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The Rainbow Aunties: From Pain to Love

Jun 27, 2024





Trigger Warning: Please listen with your best interest in mind


This enlightening episode of Different Perspectivez features the dynamic duo known as The Rainbow Aunties, Auntie Marilyn and Auntie Naomi. With warmth and candor, they delve into their fascinating journey, sharing insights from their book "From Pain to Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow." The conversation spans their lives, their love, and the many hurdles they've overcome, providing listeners with a deeply engaging and heartfelt narrative.


You can listen to the full episode via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube.


Key Highlights:

  • The Early Days and Coming Out:

    • Auntie Naomi shares her early feelings of being different in the 1970s.

    • Auntie Marilyn discusses her upbringing and realization of her sexuality.

    • The challenges of coming out in a less accepting era.

  • Their Relationship Journey:

    • How they transitioned from friends to secret lovers.

    • The complexities of maintaining their relationship while dealing with family and societal pressures.

    • The pivotal moment when Auntie Marilyn decided to leave her husband for Auntie Naomi.

  • Family Dynamics:

    • The impact of their relationship on their children and how they navigated telling them.

    • Their children's reactions and how they adjusted to having two moms.

    • Insights on raising children in a same-sex household.

  • Challenges and Triumphs:

    • The struggles of living a double life to protect their family and careers.

    • Reflections on their journey from secrecy to openness.

    • The personal growth and understanding they've gained over the years.

  • Their Book - "From Pain to Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow":

    • Highlights of what makes their book a unique and compelling read.

    • The importance of transparency and wisdom shared in their story.

    • How their book serves as a resource and inspiration for others in the LGBTQ+ community.



The Rainbow Aunties:


Mentorship Program: The Rainbow Aunties are launching a mentorship program with The Jennifer Experience. Visit The Jennifer Experience for more details and to sign up.


Jennifer Wiley

https://www.thejenniferexperience.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thejenniferexp

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thejenniferexperience

TikTok - @thejenniferexp

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thejenniferexperience/


Until we meet again, we wish all our listeners well and peace. Thank you for tuning in to this important conversation.


 

Full episode transcript:

The Jennifer Experience: All right. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of Different Perspectivez. Today I have with me some very, very, very special guests that I have been anticipating and looking forward to hosting on Different Perspectivez podcast. The famous Rainbow Aunties are here with me. And I am so so so so so happy to have them. We are going to talk about their book, their life, their love, and it's going to be a great, great, great, great, great time. Auntie Marilyn and Auntie Naomi, both of them are here. I'm not going to say their nicknames that I have. They're online, but they are here with us and I'm so delighted, so round of applause to have them on the show with us today. I'm just, I'm so, so happy about it. So welcome, welcome the two of you. Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome. 

 Listen, y'all, they are busy. Do you hear me? They are busy, so I must be special. That they came and sat with me today. And so again, I thank them, thank them, thank them for so much. I'm so excited. I'm just ready to get into the show. So listen, let's start off with how y'all come up with the rainbow auntie?

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, first, before we get into that, I want to say thank you very much, Jennifer, for taking time to, spend your evening with us and, share more of our story, more of our journey and the Rainbow Aunties. How did we come up with that name, honey? You know, when we got on TikTok, cause I had my page first and I was just messing around and I said, you know, I want to do some more stuff like us. I said, so let's, let's think of something that we can come up with. I said, no gay, whatever. And when we originally came up with, you know, we were grandparents, so we said we could do, you know, rainbow something. And then, you know, then we thought about it. Well, no, we liked it because all of our lives we've had young adults in our lives, nieces, nephews, cousins that have come through our home. We've always been that auntie kind of figure. Right. So let's say, let's just do rainbow auntie because young folks like to navigate to us. And then her name has always been auntie. That's right. She was a coach. She was auntie. She was auntie to all the kids in the neighborhood, but her name is auntie. So it was so appropriate for her.

The Jennifer Experience: So you always been auntie.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes, everybody. Everybody calls me auntie. Yeah,

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So you was auntie before it was cool? 

The Rainbow Aunties: She put the name on the map in 1985. Yep, sure did.

The Jennifer Experience: Ooh, that was before it was cool. You right about that. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Now, this book, they have a fabulous book and listen, if you can't find it, you can go to thejenniferexperience.com and get this book. Okay. From Pain To Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow. Is there a meaning? 

The Rainbow Aunties: Absolutely. Absolutely. 

The Jennifer Experience: I caught that, that whole title just did something in my spirit. I was like,

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, yeah. And for those who have read the book, or familiar with the story, you know, there's a lot of pain, but it's still with love. And all of the stories that are embedded in our journey is outside the rainbow. And now we are living inside the rainbow. Yeah, I think the outside the rainbow was trying to relate to others that we have been doing this thing before everybody understood what the rainbow was all about and what, you know, we've been doing it for a while. So we've been outside the rainbow, but we've been doing this thing for a minute. So that's kind of about the best way to explain it.

The Jennifer Experience: So I think my first question is, you know, because the 1960s, I, I wasn't around at that time. Not, not quite, not quite yet. Not, not quite yet. Didn't, didn't come around till, till some years later, but I, you know, I have studied about how it was at that time. I've studied about how it was at that time just to be black.I can't imagine, what it was to be like, to be, gay or lesbian or whatever we would call ourselves. Cause we know back then, I don't think they said lesbian. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Right, right. 

The Jennifer Experience: But, I can imagine that that was more than difficult.Because I know when I came out, it was in the 2000s, I was scared shitless. So, tell me in that time frame, like, what was y'all thinking? Like, was y'all scared shitless too?

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, we're gonna go back like the 1960s now. We were born in the sixties. That's right. . We were born, we were born in the sixties and 64. And so I started, feeling that I was a little different. Probably when I was about maybe eight or nine years old.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. You would describe it as you, you felt like you were a little different.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, I felt like I was a little eccentric, I felt like things caught my curiosity, but I also thought that, you know, it was just a part of, you know, being a kid, so that would put us into the 70s, the early 70s, so, I have always been attracted to girls, but I just enjoy being around girls. I just always felt very special around girls because for some reason, they always made me feel special because I was always like a little tough one. Yeah. So they always kind of rely on me to be the tough little girl. 

The Jennifer Experience: You was popular with the girls, too.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes, I was. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen,I know the feeling. Don't tell my wife, but I know the feeling. I know, too.

The Rainbow Aunties: So it would be more like the 70s for me and Marilyn has a probably a different. Yeah, it was. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, yeah. Well, we're gonna get to Auntie Marilyn.

The Rainbow Aunties: Oh, okay. Gotcha. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: We gonna We're gonna get to Auntie Marilyn. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I had time, but I still was a struggle that I was dealing with Jennifer.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, and we're gonna get to your struggle. We'll be fair with you. We'll get to your, your misunderstanding of what you were feeling. We'll get to it. We'll get to it. 

 I'm sorry. Excuse me. Go ahead. So you saying you really knew. You knew it like eight or nine, but you had some feeling.

Well, let's just put it like this. You know, when you're little and you're playing with your girlfriends and friend girls and you play house and you play, you know, you play doctor and stuff. I was always the husband and I always wanted to be the husband. I always wanted to be the person that was going to be taking care of the family. I was going to be the one that was going to be making the decision. So I always was the husband when we played house. So, And let's be clear. Playing house is very, very normal. From a mental health perspective, all little kids play house. Okay. I've heard people try to act like playing house, there's something like, okay. I'm not going to be nasty about it. No, no, no, no, no, no. Now, if your child has been abused or something and they play house and do some other things, that's different. But normal curiosity, kids play house just like they used to play cops and robbers. Okay, so let's just be clear.

The Rainbow Aunties: We would do stuff like, you know, go to work, cook dinner, come home, you, know, and that's the kind of thing, play house. Cause you want to be grown. 

The Jennifer Experience: But you played the daddy.

The Rainbow Aunties: I want to be the daddy. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: You went out and got the food for the family.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, I provided for the family.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. I got it. I'm liking that. I could feel that, you know, that sense of, you ran the show. you was the boss. I like that. So auntie Marilyn, I'm going to be fair. When you were young, did you play mom when playing out? 

