Being a lesbian in the 80’s & 90’s and things I learned from the old sitcoms.

Me in the 90's

I grew up in the 80’s and was a young adult in the 90’s and it was a remarkable time. Some of my role models were from T.V shows and honestly, I believe that those shows have shaped me into the woman I am today. The Golden Girls, Designing Women were two of the shows in particular. Both of these shows showed me who I wanted to be when I grew up and that it was okay to be a strong open-minded woman. They used comedy and truth and I will be forever grateful for the observational learning that transpired at that young age.

Regardless of the real life drama, I endured at these times,  watching these shows would give me the hope that being a decent human being was who I wanted to be and that I would not let the dire circumstances of my childhood reflect who I would become.

These shows were based on strong women all of them unique and brilliant in their own way. Facing discrimination and inequality in some way their shows brought up facts that some people were afraid to speak about such as racism, growing old, gay rights etc.

For a young lesbian, it was nice to know that there were shows out there that understood. I have always said that being lesbian or gay was like having a psychological hump the size of another person on your back. Sometimes, that hump is the only thing that people will see. Yes, I am your friendly neighborhood lesbian, No I do not want to corrupt you or your family and most of all just because you are a woman does not mean I want to sleep with you. I am no one’s guinea pig or experiment, thank you very much.

I will never understand why women believe that we lesbians want to jump your bones just because we want to be your friends. We have our self-respect and honestly, I would be no better than a man if I did that. Anyway, I don’t know if any of you remember what it was like dating in the 80’s and 90’s as a lesbian? If you did not look like a dyke or was aggressively dominate lesbian your choices were slim to none. Internet dating was not a thing yet and it’s not like you could wear a shirt that says ” Hey, I’m a lesbian want to get a drink? I had a hard enough time coming out and did not actually come out until I was 17 years old. I had a one night stand that lasted about four years. One day I will tell you all about it. She is an amazing woman who I will always love and wish happiness for.

I was the oldest of three who was thrown into being the adult at 16, I am thankful that I did have older role models that helped me see how strong I could be. I will always be thankful for my first crush, who might not even know how strongly I looked up to her. She dropped everything in her life to help me and my family at the time ( There are still really good people in the world.) We are still friends and I am thankful to still have her.

I have two wonderful brothers who have grown into very remarkable human beings besides the hard life, we have lived. The Golden Girls and Designing Women taught me how to value my friendships these shows encouraged me to keep the strong bonds of friendships and that it was okay to be a strongly minded individual and not let hate and racism thrive in my heart. Although none of those females on those two shows were lesbians they still fought for many of us.

You young adults now have no idea how hard it was for us older lesbians to date back then. You either would have to look like a dyke or get extremely lucky which I was not. The only other option was to place a personal ad in the newspaper I can tell you how many crazy women out there that either wanted a one night stand or a hot and heavy affair but no more than that. Those stories will be for another day, some of them funny and some of them heartbreaking. Now that I think about it, the internet is a lot like that now so I apologize for comparing. There is some advice that this old lesbian can tell you, learn how to forgive, be who you are and you will find someone when you least expect it.


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