Monica, I can tell you that coming out as you, and the other girls here, in a smallish conservative town, can be done. The town I live in, and grew up in, is almost as redneck, oilfield, cattle raising conservative as you can possibly find. I have been dressing since the age of 5 and never been interested in GG’s, so most everyone in school when I grew up knew I was gay, but not about being femme. My first lover was transferred out of the country by his employer just before I graduated high school, and since I really had nothing holding me here, I moved the day after I got my diploma to the largest town in the area, about 150,000 people back then. I lived there for almost 10 years until my mom passed away, and since I wasn’t getting much of anywhere there, I moved back to live in my mother’s house.
My hometown is currently at 17,800 or so people as of the last census, 2010. When I came back, I promised myself I would no longer deny who I was or how I lived my life. Once my sister discovered her secret sister, I stepped out openly as femme. It was not, and sometimes still is not, the easiest path to take in a small Texas town. I had to take my stand on so many things and not budge or dodge from anything that came or was thrown my way. Eventually, for the soreheads that couldn’t handle what they saw and met, the ‘new’ finally wore off and life calmed for me a great deal after that, to actual acceptance by the majority of the people I live and interact with now.
I still do not have a lot of friends who live in part of our lifestyle here in town. I still go back to the city and see old friends there, and get out and party and have a good time. There are many places there I can go and be. The town I live in now is my refuge. The city has gone through phases of anti-gay, anti-CD, anti LGBTQ+, and just about anything that is not normal. But it has also become a lot more accepting also.
Now, in this new century, it is much easier for you younger girls to come out and find acceptance. You will always meet a few soreheads who are against you, even if you were to save their lives or something, but there is more and more room for you to grow. Taking a stand in your conservative home will take a lot of fortitude and perseverance, but if you stand your ground and don’t hide from yourself or other’s, you WILL make it. People you know now will desert you, but some will stay by your side, relatives, friends and casual acquaintances will come and go, and many new people will join you that you never expect or knew before.
I am not going to tell you it will be easy, because it won’t. Your heart will break at who you find will desert you. At the same time, you will gain friends and supporters from directions you never suspected they would come from. Take a deep breath, steel yourself for what is coming, but do not shut yourself off. You have 23,000 or so girlfriends here already to help you get started. Take your time, don’t rush, consider your options, and above all, live YOUR LIFE as YOU want it to be. DO NOT surrender.
My heart goes out to you and what you are considering, and to all of you girls that have barely started your journeys. All of us older babes (that’s what we really are is babes) have been where you are. Come to us with your questions and problems, ask us about anything you need to. Be warned, some of us don’t have all the filters turned on, so some answers may really surprise you sometimes.
Good luck Monica!!