 

The Rainbow Aunties: I was always a single person when I played house. I didn't want children. I didn't want a husband, wife. I was just always a boss when I played. I was just a boss. And that was, I'd play office. I played lawyer. I played doctor. I was always a high profile person. And then when I played with other friend girls, I was always in charge, giving orders. And so I never had that kind of playhouse. We never really did that. 

The Jennifer Experience: So you've been a boss all your life.

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, putting it together, looking back, I remember many, many years when I did start, having relationships with individuals, I was struggling. I was, I was always unhappy. I was always mad. I always had an attitude throughout all of my adolescence, through all my junior high years. And only to the young adult. And when I reflect back on it now, I think about what I was going through then. And a lot of it was, I was confused and I didn't know why. I did not know why I felt uncomfortable when I was in relationships. And I just thought it was just not the right person. Then the next person I was uncomfortable. And, it was just always a struggle that I couldn't identify. 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. Okay. Let the record show though. You was always boss. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, I'll, I'll take that.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. Okay. Now you still a boss? 

The Rainbow Aunties: Still the boss. 

The Jennifer Experience: I knew you'd go say that. I knew it. I knew it. I, and listen, y'all, I concur. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, she's still the boss.

The Jennifer Experience: You ever been on any of their lives, you know who the boss is. And that's, that's all we're going to say. Cause I don't want to get someone in trouble. So yes, she's still the boss.Okay. So when it came to finally deciding that you all were going to get together, not actually being out, but like just having the relationship part, even though it wasn't public, did you all like say to each other, okay, listen, I like you, you like me, and we know we like each other, and we ain't gonna tell nobody. We just going to keep it a secret until we figure out what we're going to do with ourselves. Did y'all do that? Or did y'all kind of like, cause I know like some lesbians, they have an unspoken pact that when we in the house we free, but when we go out in public, you know, don't hold my hand. Don't do none of that. How did y'all navigate?

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, in the beginning, we had to be secret lovers because when we fell in love with each other, I was coming out of a tumultuous relationship, my first lesbian experience. And it was a bad situation. And so we became friends behind that and we instantly fell in love with each other. I had to make sure, and I'm sure that Marilyn had to make sure that it wasn't one of those things where, I was just, you know, it was just a phase. I was just falling in love with every woman I could get around. Right. Yeah. Gotta make sure of. So we became instant friends. And then, but it was obvious that we cared a lot about each other. So we did a lot of sneaking around in our first, couple of years. Yeah, it was not really anything we said to each other verbally as we moved to the different phases of our relationship. It was just kind of understood because here again, I was in a relationship. I was in a heterosexual relationship, so it was just obvious to the two of us that we had the strong feelings for each other, but it was not anything that we could expose or share. So we just shared with each other our love until we made the decision. We really didn't even talk about it. I just called, I think I called you and I talked with you. What did I say? I said, I'm ready. Yeah, because, yeah, because during that period of

The Jennifer Experience: Leah, don't you, don't you say in the book that you, didn't you say in the book that you told her you was ready?

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because we had a lot going on during that time, you know, in the book, we had this relationship that we should have been in because not only were we falling in love with each other, we had a complicated situation outside of having a boyfriend. Our families were connected. Yeah. Because it just was a whole weird vibe and everybody was like, Hey, you know, you two can't kick it like that because her boyfriend at the time was very close to my uncle, which they were the best of friends. Yeah, they were best friends. And, so it was like, what you doing? You can't be doing that because he was considered a part of the family. So it was a real bad situation with everybody involved. And so we had to really keep it secret. And then when people started kind of getting an inkling that we might like each other. There were some conversations. There were some things that were said to us. One of them was about my aunt. And, then you were given an ultimatum by your. Uh, my then husband.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, okay. So now, before we go that far, because that's juicy. So hold on before we get there. Now, Auntie Marilyn, let me ask you something, and I wanna ask this from a very non-judgmental tone. Do you think you loved a man and a woman at the same time. Or do you think you really loved salmon roll and you just was in denial?

The Rainbow Aunties: I know that I loved Wilma. I knew that then,

The Jennifer Experience: Oh,

The Rainbow Aunties: 

The Jennifer Experience: y'all don't make me cry. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I knew that the heterosexual relationship I was in, it was someone I had dated from seventh grade. And both of our families were on a level that it made me feel like I had to stay connected to him. It was kind of told to me that this is who I needed to marry. 

The Jennifer Experience: That's good. That's called family pressure. Ladies and gentlemen.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. It was difficult because I was just trying to do what I thought was expected of me. I just pushed back and suppressed what I really wanted to do for a couple of reasons. One, because it was the same sex relationship. And I knew in my mind, that was a no, no. And then secondly, I had dated this guy from seventh grade. And I, you know, it was just something that I was taught that I was supposed to do. So,I don't even remember what your question was now. Oh, no, no, no. And I think about that all the time. To this day. 

The Jennifer Experience: I don't judge people. I think it's very possible because I think we put love in a box and I think love is so abounding that it's very possible to love two people at one time. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I can't speak, on it. I'm not saying it's not. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah. I'm just wondering if you did it.

The Rainbow Aunties: No. I did not. And I know that's gonna be a shocker for a lot of people to hear. 

The Jennifer Experience: And you know what? There's different types of love. Like I can tell you, cause I was married to a man as well. And, how I knew I was a lesbian is when I fell in love with a woman. Cause the way that I loved any woman that I've ever loved, and I've loved a couple, I ain't never loved a man like that,let me speak into the mic really clearly. Not never, not, not never.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: I'm a person who really loves intensely

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: That's no slight against my ex husband, bless his heart. No slight against him at all. Because it had nothing to do with him as a person. It just had to do with the fact that, for my needs and what I really wanted in the type of relationship that better suits Jennifer, when I fell in love with a woman, it was over. It was just over. And so, again, that's how I knew. Because there's some intensities in love that you feel. That's the beautiful thing about love. Love can be real, but the intensity of it and what type of love it is, is, what really lets you know. And so I knew the difference because I said, wait a minute, this is earth shattering, groundbreaking.

The Rainbow Aunties: I think we felt that from the minute, from the moment that we saw each other, the moment that we was around each other, it's like, you know, just, I remember a cousin of mine, I'm talking a little bit about in the book, saying that, you know, Hey, cause I told him that I got a problem. And he's like, what's your problem? Cause I said, I like Marilyn. And he was like, Oh, well, only problem you got is because she got a boyfriend, but I could tell when you two around each other that it was something kind of, you know, strange about y'all. I don't mean that in a bad way. I just mean that it was some chemistry between you all that was not what I seen between a man and a woman. 

The Jennifer Experience: So cousin peeped it. He seen it. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, he peeped it, he peeped it. And you know, the way I felt about Wilma, she was my first same sex relationship, I have never felt that. The butterflies and the excitement and I still have that. That's how I know that. I do. I really do. 

The Jennifer Experience: Wait, can we just stop and say, oh, that's so beautiful. And how long y'all been together? 60, 80 years. I mean, how long?

The Rainbow Aunties: We've been in love for 40. We've been together for 34. 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So for you, heterosexual people, for lesbians, 40 years is 80. Go ahead.

The Rainbow Aunties: I know. Right. That's a long time. Yeah. Yeah. That's a long time.

The Jennifer Experience: It's really a long time. And I'm going to tell you something else that heterosexual people really should know, because you see how, when auntie Naomi's talked, she said her first love, then you say it wrecked you.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes, it did. Yeah. My first lesbian relationship. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yes, baby. My first lesbian love broke me up. 

The Rainbow Aunties: She said her first lesbian relationship. She said her first love. Oh, yeah, because I wasn't in love with her. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, excuse me. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I wasn't in love. I thought I was in love with her, but it was something different. It was just different because it's my first experience with a woman. 

The Jennifer Experience: I should have let ya'll see my face. Auntie Marilyn snatched me up and got me together. Let me go back, excuse me.

The Rainbow Aunties: My first first woman love has been this woman here. 

The Jennifer Experience: She wants me to understand that there was a difference. She said her first lesbian relationship wrecked her, not her first love. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Just clarification. So no biggie. 

The Jennifer Experience: We have clarified it for the whole audience to hear. That you were her first woman love and you have not get me together. 

The Rainbow Aunties: See, she was my first. My first lesbian relationship was a hot mess because I didn't know what I was doing. I mean, I knew, I mean,

The Jennifer Experience: That's what I was trying to say. Normally when you go into the life, it's definitely not the first one that lasts this long. So I was trying to point out the uniqueness of Marilyn's experience is what I was trying to do before she snatched me up. Yes, you have a unique experience because most lesbians have to like go through a couple of people and get kind of hurt before we get it together and, you know, kind of know, you know, we got to go through what we want, so you had a pretty unique experience, not saying you didn't have your hard time, but you had a unique experience. That's what I was trying to say. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I understand. 

The Jennifer Experience: I understand. Now y'all see how they don't play. Right. They got me together quick. Okay. Question answered. All right. So was it hard, like, did you feel bad for your husband when you finally like. You know.

The Rainbow Aunties: No, I didn't because the type of relationship we had was tough. He was someone that was very difficult. And then plus we had spent like five years in this whole dryer situation, just going around in circles, like during this time, when we fell in love before we actually started living together, in between that we had children, you had a marriage, we had me moving to the across the country. Yeah, we had us denying, we had us falling out. So it was a whole lot of stuff that happened in that 5 or 6 years. After we discovered that we was in love with each other trying to deny that we should be together. We did a lot of things, but we always was connected with each other, still fighting this thing about we can't be together.

The Jennifer Experience: What do you think was the biggest thing to push you to deny it? Well, you think it was family? I mean, from the book, I think that was one of the biggest things. But what would you say was now that you've looked back on it? 

The Rainbow Aunties: To be honest, to really be honest, with you. Yes. Family, but for the most part, I thought what I was feeling was wrong. I really personally thought that this is not something I'm supposed to feel. This is not something I can act on. Family and the naysayers and the church and all of that was there. But the biggest part was that no, why do you feel like what you thought? Why did you feel like that? 

The Jennifer Experience: And did you think it was unnatural or you think it was religion that made you think that? 

The Rainbow Aunties: It was just something that was unfamiliar to me. I felt like my feelings I was having was making me think something was wrong with me because this is not what I'm taught. I'm taught man and woman. I was raised in the church 24 7, 5 days a week. I was in church. And that's what they taught. They taught against homosexuality. So that was my mind. I can't do that because that would make me an awful person. Yeah. Yeah. So I didn't know better. I didn't know better.

The Jennifer Experience: I mean, and we know that in this day and age, most churches, if you're gay, you're going to hell in a handbasket. I mean, your your ticket to hell is signed and delivered. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. That's right. 

The Jennifer Experience: And again, I am an advocate for better theology,

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes.

The Jennifer Experience: And so the truth of the matter is, you know, for all of my gay friends and family that are listening, it it is important for you to understand and know I can tell you right now, Jesus never talked about homosexuality ever. You will not find Jesus speaking about homosexuality in the Bible ever. Now you will have many preachers who try to flip scriptures and make you think that that is what Jesus is talking about, but he is not. And I think that it's imperative that you understand that. And then I also think that it's imperative that you can reconcile who you choose to love with your spirituality, with whatever God you serve, I know for me, when I came out, I was in full time ministry and I fell in love with another minister in the church that I was in, the worst thing to do, like I couldn't find a lady that wasn't at the church, duh. It was, horrible because. I was like, I can't preach no more. I can't do nothing. God's ashamed. I mean, it was just a mess. And most of that was bad theology. And like you, I was like, you know, I can't worship God in spirit and in truth because I'm lying. I mean, it was just, it was a whole lot. And so even now get kind of sick when I see my brothers and sisters who I know are still in the church, but they in the closet because they don't feel free enough to be who they are and they don't believe that God loves them for who they are.

The Rainbow Aunties: They are, right. That's right. 

The Jennifer Experience: It's like, if you really believe that God knew you. he formed you in your mother's womb, then how is it that you don't think he knows you when you're not at church?

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Now, these people that you're trying to fool, that's a whole nother issue in itself.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right. it took years for me to realize that because even though I wasn't as spiritually connected as Marilyn, because I would only be in Arkansas during the summertime, and that's the only time I went to church. When I was in Chicago, we, yeah, we didn't do church my mom, we didn't do church. So, but I, I had knew that, that was spoken in the church, and I thought that something was wrong with me. But it took me years to come to a maturity level to realize, because I always was ducking and weaving my relationship with God because of that. But then when I realized that you keep telling me that I'm his child, and that he makes no mistakes. Makes no mistakes, so I'm okay. But it took years for me to get that in my mind to rationalize that, because in the back of my mind, I would always say, everybody say this ain't right, this ain't right. But then you tell me that I'm a child of God and I believe in him. So it just kind of messed me up with a little bit. And you know, on that same note, I was just sitting here thinking as both of you have been talking about how much I did not really care. I don't say I didn't care what my family thought, but that was never on the forefront because I was always a rebellious person. I've always been a leader. I danced by the beat of my own drum. So I really didn't care, but it was a struggle I had within myself of, I'm disappointing God, I'm not being who he wants me to be. It was all about me and my mom, my grandmother, those are the two people that were most important to me that were living at the time that I took this leap and left my husband. I don't want to say I didn't care what they thought, but because of the struggle I was having in the relationship I was in, I think they were like, honey, you can leave and go live with Scooby Doo. Well, no, no, no, wait. You know what I mean? Like, a person named Scooby Doo. Okay. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, none of these people are alive. Right? 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. Scooby Doo? Scooby Doo is. no, no, no, really, uh, no. My mother's grandmother is deceased. ex-husband is still alive. always thought your grandma and your mother may not have known that you were

The Jennifer Experience: They, they knew. They knew

The Rainbow Aunties: I was gonna say, yeah, she knew, but they, they knew that was good for you. They knew that. They knew that crazy girl down the street was good for you. Yeah. and 

The Jennifer Experience: Not the crazy girl down the street. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Girl down the street was good for you. So go with her.

The Jennifer Experience: Wait a minute, now. See, you can't say that and not tell that why you was the crazy girl down the street. What you do that made you crazy? 

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, like I said, first lesbian relationship,

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, you must have dated one of them crazy ones. Y'all was fighting and stuff. Don't do that. Auntie Marilyn. Don't do that. 

The Rainbow Aunties: We wasn't fighting, fighting. It was more like, let's put it this way. I was not taking no stuff. Cause that's the way I was raised. I was raised in Chicago. You don't let nobody talk smack to you. You don't let anybody talk crazy to you. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, yeah, y'all Chicago people, y'all don't let people play in y'all face. That's my brother Darnell. Shout out to Darnell Wright. He from Chicago. He say, don't be playing in his face. So y'all Chicago people, don't play in y'all face.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: I got it. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I didn't have any communication skills. The only thing I had, was I had resolution skills, but they, they were street resolution. So I just, I was not a good person. I just didn't know how to handle myself and I didn't know what to do when somebody's coming with me. From a standpoint of your words and your negativity, you may not be physically attacking me, but you mentally attacking me. And I wasn't prepared for that because all I knew how to respond was in a physical way. Yeah. And I'm not saying that I was jumping on nobody. I'm just saying that 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. I was getting ready to say, let's put out a disclaimer. You wouldn't say you was beating 

The Rainbow Aunties: No, I wasn't beating or hitting on nobody, but I was argumentative. I was argumentative. Just not a person that you would really want to be hanging with, but she still liked me and I still liked her because there was no physical stuff that was going on. It was just all this drama, you know, when we broke up, it was very bad because I just didn't react right. I didn't do what I was supposed to do as a mature 19 year old.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, as 19. Now see, here's the thing. Cause see when, when lesbians break up, listen. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Hear, hear. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, auntie, Marilyn, let me tell you, I've had CPS come to my house three times. I've had my life tried to be cut off. I mean,

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: We, lesbians, we have to do better. We have to learn how to simply disconnect and I think part of that is, honestly, women have a lot of emotion.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right. Mm hmm. 

The Jennifer Experience: And so this is why when we say, when you've been together 40 years, it's like 80, because to manage two women and the emotions that women feel, see men, they can disconnect. And then they done like, they don't have no need for closure for conversation, for wise, for nothing. But women, it's like, we can't just disconnect without the emotion. And if you hurt us. You allow it to get hurt back. I mean, it's the emotions and if we don't have appropriate coping skills, you might be in danger, you know, just depending on who you are, where you are, what color you are, I mean, what culture you are. How many women did you date before you settled on in? Did you taste the rainbow or did you just,

The Rainbow Aunties: Now. I got, a variety, 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, you had a variety. 

