Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

You’re Not a Lesbian Until You Tell Your Mother

Question: What’s your coming out story?

Marjorie Hill:  Coming out is sometimes -- people think of it as you know, one day you’re straight and then the next day, you know, you wake up and you’re gay and you come out.  And while the experience may very much feel like that, it’s not the reality. I’ve been a lesbian for most of my professional life.  I worked at Director of the Mayor’s Office – Director of the Mayor’s Office for Lesbian and Gay Community in the Dinkins administration.  I’ve been at GMHC and have been an out lesbian, you know, running GMHC.  I’ve done a number of television pieces.  I was on Sallie Jesse Raphael many years ago, so you know, I’ve been very out.  However, there are still occasions when I’ll have a guy say to me, “Well, do you like short guys?”  And I’ll say, “Well, actually, I like short women.”  Or I’m in a cab going to the airport and you know, the cab driver says, “Well, where you going?”  And I’ll say to a conference.  “and what kind of conference?”  “National Gay and Lesbian’s Task Force.”  And, well why would you go there?  You know, so coming out is really something that people do – have the opportunity to do throughout the course of their life. 

But in terms of an early experience, I had just broken up with – maybe a month or so, with my last boyfriend.  And he was wanting to speak with me, so he picked me up from school.  I was going to Adelphi.  And he picked me up at Adelphi and he gave me a ride home to Brooklyn.  And we’re driving in the car and he says, “So, Marjorie, just why don’t you say it?  Why don’t you say, you’re a lesbian?”  And I had sort of been avoiding having this conversation with him because he’s a nice guy, didn’t want to hurt his feelings.  But I finally said, what the heck, “Yes, I’m a lesbian.” 

So we’re driving about 60 mph, now we’re going 100 mph, and I thought maybe this wasn’t such a smart thing to do.  And he’s driving and he says, “Well, have you told your mother?”  And I said, “Well, no, I haven’t told my mother.”  So immediately he calms down.  He slows down, he says, “Well you’re not a lesbian ‘cause you didn’t tell your mother.” 

So he drops me off at home, I go upstairs and I wake up my mother.  It’s midnight.  “Mom, mom, wake up.  Wake up.”  And my mother’s like, “What’s going on?”  “I just want to tell you, I’m a lesbian.”  So my mother’s like, “Les who?  Leslie, Les-what?”  And I said, “Mommy, I’m a lesbian.”  And she goes like, not quite getting it, she’s still half asleep.  And I said, “Mom, I’m gay, I’m gay.”  And she said, “Well baby, I’m happy too.  So why don’t you go to sleep.”  And I finally said, “Mom, I’m a homosexual.”  That got her attention.  So she sat up in bed and she’s looking at me and she said, “Baby, you gonna quit school?”  And I thought, oh my god, my mother’s having a psychotic episode, “No, I’m not gonna quit school.”  She said, “Fine, I love you.  Go to bed.” 

And then you know, the rest of the weekend was pretty non-eventful until Monday morning, on my way to school to catch the Long Island Railroad, I’m getting ready to leave the house, “Bye mom.”  And “Bye, have a good day.  And oh, by the way, tell that girl she can’t come to my house anymore.”  And that was pretty much my mother’s attitude for a couple of months.  And then eventually, you know, she came around.  But it was an interesting experience of proving that I was a lesbian.

Recorded November 4, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler

Hill’s last boyfriend wasn’t pleased when she came out to him, but he doubted she was really gay because she hadn’t told her mother. So that's exactly what she did when she got home later that night.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Sex & Relationships
  • Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
  • Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
  • The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.
Keep reading Show less

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

These new status behaviours are what one expert calls 'inconspicuous consumption'.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Tiffany
Politics & Current Affairs
In 1899, the economist Thorstein Veblen observed that silver spoons and corsets were markers of elite social position.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast