I grew up in Northern Illinois. I went to a little country school and then moved on to a school that was much bigger than what I had ever expected. No, not just in size but in the mere thought of my education. It was bigger to me because it’s when my journey started.
In about seventh grade, I knew that I was different than most girls. At this time, it was all about purses (the sparkly ones...anyone remember those?), boyfriends, and name brand clothes. I really didn’t care about that. Relationships were just who you walked down the hall with and hugged before going into class. Clothes were clothes to me. As a matter of fact, my fashion taste was my mom's button up shirts and my jeans that were too loose. I did, however, have a purse. I had to fit in somehow. I made friends with the “popular” girls in school, I made the basketball team, and I even had one of those boyfriend things. All of this while being a band geek. Of course I had friends besides the popular girls, but I wanted to fit in with them. So my boyfriend was in band, so my sparkle purse was small and not big, so my clothing choices weren’t up to date, but nonetheless, I had friends and it felt awesome.
This all continued until the end of the year. Then, eighth grade started and I lost those friends, I didn’t make the basketball team, lost the boyfriend, and I got rid of the hideous purse. But don’t worry, I stayed in band.
One day, I made a new friend. She wasn’t popular and she had been friends with my other classmates. I really enjoyed her company. Like really, REALLY liked being around her.
I won’t forget the day where I realized, “holy shit…do I like this friend? Like more than I like my other friends? Or is she just really fun to hang out with?” My self realization led me to the conclusion that I wanted this friend to be more than just my friend. This thought consumed me. At this time, I had no idea what bisexuality was. I knew that whatever I was, I liked it. I remained very quiet about this matter. I didn’t “come out” until the end of the year. She never found out my feelings about her until high school.
It was hard for me, as a little eighth grader, to grasp this idea that I like boys but I also like girls. It was scary because I felt so shut out by my peers as it was. In high school, I finally discovered who I was, who I wanted to be with. Though it took me a while to figure it out, when I did, I never felt more relieved.
I remember the moment exactly. I met someone, fell, learned from them. I was a sophomore in high school. I’ll never forget when I did see the girl who changed my entire life. I thought her name was Emma. Later, I learned her name wasn’t Emma. For the sake of this story, we’ll call her June.
June and I became friends very quickly. I opened up to her very quickly. At that time, I thought I was still bisexual (spoiler alert: I’m totally gay!). She didn’t care, we were still friends. Close friends. I talked to her as often as I could.
One day while at June’s house, she looked at me and both our lives changed that day. She told me that she liked me and felt like throwing up a lung. I thought to myself, “Well great! Wait what?! A lung?” Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I was both excited and nervous and scared.
June was my first girlfriend. She was also my first love and first heartbreak. By being with her, for the short amount of time that I was, I realized that I didn’t want to date a guy… Ever. I imagine my life with a woman. Yeah sure, guys can look nice. I mean, look at Ryan Reynolds! But do I want something romantic with them? I’ll pass on that.
I was afraid of this new feeling I had. Where I went to school, being gay wasn’t really something that was talked about. So, I again was in the closet or more so the social closet.
Discovering who I was was a huge step in the right direction for me.