The Rainbow Aunties: It was two that I was interested in with, but I had other girls that I felt was flirting with me. That was curious. But it was never any action. So it was never any interaction. But I knew that they were curious. They had heard about the situation with this previous relationship and they wanted to know what all the noise is about. And so 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, so they was, they was all up on you. They was just all chasing. Listen, I knew it. I seen the P on, I knew it. I got it. They was all up 

The Rainbow Aunties: But at that time in the book, I say that, after that incident. Because all my life growing up, everybody knew me as Wilma, Wilma Jean. Andwhen that incident happened, I officially buried Wilma. Because Wilma Jean was not the person that I wanted to be. I was very immature. I was too emotional. You know, my game was not good. I couldn't communicate. And I'm saying that because when you are brought up in Chicago in the projects, and every day was a survival, you're not talking your way out of a butthole. You gonna have to fight it out. So every day, it was like, I don't need to communicate with you. I don't need to talk I just need to show you that I could either whoop you or I could do so I just didn't have that I didn't have those skills and my mother was not a very good communicator. And she was saying wait, she was gonna go down with you fighting. So I didn't have that so when that incident happened, Wilma died and then Naomi was born. So since that moment on, everybody kind of referred to me as Naomi except my family who would always knew me as Wilma. So I was kind of excited to let Wilma go, because at that point I had met Marilyn and, and she had started, making me feel like, my emotions and my thoughts and my words was important. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, she started softening you up. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, she did. She did. 

The Jennifer Experience: See, because I was gonna ask you, so you never had like, you know, cool little stud name, like, you know.

The Rainbow Aunties: Mack. 

(music) 

The Rainbow Aunties: Mack. 

The Jennifer Experience: See, I thought y'all was gonna say no. Oops.

The Rainbow Aunties: No, and we said it at the same time, didn't we? You know her theme song is return of the mad. Oh yeah. That's a theme song.

The Jennifer Experience: Well, ladies and gentlemen, can't say I didn't get to the nitty gritty again as I sit with my pinky up. Well, I mean, the name sound like it fit at the time.

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, it was just one friend. And we have a lasting relationship to this day. And she called me that in the heat of me and Marilyn having a discussion in between that five year situation. And she was telling me, she kept saying this the first time she ever said it to me. She said, Mac, you gotta calm down and you gotta calm down . And, and, and I said, Mac. She said, yeah, Mac you. And she told me what she meant later when she said that is because you got a straight girl and she like you, you gotta learn how to act. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, you know what? now here's some sage advice. And this is wisdom speaking because here's the truth. when you say stuff like that, it kind of makes me have to agree with you because, I've been also told that too, you know what I'm saying? You do kind of got to bring that down a little bit. Especially if you think that what you're doing is influencing what you perceive to be a straight.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes, that's good. That's real good, Jennifer. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, she's sitting here so obviously she wasn't straight and that's another lesson in itself. You can't make nobody be gay. So you can't turn nobody out. So y'all stop saying she turned her out, she didn't turn her out. Okay, evidently, Marilyn made the decision, and she a boss, so ain't nobody turned her out, we know this. But what I'm trying to say here is, at the end of the day, sometimes you do gotta bring the ego down, you gotta bring a lot down in order for you to get what you really want out of a relationship, that's just some fine tuning.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes.

The Jennifer Experience: I can remember, when I first met my wife and I told her, she was going to be my wife and she's like, you're crazy. I remember some of my friends being like, girl, you gotta calm down a little bit. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. Tone that down. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: And I didn't get it then. it took a while to convince her. I wasn't ready to calm down at that time.

The Rainbow Aunties: When you were saying, I was thinking about all the different things when you were mentioning about, you can't make somebody gay. You can't turn somebody gay. I was thinking about something we saw on a video or one of the articles we were reading where the girl said, I'm tired of people saying to me, you just ain't had the right man. You know what? You're right. 

The Jennifer Experience: Hello listeners, Jennifer here, host of Different Perspectivez. As we celebrate Pride Month, I want to take a moment to share something very special with all of you. Have you ever found yourself navigating the complex journey of parenthood after your child has said to you they're gay? It can be a challenging road to walk, but let me assure you, you're not alone. That's why I wrote the booklet Shades of Acceptance: Navigating Parenthood After Coming Out. In this heartfelt booklet, I share my own experiences along with practical advice. And compassionate guidance to help parents like you understand, accept, and support your LGBTQ plus children with love and authenticity, no matter how old they are, whether you're struggling with questions of faith, acceptance, or simply how to best support your child. Shades of Acceptance offers insight and wisdom to guide you on this journey. I encourage you to get your copy today. Head over to Amazon or my website, www.thejenniferexperience.Com to grab your copy today. As a matter of fact, I have a special treat for you. If you use the code PRIDE, P R I D E, you'll get 10 off either the e booklet or a physical copy. Let's make this Pride Month a celebration of love, understanding, and acceptance for all. Thank you for listening and remember, love is always the answer and love still conquers all. I love all of you. Take good care.​

The Rainbow Aunties: I was thinking about something we saw on a video or one of the articles we were reading where the girl said, I'm tired of people saying to me, you just ain't had the right man. You know what? You're right. I sure haven't, but I got the right woman.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes.

The Rainbow Aunties: I've been dying to find the time to say that. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, but I mean, I thinkone of f the things that is important for appropriate representation of our community is that we clear up misconceptions. 

The Rainbow Aunties: That's right. That's right. 

The Jennifer Experience: I think that that is a common misconception and I hear it all the time. You can't bring out of something out of someone that's not already

The Rainbow Aunties: That's not there. That's right. I've said that a thousand times. If I was a totally straight woman, that would not cross my mind to be with a woman. I just couldn't do it. Because I had that in me and I know that is there, it's going to come out. That's right. And so the thing was Marilyn was living as a straight woman at that time. And my friend girl was saying, look, you have a woman that is straight and you are having an opportunity to have a relationship with her. You need to find a way to make that work, but at that time, we didn't know that we were young. We just didn't know. And I didn't even know that that was possible. I thought in my mind when I was younger, I thought gay is to men. And so when I was having these feelings, I'm thinking, this is off because gay is not to women. Those that doesn't even exist. When Wilma and I became close when she was having the situation with that relationship that went bad. And I found out and knew that it was a woman. I thought, oh man, this is interesting because this really does happen. I really knew nothing. I knew nothing about two women. I just knew that that was something that I felt I was struggling with. I'm like, that ain't really what I'm struggling with because that doesn't exist. All your life you've been living a straight life. I have been living because that's what I thought it was called the life I'm supposed to live. I know it's called straight life. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Hmm.

The Rainbow Aunties: When you were with your, the girl and. I didn't know what that was before, before the breakup happened. When I met Wilma in college, I was at Spelman. I came down to Arkansas to see her at UCA for that weekend. And, well, not to see you. I, I'm sorry. My bad.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, I'm finna say, I don't think that's accurate according to the book.

The Rainbow Aunties: You know, she was with her girl and I came to see my boyfriend, but we talked, I went to the park when she was with her girlfriend and, and I thought, man, they are really a couple, it's two girls, two women. And the funny thing about it was, she didn't know that we were girlfriends, because she didn't really know if I was gay. It was confirmed to her that I was gay when you came to the bar because of my reaction to you. That's right. Because she said, you know, I didn't know her man. I was wondering, I was wondering if we were on the same page and we was going down the same path. And it was confirmed when she showed up, how you reacted, how you lit up, how you, all that. That was crazy. It was crazy, crazy, crazy. Yeah. And so that was my confirmation that I was gay, the woman that I had spent all this time with, she was pursuing me and I didn't know she was pursuing me. Let me say this. So it is possible to be friends with somebody and be of the same sex and you not be attracted to them, even though you may be gay. 

