Why Women Like Maria Bello Come Out at Midlife

Coming out at midlife is more common than you might think

Photograph: Illustration by Juliette Borda

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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Comments

Jay Henderson10.11.2013

well the Lesbian Population has certainly increased over the years, and this is really no surprise to me at all since much more women nowadays are very much attracted to other women.

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