What if I Were Gay?

I had a close friend, once, who was a lesbian. She confessed to me that she really liked me, she hinted at the fact that I’d never had a lasting relationship with a guy, and reminded me that she and I had once shared a very platonic kiss on a dare.  There was this unasked question hanging between us, and for one split second I wanted to say, “yes, I could, at least I think I could, I could try.”

It was insanity, plain and simple, because I’m not gay. Yet in that moment I pictured what my life would be like if I had been.  At first it would have been wonderful. I would’ve been able to enjoy the love of a good friend. I would’ve been in a relationship with someone with whom I’d shared my innermost thoughts.  Someone with whom I had a myriad of unspoken punch lines, where a hand gesture served as well as a sentence.  I would’ve been able to say, “this is like that one movie, with the thing,” and had my partner laugh instead of saying, “I don’t get it.  You’re insane.” I would’ve had those things, those beautiful things, those things that never seem to exist in even the best of marriages…

But my parents were both raised Mennonite and I have Amish relatives. I would have been trading that single relationship for a possible loss of both my close and extended family. I would have no longer been welcome at church meals. Many good friends would have been afraid to have us around their children. I would be embarrassed to talk about my home life at work, referring always to my “partner” instead of my spouse, hedging around the fact that my “partner” was female, ashamed to say her name. People would look at me at first in confusion and then in understanding, possibly followed by revulsion. Instead of a casual acceptance of my life, I’d be followed by awkward questions.

Home would be wonderful, the rest of the world more sketchy.  And I’ve always wanted children. If I’d chosen to get pregnant, I would have to daily look at my children and realize that although they were mine, they weren’t my partner’s. If we adopted, one of us would be the legal parent, but not both. We’d live in fear of not being able to both be present with our kids if they had an emergency. We’d both feel awkward. Our kids would probably be asked a lot of personal questions about their “two mommies,” and I’d always wonder if not having a father was somehow affecting them. I don’t know that I’d feel guilty… I’d just wonder.

I have to say- I can’t believe anyone would just choose that. I can’t believe that my close friend simply woke up one day and said, “you know, I think I’ll be a lesbian now.” I’m not saying that somewhere in her brain there wasn’t a switch that got turned at some point. She had some bad experiences, she didn’t want to go through what her mom went through.. I don’t think any sane person would look at a life of acceptance versus a life of awkward conversations and say, “My life is too easy. Let’s mix this up.”

My friend, at least, had to have really believed that was who she was meant to be. She still believes in God, the last I heard. She just has a lot of questions. It’s just too bad that there aren’t very many churches where they’d let her in long enough to ask them.

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