Are You a Lesbian? Are You Coming Out?

January 27, 2013
Are You a Lesbian? Are You Coming Out?

Celesbians isn’t a term you’ll find in the dictionary…yet. And if you’re lesbian, you know who the celebrities are in our little lesbian world.

There’s Ellen. We might call her the kingpin of celesbians.

She started a movement. She came out on TV with Oprah in 1997. That went so well that she was then able to write a coming out scene into her rock star TV show named…tada…Ellen!

Of course, with Ellen we also have her lovely wife, Portia. Yes, we know them by their first names. No second name required.

Portia’s legal name is actually Portia Lee James DeGeneres. She filed to have it changed by the court in California in 2010.

Portia was one of those women who was out but not really out. She openly dated women for years but didn’t come out professionally until she started dating Ellen.

There was no way for her to date Ellen and not be all the way out.

Here’s the point I want to make.

You can be all the way out or not out at all. When you start dating, your level of outness can become a big issue.

If your potential girlfriend is all the way out, it’s doubtful she’s going back into the closet for you.

She’s going to want you to step out, and maybe all the way out. Are you up for that?


“In or out, it’s your decision based

on what you think is best for you.”

Only half living.

As the Gay Girl Dating Coach, one of the areas I help women with is the coming-out process.

I meet women every week of every age who are facing their truth and deciding to take the leap to come out.

And when a woman acknowledges her attraction to women later in life, there are a lot of decisions to be made about coming out.

When you are dating, if you’re both closeted and want to stay that way, then the lesbian fairy godmother has really helped you out.

In all honesty though, you know you’re only half living when you spend part of every day being afraid you’ll be found out.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of dating a woman who has a very public professional life. She is not out in her professional life and doesn’t want to be.

I wanted to be out, out, out and it was a problem.

It’s not much fun to go to a special event where there is music, dancing, fine wine and a romantic atmosphere and not be able to hold hands, dance or give your girl a little kiss in public.

It’s even harder to go to that event and have her spend the entire evening dancing with men because she’s hiding the fact she’s queer, even though everyone knows she’s queer. It’s just not being spoken about publicly.

It’s one of the big reasons our relationship didn’t work.

Get the picture?

Many lesbians don’t want to date someone who is in the closet.

If a woman has done the work to be all the way out, why would she want to go back into the closet?

In or out, it’s your decision based on what you think is best for you.

Out or not, it’s your choice but know it’s going to have a big impact on your dating life if you’re living in the closest.

Photo source:

Mary G. Malia, founder of Gay Girl Dating Coach, is a certified singles coach, strategic intervention coach and author of the book "The Gay Girl’s Guide to Avoid the 14 Dating Traps." She’s known as the leading resource and expert for lesbians who want to move past the barriers to finding love and lasting relationships. Connect with Mary on Google+.

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4 Responses

    Here’s what I don’t get. The lesbians I know who are comfortable with their sexuality often date girls who are maybe “newly” out or in that case “barely” out. It seems like my friends are there to guide them to a more fulfilling life as a gay girl but why not just date a girl who is TOTALLY out?

    When I date someone new it’s because I want to learn something from them too. I don’t want to go backwards, know what I mean? I’d prefer a woman, not a girl. and dating someone who still needs time to blossom just doesn’t appeal to me….

      C. Price
      Cynthia Price (

      I’ve seen women on our Lesbian Forum interact with girlfriends who seem less confident about their sexuality, quite often. Perhaps there’s a sense of security of dating someone who isn’t as confident and therefore a place for the more experienced gay girl to lead the way :)

    I think this is a great article I’m currently in the closet and my gf is all the way out and has been for years. We have been friends for years and a couple of months ago finally decided to act on my feelings for her and she returned the feelings. We are so in love and I want so badly to tell everyone but I’m afraid of how my extremely traditional family will respond. My gf is very understanding and said she doesn’t care if I ever tell anyone but I have a strong feeling that’s not true and I dont want to lose the love of my life. Does anyone have any tips on coming out to family

      C. Price
      Cynthia Price (

      Ashley, the most common response I’ve noticed is that women who wish to come out to their loved ones do so on their own time. Disregard the pressures of society, media, friendships, etc. Coming out is for you and nobody else. Find a way to be completely comfortable and confident with your timing and all those scattered pieces should fall into place.

      There’s no rush!

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