My story: Adult

I escaped to the university. I swore never to have sex again. I became a monk, a studious drone. All work and no play may have made me a dull girl, but it made me a hell of an engineer.

For almost 15 years, I kept a tight lid on my sexuality.

I made myself into the best engineer anyone had ever seen. I was willing to take any assignment. I had no ties. I was willing to take assignments at isolated sites, and to take career risks, that no one with family or friends would take. I became an expert at turning around underperforming projects.

I got additional degrees, in additional disciplines.

I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely.

Two years ago, on a quiet night, I began to wonder if I was wasting the gifts that God had given me.

I made an appointment to talk to the minister of my church.

My story: Teenage

I was in Seattle, on the street with my mother. I was in junior high school. I had always admired women.

We saw two ordinary, well dressed women holding hands as they walked down the street. They stopped, kissed each other – chastely but affectionately – and separated with a wave and a laugh. Something I had seen thousands of times between married couples. A tableau of real affection, of love.

My mother said, in disgust, “Lesbians.”

Then I knew what I was. My heart went out to them, even as I knew that they were damned.

It wrenched me to the core. These were ordinary women. They weren’t strange or depraved. They were just like my mother. Except that they were in love. With each other.

And what of me? I had that same feeling for women; was I objectively disordered?  Was I in sin?

To prove to myself that I was not a pervert, I forced my virginity on a boy. It was quick, sordid and painful. Everything about it was disgusting. I was sick with myself for days.

I became a slut in the hope that I might be converted from my shameful inclination.

I became isolated.

I could not bear to be with girls. Girls did not want to be with me, a slut.

Boys didn’t want to be seen with me. They did want to be with me, unseen.

Everything about sex disgusted me. It had no meaning for them; its only meaning for me was degradation. I loathed it even as I went back to it, again and again, trying to exorcise the other depravity.

I threw myself into school work. I graduated at the top of my class. My first-choice university accepted me to its honors engineering program.

Lonely: A paradox

I’ve lived alone all my adult life.

I’m friendly with almost everyone I’ve ever met. I have a wide circle of professional respect. But I protected my closet by avoiding close friendship.

I was fine with that. I was content with my independence.

Until I met my Love.

When I was alone, I was never lonely.

Now that I’m not alone, I am lonely.

Whenever we are apart.