The Jennifer Experience: That's another misconception. So here's the thing, honey, just because I'm a lesbian don't mean I want you. Please stop. Please stop. Please stop. Because we get that all the time too. Like, Oh my goodness, it's a lesbian. So if I'm friends with a lesbian, that must mean lesbian. No, we have types. We have preferences. Okay. And we also can be in committed relationships with just one person. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Amen. 

The Jennifer Experience: Please understand, do not insult us and also pump down on yourself, 

The Rainbow Aunties: Exactly.

The Jennifer Experience: I love women, don't misunderstand me, I love women, but not every woman I want to sleep with.

The Rainbow Aunties: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. All this is a learning process because at this time I'm 19 and 20 years old. When she said that, that gave me confirmation that, yeah, I might like you, but I'm really attracted to her. I might be able to be okay with you, but I'm really attracted to her. 

The Jennifer Experience: How you say that again, you,

The Rainbow Aunties: I'm really attracted to her. When you're 19 and 20, all of those motions, all of those thoughts, they don't connect at that time, you should be allowed to mature and grow. And at that time, I didn't know what that was. And you throw in the element of being gay, it's a whole blender going on. You don't know how to connect all dots. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: I would agree, I would agree. I'm trying to make sure we can clear up all these misconceptions might as well knock them all out while we're here. Let's go back to auntie Marilyn because I think we done macked, macked out. Yeah, we done macked, we done macked, macked out. We didn't got her. So auntie Marilyn, now when you did your separation, did you let them down easy?

The Rainbow Aunties: When I did my separation, our relationship was already extremely frazzled. And he had a girlfriend and so he had gone out of town for an overnight trip with his girlfriend and while he was gone, I came with a U Haul. And so there was no letting down.

The Jennifer Experience: Not Haul story. Oh my. Every lesbian got the U Haul store.

The Rainbow Aunties: I bet you nobody has a better U Haul story than us because ours broke down and we had to leave it on the side of the road and come back and get it. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, now the U Haul is supposed to work. U Haul, you need to do better. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Actually, it was tied to the car and the car broke down. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, the car broke down. Okay, good. But every lesbian got the U Haul story.

The Rainbow Aunties: I didn't know that. Okay. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, there's a Mac that comes in the middle of the night. And pulls up with the U Haul. And backs it up to the house. unpacks and packs you up and puts you in a truck and whisks you off. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, I was in broad daylight. We were in broad daylight. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, that's right, cause you from Chicago. And you don't play. I forgot. 

The Rainbow Aunties: No, it was convenient at that time.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So in other words, you can say, look, she got my heart and I'm just dropping you, buddy. 

The Rainbow Aunties: No, no, it was no, it was no, it was no, confrontation. I didn't say anything, he was not there and I left and all of the action happened after I relocated and got to where I was going. That's when the phone calls and the attorneys and the threat. The reason I avoided all of that by, you know, leaving while he wasn't around. So it was no, no exchange, no letting down easy.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So then once y'all got the U Haul, all right, y'all ride off into the sunset. Okay. We riding off. Okay. Well, we still got to deal with this ferry.

So now what? 

The Rainbow Aunties: We get there and we dealt with the marriage. I stood a chance of losing my girls because I did not make a decision the way the law required at that time. I didn't know it then. I know it now is I think about all of that. That was coming at me. I didn't realize how wrong I was as it relates to that. Those were his children. And I left with a whole nother state, but, 

The Jennifer Experience: No, you moved, moved.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, I moved, moved. So yeah, we had to endure the receiving the, letters and the lawyers attacking and him threatening to take the girls and me trying to, you know, hide that what you're saying is not true was my thing was, like I said before, the relationship with him was very sketchy. It was hostile. it was not in a good place at all. So it was almost like you really don't have a leg to stand on to talk to me about why did I leave? Whether you want to, you know, if you, if I want to admit to you whether that I'm in love with Will or not, that's totally separate for what you need to be right. All of that leading to the fact that we knew what we were in. We knew that you had the girls, that we had left. And so we had decided how we was going to navigate. Right, right. And so that became the pack. Right. 

The Jennifer Experience: So that became the pack. So for people who haven't read the book, what's the pack?

The Rainbow Aunties: The pack was the agreement that we made with each other. The pack is basically saying that after we decided to do this radical thing, right, that we were determined that we would do whatever it takes that's right. To make it be successful. And if that meant that we had to hide who we were, right? If I had to stand in the back, mm-hmm, whatever it was, whatever we were going to meet, to protect the girls, protect the girls, and to protect each other. And of course, she was in the military, so to protect her job. So those are all the terms of protection we had to be in agreement with. Yes.

The Jennifer Experience: Wow. How difficult was that?

The Rainbow Aunties: It was extremely difficult, but when we were in it, and I say this all the time, I did not realize how difficult it was because it just was by nature. You know, I didn't realize how difficult it was until we released everything as the years moved toward closer to actually when we released the book, but things start evolving before the book, of course, but with the releasing of the book and all the unloading, Oh my God, you don't know how many tears I have shed in realizing how much I was suffocating to have to live like that, you know, and it was all to protect the girls because I didn't want them to have to deal with any mistreatment because of a decision I had made. I beat up on myself all the time about did I make a selfish decision because I was in love with somebody. Why? I couldn't just stay where I was. And do what was right. So these girls would have to go through that. But then I look on the other side of it. I say what they would have witnessed being in that family unit that I had prior to being with Wilma would not have been healthy. It would not have been the example. I would have wanted to set anyway. So all they saw was love when Wilma and all of us became a family, they saw love and that's what they talk about now to this day, and that's all we ever wanted to exhibit. That's all. That's all we did exhibit. And I'm sorry, I got a little bit off task. And I was just 

 thinking what you were saying about, we made that decision because of what had happened, but it was also the decision that, I mean, Marilyn is a beautiful woman. She is a beautiful woman. And when you look back in 1990 and she was, gorgeous. So here we are, this beautiful woman that nobody knows is gay. So she's being pursued by every one, every man that wants to be with a woman and say, hey, I can take care of your children. I can do this. I can take that. But yet and still she has me in the background. So then here I am too. I mean, I'm not sure. I'm not trying to downplay me. Men have always found me. Yeah, fascinating. 

The Jennifer Experience: I know ain't that interesting too. 

The Rainbow Aunties: right? Yes! It's weird, it's weird. 

The Jennifer Experience: Even the men want the Mac. I don't understand it. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Because I had a banging state now. Hey, I was banging baby, 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen

Listen, you and me are here, I already know. To this day, if I step out this door the wrong way, they'll be lined up.

Y'all the best. So you got these two beautiful black women so people are pursuing us and here we are trying to be as normal as we can to society, but also knowing that I'm not going to mess with him. I'm not going to do nothing and have this relationship. So it was like a wow. Yeah. It was like a wild ride. Yeah. It really was. So if you had it to do over, what would you do different? In terms of because I hear you expressing the shame that you felt in the guilt in terms of the children and see a lot of people in relationships. I've had this with clients. They stay in relationships for children. They make a lot of decisions based on what they think is the best for their children. And then we find out years later that either it didn't matter to the children. It affected the children in a positive way or it affected the children in a negative way or. You know, it really wasn't a factor. It really wasn't about the children. So maybe you wouldn't change anything. I'm asking you, if you had it to do differently, would you do anything differently?

The Rainbow Aunties: The one thing I would do different is, I would find a way to have our relationship remain secret without feeling that I had to pile a lot of lies on top of my personal life. To colleagues and organizations. I was a part of and parents of the children. I did not have to go to the extreme of trying to sell myself. I could have just been me but I say that now and I don't know how easy that would have been or could have been. 

