Hi, my name is Long Island Mary. I’m middle aged, divorced and I live with my 85 year old mother in Florida.
Oh yeah, and I’m a Lesbian.
Growing up, the signs were there. I cried like a baby the first day of kindergarten when my Mom put a dress on me. In every old home movie, I’m a little drag king, with a full drawn on beard, a tie and a fedora. I loved to play softball. I related more to Alice than to Marcia Brady. All red flags. But I buried it deep.
Then around the age of 37, it was getting obvious. My marriage fell apart and was just plain uncomfortable on every level. My husband and I were born again, practically Super Protestants, something that just thrilled my big Catholic family. Turns out I wasn’t in love with Jesus, I just had a wicked crush on Amy Grant. I didn’t know I had AOL: Adult Onset Lesbianism. I went to therapy, hoping to figure it out. The therapist said, you’re not crazy, you’re a lesbian. It’s a piece of the whole you, like being a brunette or a lefty.
Then I bit the bullet, and told my Mom. I thought she would take it badly, being so religious. She took it like a champ, and said, ‘Mary, I don’t care if you’re gay, I just want you to be happy. But please, promise me, you’ll never be Protestant again’. Because that was the bigger sin to my Mom.
My nephew called the other day and said he was scared because there was a monster under his bed. I told him it’s good that his monster is being honest with itself. Look at my monster, it was in the closet for 37 years. And when it came out, it wasn’t scary at all. It was FABULOUS!
Now, I am much more comfortable and confident, knowing that the real me is able to come out and play. Always worrying about what other people think held me back for years. But the one person whose opinion mattered the most, is totally accepting of who I am now, so why worry?
By the way, that person is me.
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.