Gather around, boys and girls. I have a little story for you. I have to warn you, though: it's not a fairy tale or bedtime story. It's the story of how I came out.
I first realized that I had "feelings" for girls when I was about 11 years old. I used to go under my brother's mattress and look at his porn magazines. I liked looking at the girls, and seeing them with other girls. I thought I was so sick. I told my mom that I was confused about my sexuality. She said something like, "Everyone goes through this. It's just a phase." I was so relieved. A phase. Good.
Well, soon after that I started hanging out with only boys. I really had no desire to hang out with the other little girls. They didn't do cool stuff, like play video games and have burping contests (which I love, by the way). And since I was the only girl who would hang out with these boys, they started giving me a lot of attention. I liked it, and for a while it seemed like my mother had been right all along. It was a phase.
Fast forward to age 15. Up until this point, I had pretty much denied the feelings that I had for girls, even though every so often they'd come back to haunt me, at which point I would bury them back away again. Well one day at a friend's house (her name was Alison*), we were sitting around (Alison, my best friend Jamie*, who I'd had a crush on for years, and me) and to make a long story short, Alison told us she was bi. I was shocked. I never thought someone like Alison, who was normal and healthy, could be (gasp) gay. This was on my mind a lot afterwards. Should I tell her? No. Yes. No. Well finally after school one day, Alison and I were chillin' and talking and I told her. Actually it went something like this:
Me: If I tell you a secret, will you PROMISE not to tell anyone...especially Jamie?
Me: Pinky Swear?
Alison: You're bi.
I was stunned. She knew. Was it obvious? Did I have DYKE written across my forehead? I was shocked, but I was also very relieved. Someone else knew what it was like. It was great. I just didn't want Jamie to find out. Now once again fast forward a few months. Jamie, her boyfriend Rob*, and I were all at his house. Well, suddenly Rob turned to me:
Rob: Have you ever liked girls "in that way"?
Me: (after a confused pause) Um...well...when I was little (as I said this, my face must have been so red).
Jamie: (looking down) 'Cause I think I might be bi.
Me: ME TOO!!!
I was absolutely stunned. I mean this was Jamie saying she was bi. I thought Jamie was totally homophobic. She had always made silly little remarks about lesbians and how gross it was. So I sat there in Rob's room and I just started crying. For hours. And I had no idea why. I guess I was just overwhelmed with emotions or something. So now I had two bi friends. The problem was that now that I was "out," at least partially, I wanted to explore. Desperately.
Well, one night Jamie and I were in my room. We knew what was on each other's minds. We were bored, so we decided to go out to my backyard where my car was (this car didn't run—it just sat there, but it was mine). We were saying things like, "I can't go out there with you...I'll attack you." But we went anyway. I was so nervous and so excited. So we brought out candles and blankets and sat in the car. We lit the candles and just sat there for a while. We were both so damn nervous. Eventually we kissed. I was so out of it. After a while it got too cold and we went back inside. The next morning we could barely look at each other, and we basically forgot anything had ever happened. Well we got drunk one night and ended up having sex. Once again, we never mentioned the incident afterwards. By this time I was very much in love with Jamie, but nothing ever came of it. We fooled around another time but we never ended up "together." So I eventually got over Jamie. We were just friends again. And we could actually talk about it and laugh.
Well eventually I ended up liking Alison. I had the biggest crush on her, but by this time she was pretty much out of her "girl" stage. We kissed one time outside of a dance club, and I was sooooo happy, but very confused at the same time. I mean I really liked her, and she never brought up the incident again, like Jamie had done. So another girl was forgotten and I was searching for a suitable girlie once again.
Then a year and a half ago, after a Youth Pride March, Jamie and I went to a prom sponsored by a gay and lesbian youth organization. We were dancing all night and Jamie spotted a group of cute little lesbians. We had seen them earlier after the march, and I had my eye on one of them. She was this cute, short, little blond girl. Jamie kept telling me to make a move on her, but I was way too shy. Anyway we danced over to them, and Jamie soon had a crowd of willing chicks dancing with or near her. Sensing the rejection, I left the crowd. I was walking away to go outside and have a cigarette, when this cute little chickie grabbed my arm and pulled me out onto the dance floor. She was the same cute chickie I had been seeing all day. She asked me if I wanted to dance, so we did. I was so happy. She was so cute, so sweet, and she made me laugh so hard that I almost peed my pants.
Her name was Lindsay*. So at the end of the night we exchanged e-mail addresses and we went to leave. Well, our ride was not there. We were stuck 30 miles from home in the middle of the night with no money and nowhere to go. So Lindsay and two of her friends drove us home. Yes, they went 30 miles out of their way, dropped us off, and then turned around and drove home. Well, we ended up dating for a while and then on July 4, 1999, we finally became "committed." I am so in love with this girl; it's so great.
When does this become a "coming out" story? Well, shortly after Lindsay and I met, Jamie took a picture of us (it's this really cool black and white picture). So I took this wonderful picture and showed it to my family one by one. Now in this picture I am sitting behind Lindsay, she's lying back against me, and I have my arms around her. It's obvious that we're more than friends in this picture. So they all looked at it, then they just kinda sat there for a bit, but none of them made a big deal about it. I never came out and said "I'm gay," but I had made the first step. Eventually my mom asked me outright if I was gay, and I told her I was, and she was fine with it. The same with my father. The rest of my family found out through my mom, and no one made a big deal about it. In fact, none of them seemed surprised at all. Thank God. So now I'm definitely out and proud, and I absolutely love it.
* Names have been changed