This Woman Came Out As A Lesbian, But Years Later A Chance Encounter Turned Her World Upside Down

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For Ash Fisher, being lesbian was a major part of her identity. It shaped her life, even influencing her career as a writer and comedian. However, around a decade after coming out as gay, something happened that would not only change her life, but also the way she saw herself.

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Fisher knew that she was gay from a young age. Even before she reached her teenage years, she fantasized about being with women and had crushes on her female friends. What’s more, as the future comedian got older, being a lesbian formed a huge part of her self-identity, helping to mold her into the person that she would become.

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In a piece published by the online feminist magazine Wear Your Voice in 2017, Fisher explained how her sexuality became an intrinsic part of her sense of self. She wrote, “In high school, I rented every single indie and foreign film from Blockbuster because many of them featured lesbian sex. I can’t remember ever not feeling like a lesbian. It’s who I am.”

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So not only was Fisher openly gay as an adult, she also used her experiences as a lesbian to help mold her career. She studied theater at NYU and during her time there she worked at the college’s LGBT Office. Then after school, she became a stand-up comedian and writer, often drawing on her sexuality for material.

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Writing for Wear Your Voice, Fisher explained, “My dykehood has shaped much of my life… My articles in this publication are usually queer-focused. I have a femme tattoo on my arm, which was sticked-and-poked by a fellow queer on another queer’s couch during Pride. I run a queer feminist comedy show called ‘Man Haters.’ Much of my stand-up act revolves around my queerness. Basically, I’m super gay.”

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For more than ten years then, Fisher only had relationships with women. In fact, dating men was something that she would never have considered in a million years and she reveled in rebutting any advances from the opposite sex. She told Wear Your Voice, “I felt powerful turning down men when they hit on me.”

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Besides, Fisher was convinced that the LGBTQ community enjoyed more fulfilling romances. She explained, “I thought part of the beauty of queer relationships was that we could talk about everything. I’ll even admit that part of me smugly thought queer relationships were deeper, even, well, better.”

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Fisher then described one of the reason why she felt straight relationships just weren’t as emotional. And part of it was how she perceived the patriarchal view of women and their bodies. As she told Wear Your Voice, “Society (and my three brothers) taught me that men are disgusted by menstrual blood, cramps or any ‘female body’ talk.”

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The comedian explained, “I have many straight female friends who hide their menstrual and reproductive struggles from their male partners to ‘spare’ them discomfort. It always bewildered and even saddened me that so many women I know don’t feel comfortable talking about the reality of their bodies with their male partners.”

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Given Fisher’s sexuality, in the past, she mostly hung out in LGBTQ places. The comedian admitted to Wear Your Voice, “Most of my friends are queer, I still move in queer spaces and go to queer events.” One of the reasons she preferred such venues, she said, was because she felt safe enough to be herself there.

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Fisher explained how, previously, societal pressures had made her feel nervous when out in public with girlfriends. With this in mind, she told Wear Your Voice, “The main reasons I frequented queer spaces in the past were to cruise for dates or to feel safe showing affection for my partner.”

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However, around a decade after Fisher came out as a lesbian, her heart took a bit of beating. By the spring of 2016 she had gone through two breakups in just 12 months. With that in mind, the comedian wasn’t looking for another serious relationship. Instead, she pursued something a little more casual.

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Writing for Wear Your Voice, Fisher explained, “I was seeking a feelings-free fling. After two breakups in a year, I decided to protect my heart and commit to being emotionally unavailable.” And soon enough she found the perfect partner, she thought, to help her move on from her previous failed relationships.

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When Fisher embarked on this new relationship, she was convinced that she wouldn’t develop feelings for the other person. However, not long into their dating journey, she realized that there was something special about this individual. As she would later tell Wear Your Voice, “I knew I was in trouble by the second date.”

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So despite Fisher’s intentions, there was little that she could do to stop herself from developing intense feelings for her new partner. The comedian revealed, “I fell deeply, deliriously, overwhelmingly in love. I’ve been in love before, but never like this. This is the cliched, over-the-top-Hollywood-romantic-comedy-nonsense-I-didn’t-think-actually-existed-oh-my-God-I-get-love-songs-now kind of love.”

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And one of the reasons Fisher fell for this individual was the sheer amount of things they had in common. As she wrote in Wear Your Voice, “I didn’t know it was possible to be so compatible with someone on so many levels. We have a Simpsons quote handy for every occasion. Our shelves are filled with books of poetry.”

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Fisher continued, “We’re both big/little spoon switches. We don’t want kids. We love dogs and are ambivalent about cats (okay, we hate cats). Our communication is open and direct, and as a result, we have never harbored resentment or had a serious conflict. We crack each other up.”

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Continuing to describe the unique bond the comedian shares with her other half in the Wear Your Voice piece, she added, “One of our hobbies is gazing into each others’ eyes while sighing and giggling. Okay, you get it, we’re gross. I found my person and am making no compromises or sacrifices in this relationship.”

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So it seemed like Fisher may have finally found her soulmate. As far as she could tell, this person was perfect for her in practically every way. There was, however, one problem. The comedian struggled to accept the feelings she’d developed for this new individual as it made her question everything she knew about herself.

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What, then, was the bone of contention for Fisher? Well, the person that she’d fallen head-over-heels for was, surprisingly, a dude named Matt. She told Wear Your Voice that “Falling in love with a man is kinda my worst nightmare… This relationship has forced me to rethink my identity and navigate coming out all over again.”