 Everybody always assumed that I was a lesbian and I'm okay with that. Yeah, so I was the lesbian sister to everybody else because I always had my hair short. I was always athletic, 

The Jennifer Experience: How about when it came to the children, how long did y'all wait to, because I've had people say things to me, everything from, is my son gonna turn out normal because I'm gay. That foolishness to when did I tell him to all the kinds of doubt I could tell you my son is 17. He's never seen me with a man. So I didn't have to tell him. You know, you've never seen me with a man, so I didn't have to tell him. So for everybody who's asked me, I stopped asking me that because he's never seen me with a man, but I didn't have to tell him, however, I did explain to him, what it means to love a woman and what type of relationship his mother chooses to be in. Okay. And I'm saying the word choose for me not to offend anyone. I'm just saying that the relationship that's best for his mother and why I'm in it. Okay. Cause I think when he was like, maybe six. He got into a little argument at school because somebody said, your mom is gay and he didn't know that that's what it was called. And so he answered, no, my mommy isn't. And when he got home, he told me and I said, well, Ramsey, yes your mommy is. And he was like, Oh, you know, cause he didn't know.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right. I get it. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: And so, what I taught him in that moment though, is number one, you don't have to defend me to people. If somebody call your mama a bitch, your mother's name is Jennifer, period. That's what my name is. Now don't get me wrong, you stand up for your mother. But don't let people, you know, get you all riled up, especially what they're saying is true, your mother is very gay, I'm gay, gay, gay, gay, gay! Gay all day long. Listen, I'm gay and I'm happy. I'm every sense of the word of gay.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: And I'm happily married to a woman. So I am gay. That is very true. But I don't want you to ever have to cry about that. But I mean, literally when I, when he said, he was like, mama, they said you was gay. And I said, I am. And he was like, I mean, it took the life out of his body. So I'm just wondering for the two of you, actually see, and here's the thing, they probably knew, and y'all thought they didn't know, because normally kids, we are much smarter than y'all give us credit for. Plus, plus we real nosy, you know, we, we go and look in y'all room when y'all not home. I mean, you know, I'm going to tell all the children secrets, but y'all know what it's like, you know, as time has progressed and generations have progressed, kids are coming out smarter and smarter. So I would imagine your children probably knew before you told them, but I'm just curious as to what y'all thought they was thinking every night.

The Rainbow Aunties: I wanna say this real quick. The only thing that I would change, and I'm gonna go back to that, remember that you didn't think the only thing that I would change is that I would have, and I think she did know, but I would've have officially have liked to tell Marilyn's mother that I am going to take care of her and that I love her. And that's the only thing I would have changed that I wish her mother had known that I'm the one and I'm going to take care of her. So that's the only thing I would change. 

The Jennifer Experience: You just insist on making us cry. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Me, and her mother, we started off with a rocky relationship. In the end, we had a great relationship and I wanted her to know I got her, even though you asked me who raised me. That's what my mama asked her. 

The Jennifer Experience: Wait, wait, you got to tell that story. What happened?

The Rainbow Aunties: Wilma went outside to take the garbage outside and she didn't put on any house shoes or shoes. And that was something mama was a stickler for. You always keep shoes on your feet. House shoes in the house and she does not like for you to go outside with your house shoes on. 

The Jennifer Experience: Nothing wrong with a little country. 

The Rainbow Aunties: She was barefoot. So Wilma came back in the house, Mama asked her, was you raised by a pack of wolves? Who raised you? I didn't answer her. Who raised you? I just closed the door and went and sat down. What if I go home? I'm not finna do that. You know, I'm not finna get into that with her. But with the girls, I think that, I don't know if they knew, knew, knew. I think really to them, they knew because their friends were telling them and they thought that was normal because that's all they knew. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they didn't know. Do you, as a heterosexual child, do you know everything about what your parents in their romantic part of their life. All you know is that mom cooks you dinner, dad takes you to practice, whatever. So those things were in our household. And that they love you. And they love you. So in our household, they knew that they get a cooked meal. And we made sure they were asleep. It was normal. 

The Jennifer Experience: Now see y'all, listen, this is Different Perspectivez for a reason. Y'all know, 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. But even with that said,when we look back on that, we just was pushing through blindly. Probably was some noises. If it was, nobody ever said anything to us about it. So. Well, and that's good. Let's all keep it that way. 

The Jennifer Experience: We just talk to our friends about it. No, we don't say nothing. We just laugh and we giggle, we giggle and run away from the door. We don't say nothing.

The Rainbow Aunties: Man, that's probably what they did. It's little things coming out as the years go on that they share that they said to each other or that they thought when this happened or when that happened. And I'm still like, I don't know what you're talking about.

The Jennifer Experience: And keep that same story.

The Rainbow Aunties: Exactly.

The Jennifer Experience: Stick to that story. So what age were they when y'all finally said, hey, we're, I hope, right. 

The Rainbow Aunties: They knew but when we decided to sit them down and talk to them, they were early teens. So I think it's a discrepancy on the age that they were we didn't even ask them again. And they don't know where y'all we went because we booked a spot at a restaurant Yeah, and took them out to eat and the oldest and the youngest are saying two different times me and women I can't remember how old they were, but I know they were not children. They were younger though. They had a five year difference between them. So one was a preteen And the other one had already gone off to college. Right. And so, yes, you just started college. And so Marilyn, we booked a place to go sit down and talk. We wanted to go to a restaurant. We sat down with them and, and we told them that, they've always known as AT. I said, AT and I are in a relationship. We are in love with each other. 

The Jennifer Experience: How were they?

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, I think the youngest one might've been about 15. The oldest was like 19 and the youngest was like 15. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 15, 16, something like that. Yeah. And they really did not ask any questions. They just looked and the youngest, that's our drama queen. Her body language, you know, she's still a drama queen. She's just like so extra, but her body language was like, we didn't know if it was because she had questions or. How you figure I didn't already know why you're telling me or I don't know what you mean, you know, it was just a body language. I think she said, man, folks kept asking me, she got a little joke side to her too, she's a little funny girl. She says, man, people kept telling me, you know your mama ain't being gay, and she was like, nah, I'm not hearing that. And so when she said that, we kind of giggled. I wish I had, I would've, I would've had a different comment. She was like, so confused. She was like thinking all different things. Like, so it was almost, she was trying to make us think like she didn't believe what the people were telling her, but obviously it didn't come to as a complete shock because we sleeping in a bed together because somebody said that to, you know, to the oldest of the young about. You know, your mom, they sleep together, you know, and I always, she had went off to college and she had met her now husband and he had met us and he was communicating with, he told her, he told her, I have to say, this is embarrassing. Wait, a minute, the way I'm saying it, this is almost embarrassing as I hear us say this, that yes, these kids were down there grown, but they knew, but they kind of knew, I didn't want to say they knew, but they didn't know what it meant. They knew they had two parents, but they didn't associate that parent meant that y'all, we were intimate. They just knew that they had two people that was taking care of them and they didn't correlate that. Just like you don't want to correlate your mom and daddy sleeping together. It's just mom and daddy. You know what I mean? Does that sound really weird to you?

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, you really put me on the spot to answer that question. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I never thought my granddaddy slept with my grandma. I thought they was just grandmothers. It didn't dawn because I didn't care. Even when my mama had all her boyfriends. Let me say this before I forget. Okay. I want, if not on a podcast or something, I want the girls to answer some questions. Yes, yes. I want them to be interviewed. yeah, yeah. yeah. Because I really want to know what I don't even know. 

The Jennifer Experience: I bet you your oldest daughter's gonna say, oh, I already, I've been there.

The Rainbow Aunties: Now, the oldest daughter is a hard nut to crack. You probably know nothing about her. But she did say, when you said the 40, 60, 40, 10, she said. Yeah. So, I knew that. So, you've been, you've been loving A. T. forever. I knew that. We'll get it out of her, but she's not going to do a public speaking. 

The Jennifer Experience: You say her husband told her? 

The Rainbow Aunties: No, boyfriend. He said to her, that, you know, I love your mom. I love your auntie, but you know, they're together, right? And she said, what you mean they're together? And he said, 

The Jennifer Experience: No, she didn't. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I know in our home. They just saw love. It's all two parents. I coached him. We went through all the steps as parents and they never correlate that to be a loving relationship is two people connected.

The Jennifer Experience: So she said, what you mean?

The Rainbow Aunties: She said, what do you mean they together? He said, they love each other. She said, well, I know they love each other. I know because my auntie loves my mom. I know they do. He said, No. They in love. And he said, he said, what? He said, no, 

 it's like my mom and my pop, they together. And she said, oh, okay. And that was it. Every time I hear the story, it's like, it's the first time. And I just. And I look at it like, 

The Jennifer Experience: Wait, then she came home and told y'all that he told her that? 

