I guess she didn’t get the memo that her story is “impossible”.
Ask “the experts” they’ll never tire of telling you. And yet, somehow, it is her story.
She had “impeccable” LBGT credentials, she was practically a poster-child for the cause.
She “came out” as lesbian at age 19. Women’s studies graduate. Mother and grandmother supported her having done so. She had never had heterosexual sex. Her entire adult romantic life consisted of three long-term same-sex relationships. She considered herself a “Gold Star” lesbian.
As she tells her story, she caught herself noticing her heart wasn’t in it anymore, using words like “have to” instead of “want to”.
Did she “find religion”? Was she shamed into “going straight” by someone preaching fire and brimstone? Brainwashed? Coerced? Nope.
Judging by where the story goes next, religion was the furthest thing from her mind.
A week after dumping her girlfriend, she found herself (her words “found herself”, a phrase which carried significant meaning for her) sleeping with a man. In her words. “It felt right”.
She found that she quickly went from being a sexually confidant lesbian, to a naive and insecure heterosexual. She found herself playing catch-up on all the dating lessons that other 30-something single women take for granted. The story Sarah Terez Rosenblum tells about her process of self-discovery is candid, and pulls no punches.
She even tells about trying to date another woman afterward:
What about the woman with the artfully mussed hair? The one I’ve selfishly sucked into my turmoil. The one who just wants an easy evening out, the possibilities a second date promises, sealed with a kiss. In my periphery, I see her hand on the armrest, palm up, a clear invitation to lace my fingers through. She’s perfect on paper, yet holding hands seems pointless, as erotic as stuffing an envelope or blowing my nose. I feel like my mother or Kelly Ripa, a straighter than straight woman, not myself at all. I have no business on this date. I’m a phony and a defector, an accidental fraud.
That’s what I’m thinking when I excuse myself early. Yet alone in my apartment, I don’t feel like a phony.
She says she became the kind of person she once would have “hated”. She wasn’t browbeaten, shamed, or tricked. She simply … moved on. Her affections had changed.
And, as an observation of my own: Her romantic attachments may have changed, but her identity … who she really is at the deepest level … hasn’t. She is still Sarah Terez Rosenblum.
Maybe it’s time we rethink tying our use of the word “identity” so closely to sexual activities. Maybe “self” is something more fundamental than just our sexuality. We may even discover that people can be “just” people.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_pollard/3163026037/