TikTok Helped Me—a Married Mom of Two—Realize My True Sexual Identity
It's still strange to me that any human must justify or "come out" with their sexual identity. Aside from pronouns, of course, most of these things we are referring to happen behind closed doors and don't infringe on anyone else's life choices. Until a person's sexual identity stops being anyone else's concern, it seems the only way to normalize these new feelings and alternative ways of living is to talk about it so much that they no longer hold any shock value.
I'm 32 years old, married with two children, and I found out I was attracted to women through TikTok. Don't worry I'll be unpacking all this for you, not for you to judge, but to help any other parents who may be going through the same thing, silently.
TikTok's algorithm shows you more of the content you watch or engage with and one day Bri, a tattoo artist who goes by @thatbihbri, on TikTok, came up on my feed. She's gorgeous and at the time she had long dark hair. I've always been comfortable enough to admit when I find a woman attractive, but I always thought it was platonic. I continued to scroll on, no big deal.
As the days passed and TikTok started showing me more of her videos and women like her, I started questioning myself, why do they keep showing me all these gorgeous lesbian women? I wasn't pressing like on all these videos, but TikTok knew I was watching it until the end and decided to keep showing me more.
It was as if it was desensitizing and breaking down my own wall (that I thought was built of brick and mortar) of sexuality.
And then, she cut her hair.
I worked in nightclubs, gay clubs, frequented gay nights on Sundays because it was my day off, and have always been supportive of the LGBTQ community. I guess I never took the chance to ask myself if this was for me too.
My whole life I've been pursued by men, and honestly after watching every Disney movie in my childhood, I just assumed I was on the hunt for a prince without ever questioning it. When you're young and someone has a crush on you in school, you eventually like them back right?
I felt butterflies watching these TikToks with her new short hair. I don't even know her and it started happening with other masculine women too who were "my type." I was watching these videos and every other video on TikTok with no agenda or preconceived bias, as we all do. Just here for the humor and news. Except it was my news headline that was changing.
The more I felt drawn to these women, the more I realized I needed to tell my husband, and telling him was no cakewalk. I would follow him around like a puppy for a week looking for the right moment, and finally I let it out. It was more emotional than I ever thought that conversation was going to go, not because of him but because of me.
I was relieved to finally get this off my chest because if you follow my Instagram @fruitsofmotherhood, you know, I'm a very open—maybe even a little bit of an oversharer.
Here we are standing outside the door of our guest bathroom, he tells me that I shouldn't have to go my whole life without figuring this out, but the idea scared me. I just wanted to be open about these feelings. I also was identifying as "bisexual," for now. He was willing to let me try to form a romantic relationship with a woman to see if it helped us too. I felt like I was missing something.
After I told him the news, I felt better, but not great.
I started to do some deep digging of my own, into my past and into my past relationships. Each one of them ended because of my loss of sexual interest and chemistry. As most young people do, I thought maybe it was just over between us and moved on to the next relationship, which ended in the same fashion. Once the newness and "excitement" wore off, so did my desire.
I don't know about you but in the beginning of most of my relationships it seems we go out a lot, so there's plenty of drinking involved to settle nerves and increase excitement. It seemed to be what helped me boost my intimacy too. Even after marriage, I found myself trying to drink a glass of wine to get myself in the mood. Except it was no longer working.
Even before kids, I had to really think about my opinions about sex. I didn't want to. Never initiated it, would just wait for it to be over with. It sounds awful I know, but this is no reflection of the men I was with, it was me.
If I could choose tomorrow to never have sex with another man again, I'd be just fine. Honestly, relieved. That's when I knew.
Telling my partner, I haven't wanted to have sex with him in years was hard but trust me he knew. He has also been with a lot of women, and something was just off with us.
They say sometimes you're the last to know. It's me, I was last to know.
I am a lesbian not because of TikTok but because it was casually showing me things with my guard down. Which is what made me dig deep and question myself.
I wrote about it on my blog, to normalize yet another part of being a woman. I already have been tackling motherhood for the last 3.5 years on social media. Numerous moms wrote to me in confidence that they too wondered about themselves and asked me how did I know?
It's never too late to find and be yourself. Maybe you've changed or maybe just the expectations of ourselves have changed.
In my lifetime, being a lesbian still felt more taboo than being gay. I never questioned myself, it's like I was on autopilot.
I still love my husband as much as I did on our wedding day, we were best friends first and strive to always be. This is always who I've been deep down, so nothing has changed inside of me.
All I know is that my children will grow up knowing that they are allowed and welcomed to be whoever they want to be. That it's never too late to find yourself and start over. I dream of the day where someone's sexuality is never questioned or judged. That "coming out" is a thing of the past. That we don't assume who someone should be with and we can accept and respect our differences.
Love does not stop at our differences. As mothers, we are raising the next generation and paving the direction for how our children will be treated out in the world. Acceptance starts at home.
If my own husband can be supportive when it directly affects his life. You can find it in your heart to do the same.
Anyone else needing someone to talk to, I'm here. I've been there, I needed someone to talk to too.
Linda Fruits is the writer behind the Fruits of Motherhood blog whose mission is to normalize motherhood. She has a talent for making mothers feel less alone in the daily struggles of parenting with a side of side-splitting laughter. You can follow her on Instagram @fruitsofmotherhood and Tiktok @fruitsofmotherhood and connect through email: Fruitsofmotherhood@gmail.com.