11/16/09 – by Isabell James
Jo and I needed to let loose. Hence, Friday was “Girl’s Night Out.” In my pre-Navy existence, this would have consisted of our beautiful lesbian friends and a hot ‘girl’ party in the city. Jo and I would slow dance, kiss, and walk home, hand in hand. While we can no longer be publically affectionate, we still get giddy drunk and love dancing with our new girlfriends. For Friday’s festivities, we chose a Cougar hot spot, as our friend Candy is a recent (hot) divorcee. I love any reason to put on my favorite dress and paint on smoky eye makeup (yes, I am what you may call a lipstick lesbian.) Jo, typically cozy in her kicks, broke out heels for this rare night out.
The best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all…
The evening began fabulously. We snapped photos, danced to the live band and sang loudly. Grabbing a drink and cooling down at the bar, I was approached. Tall, blond, chubby and not so handsome, he asked, “Can I buy you a drink?”
This is certainly not the first time I’ve been hit on by a man. But it was the first time I could not respond with my usual, “I don’t think my girlfriend would like that.” I suppose I could have said boyfriend, but I just said “No thank you.”
I am so proud of who I am and who I am with. Moments like this, blatant denial of who we are, make me want to cry. I suddenly longed for my lesbian haven.
Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear…
My sad darkness started to close in around me and then the night got worse. Lightness was farther and farther away. Our friend Rose, single, straight and very sexy, was approached by a man with a buzz cut. As I walked up from the bathroom, Jo sharply whispered, “He’s military, don’t touch me.” I hadn’t touched her once the entire night, but that didn’t matter. Her fear had kicked in and punched me in the gut.
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it…
As Rose danced with Buzz cut, my head began pounding. I stopped ordering cocktails and began tearing up, sitting there listening to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Regardless of our night OUT, we always have to be IN.
I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend…
There is no solace in this gay Navy world, just constant reminders of the fact that we can no longer be true to who we are. This will never be even CLOSE to fine.
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I’d been the night before…
As I drove to get coffee and bagels on Saturday morning, “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls came on the radio (hence, the italic song reference throughout this post.) Oddly, I immediately felt peace. Jo and I may feel isolated in this new world without our lesbian network, but you are out there. Just when I seem to lose sight of the community we were so actively a part of, an iconic lesbian duo streams through the radio and pulls me out of my own trenches. Perhaps we’ll be fine after all.