My 30-year-old sexual epiphany

People say that turning 30 is a milestone. You become more of an adult than you were at 29 ¾. You somehow have a better understanding of who you are and what your needs and wants are. And it just magically happens on your 30th birthday. Ridiculous, right? Well, for me, it couldn’t have been more spot-on.

I’ve always dated boys. Lots of them. At least, lots of first dates. A handful lasted a few months, but rarely, if ever, would they amount to lasting relationships. I would always find something wrong with the guys, even if they were great (they weren’t always great). I started to think something was wrong with me. Maybe I’m too picky? Maybe I’m incapable of having a real long-term relationship? One where two people love each other unconditionally, want to spend all of their time together and are attracted to each other in every way possible (physically, emotionally, spiritually, sense of humor-ly, etc.). I knew I had a lot to offer someone, so what was the problem?

I was searching for the wrong person.

I come from a liberal family, have a great group of open-minded friends and I live in West Hollywood (one of the gay capitals of the world). So, why did it take me so long to figure out that the problem wasn’t that I was incapable of loving, or that I couldn’t find the right guy? I don’t know. But it did.

When I turned 30 last June, I discovered that I wanted to be with a woman. Literally, on my birthday, I had a gay epiphany. A gaypiphany. So many of my friends are gay, my sister is a lesbian, my uncle is gay, other members of my family are gay and it’s possible my dog is gay. I’ve always been surrounded by gay. It just never occurred to me that I might be gay, because gay just never felt right to me.

I fell in love with a woman, and I’m still in love with that woman. We are going to get married, have kids and do life together forever. I have no desire to be with a man, but I also have no desire to be with another woman. So, for me, it’s not about being gay or straight. It’s about being in love.

People ask me all the time, “So, you’re a lesbian now?” My honest answer is, “I don’t know, and I don’t really care.” I just feel like me. But to satisfy the need for people to understand, I may say yes, I may say no or I may say, “What should we have for lunch?” Sexual identity is confusing for people, because it’s not black and white (or gay or straight). We’ve been taught that we’re one thing or the other, and when you’re one thing, it’s really hard to understand what it must be like to be the other.

I believe we can fall in love with anyone at anytime. Straight, gay, bisexual and whatever else someone may be… we’re all the same. We all want love. Of course, a lot of lesbians label themselves as lesbians, and the same with gay men; however, that isn’t the case for everyone. But that doesn’t make their love and commitment any less real. I just consider myself to be the way I am right now, and that very well may last me the rest of my life.

  • Tyler Vendetti

    This is one of the most honest, thought-provoking posts I’ve seen on HelloGiggles. Thanks for sharing, Jill!

    • Jill Layton

      Wow – what a compliment. Thank you for that, Tyler.

  • ReAune Small

    “its not about being gay or straight. It’s about being in love”

  • Elizabeth Polit

    Such a beautiful piece. It wasn’t what I was expecting when I started reading, but it was perfect all the same. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gina Vaynshteyn

    I love this. <3

    • Jill Layton

      Thanks, Gina :)

  • Sarah Elayna Fletcher

    This is so great! I’m so happy you found love :)

  • Anna Hatchetstone

    Amazing! Could relate to lots of what you said :)

  • Anna Badmamajama

    I love this! Congratulations on your new found love. I can relate to this seeing as I didn’t come out until I was 23. I had a serious of boyfriends. I was surrounded by gay friends and never realized I was gay. Once I realized that I may never have the chance to be with a woman, I decided to give it a try…..and wow! So much made sense that didn’t make sense before, like being IN love with someone instead of just loving them. Some of my friends and family just didn’t understand how I didn’t know. While dating my second girlfriend, she made the hard decision to transition to become male. This was tough for me as well, because I had only been out for 6 years and now I had to decide if giving up the love for her was worth it simply because her gender would change. It was tough, but I decided that I loved and was IN love with her as a person, not as a gender. So now, it’s 8 years into our relationship and we are still in love and best friends. That really threw our friends for a loop and some accused me of no longer being gay. What I’ve realized over the years is it doesn’t matter who labels me with what, what matters is that I am with the person I am in love with and he is my best friend. That’s unconditional love and I am so glad you have found it as well. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    • Jill Layton

      What a great story, Anna. Thank YOU for sharing.

  • Mels Lien

    Beautiful piece. :)

  • Pamela Rodriguez

    Labels have never really mattered, what matters the most is that you seem to have found your place in life and that’s the end of it. Or the beginning. I’m very happy for you, thank you for sharing this.

  • Chelsea Keesler

    Wow, I know this is besides the point of your article, but you two make a *stunning* couple! Congratulations on finding the right person for you, and for that sexual epiphany. I’m already married to the love of my life, but it makes me look forward to turning 30. :)

    • Jill Layton

      That’s nice of you to say. Thank you!

  • Javier Obregon

    A positive affirmation to life’s journey, may your new path be filled with love and joy.

  • Mikaela Lombardo

    This happened to me! I could have a very satisfying friendship/satisfying sexual relationship with a man, but nothing of those two ever combined. I felt broken; what was wrong with me? Then I laid eyes on her. It was even just a photo of her, but I knew, I really knew that I was going to love her. I did, and still do. Also, for the first time ever, the sex is beautiful! I never knew sex could be such a story. ‘Satisfying’ is no longer my word of approval; I’m so fulfilled.

  • Betty Kwok

    Congratulations on discovering yourself and a new path in your life. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I definitely agree that it’s about being in love – not about labelling yourself as gay or straight.

    Labels are everything in today’s world. I remember one of my gay crushes said to me “what? you’re STRAIGHT now?” when I told her it would never work out between us. I was super annoyed and pissed she even said that! I mean, does it matter? At the end of the day, it’s the person that matters, not the gender.

  • Verity Gray

    I had to come back here and tell you that this piece of writing quite literally changed my life! I had been reaching for something – missing something – not quite happy – not quite settled – not quite myself. I spent much of last year running – training for a 50 mile road race – I think trying to find answers in the road, in the physical motion and exhaustion.
    Then came this article – and I gave myself permission to think that maybe – just maybe – i wasn’t crazy after all – that I could get to the age of 36 and suddenly realise that I was indeed gay. That what was missing was actually something I had never even missed or wanted or thought about.
    And now I am planning my wedding – I have an amazing fiancée – and I am so incredibly happy and satiated – and content – I can’t even describe it!
    Without you, I’m not sure I would be here – and I needed to come back here and tell you “THANK YOU”!!!!!!! From the very bottom of my heart – for having the courage to write this!

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