Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (September 11, 2009)

AND THEN IT SHIFTED WILL FEATURE STORIES FROM WOMEN WHO LEFT MEN FOR OTHER WOMEN
A woman leaving her boyfriend or husband for a woman is certainly not a new phenomenon. Whether you found yourself attracted to men in the past or felt somehow obliged by social constraints to date men even though you weren’t — many women who consider themselves quite gay have had experiences with men in the past.

Lately, however, it seems the subject has been popping up quite a bit. From Oprah Show episodes to celebrity rags, women are telling their stories about leaving the heterosexual world behind to pursue true love, and now two writers are looking to hear yours.

Writers Candace Walsh and Laura André are seeking submissions for their upcoming book, And Then It Shifted: Women Open Up About Leaving Men for Women, and hope to fill its pages with first-person essays from women with different perspectives, experiences and life stories. The timing of the book also comes as more high profile women are going public with their experiences.

“As Dr. Lisa Diamond’s recent groundbreaking book Sexual Fluidity makes clear, women’s sexual desire and identity are capable of shifting,” the book’s site explains. “Cynthia Nixon, Carol Leifer, Wanda Sykes, Portia de Rossi, and countless, less well-known others have left the fold of heterosexual identity to enter into or pursue same-sex relationships.”

Walsh, who released Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On this year is also a popular mommy blogger and freelance writer, though it’s not clear if her personal experience inspired this upcoming book. André is a former history of photography, visual culture, and women’s studies, professor, who also taught queer theory and lesbian art and culture at the University of New Mexico, and is currently a freelance editor and fine arts consultant.

The editors are looking for women “who were aware that they had always felt robust same-sex desires, but wanted to try to make it work in the straight world, and also who identified as heterosexual at one time, but found that the situation they were in just naturally led to embarking on an intimate romantic relationship with a woman.”

Personally, I think the rise in women leaving men for women comes down to timing. When it was less socially acceptable for a woman to be in a lesbian relationship, some women may have been inclined to stay with their male partners to avoid shaking things up. As the climate for gays continues to change in this country (or some parts of this country), more women who do feel themselves drawn to other women are willing to go for it and avoid years of silent suffering. (Not to say being with men is suffering — all the time.)

If you used to date (or be married to) a man and want to share your story, you can find more details about the book here. Oh, and you’ll get paid if your piece gets chosen, which is always nice.

— by Jen Sabella

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