Back in December, I came out over Facebook with a pretty quick post.
I was drunk, conflicted, and curled up in my best friend’s bed watching the Captain Marvel trailer when it happened. So, it’s fair to say that my coming out wasn’t exactly planned. And, up until a few weeks prior I wasn’t even out to myself.
If you’ve seen my portfolio, you may have seen an article I had written back in March 2017 for ItEquals, ‘Being an Asexual in a Sexualised Society‘. At the time, I truly believed I was asexual and bisexual – also known as Biromantic. I discussed my experience in a 600 word article when I hardly knew myself and was just trying to understand my body and my mind. What I said was true to the time; I had never experienced sexual attraction, and I thought I had crushes on men.
For years I thought I had to be into men. It was the “norm”. The expected. I find so many people handsome or pretty and I would confuse that for a crush because I didn’t know how to distinguish my feelings. Growing up, everyone would constantly ask me if they’re were any boys in the picture, crushes, boyfriends, other.
When I got my first proper boyfriend, my family were so happy. Like I had achieved something. They started talking to me like I was a proper adult (I was 15). I’d make-out, hold hands, and cuddle with this person and despite how lovely they were to me, I mean I still have a bracelet they gifted me on my birthday, something just didn’t feel right. Fair to say we broke up. I was relived, no longer having to lie and say “I love you” to someone I wasn’t attracted to in the way I was suppose to be. He was hurt.
Ever since beginning University, I’ve made it my mission to become a better person, to be as good as I can while still being true to myself. But, first I had to know my true self. In first year I made out with several guys on nights out. Nothing ever took. Then in second year, there was this weird period where something developed between me and a guy from work. I liked the attention, I thought “finally someone is into me”. Then, drama happened and that was over.
Not long after, I kissed a girl for the first time and oh my oh my! I wasn’t attracted to this particular girl, but damn did kissing her feel good. She was soft and delicate and kind in her touch. My fingers brushed her cheeks and caressed her hair and I felt safe, held, seen. It was amazing.
It wasn’t until 10 months later that I’d finally realise, “shit, I’m a lesbian.”
Why am I being so dramatic? Acting like the realisation of my sexuality is world changing? I mean, it is for me. But why should you care? Well, let me explain.
Change. That’s what I want you to take from this. Change happens. No your sexuality isn’t going to change at the flick of a switch: you are who you are. It’s the way you identify that changes. You realise something, admit it to yourself, accept it. Breath it in and sit with it. Nurture that identity until it flourishes and if it doesn’t? Maybe that’s not who you are.
I spent a good few years thinking I was biromantic: no experience of sexual attraction for either men or women. I knew people were cute, I told people I had crushes that I didn’t really have, and people believed I flirted with boys despite me just really wanting to be friends with someone I thought was cool.
Do I regret writing that article? No. It was honest to the time. That’s who I truly believed I was.
What does this say about asexual and bisexual people? Nothing. My experience doesn’t speak for them. So to that person who said I was misrepresenting the community, suggesting that because I came out as gay I was displaying the toxic notion that all bi people are in reality gay: I don’t represent the experiences of a diverse community, I was only a member. For me, the bi identity was a gateway to exploring my sexuality. It was a label I was familiar with and I genuinely thought I was into men.
But I’m not. I’m gay. And, I am so happy to finally be able to live with that part of myself. A part I use to ignore, neglect, reject.
I’ve felt so much more confident in myself since coming out. Like I can breathe. I can walk with back straight and my head held high. I look forward to a future where I’ll fall in love, watch my wife walk down the aisle, hold her hand, and say ‘I Do’.
Perhaps the aptest song for a newly out lesbian.