Later in life lesbian
Updated: Sep 4
Olivia Armstrong, 27, is busy planning her wedding, but if she hadn’t made a drastic change in her life six years ago, there would be no wedding at all and certainly still a man about.
Olivia and her ex had been together since school before they finally called it quits and she came out as a gay woman.
The catalyst for the break up came when they both got new career opportunities at the same time, but they were based in opposite ends of the UK. After some discussion, they agree to live apart for their jobs and it was here that Olivia knew it wasn't going to last much longer.
After arriving at her new job away from everything she had known before, she didn’t have to pretend to be a different person anymore. She came out of her shell and realised who she was and what she wanted, and that was to be with a girl.
It wasn't as if the relationship had always been perfect. Cracks had been showing for a while, mainly around sex. He never wanted to have it and she was always instigating which she found weird, considering he’s a man and she's now with a woman.
“The night I told him I wanted to split up and be with a girl he eventually asked me to have sex!”
Olivia took the brunt of the break up since most people thought she left him to be with a woman, but in actual fact, the break up was a long time coming but she didn’t know how to leave him until they were forced to live apart.
Although her family knew she had split up with her ex and found that quite difficult, she hadn’t told them the full story.
“I felt like I was living a double life, dating girls in secret and nobody knew back home.”
At home, the family were still coming to terms with losing the man they thought would become an in-law soon.
The two are still friends, albeit not close, and her fiancée, Maya, doesn’t have an issue with him. Looking back on it, Olivia thinks that they just had a good friendship and it was never really a proper relationship due to the lack of sex.
“I don’t know why I went on for so long. I liked the situation rather than the relationship, I liked his family, I liked the group of friends we had, and I didn’t want to change that and unbalance my life.”
She knew that this was selfish and the right thing was a separation.
“Don’t get me wrong I could’ve seen a life and family with him, but I always had in the back of my head that I would be the person that was married with kids and then left him for a woman.”
Despite being true to herself, her new job was not always breezy and it was here that she encountered a bit of grief over her sexuality.
News of her sexuality reached a homophobe and their reaction was severe.
“She outed me to everyone. It was really messy and so uncomfortable. I got a lot of hassle from her and she made things really difficult for me.”
It turned out this woman was dealing with her own issues and was misdirecting her anger and confusion towards Olivia. Olivia felt sorry for her but didn’t feel it excused how she acted.
Although feeling more confident, she still hadn’t told her family or friends back home about her sexuality. Once she met her fiancée, Maya, she knew it was serious and time to face the music.
They lived pretty far away from each other so they just chatted away and thought nothing more would be possible. Then Maya got drunk one night, booked a bus to meet Olivia and they haven’t looked back since.
It took some of her family longer to understand than others as the news was so unexpected.
“I struggled to tell my mum and my sister because I cared more about what they thought, and it impacted them more. My mum is from a generation where she thought being gay meant no marriage or kids, but that’s not the case anymore.”
As soon as everyone knew about her relationship, she dressed how she had wanted to for years. She had always been a tomboy but suppressed that to appear more girly.
“I don’t really care how I dress now whereas before I was always a bit worried, my ex even said I couldn’t wear certain things because they were for lesbians.”
Five years since the drunken bus ride, Olivia and Maya are planning their life together. They're looking to settle down and have kids and are thinking to adopt.
“Adoption is close to Maya’s heart and it’s something that we want to do to give back. IVF is £10,000 on the NHS and there are so many kids needing homes already.”
Making such a drastic change in her life was the scariest thing for Olivia to do, but she is much happier after finding ‘the one’. Her fears of being middle-aged and breaking up her family have been quashed.
“I still get butterflies and still feel the same as the beginning with Maya and I don’t think that’ll ever change.”