DiscoverLGBTQ (non fiction)

Lately Lesbian

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Worth reading 😎

The memoir of a late-bloomer, Lately Lesbian shares the struggle of an older woman coming to terms with her identity and finding love.

If my truthfulness about my situation could help just one person, I would feel like I had contributed towards making the world a different place, and a better place.


J. D. Simmons' Lately Lesbian will surely help more than just one person. This memoir will be helpful for those experiencing a late-awakening, and the people in their lives. Simmons' is frank and candid regarding self-doubt and how she sacrificed much about herself to fit the mold of wife and mother. Simmons ultimately finds true partnership and lives an authentic life. Her memoir is the story of the death of one relationship and the beginnings of several new ones--her ex-husband's remarriage, her children growing into adults and finding their own loves, and her realizing her own true self and removing the mask she wore so often.


The pain and struggle Simmons faced as she realized her true self still seem fresh--even when she describes her earlier life and the beginnings of her first marriage. The memoir at times reads as a catharsis; some stories here could easily be left out and the space devoted more to the actual relationship with Jessie and how it developed and grew. There is much focus on Simmons' and Jessie's previous relationships, rather than clear focus on their relationship with each other.


I could remain bitter or pissed about spending 33 years with Paul, but I'm not.


This quotation comes at the end of the book--I mention this mainly as a way to explain how the book is not quite what I expected from the title. The book lacks focus on Simmons' relationship her current partner; instead, the main theme is her removal of the "mask" she had to wear for decades. The book is ultimately far more about the death of her marriage to Paul and how, in the divorce process, she realized that not only was she not the straight woman she thought she was, but that Paul wasn't the man she pretended he was, either.


While I would love to know far more about the May-December relationship with Jessie beyond "the irresistible attraction" they shared from the first moment, I understand the catharsis the book represents for Simmons.

Reviewed by

Angelic Rodgers lives in L.A. (Lower Arkansas) with her wife, two unruly cats, and two codependent dogs. She is currently working on her sixth novel. You can keep up with her at www.angelicrodgers.com and on social media (contact points are on her site).

About the author

J. D. Simmons, award winning author, has been recognized by the American Book Fest Awards, Wishing Shelf Awards, and The New York City Big Book Awards for her memoir, Lately Lesbian. J.D. resides in SC where you can find her sipping a margarita and dreaming of going to the beach with her partner. view profile

Published on February 25, 2019

Published by BookBaby

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: LGBTQ (non fiction)

Reviewed by