The Rainbow Aunties: She said nothing.A few years later when they got married, she just went about and when she did a beautiful video presentation to the both of us, and she had always said that we were her parents, that she had two loving parents and she never said that they were in a relationship. It was her parents. And then the youngest one started saying my parents. And so we just never really got into the depths of our conversation. We have more conversations with our grandkids than we did with our kids. We talk to our youngest grandkid now more about our relationship than we did with our kids. They sure do. And he, and he gets it. 

The Jennifer Experience: How old is your oldest grandkid?

The Rainbow Aunties: He's nine. And he gets it. 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So what have you told him?

The Rainbow Aunties: He said, Ganti, you love Mimi, right? I said, yes. He said, so did you meet Mimi before so and so? And I said, well, sort of, kind of. He, you can say it GPA you, but GPA is his granddad. He said, you met M who I was, you know, married to. He said, so you met Mimi before, uh, gpa? I said I met Mimi along with gpa but you and Mimi love each other. And I said, yes, is that okay? He said, yes, it is okay. He said, I just wanted to know because everybody be talking about gay is like suspect, but I was like, no, he had the school. He said the children at his school say gay is, that's the little school language they're using. But the thing is, and we say this all the time, it's the grown folk and the other people that are having a problem with this. The children are good because he has an individual in his class.

The Jennifer Experience: I was just about to say. 

The Rainbow Aunties: And they are great with it. He's very sensitive to the fact that we need to respect what a person is identifying as. 

The Jennifer Experience: He probably got a gay kid in his class and he probably got other kids in his class that got gay parents.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. And he gets it. So we talk more with him than we ever did with our children. And, and he'll say, because this is what he said, this was before we even mentioned it, we were talking about just love. And he said he, he was probably about six or seven, right? Yeah, about six. And he said, I know what love is. And at this time we had never discussed anything with him, he said, and I said, how do you know what love is? He says, I know mommy loves daddy. I know Tia loves Uncle Cornell, and I know Mimi loves Ganzi, so he knew to connect that he saw the love between us, right? And so we started communicating when he got older. And so now we tell him all the time, you can ask us anything and we will answer it and we will tell you. He asked the other day, could he read the back of the book? Yes. The inscription that gives, the back of the book. And he, I was in the other room and he asked Ganti, and Ganti said, go ask Mimi. So he comes in and he's asking me, and of course, I don't realize he's already asked these, you know, whatever. 

The Jennifer Experience: She lives a secret life conflicted with. Oh.

The Rainbow Aunties: And you know he's already read The Back of a Gentleman, because it's on display up here on our bookshelf. So I'm sure he's read it, and so when he comes and asks me, I say, that's something that I would have to ask your mom and dad if you could read the back of the book. That's already been done. She said she gave me a hard no. So I say, well, why would you come here and ask me that? He said well, I asked Ganti and Ganti told me to ask youz. Somebody asked you I see ever you've already asked your mom and dad. So no, don't read the back of the book. But that was just his way of wanting to ask me read the back of the book because he wants to talk about it. He's already read it right here. He just want to be able to ask more questions, and he is a really sweet kid, he'll say out nowhere, I love you Ganti. I love you Mimi. And he just give us, because to him, he give us a big hug. Kids to him it doesn't, it doesn't matter. And that to me is the ultimateevolution of our relationship. Mm-Hmm. 

The Jennifer Experience: And, you know what? I think that's important. Something that we need to bring out to his generation.

The Rainbow Aunties: Mm-Hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: And even the generation before him. Like his generation, his parents generation. They really don't give a shit about this.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right. 

The Jennifer Experience: They don't. And I'm saying it like that because if everybody else could get that, if churches could get that, if the government could get that, if folks could really get that.

The Rainbow Aunties: Uh huh.

The Jennifer Experience: We'd have a whole lot less problems. He's going to school with people who are gay. He has friends whose parents are who are gay and are not phased by this at all.

The Rainbow Aunties: And you know what? This is no secret, so I can share this in the school when I say, these are 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. There are a couple of them there that were assigned a different gender at birth, but they're completely identified as the opposite. So I'm not even really talking about, you know, and they are the teachers and all the students recognize the gender with no problem and they look at you as a parent and me when I walk in there like no what why you can't understand he so the children get it we're the ones that need to be educated 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, I mean, you touched on at the very beginning what we've been taught and programmed to think

The Rainbow Aunties: Mm-Hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: versus what these generations after us have been taught in program to think is totally different. And so we can't let go of the old ideas. We're not willing to think of a new way.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right,

The Jennifer Experience: We're not willing to open up to new thoughts. And so we're holding on to what everybody else thought before us, instead of really looking at what's in front of us and see that generation, they are not even phased. For my son, this is not even an important conversation. I'm serious. My son and I never talk about the fact that I'm lesbian.

The Rainbow Aunties: Right? Yeah. Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: Ever, because it is not important, it is not important to him at all. And, and I'm not saying that like, oh, he don't care. I'm saying that like, he ain't ashamed. I'll never forget one time I had on a skirt and he was like, why are you wearing a skirt? Because he's not used to seeing me and stuff. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Right, exactly. 

The Jennifer Experience: He was like, why are you dressed like that, mom? And I'm gonna tell you, another thing kids do now, they hold you accountable when you're not authentic.

The Rainbow Aunties: Yeah. Yes. 

The Jennifer Experience: So you can't switch up on them. 

The Rainbow Aunties: That's right. 

The Jennifer Experience: You can't switch up on them. If what y'all was trying to do then, y'all try to do that now with your grandchildren, they'd probably call you out.

The Rainbow Aunties: We'd be the laughing stock everywhere. 

The Jennifer Experience: That grandson probably be like, I know what y'all doing in the room. I mean, for real, but I think again. The way that we can do that is being, you know, older lesbians now with, well, me being middle and y'all being mature lesbian, 

The Rainbow Aunties: Thank you. 

The Jennifer Experience: is appropriate representation. I just think it's important. I've seen TV shows and I just don't see a whole lot of highlighting black lesbians that are doing great things that are living their lives, that have raised beautiful kids that are doing great. I don't, I don't see that. And I think that contributes to what people think, and that contributes to the misconceptions and the lack of understanding the lack of acceptance. Cause I, one thing I say in my book is that you don't have to understand what it's like to be gay, to accept it. You said that in the very beginning that if you are truly not attracted to another woman, you won't understand it

The Rainbow Aunties: Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: That's another thing too, but we won't get too deep in this, but just to put a pin here, that's another thing too. When you talk about you curious, 

The Rainbow Aunties: It's some things that won't raise your curiosity. 

The Jennifer Experience: I tell my straight friends all the time. Don't be curious because you're going to go there and not come back.

The Rainbow Aunties: You know, it's just, some things that don't raise your curiosity. If it's not in you. Yeah, you're right. You're right. You're right. 

The Jennifer Experience: If, as a woman, if you say you straight and you're really curious, let me caution you right now. You're curious or you want to know.

The Rainbow Aunties: That's right.

The Jennifer Experience: And if you really want to know what it's like, honey.

The Rainbow Aunties: But even with that said though, Jennifer, some people still make the choice to not live gay, even though they may enjoy whatever that's, that's quite all right. It really is. It really is. And so some people choose not to. And then also with that said, if you go over there, if you're curious. And you test your curiosity, and you choose to not stay over there, 9 times out of 10, you're unhappy if you're not going to live who you really are. I think at that point in time, you need to express that to the person that you're with, that I may have been bi curious,because, that's only, If you are trying to live your best life, give that person an opportunity engage in your life. Don't hide it from them. Don't make it an issue coming up in a situation later that can be hostile or,

The Jennifer Experience: Correct. Yeah. And I mean, I think it's just really important. I mean, I don't think there's any reason for you to put yourself in a closet if you don't have to. I think in 2024, you shouldn't have to. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Exactly, And thank goodness for those pathways that have been forged and made for us to be able to walk into these various journeys of our life and accept who we are and live out loud. Because that, you know, I think about, you know, the things that we struggle with, we have our conversations on the younger generation, being comfortable and living who they are, who they want to be, who they truly are. We look back on our people, our forefathers, and the trenches that they made for us to forge through. And they probably sat and said the same things that we're saying. Like, let's recognize the differences being made because of the struggles that we have put forth. You know what I'm saying? And with that said, I would always caution people that even with if you would just out of the side of outside of a lesbian gay relationship life in general. Oh, yeah. Don't underestimate the people that came before you. You may see them in what they are at this stage but they have had her life And there's some things that you can relate it. So in a lesbian relationship just because Marilyn I have been together in the same house over 34 years don't assume that we have not experienced some of the issues that some of the younger lesbian relationships are having or have had. So, engage in those conversations to see where you can connect with those people, especially if it's someone that you think that you can gain something from. That's right. So don't just assume because they've been together for all day. What can they tell me they've been together? Oh, baby. We can tell you a lot. Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. No. And I think wisdom is important. Yeah. Especially for same sex couples, because obviously what you all went through. During that time, times have changed since then. And so you what you went through is a lesson for anybody for what we're going through now because it is different. So you had to obviously navigate very differently because of that time frame and what was happening and the pressures of everything that was happening in your lives then and in your family and all that. I mean, all that was a lot. And so now, you know, maybe we can say for some people it will be easier, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to hear the wisdom behind the story. Like you, you still need that. When it comes to your book, what part of it are you most proud of?

