I’m not lying. It’s just that the truth has changed.
“Mom, Dad… I’m gay.”
Tears splashed onto my laptop as I awkwardly came out to my parents — who lived thousands of miles away — over Skype.
They told me they loved me. They told me they wanted me to be happy. They asked if I had a girlfriend (“I’m working on it!” I replied). That was that. I was out.
Fast forward seven years or so.
“Mom, Dad… so… I might not be gay.”
They laughed (hard) and told me they (still) loved me. They told me they wanted me to be happy. They asked if I had a boyfriend (“It’s complicated” I replied). That was that. I was un-out. In. Somewhere in the middle. Un-labeled.
Back when I identified as a lesbian (who would definitely, never EVER be with a man, EW, GROSS) that feeling of certainty was real. As real as anything I’d ever felt up until then or since. The emotions were real. The love I felt for my first, second, third (etc.) girlfriend was real. The obsessive mania with which I soaked in episodes of The L Word was real.
I was who I was and I felt unshakable in my truth.
Then my feelings changed.
I fell in love with a man and believe me, nobody was more astonished than me*.
For a while, I felt ashamed. Like I’d broken some kind of holy vow because my feelings had changed. I spent tormented nights wondering, “Was I deceiving myself all along? Was it real? Or is this real? What’s true? Am I crazy?”
Eventually I forgave myself and flatly decided, “Love — in every form — is awesome and so am I. The heart wants what it wants. Hearts are smart. The end.”
Changing your mind, your writing style, business model, your profession, how you choose to express your gender, your orientation, your anything-ever-whatever, doesn’t necessarily mean the past was “wrong” or a “lie” or that you weren’t being “real” or “authentic.”
Your skin sheds 50,000 cells every minute.
Every single cell in your skeleton is replaced every 7 years.
If the change is leading you in the direction of that which you love now… why fight it?
Be the “you” that you are today, even if it’s not an exact replica of who you were yesterday.
You’re allowed. It’s OK.
My current boyfriend teased me recently for changing my mind about some insignificant something-or-other.
“Liar!” he said with a smirk.
“I’m not lying,” I replied. “It’s just that the truth has changed.”
*I am aware that “nobody was more astonished than I was” is the grammatically correct sentence structure and “nobody was more astonished than me” is not. Or is the other way around? Don’t remember. I used to care about having perfect grammar. Now, obviously, I do not. Instead, I prefer sentences that rhyme in pleasant-sounding, lyrical ways, putting paragraph breaks in totally inappropriate places, and sometimes using an ellipsis to indicate that you should read… a bit… slower. Things change.