suits you with those you love and who accept you.
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