If I had to give a percentage of the amount of time I’ve spent being something or someone I wasn’t, I would have to say it’s been about 75% of my life thus far. We all have had those times where we tried to fit in with crowds that we simply didn’t fit into. We have all had those times when we wore the latest, greatest shoes or pants, even though we felt ridiculous and couldn’t wait to get home to take them off. That is what my life has been until maybe the last 7 or 8 years. To some people that may seem like a really long time for me to be coming up on 25. But for me it feels like a millisecond compared to all the years I spent keeping myself bottled up inside of myself.
I’m going to put it like this: I’ve been a lesbian since Mary Kate and Ashley were a thing (once they grew out of the Full House stage lol). I remember sitting in the room with my older sister, watching an episode of Two of a Kind and bursting into tears because I felt so different than her. I knew she didn’t feel like I felt, she didn’t think the girls were attractive, she just thought it was a cool, funny tv show. I, on the other hand, was dying inside from these feelings that I didn’t quite understand. So I did what I saw everybody else doing. I started to “wear the latest, greatest” role. I got me a little playground boyfriend and chatted with all the girls about how cute he was and how nice he was, when I really didn’t care at all. I remember trying to play house with one of my girl friends, not understanding why she thought there had to be a boy and a girl as the parents. I knew I was different in kindergarten when I would take my nap holding hands with the prettiest girl in class. But it always, always felt wrong.
Middle school came and I was probably one of the top 5 biggest losers in my school. I never had a boyfriend, I tried the “I’ve got a crush on him” thing but it never worked for me. It got old and annoying real quick. Even the few guys that tried to flirt with me were annoying. I was always more concerned with the approval of the girls. I survived middle school but high school was a totally different ball game! There was so much to take in from the moment I walked into the doors. I mean there were lesbians and gays everywhere! I had never seen 2 girls walk down the hallway holding hands until high school. My stupid self thought “Oh, they’re just good friends” until it was very clear that they were more than that. Still, I spent the better part of my 4 years in a box. A straight box. It was hard, watching others live the life that I so badly wanted to be able to live. It was excruciating watching other lesbians breathe easy while I was suffocating in my truth. It wasn’t until my senior year that I was able to come out to my best friend.
I lost so many friends because of my decision to be who I really was. Hell, I almost lost most of my family too. I was raised by a pretty traditional family. Mom, dad, children. That was the formula. The closest I came to understanding what “gay” was as a child was meeting my mom’s trans-gendered boss. But even that was a passing understanding at such a young age. It was very difficult growing up, not being able to tell people what was “wrong” with me, how I felt or why I was always so emotional.
Now, things are different. My senior year in high school, I slowly started coming out to everyone I knew. I accepted their decisions to stay or leave. When they left (and a lot of them did) I kept right on moving. When they stayed, they kept on moving with me. It was a growing experience and it was very freeing. I really don’t know how else to explain it. Even now, as I near 25, I’m still coming to terms with who I am. I’m learning more about myself every day. I’m loving more about myself every day too. Being a lesbian was never a choice, I don’t believe it’s a choice one can make. Believe me, I tried to un-choose this.(I tried super hard, for like 2 years!) But seriously, it feels amazing to finally be me. I can be me when I’m at home, at work, at school, at church, with my family and with my friends. There is no feeling that compares. I stopped living “in the closet” 8 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made for myself. So forgive me if I don’t search for your forgiveness as I live my life the way I was born to live it.
I am who I am. I’m happy & I’m free.