Coming Out to Myself (Part 2)

Chapter 4: Orange is the New Black

I recognize that the straightgirlest thing one could possibly say is that Ruby Rose turned them gay. I do not claim that. But as somebody who built an identity as a straight girl for over two decades, Ruby is someone I actually allowed myself to feel attracted to. She was androgynous and gender-fluid, and every straight girl was attracted to her. It was innocent enough. As I fell for Ruby’s character Stella, I watched romantic relationships between women playing out on the show.  I began to find myself wanting what those women had (minus the orange jumpsuits). My list of “Women I would be with IF I was gay” grew suspiciously long. I began questioning assumptions about myself that I had clung to since I was 12.

Chapter 5: Questioning

As I had in the seventh grade, I began obsessing about my sexuality once again. Only this time, I wasn’t scared. This time, I didn’t think being queer was a sin, and I didn’t hate myself for thinking I might fall into that category. Also, the world had changed. There is still a lot of work to be done before the LGBTQ+ community gets to enjoy equality, but this dream is getting closer every year, and certainly a lot changed betweeen 2007 and 2015. So I was able to question my sexuality with the comfort that I would be loved by myself (well, I’m working on that) and others regardless of the answer.

Chapter 6: Jennifer

Not once did I non-ironically refer to this person as Jennifer during our relationship, but I am still healing from our breakup 9 months ago, and using her entire first name feels delightfully cold and indifferent.
But Jennifer will always be an important part of this story, whether I like it or not.

Jennifer is also in math (technically she’s in the Actuarial program, which some might argue is more commerce/finance than math, but I digress) I first noticed her at an event hosted by the Math and Stats Society. And I overheard her saying something about her ex-girlfriend, so I knew she was into girls. I told my housemate about the “Asian girl with the short hair” that I thought was cute. My housemate, a co-president of the Math and Stats society, actually knew this girl. One day, she texted me saying Jenn was bored and wanted to meet me. So I hurried to campus on 3 hours of sleep, and we talked for about an hour before she had to go to class. I was 85% sure I was attracted to Jenn, but part of me was terrified to get involved only to realize I was actually straight like an asshole. But I met with Jenn on campus one or two more times, and at some point, we made a coffee date. Two days before this date, I invited her over to watch Juno with my housemate, her boyfriend, and I, mainly to avoid the third-wheel experience. Jenn came over, everybody drank and watched Juno, and that was the night I first slept with a woman whoops. That experience confirmed for me that I was indeed attracted to girls, and even more so, that I wanted to be with Jenn. A couple weeks later, we were official.

Chapter 7: What About Men?

At this point, I still wasn’t ready to define my sexuality. The question had always been whether I was straight or bisexual, but actually being with a woman lead me to question whether I was attracted to men at all. It took months from the start of the relationship to really figure this out, but Jenn didn’t mind, and neither did I since it wasn’t immediately relevant to my life. I tried on the label of “bisexual” for a week, but it didn’t feel right. Eventually, last Summer, I began identifying as a lesbian. Well, I typically prefer the term “gay” for some reason, but you get the point. I still wasn’t 100% sure, but I was sure enough for the label not to feel like a lie.

Chapter 8: Now

I am now single, as you’ll know if you read my pitiful post-breakup posts. That was a rough time. Anyways, I am exclusively dating women at this time. Sometimes, I still question whether I am attracted to men on some level, but this usually ends with me deciding I am not. At the very least, I know I am more attracted to women than to men, and I have no desire to date a man at this time.

Maybe I prefer the word “gay” to “lesbian” because to me, it allows for some ambiguity. It’s not officially an umbrella term, but it feels a little umbrella-ey to me. Sometimes I think about using the label “bisexual”, even as an insurance policy, so nobody accuses me of lying if I end up falling in love with a man. But it just doesn’t feel right at all. Maybe I am just trying to avoid the shit bisexuals get from both straight and queer people, or the hypersexualization of bisexuality. Maybe I enjoy men not constantly assuming I’m interested in them, or I’m thinking in all-or-nothing terms and bisexuality feels like a middle-ground. This stuff kicks around in the back of my mind sometimes, but identifying as “gay” still feels right.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So that was a long story, and it might not even be over. But that is how I discovered I was not straight after 21 years of believing I was.

Sarah

 

Dating a Woman?

This post will not be eating disorder-related, which is actually a good indication that my recovery is going well. I plan to write a post about that soon. This post will be about my recent journey in exploring my sexuality, and the exciting turn this journey has recently taken.

I will start with a quick background:

My first crush was on a boy named Gavin in my third grade class. Since Gavin, I have experienced countless crushes on boys and men, and continue to get these feelings now. However, when I was 12 years old, I began to think I might be attracted to women. I had feelings towards some of my female friends that felt different than feelings of friendship. I considered myself a Christian at the time, and these “sinful” desires TERRIFIED me. I would pray multiple times a day that I was not bisexual. At some point, I was sufficiently convinced that I was straight, and elected to never question my sexuality again. At the time, I thought that thinking about my sexual orientation too hard might change it, and that any deviation from “straight” would be a negative change. I lived the next several years of my life wholly convinced of my straight-ness. At one point, I did not even desire female friendship, and the idea of sleeping with a woman disgusted me. I now attribute these extreme feelings to internalized misogyny, and possibly an overcorrection from an attraction towards women.

It has now been over 2 years since I left the church, and slightly longer since my views on the LGBTQ+ community changed. After telling myself and others that I was straight for so many years, I continued to believe it for a while. But in the past few months, I have begun to explore my feelings towards women.

A few months ago, I told my friend that I thought a friend of hers (let’s call her J) was attractive. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, even when my friend told J about my feelings. Earlier this week, I was told that J wanted to meet me, because she’d been told about me yet we had never spoken in person. We met and talked for a while, and I really enjoyed myself. J is cool and interesting and so pretty. We began texting, then made plans for a date this weekend, then hung out and talked again today. This is all happening so fast, but it feels so right, and I am ridiculously smitten.

I don’t want to rush to label myself again.  I am still not 100% sure whether I am attracted to women in general. And if I am, there are still multiple labels to choose from. But I do know that I am attracted to this girl, and that is really, really exciting.

Sarah