I’m a middle aged lesbian who lives with my Mom in Florida. How did I get here?
I was supposed to stay in her condo for a couple of months after I moved down from New York, following my divorce. Wonder why that marriage didn‘t work out? I was going to get established and then get my own bachelorette pad.
It’s been 13 years. Oops.
Keep in mind that when I left Long Island in 1998, I thought I was straight. Sure, I was obsessed with Sarah McLachlan and refused to be fixed up on any blind dates with guys. I only wanted to go out with the girls for drinks, bowling or maybe hit the batting cage. Ping!
Gradually waking up to the realization that I’m a lesbian would have been hard if I was alone, so imagine the extra added fun of doing it while living with my elderly, very Catholic Mom. I slept on a daybed in Mom’s sewing room, and had an old black and white TV, no cable. Pretty awesome.
In my life, the media have always played a major role in my education and self discovery. I knew something was going on. I needed to find an after school special for a sexually confused gal in her late 30’s. I was secretly listening to the Indigo Girls. I loved ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, but it was just too vague. Then I hit the video rental store, baseball cap and sunglasses on, and started picking up movies like ‘Go Fish’ and ‘Desert Hearts’. My lesbian cousin, the only one who knew I was gay at that time, told me to rent ‘Bound’. That one scared me a little. I watched it in the living room, with the volume low so as not to wake up Mom. I had to keep an ear out for her bedroom door opening. Creeeaaak. ‘Mary, what are you watching?’ ‘Uh, I Dream of Jeanne reruns.’ Because that’s not gay. I was just doing research.
Then I found the movie that answered all my questions. It was ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’. It hit so close to home that I felt like I was doing something really bad, just watching it. If anyone found out I rented it, they would know I was gay. All I was doing was watching an adorable romantic comedy, with an fantastic soundtrack of old standards, set in the most sophisticated place on Earth: New York City. Oh, and girls kiss. No big deal.
Visit Mary at www.marytischbein.com
Long Island Mary grew up in New York, in a big Catholic family.
When Mary is not at her home club, McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota, either doing stand up or performing with the McCurdy’s Comedy Improv Troupe, she is playing all over Florida, hosting, featuring or producing charity fund-raisers. She is currently touring with The Funny Divas, the all women comedy troupe she founded.