Exclusive Interview by Karen Beishuizen
Shelly is 53, turning 54 in October, and mom of two adult kids and grandma to six beautiful granddaughters. She is an author who is talking to a few literary agents and hopes to make money with it. She prefers a quiet day/night at home rather than going out. She is a social media and Supernatural addict with her own website which is still being edited as we speak.
KB: Where were you born and how was it growing up?
I was born in Orange County, California. We moved around quite a bit, but always stayed in Orange County. I spent a lot of time at the beach when I was in high school. In the summers, my parents took us camping at Lake Elsinore and Lake Cachuma every summer. We also went to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm throughout the year. I miss living near the beach. I was a teenager of the 1980s, which was the best decade ever, so I had posters on my bedroom walls of Duran Duran, The Cure and Tears for Fears. The ’80s were the best years of my life.
KB: How old were you when you realized you were gay and what made you think this?
I knew I was gay when I was about six years old. I grew up in Orange County, California, which has always been one of the most conservative counties. My parents were very conservative, so coming out was not an option. I truly realized it when I was about 12. I had a huge crush on one of my best friends in junior high (middle school). She had a sleepover and she and I stayed up later than the other girls and we started kissing. That’s when I really knew. Sadly, I was in the closet for the next 35 years because I was afraid of repercussions from my family.
KB: When did you finally come out as gay?
I was 40 when I finally came out. Funny, I was married to a man at the time, and I met this wonderful woman named Michelle. She was smart and beautiful, and I fell for her so hard. I thought I might be bisexual because I thought I was still attracted to men, and dated men for years after that (until my grandmother passed away. She was the reason I never dated a woman openly.) I thought about leaving my husband for Michelle, but she was killed in a car accident about six months into our relationship. Yes, my husband knew I was seeing this one. Typical male fashion, he thought it was hot.
KB: How did your family and friends react?
My mother acts like it’s not real. My sister is a Christian, but not a judgmental Christian. She totally supports me. My daughter is very supportive and so is my son. My friends are good enough friends to be supportive of me.
KB: You have children. What do they think of their gay mother?
My kids are very supportive of me. I told my kids when I started dating Michelle. They were there for me 100%.
KB: What do you think of all the religions out there who still see being gay as a sin?
People are allowed to have their beliefs, but when they start telling me what to do (repent or you’re going to hell) that kind of thing, then I get defensive. I have a problem with injustice towards others.
KB: Did you ever have hate experiences or incidents?
No one has said anything to me in public (only on social media). When I was with an ex-girlfriend at a park, we got stared at, not in a good way, while we were holding hands, but I’ve never been harassed or bullied on the street. Colorado is very liberal and accepting. Our governor is openly gay, so our state is very tolerant.
KB: Homosexuality is still a crime in many countries around the world. How do you feel about this?
I think governments should stay out of the business of its citizens as long as no one is getting hurt. Being gay affects no other person in the world. I just can’t tolerate hate. If you look at the things people are getting offended by, you realize they are all things that have no effect on them (beer cans, clothing, etc). Governments should stop telling people who they are allowed to love.
KB: What would you like to say to all the haters out there?
This is a loaded question that could get me into trouble. Haha in all seriousness, I would tell them to worry about their own lives. Until they are perfect, then they can preach to others about their lives.