Sunday, February 06, 2011

When did you know you were gay?

Yeah, and how do you know if don't try gay sex at least once?
I get asked this question a lot by people, I suppose it's just part of human nature to want to know, but I always kind of want to ask "When did you know you were straight?" right back to them.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is usually coming from people who are straight and grew up around straight family and straight friends and so it was a "given" that they would be attracted to the opposite sex. I suppose that question I want to ask would only be comparable if asked to a heterosexual man or woman who was raised by gay parents, had gay siblings and gay friends.

Anyway, I always tell them basically the same thing.

I knew I was bi-sexual when I was 15 or so. I know it was 9th grade at Christmas. I had a party and I had several friends over and they ALL ended up staying the night, even the guys. Anyway, at some point in the night a friend directed my attention to one of the guys and one of the girls (names with-held to protect their innocence...or non-innocence, whatever) who were kissing on the couch. It was in that moment that my whole worldview was shaken.
I was 15 and thinking guys were "icky" wasn't completely unusual (I was always a bit of a late bloomer anyway), but when I saw them kissing and I found myself jealous of the guy instead of the girl it was a shock.

Being the OCD and extremely research oriented person that I am, I got up the next day and after my friends had all left for their houses I logged on to the internet and, while my parents were at work, I logged on to some forum for questioned teens (I don't remember which one now) and detailed what I had seen and thought and that I was wondering if I was bi-sexual. I got acceptance and many people saying that it was entirely possible. I was okay with it, unlike some GLBT youth I've known through the years. Most of that self-hate had a lot to with religion and I was uniquely blessed (ironic choice of word, I know) in that I had left religion at least 6 months before and though I had issues with depression for other reasons I didn't believe that I was an "abomination" like the Baptist church-goers I was grew up with would have liked me to believe.

I did end up dating that girl from the Christmas party for a little while...well at least as much as two 9th grade girls can "date". We remain friends to this day though we live several states apart.

I won't say it was easy, but I never hated being gay (or bi)...I just hated the fact that so many people would (and frequently did) hate me for it.

It wasn't until I was 17 that I realized I was a full-out lesbian (and even then I backslid a few times). I dated a guy in my junior year of high school who was my friend and a really great guy. We were on again and off again for a bit and then we dated for 3 months and there was absolutely NO spark. I realized this was not his fault or my fault...it just wasn't going to happen.
I felt bad for dating him and (at times) stringing him along, but really...relationships are always a bit like Schrodinger's cat, even when you aren't struggling with your sexual orientation. You never know if the spark is dead or alive and until you open the box the spark is, theoretically, both. Unfortunately, the spark was very very dead when I opened that particular box.

Anyway, I had a few moments of backsliding, an attempted one night stand that was a failure in so many ways...many of them mentally scarring and not in the funny way. Luckily I've managed to put that behind me and I won't talk about it again here.

I'm not all that good at relationships and when I was 19 I took my failure with a relationship with a woman as a sign that I should give guys a chance again. I dated a very very good friend and I really wanted it work. I did (and still do) love him very much and I knew it would make my life so much easier, make my relationship with my family so much easier, make it easier to have the child I've always wanted...so many things would be easier and so I took a chance and it was the wrong thing to do.
For a while I thought I had lost him as a friend because of breaking up with him. I felt like I had, unintentionally, strung him along and hurt him. Luckily I did get him back as a friend, something I'm very thankful for.

Anyway, at least now if I ever have someone say "you can't know you don't like guys if you never try it" I can tell them that I have and it does not work for me. Guys can be friends, I do have  great and very close friendships with my male friends and as for sex, well I can have a physiological response like anyone else. That doesn't mean that those two things can come together and make a romantic relationship.

Now I know I'm gay, completely and utterly queer and I like being that way. Being normal is over-rated anyway. I even came out to my parents on New Year's Eve in 2010. Something I wrote a post about already.

Of course that doesn't mean that I understand women any better...it's a cruel twist of fate that I can be a lesbian and yet I understand men more. Life is obnoxious that way.

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