To be honest, I never “knew” I was gay immediately, I just thought I was bad at sex. I never burst forth triumphantly from the closet after years of hiding who I was. It was kind of a gradual realization that one day smacked me in the face with its force, after which I felt like a huge weight was lifted.
The first person I accidentally told was my hairstylist, as she was in the process of turning my hair burnt orange:
Me: “So I just started dating this girl…”
Her: *double blink* “What? …Oh!”
And it sort of went on like that.
I technically lost my virginity to a girl in high school, but after that I was convinced I was straight because the sex was frightening. She had acrylic nails. And I was like, Is this what being a lesbian is all about? Well damn, directions to the penis aisle please!
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I realized that — surprise — I was gay after all. All it took was falling in love with an amazing girl who did not wear acrylic nails. I don’t know how, but I opened up to her in ways I never thought imaginable. Sex with men never felt that amazing to me, it was just… there. I never felt connected, no matter who I was in bed with, or truly comfortable, but rather like I was performing. Being with this girl opened my eyes to what I needed, and that was not, as previous partners had suggested, warming lubricant or another vodka tonic.
I mean, of course at first I felt a little weird and uncomfortable holding her hand in public — up until then, I was still used to holding my boyfriend’s hand — but the way I felt around her trumped my nervousness. Alive. Vivid. And because I had bright blue hair then anyway, I was already being stared at on the regular, so what was one more thing?
I never exactly told my parents, but they were smart enough to figure it out. And of course, we had to have the inevitable “talk”:
Mom: “Now look, I think women are beautiful. I think my best friend is an absolutely gorgeous woman, but – ”
Me: “But you don’t want to sleep with her. Right?”
Me: “Well, that’s the difference between you and I.”
And we pretty much left it at that.
A lot of times when I tell people I’m gay, they don’t believe me. “You’re too pretty to be a lesbian,” “But you’d make such beautiful babies,” “You just need to find the right man.” Honestly, you name it I’ve heard it. And I’m always like, Look, I’m sorry, but pretty girls don’t have to be egg farms! These are our minds, our bodies. Why are you worrying about them? Worry about yours!
Mostly those comments are just annoying. People trying to tell me what to do and who to be with is just a crazy idea to me — I would never in a million years try to dictate to someone how they should feel or who they should love. It’s just insane. You do you, I’ll do me. I mean, really, it’s simply a matter of respecting other peoples’ personal space.
Because really, who cares that much? Man-woman, woman-woman, whatever. We’re human. More love in the world has never been a bad thing.