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.

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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

 

Grumpy

You know the stereotypes you always hear about women on their periods?

I am that stereotype. She is me. We are one.

I actually had an amazing day. Things have been going really well for me lately.  Well, except for the episode of Game of Thrones playing out in my underwear and the godawful cramps. But aside from that, I was happy as a clam with my hot water bottle and my chocolate bar.

And then one stupid thing happened and I’m complaining to everybody at once because I want validation for my anger. Now.

I got high with a guy friend the other night, and at one point he said something about me being a tease. It made me really uncomfortable, but I didn’t say much. I texted him today, hoping I would mention my discomfort and he would explain that he was kidding or whatever. But he was weird and gross and like “Ok. Not going to happen. I get it.” I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT BEING A LESBIAN ON THE DAILY SINCE I MET YOU. DID THAT NOT HELP YOU GET IT? Anyways, so now I get to toss this good friendship in the garbage because I don’t feel comfortable hanging out if he’s thinking of me in that way. And this is the second time this has happened this year. I’ve started telling boys I’m gay as soon as I meet them, but apparently, even that’s not enough.

Despite all my male friendships going to shit for this reason, there are ZERO women revealing their romantic feelings towards me.

Ugh.

Sarah

Coming Out to Myself (Part 1)

This post isn’t going to be about mental illness. Unless you view homosexuality as such, in which case you can go fuck yourself after first reading this. (I’ll take any views I can get)

But anyways, this is going to be a gay post. Because I suppose I am that. And somehow, I managed to live 21 years before figuring that out. This fact makes me fear that others will not believe me. It even causes me to occasionally not believe myself. Thus, I spend a lot of time reflecting on those 21 years, and how I missed something so important while living them. And the story I uncover is one I would like to share, if only for confirmation that my experience is valid. This story ended up getting long pretty quickly, so I have split it into 2 parts.

To avoid Rachel Maddowing you further with an infinite preamble, I will now begin the story about the time I thought I was straight for 21 years.

Chapter 1: Grade 7

The first time I remember considering my sexuality was grade 7. I thought I might be developing crushes on some of my female friends, and I was terrified. I was a Christian at the time, and believed homosexuality was a sin. I hated myself for even questioning my sexuality, and prayed every single day that I was indeed straight. I ruminated on the issue for what felt like months (but I was 12, so it may have been a week and a half), and then one day I definitively decided that I was straight and that I would not question that fact ever again. I thought that if I spent more time wondering whether I liked girls, the devil would somehow get into my thoughts and make it true. I don’t know how much of this ridiculous belief came from religion and how much from OCD-related superstition, but it was there, regardless. I forced the question out of my consciousness, and carried on with my wonderful, straight life.

Chapter 2: The Boyfriend Years

I have had a total of 3 relationships and one depression-induced hookup situation. You will soon learn that depression was a recurring theme during the boyfriend years.

My first relationship with a man was actually the best. I was 16, all of my friends were in relationships, and my best friend was a guy. Part of me always knew I wasn’t attracted to Liam romantically, but I had methods for dealing with this pesky fact. Sometimes, I told myself that this was a good opportunity to gain experience being in a relationship. I told myself that all high school relationships felt this way. But mostly, I shoved the inconvenient thoughts deep inside my mind, where they would resurface every few months only to be shoved away again. I actually look back on my time with Liam fondly. He was really sweet, he was my best friend, and we were just a couple of dumb kids living our high school lives. I broke up with him suddenly after becoming much more religious, more social, and less bored working at Christian camp. I still feel  bad about that.

In a way, Christian camp indirectly lead to my second relationship. I decided to stop taking my antidepressants (which I had started taking the previous Spring), because I needed to “trust God to help with my anxiety and depression.” To be clear, this wasn’t a message communicated by the Christian camp, I just have a way of taking things way too far. So I was depressed, and anxious, and lonely. And a guy in my history class started giving me attention. Conor and I were together for around 8 months, during which time we repeatedly broke up and got back together. It wasn’t a great relationship, but I couldn’t handle being alone, so I kept returning. The relationship ended for the final time just before I began my first year of university.

The things I learned in university began giving me doubts about Christianity. These doubts compounded over time, and the answers that used to satisfy me didn’t anymore. I stopped considering myself a Christian in August 2013, leaving me with no friends, no hobbies, no identity, and no purpose for living. I developed Bulimia that Fall, and experienced my first Major Depressive Episode in the Winter. I began sleeping with some jerk from gymnastics, because he was giving me attention when I desperately needed it. That ended when he left me at a pub for having a drink because apparently he didn’t want to deal with me being drunk in his car. Ah, the memories.

I met my third and final boyfriend during this same depressive episode. I was still desperate for some kind of attention, so I began dating this person despite knowing I was not attracted to him. The relationship was awful, but it was less awful than being alone with my depression. I don’t say this person’s name, because that relationship ended with a traumatic incident that left me incredibly mentally unwell and affects me in some ways to this day.

Chapter 3: Anorexia

As I mentioned earlier, I had been Bulimic since Fall 2013, but mentally I was not terribly consumed by my disorder. Bingeing and purging helped me cope, but the idea of stopping didn’t seem like the end of the world. But when the aforementioned traumatic incident took away my appetite and lead to quick weight loss, I was instantly hooked. I told myself I would not start eating more once my appetite improved, and I didn’t. I want to be clear that I do not think Anorexia is more serious than Bulimia. I am only saying that my eating disorder happened to become more restrictive and more serious at the same time. Anorexia took over my life, and I was not physically or mentally capable of feeling attraction for anybody. I had no desire to be in a relationship, as my only care in the world was losing weight. It took two stays in Day Hospital to get me on track towards recovery.

To Be Continued….