For women making this huge midlife shift, family acceptance is one piece of a happy ending, and like Laura Biering, Melanie Shore is deeply grateful to have achieved it. But unlike Biering and Julie Hatcher, Shore is still waiting for a different piece to fall into place — finding her female soul mate. In the cafeteria of the hospital where she works, Shore giddily muses aloud about a woman she is meeting for dinner that night, someone she met on Match.com. It’s their first date; will the woman dress up for her, she wonders? She reminisces about a gala event with another girlfriend, who wowed her by showing up in a scarlet evening gown.
For her part, Shore doesn’t fret much about what she will wear. Her look — neat slacks, casual pullover, and a short, practical haircut that fits under her scrub cap — hasn’t really changed since she came out. "This is the way I always dressed," she says. Then, with the confidence of a woman truly comfortable in her own skin, she adds, "but there’s a different way I inhabit it now."
Tamara Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer living in northern Virginia.
Rebecca Webber, a New York City-based writer, contributed to this report.
Originally published in MORE magazine, March 2009.
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