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So, as one of the Storme Sisters, I wanted to share a bit of my story with you.

I was a boy mad teen who fancied the most fanciable boy in town and got off with him a few times at parties but we never actually ‘did it’. All the while, the girl who was becoming my best friend was
2/ falling in love with me, and I with her. When it came to applying for university, she got in but I had to stay back a year and take a re-sit, but I reapplied to the same uni and got in and there we were. Living in a shared house. Me frightened to death about being a ‘lesbian’.
3/ Both of us scared of being ‘found out’. We had separate rooms and our love was hidden in plain sight. My poor mum, who once, in answer to an innocent question when I was in my early teens, “What is a lesbian” and who’d told me, straightforwardly, “a woman who loves another
4/ woman”, found it all hard to handle and I think was terrified I’d grow old and lonely and bitter and twisted because I’d be outcast from society.
I struggled with defining myself as a lesbian well into my 20s. Even to this day, until a resurge of pride brought about by being
5/ involved with feminist politics, I hate being defined primarily by my sexuality and by the word ‘lesbian’. But it is what I am. Thirty years into a relationship with another woman, it’s hard to know what else I’d call myself!
6/ I can honestly say I’ve not suffered much direct homophobia. My mum and my dad, before they both died, came to love and accept my partner as do my whole family, and her family love and accept me. I ‘pass’ as straight, maybe that’s why. People are often surprised by a lot of
7/ things they find out about me; a young, male colleague was once so surprised I liked The Jam because he thought I should like Daniel O’Donnell. That’s how stereotypes work. Sometimes you can work them to your advantage! I’ve learned that on the whole in life, people will
8/ generally treat you with the same respect you afford them. Maybe that’s true in real life more than online. But I think my mum was relieved for me that it was possible to ‘love another woman’ and be happy and accepted and live a ‘normal’ life, whatever the hell that is!
9/ (Cutting the blooming grass and cleaning out the plughole have been some of my womanly tasks today!)

My first love and I are still each other’s oldest friends and we mean a great deal to each other. The lesbian world can be incestuous at times – by its very nature, it’s small
10/ – but it is possible to retain friendships and closeness with ex partners and partners of partners, maybe more so than in the heterosexual world, because we need each other. And we do need each other more than ever before. I gave up on ‘the scene’ a long time ago.
11/ I became a bit complacent with my nice life and my circle of friends and while I wasn’t looking, all the support and advice and places for lesbians to meet had closed down. And now the community, and women, are under attack more than ever before.
12/ That’s why I’m part of this movement. I’m crawling back out of my shell (not my closet – I came out of that a very long time ago, although it was more of a creeping process than a Big Bang affair!) and realising all is not rosy in the lesbian world and there are some
13/ confused, lonely and isolated dykes out there, some maybe thinking they have to have sex with men. Well, let me tell you, you don’t.

Let’s stick together and help and support each other to gain visibility and validation for what we are – female homosexuals!
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