If you’re here, you’ve probably asked the infamous question: how do you know if you’re gay? More importantly, how do I know if I’m gay? It’s an age-old question really. Are you asking out of curiosity, or out of fear? Do you even know why you’re asking?
If you have come here for a step by step tutorial, the criteria for being a homo; I hate to disappoint you, but you will not get it here. Why oh why have I roped you into this clickbait article? First of all, I have bills to pay. Second of all, there is no one way to be gay. That is why you can’t get your validation from an article on a website. Your journey may be completely unique to anything you’ve ever read, or maybe you’re the cookie cutter lesbian you see in movies. Regardless of your story, here is mine. I hope you will read with me, and find out what made the whole gay you see today. Wow, that was a dumb line I regret it already.
I first realized I wasn’t straight when I was about 12 years old. I began talking to a girl I’ll call Sam. Sam and I shared music and media interests, and overall I enjoyed talking to her. Initially, I thought Sam was just a very close friend that I looked up to and wanted to spend a lot of time with. As time went on, I noticed that whenever she texted me my heart fluttered, or when she would compliment me I would grin and my heart felt like it would burst. Anytime I saw her in the hallways, I would grin like an idiot, happy that I got to see her even if just for a second. A classic story really, girl meets girl, both closeted as heck. It was actually my friend who brought up the notion I might have a crush on Sam. And as I began to look deeper into how I felt about her, I began to admit this to myself. Before this, I had been toying with the idea I may not be straight. I had found myself staring at girls in my class, wondering what would happen if I kissed them.
And this is when I found myself asking the question: am I gay? As a kid growing up in the deep south, this seemed like the worst thing that could possibly happen. Why? Why did I feel this way about this girl? I feel like it’s a right of passage as an LGBT kid to take that test...the Kinsey Scale. The cursed scale that everyone plays around with. I began thinking more and more about how I felt towards girls. I had never had a boyfriend, and I even noticed tiny crushes I’d gotten on girls as early as the second grade.
Summer vacation rolled around and I was left to ponder my sexuality for a full three months. And I came to the realization, I’ve gotta be at least bi. And that label felt comfortable for a bit, but as I continued to discover myself, I discovered I didn’t really feel that way. Sure, some boys are cool to look at, but whenever I thought about holding someone in the rain, or cooking with someone, or holding hands with someone in a movie, it was a girl. And thus, I decided that I identified as a lesbian.
This was a shocking realization for me, not so much for the close friends I came out to. A few stammered: “But you’re so pretty!” And yes, I was an extremely feminine person, but I didn’t believe that hindered my attraction to girls. I got up early to do my hair and spent hours on my makeup, but I still liked girls. Regardless, after I came out to myself I became more comfortable with myself. I jokingly referred to myself as “the gay loser,” and it didn’t scare me to say that out loud.
And then one fateful day in the summer, my mother took my phone and went through all of my messages and social media. She found messages to Sam, as well as messages to various people discussing my sexuality. I love my mother to death, but she ruined the coming out process for me. If I had been able to truly come out, I could have picked a better time and way to tell her, I could have been left to sit with my sexuality a bit longer so I knew 100 percent. But I did not get to do that.
Since then, my mother does not acknowledge who I am. She blatantly denies me liking girls. Even in private, just me and her she will ask things such as: “When are you going to have a boyfriend?” “That boy is cute, do you like him?” This is painful as you can imagine. It took me a long time to come to terms with who I am, and it was a hard thing to go through. To have this entire experience erased by the person who outed me is ridiculous and hurtful.
Regardless of the hardships that went along with coming out, I am comfortable in my skin now and appreciate who I am. Sure I’ll always get the old: “But you don’t look gay,” but that’s just part of the job.
And if you’re like me reading this, maybe you have your first girlfriend/boyfriend and you’re scared of where to go or what to do next, I feel you. I know it’s scary, but take time to know and love yourself for who you are, everything is going to be okay.