Though the conclusion I have laboured towards for years is finally coming to fruition, I am filled not with satisfaction but with a stark loneliness that makes my throat ache. There’s a small part of me which can’t wait to meet the woman of my dreams, but the rest of me is convinced that she simply does not exist. I’ve been to LGBT society meetings, to fund-raising events and pride parades and gay bars and motivational speeches by political activists. I move with and alongside the people who are supposed to be my adopted family; I talk to them, smile at them, listen to their conversations. I try to find myself reflected in their faces. I sit among them, and I feel more alone than ever.
I hate stereotypes, but there seems to be some truth in the cliché: most of the lesbians I’ve met are brash and aggressive, or else student types who are obsessed with partying, smoking, and drinking. Finding someone my age who will celebrate and share my hobbit-like appreciation for creature comforts, family picnics, home baking, and stacks of science fiction novels seems damn near impossible.
I may be leaving the heterosexual fold, but my dreams are still hopelessly romantic. I don’t want to meet some random woman in a bar, where the only thing everyone seems to have in common is their remarkable ability to get inebriated. I want to meet a woman who is interesting, and interested – someone who has soft edges and hard opinions and a voice that I can climb like rope. I don’t want to date a woman who’s tolerant of my son. I want to date a woman who adores him. I don’t want to have casual sex or play the field or have ‘friends with benefits’. I want to fall in love, get down on one knee, have a beautiful wedding with a gorgeous white dress. I don’t want a one-night stand.
I want a family.
Up until recently, I thought the only way to get that was to be straight. Now that I know differently, I ache for her – the nameless, faceless ‘her’ I haven’t met yet. The thought that I might never meet this woman makes my chest feel full of broken glass. I am giving up so much. What if I never find her? What if she doesn’t exist?
What if causing all this pain is not even worth it?