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I identify as female and I grew up in a completely heteronormative environment. My friends and family were all straight (to my knowledge) and we talked about getting married and boyfriends and babies like it was all that simple.
I don’t have a glaringly exciting story of how I learned about my sexuality.
I felt a bit different compared to some of my friends growing up and throughout school. I fancied boys and a few asked me out, but I never felt the connection or desire to date them like my friends seemed to. I put it down to higher standards and not willing to give myself to boys who just weren’t that great.
I started to consider that I was open to dating both genders in my very late teens early twenties. It was a small part of my mind that I would entertain every now and then, surprising myself that I didn’t immediately go UGH NO WAY, like I used to in such an over the top way – “Ugh I could never be a lesbian, men are just THE BEST.”
I started to notice how famous people who were bisexual or gay seemed so confident and secure, and I think I almost comforted myself with the fact that you could be openly gay and happy for once, without nastiness.
These little considerations and daydreams buzzed around in the back of my consciousness for quite a while. I had a brief thing with a guy who I thought I could be with, until that ended and I was back to keeping my head down and working.
I met my other half at work.
Meeting her whacked me across the face (figuratively) and made me realise that I could definitely be interested in women. She was interesting from the second I met her. She is the complete opposite to me (I’m short, talkative, blonde and would describe myself as quite effeminate) and she is none of those things. She interested me as a person and I would look forward to seeing her and being with her. I loved her energy. When she said that she liked art galleries and my skin felt electric when she was close to me, that was the moment I knew I really wanted to date her.
So I did.
I didn’t put myself down or focus on doubting my feelings and I am so proud to say that I got to know her, communicated how I felt and then went for it. It’s honestly one of the bravest and best things I have ever done.
I jumped and I didn’t overthink – but my identity had now become blurred.
A female friend of mine who is married to a woman, once said to me that she didn’t consider herself to be a lesbian. I inwardly sort of scoffed at this like, oh sure. You’re married to a woman but you’re not a lesbian…right. She said she was attracted to the person, not a gender.
And now I understand that.
For me, I have excellent friends who might have innocently said to me oh… but you look straight? But the support and love is fully there. I’ve been given growing space to understand myself more.
Do I have the scope to date other genders in the future? For now I am happy and secure with the person I am with, but do I allow myself breathing room? Absolutely.
Sadly, I have huge difficulties with my family and right now discussing anything to do with my sexuality isn’t welcome. It was something I tried to touch upon briefly and it wasn’t even lightly accepted or encouraged. So for now I am pursuing what makes me happy and what I feel is good and right, keeping it private. I am having to remember that my identity is my own as long as no one is being hurt and that I have a right to be happy; without being shoved in a category or box that makes me fit in.
Other people not accepting or understanding how I feel or live, is not a reason to not do it.
I have learned to accept myself and to protect myself and nothing could be more important than that.