Oh hey, I'm gay.

Finally, I started referring to myself as "gay." I've struggled with this label because I never felt connected to the gay community, and stereotypes of lesbian women are so powerful that they deterred me from accepting who I really was.  Also, unlike a lot of LGBT people, Leslie and I don't have a huge circle of gay friends. For us, it's more important to have friends with whom we share other interests--we don't care who anyone's sleeping with unless it's good gossip.

When I was 35, I had what my friend Jill Layton described as a, "Gaypiphany." Ok, I always suspected I wasn't straight, but at age 35, I finally gave myself permission to love the way I wanted to. Logically, I turned to my group of lesbian friends for support, but felt like I had come up against a stone wall (ha!). Some of them thought I wasn't "really gay" and challenged me with questions aimed at determining the authenticity of my feelings (as if anyone has the right to determine this!). And some dismissed me as a typical "Jessica Stein," leaving me to wallow in feelings of loneliness and the pain of my first lesbian crush #FirstWorldGayProbs #PoorMe

But in defense of the lesbians, I also wasn't convinced I was one of them:

1. I don't like to camp. 2. Subarus. No thank yous. 3. U-Hauls. Never. 4. Beer. Never. 5. Home Depot. I'm scared. 6. What the hell is rugby anyway?

Stereotypes are really powerful because they can work to negate your true self: How could a jappy, french-manicured figure skater be gay? To me, it seemed unfathomable.

When Leslie and I started dating, I didn't formally "come out." Except for the fact that I now had someone to share my life with, nothing changed: I retained the same friends, my family still loved me and I benefited from the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, which allowed Leslie, Elliot and me to be a legal family.

I've never marched in a Pride parade, I've never been done anything to raise awareness and thankfully, I've never encountered homophobia. For some, this might not make me as gay as they are, and I'm ok with that. I thank the gayer gays for fighting the fight I never had to, and for creating a society in which Elliot will grow up thinking having two mommies is the best thing ever. I am truly very, very grateful.