For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in men. There was simply no question about it. I can still remember my very first crush. I was in kindergarten, and the boy had adorable green eyes and blonde hair – he was the favorite of every girl in the class. I had my first “boyfriend” in sixth grade, and my first (and only) real long-term relationship in ninth. All men. Always men.
When I got to college, things slowly grew more grey. I attended a small school with an enormous LGBT population, and the majority of my friends were gay. I began seeing women differently. I started noticing different things – how their clothes hugged their bodies, how their hair framed their faces, how their voices filled a room. But it wasn’t the same. Still, my mind focused on men. All men. Always men.
At some point, I got a job at the campus bookstore, and on my second day on the job, I met her. We worked one two-hour shift together on a Wednesday afternoon. She was unlike anyone I had ever known. Beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious, she somehow saw through me in a way no one ever had before. Yet even then, in those first few months, I refused to accept it. And so did she. For both of us, it still hadn’t clicked. In our minds, it remained all men. Always men.
About six months after we started working together, something shifted. Maybe it was that we both got out of relationships at the same time. Maybe it’s that we started working together five days a week. Maybe…maybe it just was. We got much closer over those first weeks of the semester. She asked for my number, and I gave it to her. We started making jokes about how we were the same person, and that if we were gay we would just get married because no one would understand the other like we understood each other. It used to be all men, always men… until suddenly it wasn’t. Suddenly, there was something else added into the mix: her.
I would get excited when she texted me. My Facebook wall was dominated by articles and pictures that reminded her of me, and hers was covered with all sorts of things that reminded me of her. She was everywhere I looked. Thoughts of her filled every quiet moment. I constantly replayed previous conversations we’d had, and I envisioned future ones. She appeared in the black beneath my eyelids as I drifted into slumber, and I reached for her next to me each morning as I slowly reopened them. Pretty soon, it became all her. Always her.
That girl is the love of my life. I fell for her fast and hard, without any indication that she would fall for me in return. Even now, months later, I still don’t know what drove me to bite the bullet and drunkenly kiss her that night. Perhaps I’ll never know. But I do know this: I am a woman who was, and still is, sexually attracted to men. I also know that I am very much in love with another woman who is also attracted to men. And now, because of her, I’ve learned that that is perfectly normal and I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
That girl showed me that I don’t need to confine myself to a label, because our love transcends all boundaries. She taught me that there is no such thing as 100%, and that our love is not defined by the people we loved before we loved each other. Before her, I had lived my life believing that I would only ever love men. Now, I believe that in my mind it is all men, always men….and her. There will always be a place for her.