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Fisher explained, “This guy was everything I thought guys couldn’t be, and it confused me. It was new and kinda scary, and yet wonderful and so right. Though I toyed with leaving, he was simply too perfect to walk away, and I’m so grateful I didn’t. Our relationship is the healthiest, easiest, most natural one of my life, even with navigating the new experiences of birth control and how to still be out as queer when I’m now read as straight.”

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Now that Fisher had fallen in love with a man, she was forced to question what her strong queer identity meant to her now. Writing for Wear Your Voice, she admitted, “I didn’t think intimacy like this was possible with a male partner.” But here the comedian was, enjoying a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with a man.

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Writing less than a year into her new, straight relationship, Fisher told Wear Your Voice, “Much to my surprise, our relationship isn’t really different from my past queer ones. We do talk about everything, I don’t hide things from him and he always shows up for me.” She even found it easy talking to her partner about topics like contraception, and found that she was supported.

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Fisher then explained, “A few weeks into dating, I had an IUD inserted, which was one of the most painful experiences of my life. The six months I kept it in were a nightmare. My daily cramps were at times so bad I woke up crying. I had constant spotting, infections and anxiety… I worried my guy would be grossed out or otherwise turned off by my blood, my pain – hell, my body.”

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But instead, Fisher’s partner became a pillar of support for her, no matter the issue. As she told Wear Your Voice, “Much to my surprise, he listens, sympathizes and supports me. Always. Gosh, it’s almost like he cares about me and wants me to be honest when I don’t feel well! It’s almost like love is love or something!”

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Of course, Fisher’s sexuality had previously formed a huge part of her identity. Which meant that she struggled to balance her former life with her new straight relationship at first. However, in the end, the comedian decided that she could still enjoy both sides of her personality, without feeling the need to justify either one.

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Writing for Wear Your Voice, Fisher explained, “I’m still queer. Nothing about me has really changed.” In fact, she said that her social group remained the same and that she continued to frequent the same LGBTQ hangouts she had always visited. In fact, the only thing that was different was how the outside world perceived the comedian’s new relationship.

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Fisher wrote, “It’s safe to hug, kiss and hold hands with my boyfriend in public. And yet I still catch myself nervously glancing around when he takes my hand, before I remember that we blend in as a straight-passing couple. I suddenly have straight-passing privilege; it feels foreign and uncomfortable. I’m not straight and I never will be. But I can’t deny that I now benefit from the world thinking otherwise.”

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Another worry for Fisher was being judged by her boyfriend’s loved ones. In her article for Wear Your Voice she explained, “His family knows about me, but I’m terrified of meeting them. Sure, parents usually like me: I’m warm, I have good social skills, I help clear the dishes after dinner. But what if they Google me and watch my dirty stand-up jokes about being a lesbian?”

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Fisher continued, “What if they pull my boyfriend aside and tell him they don’t approve of him dating a dyke who writes frankly about sex and depression on the internet? I have no secrets from my boyfriend. He knows I’m a lesbian, he reads my articles and comes to my comedy shows.”

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Deep down, Fisher knew that her boyfriend accepted her for who she was, and nothing would change that. But that didn’t stop her from thinking the worst. As she told Wear Your Voice, “I know he won’t leave me even if his parents don’t approve of me. I know I shouldn’t care, but I still worry. Will they think I’m not good enough? Too much? Too queer? It’s a new kind of worry. And it’s unsettling.”

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But while Fisher had her worries about being accepted in her straight relationship, the love she had for her boyfriend ultimately conquered all. Speaking of her partner, she said, “He’s special. He’s kind and witty and supportive and sensitive and honest and intelligent and poetic and oh-so-handsome. I’ve never felt so close to another human being.”

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And less than a year into Fisher’s relationship with Matt, she was still learning about herself and her own identity. The comedian told Wear Your Voice, “He continues to surprise and delight me. And it makes my mind swim with questions about men, about relationships, about queerness, about love.”

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Furthermore, Fisher’s journey of discovery didn’t end there. That’s because her love story with Matt continued and in 2017 the pair married. They now live together in Oakland, California, alongside their beloved corgi, Vincent. And while the couple have had their ups and downs, they’ve stuck together throughout it all.

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Fisher paid tribute to her husband on Facebook in November 2019 in honor of their second wedding anniversary. In the sweet post, she explained how the pair became engaged. And much like the beginnings of the couple’s relationship, there was nothing conventional about the way that he proposed.

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The comedian wrote, “Five weeks into dating, Matt and I went camping. He turned to me the first morning and said, ‘This place is beautiful. We should get married here.’ I said ‘Okay!’ and he responded, ‘I just proposed and you accepted. No takebacks.’ Two years ago today, we eloped and it was one of the most joyous days of my life.”

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Since then, life has thrown a number of obstacles at the newlyweds. In particular, Fisher was diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare condition that affects the connective tissue… Or, as the comedian put it on her Instagram bio, “wobbly leg disease.” Meanwhile, her beloved Matt had a health scare of his own.

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Fisher’s Facebook post explained, “Since getting married, we discovered we lived in a rat-and-mite-infested apartment and had to move three times in six months. I got really sick and was diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disease. [Then] a mole of Matt’s turned out to be cancer, necessitating surgery to remove a lymph node and a chunk of his arm. Marriage is a serious business!”

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However, Fisher revealed that they had managed to overcome their difficulties together. She explained, “On our two-year wedding anniversary, we are now settled in stable housing, I’ve found an effective treatment for my disorder, and Matt is cancer-free. It’s been the hardest but happiest two years of my life.”

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So while Fisher once that she wouldn’t fall in love with a man, by following her heart she’d found something truly special. As she wrote on Facebook, “I couldn’t have predicted my current situation, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love you so much, my sweet boy, my goosebunny, my lava. So excited for the decades ahead with your hand in mine.”

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