Copyright 2012 Cengage Leamim^AiiMIHhfR Editorial review has deemed ‘that any suppressed cof|

My life as a young lesbian was very different from the lesbian youth I see today. No one I knew talked about homosexuality, and I dated boys because my friends did. I was in my early thirties before my first sexual experience with a woman, but even that blissful experience didn’t make me think of myself as a lesbian. It was several more years before I identified myself as a lesbian and had gay friends other than my partner. Today young lesbians have lots of positive infor­mation and images to help them understand and accept themselves. But they also face intense negativity from conservative reactions to gay rights. In my era the fact that homosexuality was so "hush-hush" gave us considerable privacy and protection by being overlooked. We never confronted the harassment, vio­lence, or antigay activism that is now part of the picture. (Authors’ files)