Welcome to the OWL. OWL is an acronym for Older Wiser Lesbians.
Each month, we will present perspectives from the OWL’s eye view. OWLs have great wisdom. An OWL inspires you to look at situations with a keen eye. As the OWL dives into topics we hope to have open and honest conversations with your input. The OWL’s goal is to be your guide before you take flight.
“Let’s go back, let’s go way on back when, I didn’t even know you; you couldn’t have been too much more than ten”Think by Aretha Franklin
As children we find role models who, if we are lucky, accept, love, and support us exactly as we are. Many in the LGBTQ+ community do not have this experience. As we develop into adults, we expand our networks to connect with friends, neighbors, and companions but still may not have a role model or role model relationships that we identify with. So, who do you turn to?
A recent OWL social media survey found relationship role models in three groups:
· 40% are friends in relationships; whether gay or straight,
· 40% are LGBTQ+ parents, and
· 20% are straight parents.
Let’s take a minute and think about that.
These results indicate that our birth parents may not be the right role models for LGBTQ+ individuals.
The LGBTQ+ community understands this. Often it is difficult for individuals, let alone couples, to connect with their hetero parents. How do our youth connect and reach self-awareness and couple goals when their role models don’t look like them?
From the OWL’s perspective there are those, like us, who are fortunate to have met a role model couple who have been in a relationship that has stood the test of time through ups, downs and sometimes even sideways over the past 30 years.
We lovingly dubbed our role models Fairy Godmothers (FGMs). From prior to being married until now, they have taught lessons about being independent women as well as how to love each other. The support and knowledge we gained by interacting with our FGMs has provided us with unexpected insights into a same sex relationship that we hadn’t anticipated but have cherished.
Now don’t get us wrong, we both have parents who love and accept us as we are but we didn’t find the same kind of role models in them as we have in our FGMs.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, let me explain.
Our FGMs have experienced many situations from civil rights inequalities to couple goals issues. The beautiful part is they have shared those struggles and maintained their path as individuals and as a couple. Ultimately, they have walked their journey together and found the balance that works for them, instead of falling into commonplace ruts of running away from the unknown, finding the next best thing or playing the field. They have turned to each other.
These lessons are filled with little bits of honesty that we are unable to see in our parental relationships. With same-sex couples it’s easier to relate to these lessons as well as gain a takeaway at the end of the experience.
So, if you just can’t seem to connect or you know a “friend” who isn’t able to, consider reaching out to those that came before us. That relationship, whether it’s with a person or couple, may just provide you with a different perspective into learning more about exactly who you are, as well as, what you want in your personal growth and what you’re looking for in a role model.
Seek those who have what you want and learn how they reached their goals. Many went before you and there are many to come that may need your hard-earned wisdom. Remember to look for the OWLs and know that you’re not alone.
Next month the OWLs will tackle the holidays — how clubs and bars provided safe spaces for the LGBTQ community during holiday seasons past, Friendsgiving, and making your own supportive holiday traditions. Join the conversation over on Facebook!