I had finally made up my mind to embark on this personal quest. Although “Corrine*” had stated she that she felt her suspicions about me were accurate, I wasn’t interested in accepting her “gay-dar” based opinion for fact; I had to make this assessment on my own. There were several things to figure out…this wasn’t like planning a trip to Disney World where you have to figure out hotel reservations, how long the drive is, and when and where stops should be along the way. I had to figure out where and how to begin this journey without being outed by fellow military members. After all, this was BIGGER than interracial dating…I’m exploring dating women!
My only refuge was hanging out with “Corrine,*” her girlfriend, “Liz,*” and the group of lesbians they were friends with. While I found solace in spending time with them and regardless of how receptive “Corrine,*” and “Liz*” were, I still felt lost, alone, and awkward…especially around two of the girls in the group. “Patty*” seemed to enjoy treating me like the bumbling freshman idiot I was because of my shameless and pitiful attempts at flirting with “Trisha,” a cute blonde haired and hazel eyed girl who “Corrine*” and “Liz*” considered a daughter. “Trisha*” was just getting out of a relationship and I was attracted to her…unfortunately, the feeling wasn’t mutual which was okay; I was just beginning to scratch the surface. Maybe I wanted this too suddenly…a quick answer to a deep and internal question; configuration of this very personal journey would take longer than planning a family vacation.
Tapping into the realm of acquaintances by means of the six degrees of separation theory didn’t work and I was apprehensive about acting on the personal ads because I wasn’t sure who I’d meet or who I’d like to meet. I was really on my own; my only solution was to go to the gay night spots which were conveniently located an hour away from where I was stationed. There were a multitude of emotions and feelings I had before I stepped in the door; terrified that I’d be recognized by military members who just happened to pass by, nervous about the unknown ahead of me, and nauseated because I can’t believe I’m doing this. Yet once I stepped inside this new and unfamiliar world, I felt relaxed and elated. I felt that I was in an element where I was accepted and welcomed.
This new world only existed during the weekend. I would be back to square one Monday morning and listening to others I worked
with tell tales of their weekend adventures. I couldn’t tell
them all about my weekend and where I was and who I was with and why. All I could tell them was “I spent the weekend with my child and had a good time.” Which was true…just not the whole story. However, that’s the way it was for me; hiding myself through the mundane work practices during weekdays and anticipating my incognito ventures on weekends. It was difficult to not discuss my weekend escapade, but I knew that I couldn’t or I’d be done. By then I’d finally built up the nerve to respond to a personal ad I found in a free local area paper.
“Myra’s*” ad didn’t say anything fancy or promise me the world; she just “wanted to meet someone nice and fun.” We met a week after the initial phone conversation. She was a slim, dark skinned, bright-eyed sister with the most radiant smile I’d ever seen. She was free spirited, intelligent, and MILITARY! After discovering that commonality, the lost and lonely feelings I frequently had started to dwindle. We spent about every other weekend together…still I couldn’t make any mention of her or where I was on the weekends to my co-workers. Things were risky enough with news traveling around the base that five people were being processed out for homosexuality. There was only one thing about “Myra*”: She was the only one between the two of us who had prior “advanced” experience with women and she wasn’t into training anyone. That was perfect timing in a way; I felt it prudent to lay low for awhile and let things settle on base before venturing out again.
Several weeks later, I met “Juanita,*” a beautiful Latina who could be a slightly plump twin of J-Lo; I always bumped into her at the club I went to. One night, we actually had a conversation, a few drinks, and she invited me back to her place which wasn’t far from the club. Our conversation eventually led to her asking if I’d been with a woman before. I had barely said no before she kissed me. Hers was as sensually piercing as “Bryn’s*” kiss from a few years before…only more passionate and liberating. “Juanita*” was my first sexual experience with a woman. Everything about my night with her awakened me spiritually and physically. I never experienced with a man what I had experienced with “Juanita.” It was everything I imagined and more; it was magnanimous, caring, and beautiful. She left an “indelible mark” on me; yet another event I could never share with my military counterparts when they saw it Monday…I credited a mystery man for that. I also knew I couldn’t misconstrue that night as a testament of love; I was still lost. Unfortunately, I reverted to being withdrawn and lonely after my liaisons with “Myra*” and “Juanita*.” Although I felt somewhat liberated because of them, I needed to dig deeper.
Names with asterisk* are pseudonyms.