To Be Or Not To Be – A Lesbian

Ride that wave
Back into your soul
Where the fish dive deep
Amongst ship wrecked gold

Our love is the greatest love story — ever told. (As in our ability to love — universally).
Lyrics by Anonymous

ID-10076851I’ve been considering switching sides. It’s just this heterosexual thing has not been panning out. Ever since I’ve been thrust back onto the social scene, most of my endeavors with men have been riddled with discomfort and confusion. I’ve been on the other side before and I’m almost tempted to venture back.  Mutual understanding, sensuality, sharing – all to the tune of Tori Amos and Goldfrapp. Not to mention, the gay community is way more fun. AND vibrant AND celebratory. They have their own parades, bars – they own a section of town in most major cities. And the best parties I have EVER attended have always been hosted by gay people. I’m talking lavish and extravagant – ice sculptures, endless champagne, gourmet everything and Debbie Gibson.

So I’ve been reflecting on my lesbian days lately. Particularly since it was all so random and coincidental, I never really had a chance to put it into perspective. If anything I denied that it had happened because I was, well, a little embarrassed. I know. I hate me too.  But I’m finally crawling out from under the covers.

…it all started in my mid-twenties when I decided to explore the meaning of freedom. I was kind of inspired by the John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” If  life happens, why plan? At the same time, a failed marriage and the Chicago weather had succeeded in destroying my soul, so I packed my bags and headed out West. I needed change, but I didn’t know how. Insert John Lennon quote. I had no plans for work…and if I ended up homeless, so be it, or rather, “Let it be.”

I didn’t end up homeless, instead I took a singing lesson one day, because I felt like singing and I sounded terrible (ALSO: I figured it was a sound proof and creative way to quit smoking) – and shortly after that I found myself in a lesbian relationship, living in a recording studio located in a warehouse-type building in downtown L.A. Re-insert John Lennon quote. It was like one grade above homelessness. Instead of waking up on the beach, I’d wake up on a mattress in between a drum set and a keyboard. Totally awesome. But wow, the beach version of homelessness sounds way more inviting when you put it in words.

Maybe I was trying to channel Janis Joplin or something because my lesbian counterpart was very much like Janis. She was a bad-ass musician with a tattoo of a tarantula on her breast. She was raw and aggressive and could play the bass, guitar, piano and pretty much every instrument ever invented since the Baroque period. She had previously preformed in various bands, appeared on T.V. (and on a billboard on Sunset Blvd), and was pseudo famous on the Goth circuit. Also, she was onto the vampire theme before it had entered anyone’s consciousness, like WAY before Twilight. She actually went on radio claiming to be a “vampiress.”

It was after my third singing lesson when she called to discuss lyric writing and composing, because I wanted to explore other avenues in music, that she propositioned me. At first I was like, NO FUCKING WAY. I am definitely STRAIGHT. But the more I got to know her, the more I became attracted to the person. Gender aside, we had a lot in common. She had previously lived in Chicago, we had similar family backgrounds and an interest in the arts. And then suddenly I had an epiphany: Fuck it! I’ve been screwed over by men so many times. Why not?

So we pulled out the chains and whips, Rihanna style, and did all sorts of weird things. Totally Kidding. It was more of a spiritual experience. Intimacy on a higher echelon to what I’ve ever experienced with a man. We’d talk, share stories, exchange ideas, listen to music, write lyrics, create instrumental-electro pieces. We even composed a song together, Dirty Girlz, which was featured in a short film . It was gritty and imperfect and I wanted to hide or die rather than let anyone ever hear it, but she was firm in her belief that art, just as life, is imperfect and we should embrace it.

Every time I stressed out, which was often, because we were bohemian struggling artist types at low points in our lives (she had faded from the music scene and I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life), she would say, “The universe provides you with what you need at that particular point in time.” I kind of resented that belief since she had gone through periods with investors throwing large sums of money at her, whereas I had maintained a consistent level of poverty throughout my entire life. Thanks Universe. But in hindsight she was probably right and seriously how many people get to say, “I lived in a recording studio and my girlfriend was a rockstar.” If living on the edge was part of that – I’ll take it.

Eventually she decided to move to Vegas and since I had just relocated to California I wasn’t willing to leave. Besides, I had eloped in Vegas and had bad memories of that place. So after four months we went our separate ways.

CUT TO: Present time. She’s happily married, managed to do it before Prop 8 was enacted – and well, I’m just now reflecting on those times. Was I really a lesbian? Or bi-sexual? Was it purely experimental? What I do know, is that it was a genuine relationship and very real at that time.

Whichever way I go in the future, more than likely hetro or metro in like some bizarre threesome commune thing (knowing me), I aspire to find that kind of connection again. You learn from every relationship and the one I disregarded, actually taught me the most – particularly about the importance of friendship as a foundation and of course…life itself as according to John Lennon.

Free Digital Photos. Photo by imagerymajestic.



  1. claudette

    i term myself as liking people. Mostly date men but i also feel like bi doesn't really apply to me. So I just go for who I hit it off with (its so true about friendship as a foundation).

  2. John Lennon would pee on nuns. But not in a golden shower way. Seriously. I took a class on him in college. The dude was seriously fucked up.

    • Lola Berlin

      Nuns are weird anyway. And maybe so was John Lennon. Maybe we all are. Still he's a musical legend and he inspired me.

  3. why pick? I'm queer. sometimes I say half gay. I mostly date men but occasionally I meet a woman that rocks my socks. I don't love the term bi because of some archaic connotations in both the queer and straight communities. but I say why choose? we all exist in shades of gray, labels be damned. I say just follow your heart and your vagina and be happy.

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