On Being A First Time Lesbian And Feeling Like You Aren’t Gay Enough

Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black

I recently started dating women and it is so awesome!

awe·some /ˈôsəm/
1. extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.

Except I would say and is more accurate:

awe·some /ˈôsəm/
2. extremely impressive and daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, and fear.

Have you ever showed up for the first day of class, and as the teacher begins you feel a creeping anxiety and confusion? Like this class is totally different than what you thought and you don’t know what anyone is talking about? And then you realize that you were just in the wrong classroom, and you are so relieved that you don’t have to deal with this all semester. I didn’t know that dating could not feel like that first class.

My sexual experience existed on a spectrum where being straight wasn’t uncomfortable enough for me to cast it away. Instead, I cast myself as not doing relationships well. I come off very empowered in dating, but it’s always felt like a very active effort to appear that way. I engage in a lot of self help, counseling and journaling. I didn’t consider that the problem might not be me, that the problem could be my orientation, the power dynamics of heterosexuality, the isolation of heteronormative culture. I was just in the wrong class.

And I want a fucking coming out parade.

Instead of remaining empowered, I’ve watched myself shift into closetedness, excusing my new gayness as lame in comparison to real lesbians. The other night, I came home from really good date with a hot guy and couldn’t stop crying. It had felt super empowering to find that I like women, but it was restrictive and scary to find that I no longer like men. I was seriously grieving the loss of my straight self, without having yet sunk into my gay skin.

“Well this doesn’t have to be forever. Your sexual identity is fluid and you can change your mind whenever you want.”

This consolation is the opposite of what I want to hear. I don’t want the openness to change my mind. I want to be completely, conformingly gay. I want to dive head first into the Gay Box, lock myself into it, make a little nest of it, cuddle up in the restrictive warmth of Category. In our beautifully progressive world of spectrum, open ended, nonconforming, fluid sexuality and gender, I feel my gay internal revolution falling a bit flat.

I’ve had sex with one woman, been on dates with three, and I do not feel worthy. I do not feel good enough for entrance into the amorphous Lesbian Community. This Association of Lesbians, in my mind, sit around the Lesbian Round Table with a large stack of Lesbian applicants, idly chatting and casting Yea or Nay votes upon young, eager Lesbian wannabes. My application falls lightly to the ground, trampled and forgotten. It is accidently recycled by the janitor, never to be read by the Lesbian Elders.

I write this, even though I feel dumb, because I have felt a desperation for community, for belonging, for validation. Even writing this, I don’t feel empowered, I feel a double nervousness of coming out, and not being lesbian enough. So I have turned to the internet. And if you’re feeling this way, too, I hear you. I hope that if you’re not quite brave enough to speak up to the cute gay chick at a party, you are brave enough to google first time lesbian (weed through the porn) and find this post. And we can just gently push through the fear and doubt and be who we want to be. Together. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog