Mid-life coming out resources - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-17-2008, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've got a friend in the midst of coming out. She's in her early-mid 50s and has been married to men for all of her adult life (including right now, which is coming to an end in the midst of her recognizing that she's attracted to a lesbian friend who's also in an LTR--feelings are mutual, but the lesbian has no plans leave her partner).

Anyway.

She's asked me for some reading suggestions--this is her request:

(I want to read about) what it's like to experience coming out, how that may be different for different people. Well, maybe not so much that, but I'd like to read other's experiences in their "awakening" or discovery of a different sexual orientation than they had assumed they had for most of their lives.


I came out at 19, so not only is what was helpful to me badly out-dated (I'm 37, now), it's not really relevant, given where she is in her life journey.

Any of you have suggestions for me to pass along to her?
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#2 of 12 Old 03-17-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Hi!

This is not a book but there is a special right now on LOGO called something like "Late Life Lesbians". It is all about women who are coming out later in life.

I've also heard of a book called " From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life" that addresses the same issues. HTH
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#3 of 12 Old 03-18-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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There is a pretty nice book called Living Two Lives: Married to a Man And in Love With a Woman by Joanne Fleisher. She also has a website and forum often called AJ that stands for Ask Joanne....looking for a link...Here is her website and the forum is on the left side.

HTH
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#4 of 12 Old 03-18-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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My mom liked "From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life"
- C
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#5 of 12 Old 03-20-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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It's not limited to later years coming out, but there are some great personal stories from women that came out later in A Woman Like That : Lesbian and Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories by Joan Larkin

One in particular about two older women married with children that came out in their 40's after falling in love with each other.
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#6 of 12 Old 03-26-2008, 05:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fireant View Post
There is a pretty nice book called Living Two Lives: Married to a Man And in Love With a Woman by Joanne Fleisher. She also has a website and forum often called AJ that stands for Ask Joanne....looking for a link...Here is her website and the forum is on the left side.

HTH
Seconding this one. Joanne's book is a very helpful, if somewhat difficult, read. Her website explains a variety of ways married women can get help directly from her; and the message board, while reeeeeeeally clunky, is also extremely active and there are lots of insights and lots of help and support.

There's also a yahoo group COAMLB Coming Out as a Married Lesbian or Bi. Very very supportive group.

If she lives in a metropolitan area there is probably a live support group, I understand metropolitan areas have centers for GLBT activities or something (I'm hazy on the details as I live in a very small community very far from any larger metropolitan areas), and these often have support groups for married women who are discovering their attraction to other women.

If she googles Married Women Who Love Women she'll get another book plus message board, it used to be very active.

Browsing this forum can be a start, but I think this thread has covered most everything I learned from doing that.

And real life friends. Worth your weight in gold. Most helpful as the entire structure of one's life begins to be dismantled. Hang in there with her, and may we all find such loyal friends.
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#7 of 12 Old 03-26-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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As a mid-life bloomer myself, I can also recommend the Fleischer book "Living Two Lives" but I found the board on her site to be dominated by a few women who tend to run off anyone who suggests doing anything differently than they do, or expresses any sort of dissenting opinion. I also found the tone of the board to be so incredibly whiney and victim-minded that it totally turned me off. I hung out there, mostly lurking, but posting occasionally for about the last six months. I only decided it was not the place for me in the past couple of weeks.

I haven't found another board yet, and I'm not sure I want or need to. I'm dealing with my issues (which are legion, and not necessarily related to my sexuality LOL) with a therapist who has experience with women who have come out later in life. I'd suggest your friend start there... find a good, compassionate therapist who GETS IT.

Because it's totally different than coming out as a younger woman. Especially if you've ID'd your whole life as hetero... it can be quite the mind bender to realize and accept that you aren't.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-26-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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As a mid-life bloomer myself, I can also recommend the Fleischer book "Living Two Lives" but I found the board on her site to be dominated by a few women who tend to run off anyone who suggests doing anything differently than they do, or expresses any sort of dissenting opinion. I also found the tone of the board to be so incredibly whiney and victim-minded that it totally turned me off. I hung out there, mostly lurking, but posting occasionally for about the last six months. I only decided it was not the place for me in the past couple of weeks.

I haven't found another board yet, and I'm not sure I want or need to. I'm dealing with my issues (which are legion, and not necessarily related to my sexuality LOL) with a therapist who has experience with women who have come out later in life. I'd suggest your friend start there... find a good, compassionate therapist who GETS IT.

Because it's totally different than coming out as a younger woman. Especially if you've ID'd your whole life as hetero... it can be quite the mind bender to realize and accept that you aren't.
Yes. This exactly. Though I still lurk at Joanne's site, I go elsewhere for inspiration on the journey. And a therapist who gets it can be difficult to find. But worth finding.
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#9 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Yes. This exactly. Though I still lurk at Joanne's site, I go elsewhere for inspiration on the journey. And a therapist who gets it can be difficult to find. But worth finding.
Yeah, I'm a lurker there too. If you pick around the posts, you can get some great info on how other women are handling things. And the new people posting tend to sound like they're going through the exact same emotions as me. I do find some inspiration knowing I'm not alone.

The book was great because it went into many different scenarios that I hadn't even thought of yet without the drama that boards tend to have. It helped me accept that although it hurt my DP to hear it, it's better in the long run to discuss it sooner rather than later. And also to give him the time and space he needed to process it all.

I wanted to go to the workshop but chickened out.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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We need our own support thread. LOL I seriously thought I was the only person on MDC going through this.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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We need our own support thread. LOL I seriously thought I was the only person on MDC going through this.
Sounds good to me.
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#12 of 12 Old 03-31-2008, 08:09 AM
 
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We need our own support thread. LOL I seriously thought I was the only person on MDC going through this.
Here we go...
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