I have always been methodical about handling serious matters of personal development. When I decided that it was an appropriate time to come out, I did so with great caution. I first came out to myself, spending months going over thoughts, urges, memories, realizations, and epiphanies until I drew a satisfactory conclusion: I am sexually attracted to women. I fearfully tested the waters, sharing this information with my sister and my close friends Then, finally, I came out to my mother and a circle of elder women. Since these experiences left me feeling supported, grounded, and self-aware, I was able to move forward and begin to feel my way through the darkness of self-discovery.
For me, it was imperative that I handled the business of questioning, theorizing, and coming out before I began having experiences with women. I knew that same-sex relationships would offer up a unique serving of complexities that I wanted to smooth out as best as I could by minimizing my own emotional baggage. That seems funny now. Nonetheless, when I finally attracted a woman I deemed worthy of sharing this experience with me, I knew that she was to be a very significant piece of the puzzle that would eventually comprise a sense of sexual wholeness.
What I did not know is what that piece would cost me.