Yes, I have a boyfriend. I didn’t sell out or betray my people. I wasn’t looking for it or even thought I would consider the possibility, and as cliche as it is: it just kind of happened.
I don’t know how to explain it except to say that I’ve always felt the same way about the possibility of having a relationship with a man: he would have to be a man that I truly loved being around; he would have to think that I’m amazing; we would have to have an intense connection in EVERY way; we would be great friends and spend time together, alone, and with our families; we would have to be non-monogamous and he would have to be okay with me having intimate relationships with women. I never thought it would happen and figured it was a pretty tall order, but I guess the universe thought I deserved to have something good thrown my way after having my heart dragged through misery and pain, and I’m not going to refuse a gift as awesome as this one.
Oh, I realize it’s too soon for me to be in a relationship with anyone. I should wait a prerequisite seven months to date, (one month for every year Cher and I were together,) or four full seasons since our break-up in order to experience each season alone and without her, or half of the length of our marriage–which would be three and a half years. Well, I waited six months instead of seven and two seasons instead of four and that three and a half years crap is bullshit. I don’t want to be alone for three and a half years because someone thinks that’s what’s better for me. Fuck that.
As I’ve mentioned before–affairs of the heart have always been a lesson in futility for me and even though I haven’t had the longevity of some people’s relationships, I’ve had some pretty intense and fully-lived relationships and I don’t know which is better or if there even is a way to quantify that. We have relationships and sometimes they last a short time and sometimes they last a long time: there is no failure–just experience. I wouldn’t trade the seven years I had with Cher for anything in the world; I loved her and was loved by her and I was happy–very happy. I will always hurt from that loss and there is nothing that will ever make that better; no one will ever replace her in my heart, for she occupied a space that will forever be hers. I still burst in to tears just thinking about her; I still miss her desperately, and I will always wonder if there had been a way and if only . . .
But, that kind of thinking doesn’t really matter because what we had was destroyed and is over and I had to move forward, and I feel very, very blessed that someone came into my life, unexpectedly, but welcome. He’s a kind man and he treats me like a lady. We have fun together, we are intellectually matched, we share similar outlooks and insights, but more than anything–we realize that we are people in our 40′s with families and lives and a whole hell of a lot of baggage and we’re okay with that and willing to give it, at least a shot.
I had a meeting with a former professor today, and he wasn’t aware of my breakup with Cher. “But, you talked about her all the time…you were so happy…I’m shocked.” I told him what happened and it’s funny now, to tell the story. It seems like it isn’t even real, like something like that couldn’t actually happen to anyone, but yet it did. Finally, part-way through I just said, “You know what? It doesn’t even matter–it’s over, we’re divorced, I’m on the other side of most of it and I have a new life now. Also, I’m dating a very nice man…”
“But, you’re a lesbian…”
Which is better than, “Well, what ARE you now??
What AM I now? Oh geez. I don’t know. I’m just me; I’m just Kathryn, the lady who used to be hetero and then was a lezzie and now is having sex with men and ladies and liking them both a lot, but also in a loving relationship with a man. I guess if I need to give myself an identity I choose pansexual–hopefully that’s satisfactory to everyone…
Sexuality is fluid kids; we’ve been through this.