"Beth Kelly, now mature in years, and a radical lesbian feminist, who, as a 'precocious' eight-year-old, developed a relation- ship with a grown woman? She writes:
'The first woman I ever loved sexually was my great-aunt; our feelings for each other were deep strong, and full. The fact that she was more than fifty years older than I did not affect the bond that grew between us. And, yes, I knew what I was doing - every step of the way - even though I had not, at the time, learned many of the words with which to speak of these things.
'Aunt Addie was a dynamic, intelligent, and creative woman - who refused, all her life, to be cowed by convention. In an extended family where women played out "traditional" housewifely roles to the hilt, she stood out, a beacon of independence and strength. She was a nurse in France during the First World War, had travelled, read books, and lived for over twenty years in a monogamous relationship with another woman. Her lover's death pre-dated the start of our sexual relationship by about two years But we had always been close and seen a great deal of each other. In the summers, which my mother, brother and I always spent at her seashore home, we were together daily. In other seasons, she would drive to visit us wherever we were living, and often stayed for a month or so at a time.
'I adored her; that's all there was to it. I had never been taught at home that heterosexual acts or other body functions were dirty or forbidden, and I'd been isolated enough from other children to manage to miss a lot of the usual sexist socialisation learned in play. It never occurred to me that it might be considered "unnatural" or "antisocial" to kiss or touch or hold the person I loved, and I don't think that Addie was terribly concerned by such things either. I do know that I never felt pressured or forced by any sexual aspects of the love I felt for her. I think I can safely say, some twenty years later, that I was never exploited physically emotionally, or intellectually - in the least.