Dear young Barrovian lesbian born in 1976 – a Letter From The Heart
There’s great news. You will find the most beautiful, funny and loving woman to marry and spend the rest of your life with.
You will find her in Barrow, you didn’t expect that did you? You’ll find her in The Ambrose at a charity gig when you are playing some of your songs. You won’t find her until 2009 but don’t worry there are good reasons why, you weren’t ready to meet your true love till you were 33. You can’t imagine the love you will feel but you will feel it, every day from the moment you wake up till when you shut your eyes at night, you will feel loved and blessed. You will feel so much love for this woman it will spill out into every aspect of your life.
Don’t worry about school. I know you hate it. I know you watched a whole year group chasing a girl into the toilets shouting “Lesbian” at her and bullying her before you even knew what it meant. When you were taught that word it was as if it was just a word used for hate. Everyone around you would mock anyone they thought might be a lesbian. They even used it as a word to attack people they just didn’t like. Now as an adult you own the word but then you were scared of it. You were scared people would point at you and call you a lesbian but not because you knew you were one. It was because you didn’t want to be noticed in a way that was anything to do with sex. You had to hide.
You were hiding abuse. As an infant you were abused by your father. As an adult you don’t have to hide that anymore. He is dead, he died a lonely man with no friends around him. You may think that is karma.
He wasn’t the only one to abuse you. As an adult you will give police statements and you will shift the burden and the guilt for this to where it belongs. As a teenager and as a young adult you carry the massive weight of this guilt around with you, it’s too heavy to carry for so long but you manage. You go to university. Sometimes it gets to you, you try to take your own life but have good friends and despite everything you have learnt to have a positive outlook on life most of the time.
Don’t give up on love. I know you tried to love men, you loved them as much as you could but when it came down to it, it just never felt right.
You will learn to love yourself. I know you find that hard to believe right now but you will look in the mirror one day and you will say to yourself “You’re doing alright, you make people happy and you’re a good person”. After you do it the first time you will keep doing it. One night you will look in the mirror and say “Hey, you’re my best friend and I love you”. You will enjoy your own company and be comfortable in your own skin. This all takes a while. It takes till you’re 33. Guess what happens next?
You are ready to find a new best friend. You find the woman of your dreams. Everything feels amazing. You get married. There will always be challenges ahead but now you can face them together and every day you are overwhelmed by the love you feel. You are proud of your wife, your best friend, your lover. You are proud to call yourself a lesbian. Stay strong.
From the happy older you xxx
This is a ‘Letter From the Heart’ contributed by a woman who was unable to join us in the tent.