Dear John I Love Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars -- December 28, 2010
At 47, after 13 years of marriage to a man, and a life lived completely straight, I was suddenly and inexplicably attracted to a woman. I was sure I'd lost my mind, or was at least having the worst mid-life crisis on record. I frantically, desperately searched for stories of other women like me: women who had always been straight - truly straight - and had only ever been attracted to men. I wasn't secretly gay, nor was I carelessly disregarding life-long lesbian urges. I scoured my history, but recalled no crushes on female teachers or confusing attractions to my college roommates. I was straight. I'd simply always been a girl who only liked boys. So, what was happening to me, now!?!
My research turned up little. I felt completely alone in my experience with no point of reference until Dr. Lisa Diamond's "Sexual Fluidity" Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire was released in 2008. Diamond's book reads like the long research paper it is, but her findings were a relief. For the first time, I knew there were other women like me! Yet, I desperately wanted to know how other women navigated the transition from straight to lesbian.
"Dear John, I Love Jane" gives voice to these women. The stories are recounted by smart, brave women who listen to their hearts and somehow find the courage to pursue the love they most desire. They are honest and unapologetic. Remarkably, all are incredibly gentle with the boyfriends, husbands, children, parents, friends and colleagues who journey with them. Like many of them, I ended my marriage and now share my life with a woman. It has been three years and no label - gay, straight, bi-sexual - quite fits me.
My personal thanks to Candace Walsh and Laura Andre for collecting and sharing these illuminating stories of lives and loves, discovered and transformed. Each story reminds us that though life may be complicated, love is not.