“Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi
My organization allows me to meet a diverse group of people; Individual who are straight, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and I embrace it all. I believe that you have to live your best life and the way you do that is by being You! I choose Captain JE for this article because she truly exemplified this statement by embracing who she is as a lesbian. In addition, from getting to know her, I can say personally that she knows who she is and she is living her best life. I love it! I sat down with her and asked the following questions.
- How did you know you were into girls and at what age?
(JE Response) “Honestly, in elementary school between 5th grade and middle school is when I knew.” She started talking about boys with the other girls whom she liked and realized that the more she talked about boys with the girls, she was able to spend more time with them. JE also stated that spending more time with the girls solidify her feelings for girls.
At the age of 10, she knew for sure she was a lesbian. However, her first lesbian encounter occurred with her best friend at the age of 13. Her and her best friend started off with conversations, exchanged intimate letters and then sleepovers, which led to both of them exploring the ideas they had discussed. This was her first relationship that lasted for a year, and no one knew. From that situation she became comfortable with who she was, but not comfortable enough to let her parents know until she entered college.
- How did you tell your parents and what were their reactions?
(JE Response) She did not tell her parents first. It came out that she was a lesbian when she dated a female basketball player in 9th grade. Her new girlfriend told her “if you want to date me, the relationship cannot be a secret”, and so her entire high school were now aware that she was a lesbian. She was OUT of the closet and was confidence in doing so! She would walk down the school hallways holding her girlfriend hands. Talk about, SURPRISED and CONFIDENCE. No one asked any questions she said, not even her stepbrothers and sisters who found out at the same time the entire school did.
When it came to her parents, she did not her parents until freshman year in college. Her mom was the first to no that she was a lesbian. She had moved in with her mom, and it became difficult seeing her girlfriend because her mom did not know. She had to get hotels to spend quality time; sometimes her girlfriend would slip up and call her “babe” in front of mom, WOW. Finally, while having mom and daughter time, she stated that her mom brought up a conversation about a gay young man and as her mom began to talk, she stopped her mom and said “mom I am a lesbian.” Her mom looked at her I said, “Oh I know, and I knew since you were little.” Can I get an applaud for that response? I loved the reaction from her mom and I believe all parents should respond in this manner of LOVE!
She continued and stated that she never verbally told her dad, just brought girls around and he knew. In addition, JE mentioned, the word lesbian was brought up to her dad once when she asked for his advice about going to a girlfriend’s house whose parents did not approve of the lifestyle; her dad told her to go and it was never brought up again.
- How was your transition into the military?
The military had the stigma of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, but during her time in the military “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, was repealed which made her transition effortless. She introduced her girlfriends to everyone as such, not as a friend. As stated before, she was confident in who is, which is key to enjoying life. From knowing and chatting with her, her personality is the driving force of why people respond so positively to her story.
- What advice do you have for teenagers who are transitioning?
(JE Response) “Don’t be afraid to be who you are, be confident, don’t hesitate and always be yourself.” She also stated, that it is not an easy transition, because she did not know what her parents would say and she was scared to hear or see their reactions.
- What you would tell the parents of teenagers who are transitioning?
(JE Response) “My parents were supportive; she let me know she still loved me and they wanted me to be happy.” She highly recommends that parents provide loving support no matter what and I agree. I know that if either of my kids came to me and informed me that they like the same sex, I would respond very similar to JE’s parents.
As long as your children are happy, who cares? They will enjoy life even more knowing their parents reacted in a way of love and not anger. So parents just LOVE them endlessly when you find out, embrace the change!
If you have any tips for parents, please share by leaving a comment.
“Motivation Accountability Change”