This is an open letter to the men who dated me, for time ranging from a few weeks to several months.
I'm sorry that I didn't love you better. I wish I had.
But I didn't know how to. You see, I didn't know who I was, and I definitely didn't love who I was, and that meant that I didn't have enough to offer you.
I shouldn't have been dating at all. I should have held myself to a standard of defining what I needed before pulling you into the hot mess that was me before I was out. Before I knew. Before I saw the pattern I had of falling madly, unsustainably for men I couldn't make happy because I was unhappy. I thought you would make me happy, but that's not how love works.
I was socialized to believe that gay people were broken. I didn't think I was broken, so I assumed that I was straight.
I was socialized to believe that women are called to marriage and childbearing as their highest form of service.
I was socialized to believe that I was unattractive and hard to love, too smart, too religious, too flat, too loud to be loved.
And then you found me lovely, for a time at least. You made me feel, for a time at least, that it was possible for someone to love me. You told me that women in many shapes and sizes are beautiful. You talked to me late into the night and found my interdisciplinarity engaging.
That was important. What you did and said mattered. What you didn't say mattered.
What I didn't say mattered too.
It didn't work. We didn't last. Things ended amicably for the most part.
I can't pretend to know how you felt when I came out. You might have been surprised, or maybe you felt that things made more sense.
Know that I never meant to hurt you, if it hurt. Know that I will raise my sons and daughters, Lord willing, to believe differently.
I hope you are happy. I hope you have found your helpmate as I found mine. I hope that you learned something useful from the time we spent together, as I learned from you.
The most fervent love I can give,