Why Am I So Lonely? Bridging the Divide Between Younger and Older Lesbians
Caitlin McLaughlin

Coming out at 35, I find myself incredibly lonely. As if it wasn’t hard to make friends already, now the task seems heavy and daunting. I don’t resonate with those in the LGBT atmosphere whose faces congregate at Pride Festivals, parties, and beaches. I don’t understand the things that I’ve seen and the culture I’ve wandered in to. It seems foreign and not something I find myself interested in at all. 
It’s difficult to navigate the choppy waters of friendship and romance. Are we talking as friends or “more than.” It’s difficult to know when you’re straight, let alone gay. I despise the litany of questions: are you femme, top/bottom, submissive/dominant, etc.

The answer to me is clear and said with a cheery, naive smile: I’m just me. 
And I so happen to be a woman who is going to spend the rest of her life with another woman. My sexuality is just a side-dish to a complicated entree.

I was married to a man for over a decade and the process of leaving him, discovering my sexuality, and then coming out was brutal and PTSD-inducing. I spent much of that leg of the journey in the hands of a therapist, who I would eventually leave because I would happen to get a lap dance from a stripper who looked like just her (that’s an even longer story). 
Warned once by a sex therapist my husband and I visited: “If a real-life lesbian were to ever get her hands on you, with how innocent and naive you are, she’d rip you to shreds and leave you devastated.”

I didn’t think it to be her place to tell me in those terms, but she ended up being absolutely correct. That’s exactly what transpired.

I hover somewhere in the middle, too straight for gay people and too gay for straight people. The majority of the small amount of friends I have are straight and don’t understand my dating woes. Meeting new people is tiring and time consuming; I simply don’t have the energy for it. My town, where I was born and raised, is a cliche gay-town, but I don’t see it as such. It’s what we are pictured as, but to me, more like a brochure handed to tourists. There aren’t many women here who I resonate with. They don’t look like me, act like me, or have the same interests; the only string that could ever tether us together is the fact that we both like the fairer sex. That’s where the similarities end.

I joined meet-up.com recently and before I could attend a function, I was contacted by a very pretty woman. We hit it off, straddled the line between friendship and romance and before you knew it, our brief *whatever that was* ended and now I have to make the decision of whether or not to venture into the lion’s den of future meet-ups where she reigns as co-queen and is one of the few femme’s there. That’s another thing: the competitiveness. Femme vs. femme, stud vs. stud. Yada, yada, yada, Yawn.

At this point, I’d like to just make friends. People willing to “see me” and I can glimpse a reflection of myself in their eyes. Maybe even a place to call home and rest my weary head. Alas, I haven’t been so lucky. It’s 2:37 a.m. in California and I’m sooooo over this lifestyle. I feel like I’m a straight person trapped in a gay person’s body. Lesbian. Queer. Whatever handle you wanna ascribe. I’m disappointed; I thought that by finally arriving here and coming to terms with my sexuality that there would finally be a reprieve, of sorts, after all of that turbulence; until now I’ve only encountered more challenges. I’m at a loss at the moment; adrift at sea of overwhelming emotions. Maybe the tide will bring me in and I’ll find solace on the shore somewhere. At this point, it’s all I can hope for.