… and Fighting for Acceptance of Both Identities

 

 ” Ms. Smith, a 53-year-old teacher in North Carolina, said that despite signs that she was attracted to women, she was “clueless” in her youth.

“I always wanted to find a husband because my mother felt that women should be married,” Ms. Smith said.

At 18, she registered as a Republican, and though she briefly reconsidered her party affiliation when she came out, Ms. Smith voted for Mr. Romney, albeit reluctantly. Echoing the more than a dozen women interviewed, Ms. Smith said liberal lesbians react more negatively to her political views than conservatives do to her sexual orientation.

“Mention that you’re Christian or mention that you’re Republican and suddenly you just get vilified,” she said. “That may be one of the reasons for the lack of visibility of gay women in the Republican Party.”

Still, she said, “What good are gay rights if your country is falling apart?” “

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