[Ed. Note: Every Wednesday, we collect a coming out story and post it here, anonymously. They can be long or short, devastating or hilarious or boring or somewhere in between. The stories can be gathered in person or digitally - even using our "submit anonymously" link on the sidebar! If you'd like to send one in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't feel like writing, we can meet in person, too, (ignore this PSA) and I'll transcribe your story here. Just let us know.]
Am I a lesbian? Probably. Am I bisexual? Maybe. Queer? Perhaps. I never put an official title on my sexuality and still don’t really. All I know is that I’ve been crazy about members of the so-called fairer sex, ever since I was old enough to go crazy about anyone. But I didn’t really name my feelings.
The first time I ever got my sexuality labeled was in the eighth grade. Her name was Corinne (name changed, of course). I walked her back home after a movie and we sat on her porch and just talked for hours. I don’t even remember the conversation. Staring at her evenly glossed lips, I was floating too high up in the air to really listen to what they were saying. She had the most perfect part right in the middle of her hair and the cleanest fingernails I had ever seen. Once she caught me not paying attention and shook her head and said, “You’re such a homo.” She was just joking, but I never really thought about that word until just right then.
Then I started thinking about it a lot and when I was 17, I finally did something about it: I fell in love with a girl. Indisputable-loco-crazy-maudlin-mushy-I-can’t-breathe-without-you-and-I-write-you-poems-instead-of-doing-homework love. You might know what I mean. Well, if you do, then you know it’s impossible to keep that sort of thing to yourself.
Eventually, I came out to my friends. One by one. Again and again, I expected to face some kind of rejection or have someone change the way they acted around me. No one did. Human beings. They really surprise me on a daily basis.
I’m still not completely out to my family, which is why I’m keeping this anonymous. Sometimes, I feel like I’m living two lives: one with my family and one with everyone else. But let me just say that it was never my purposeful intention to deceive anyone. I just don’t think my parents and grandparents are ready for it yet. I’m not ready for it yet.
Sometimes, I think about all the girls I had a major crush on, but never had the courage to admit to myself. I suppose the hardest person to come out to is yourself. It took love for me to realize a part of myself that had always existed. It took love for me to finally muster the courage to go to the LGBT Center (one of the best decisions of my life). And it’ll take love for me to come out completely to my family. But the best part is that I know it exists. Love.