The Rainbow Aunties: Oh, wow. What I'm most proud of is the transparency and how the transparency converts to wisdom for those that read it because it's something in there for everybody. So when I say it's not your typical lesbian romantic story, I'm not saying that that's not in there. But what is in there is that plus. You see poverty. You see the struggles with religion. You see relationship issues. You see, raising children. You see two people taking care of a dying parent. There is something in there to grab. You see the time frame we were in, the era of the deep Bible belt states we were living in. It's a lot, In our story. So what I am most proud of is the transparency and the fact that there's something in there for everybody to connect. Yes, that's what I was going to say. Whether or not you're heterosexual, homosexual, or whatever, you can find something that you can connect with, and you covered a lot of that. That's essential, but it's also, I like to think that when it comes to the LGBTQIA community, it's a, I don't want to say a blue, but it's something to tell you that what you've been told, what you think, what society portrays upon you in these relationships. They're just as normal. We're just as normal as every other kind of relationship. It's called life. It's called life. It's called love. It's called anger. It's called death. It's called death. It's called poverty. It's called all, that's called life. And just because you're an LGBTQ person, in that community, you don't escape those. But now you have someone that you can say, oh, I can identify with them. That's right. That's good. That's good. Good. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, I think that's good too. And I think that's why anybody who is in our world should definitely read the book, but I think that's also why anybody outside the world should also read the book because when you bring normalcy to the lesbian world, that helps people digest it better because this is the problem with it. We want to make it seem like if you gave and it's such out the norm, it's like what you talked about when you first said it, you said, when you felt like you were gay, something is wrong. Something is so wrong, like something is. That's because you were programmed to think that it's not normal, you know, and so if there's a way for people to make it normal, then that thought in your mind won't come. Some people now when they see it, they don't feel that way, but others, they do. And so the only way we can, you know, try to change that way of thinking is educate people. Like I said, appropriate representation, all that kind of stuff is just imperative for people to understand. And hopefully when they read you guys story, I think, you know, I agree with everything that you said. It has a lot of stuff in it. It has a, you know, I was, profoundly touched by it. And I was like, wow, I didn't even realize there was this much to it. I think I finished it in a day and a half. It was a lot to it, but it kept you engaged, so I think that that's important because you don't want to be bored, you know what I'm saying? So it's important to be engaged in the story. Every story doesn't have good teeth. So, I think that was important. This has been, I think, an enlightening conversation. And, yes, if the girls ever want to come on and get interviewed, I sure want to know what they was thinking. Thank you. 

The Rainbow Aunties: I'm going to propose it to them. I am not that little one because she can have a while.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, no, the little one, especially the little one, especially because I bet I want to see all her mechanisms and her move as you got what I want to see. I bet she would have us cracking up. 

The Rainbow Aunties: We had five years, with the oldest one. She keeps us all in order actually, yeah, she keeps us all in order,

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, because he does the little one to tell it to tell the truth.

The Rainbow Aunties: She gonna wreck the house.

The Jennifer Experience: Right. Right. That's what we need. That's what will break the internet. Yes. Yes. Tell her, come forth, come forth. Come, tell her, come to the mic, come to the mic. We have some questions for you, young lady, come to the mic. But yes, so listen, tell everybody how they can find you all and, you know, how to subscribe to your channels and all those, you know, different type of things. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, I'll name some and I'm sure you do it all. No, no, no, because I'm gonna miss something. Okay, so The Rainbow Aunties, we have our email address, which is therainbowaunties@gmail.com. We are also on TikTok as The Rainbow Aunties. On Instagram as The Rainbow Aunties. We have a YouTube channel, The Rainbow Aunties, and, so if you just Google The Rainbow Aunties, you're going to find us in a pop in a populate and to find our book on amazon.com or anywhere, you can buy your books online, Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, et cetera, Ingram Sparks. And yeah, as a matter of fact, on our Facebook, we have a Facebook page that is called, From Pain To Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow. You can get on that. And, we have, book clubs discussion group. And so, which by the way, the name of the book is From Pain To Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow. That's good. And so, we just want to be a vessel in this journey. We feel like we're a little late, but it's a little late to the party. But, you know, the party keep on going. That's what we are. We keep on going. We just want to be those aunties, those elderly representation that our community needs and Marilyn and I try our best. To respond and answer to requests and our team is excellent at that. So we just, we just here, we just herebecause it's needed in our community to be used in a positive way to make a positive difference. Yes.

The Jennifer Experience: Now, you guys can also find them at www.www.thejeniferexperience.com because they are one of my trusted partners and they are beginning a mentorship program. And so I want to announce that to all of you, that they will be getting a mentorship program under The Jennifer Experience. And so here's your chance if you want to be mentored by The Rainbow Aunties. Come one, come all, they're open and ready to go. And, we're going to have some activities coming up so you can meet them, greet them in person, all this other kinds of stuff. We have a lot of stuff going on in the future. So it's going to be a wonderful thing. So even if you go to my website, you can still find out information about them. You can find their book, their bio and how to contact them, all that good stuff, and definitely how to, you know, get ahold of their mentorship program. So it's been great. 

The Rainbow Aunties: With that said, Jennifer, I just want to say that being a part of The Jennifer Experience, we have a network. Marilyn and I will always tell you that we can only tell you what has worked for us in our relationship. But The Jennifer Experience have some partners that we can pull on and all the resources to be pulled together. The most important thing is that you be whole in whatever journey. And so that's what we're excited about being a part of.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes, and well, we're definitely excited to have you. We're super, super excited. So this has been great. Absolutely phenomenal. And now when do you guys do your lives so people can catch you?

The Rainbow Aunties: The normal schedule is Thursday and Sunday. We might do a pop up there. Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. 

The Rainbow Aunties: But that's the normal schedule, Thursday and Sunday night, right? Yeah. That's the normal schedule. 

The Jennifer Experience: All right. So you guys go check out their lives. And, this, like I say, it's been great. Thank you all for coming and talking with me and going over the book and you all go out and get this book. Make sure you check it out From Pain To Love: Our Journey Outside The Rainbow. The Rainbow Aunties great book. I enjoyed it immensely. It's not too, too thick y'all. There's some pages in here, but not too, too thick. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Well, it's got large print. It's large print. So 

The Jennifer Experience: I could read it without my glasses. I appreciate that. I didn't have to put my glasses on to read it. And I hear they have a couple of colored copies. 

The Rainbow Aunties: Yes. You can have the black copy. You can order that right off our website. Yeah. Off the amazon.com. We're going to also make that accessible on The Jennifer Experience link. We'll be linked up the options to purchase the book. And I'm just going to talk past Jennifer, doing all that to me and say that I want to thank you so much. For allowing us the opportunity. We are so, so, so, so grateful and excited to be in partnership with you and wait to see all the experiences that are to come.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. A lot of people don't get help and be able to have 40 year lasting relationship. 

The Rainbow Aunties: That's the goal. 

The Jennifer Experience: At least we know looking at you is possible. It's possible. 

It 

The Rainbow Aunties: may not be easy, but it's so pleasing. 

The Jennifer Experience: listen, listen, it's possible. So yeah. Thank you again for coming. And thank you all for listening to Different Perspectivez today. You all take good care and we'll see you later. 

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