Wait .. Does That Make Me Gay?
*Kids gather in the hall whispering in clusters to gossip*
“Are people born gay?”
“Did they choose this lifestyle? It’s such a sin.
“I can’t believe that you think that’s okay.”
“Who said that?”
“You know that’s NOT natural right?”
“If I was grown you’d think I’d let you around my kids so you can turn them gay?”
“So, who’s the boy and who’s the girl? Do y’all be .. you know..?
“How could — ew I just —”
“You like the same sex … on purpose? I just don’t agree with that, it’s not in the Bible.
“I hope you don’t like me because I don’t do that gay stuff.”
Coming Out .
So wait— when did I actually figure out that I was bisexual? Well, I finally admitted it to myself when I was in the 7th grade. I was never the girly type. I dressed like a little boy, acted like a little boy, and played all the sports possible — like a little boy. Except I was a girl, so that was awkward. Especially because I liked boys too! How does that work? Well let me tell you, in middle school .. it doesn’t. When I was in 7th grade, there was a new girl named T who was openly bisexual. It was such a shock to everyone that she thought it was okay to admit that she liked the same sex. *Take note on how I said thought it was okay* I, however, thought that she was one of the bravest people I met. We became friends very fast because I admired her. She was what I desired to be— comfortable. It wasn’t too long until I met this girl who gave me butterflies. I thought it was unnatural and disgusting like my friends said so I tried to hide it. After a while, it made me feel weak. I know my friends said it was nasty when I asked if liking girls was normal, but this didn’t feel nasty. Actually, it was the same feeling with guys. The secret started to eat at me and I didn’t know how to feel or who to tell, so I told T. Of course she was accepting and encouraging, so she told me I should just go for it and follow my heart. That was the start of what felt like a big mistake. I was ready to be myself and be boastful like T was, but as soon as my friends found out… whew chile. Would I even have friends after that? The girl that gave me butterflies became my girlfriend and was the best feeling ever, but it was a part of me that was embarrassed. It was social suicide. I moved around from school to school and I just became comfortable with these girls. I didn’t want to become their new enemy so soon. I knew what I had to do. I had to live a double life. I told my girlfriend the rules of the relationship and what would happen if she broke them. We would pick a period on our schedules where we could step out of class to go to the bathroom. We could hold hands here — it was safe. One day she gave me a kiss and I didn’t know how to react. It didn’t make me feel dirty like they said it would, in fact, it made my heart melt. I had to tell T. She told me that this was just a phase that every girl goes through and I didn’t have to worry because I wasn’t gay. Later that day T and I went to lunch and a boy started teasing her about it and she held her ground. I don’t know how she did it. She turned to me and said “people are always going to talk, but it’s up to you to listen or not”. I didn’t understand her then, I wanted to fight him for her, but she didn’t want me to so I just violated him (classical middle school New York kids). I was just becoming comfortable with my girlfriend, but sometimes you speak too soon. We took a cuffing picture and I didn’t want to post it because I was petrified of what people would say and think about me. I cared more about what they thought than embracing every part of myself.
Of course, I had to got to my only gay friend about the issue and the conversation went like this:
I didn’t care if Moses walked over the Atlantic Ocean and grabbed me by my rectangular frames, I was not telling anyone I had feelings for another girl. She lost her rabbit ass mind. My girlfriend was tired of being hidden and being older, I don’t blame her. I was confused about who I was when she accepted her truth. Soon, rumors started to get out that I liked girls and every night I would get in my closet and cry. I wanted to do more than run away. I wanted to become a new person. I would get into the shower and scrub a little harder each time to get some of the gay off. I would pray each night that I would wake up and not be gay the next day. No matter what I did, nothing changed. The comeback line “find out what gay means and get back to me because I know I’m happy” got tired because they had new insults. People I loved threatened to expose me if I didn’t tell the truth. I couldn’t trust anyone with my secret that wasn’t even a secret anymore, so I just tried to accept it. People I didn’t even talk to started texting me
“Hey , are you gay?”
“Since when you like girls?”
“Mhm. Can’t believe they got you too.”
I was so confused. I tried to turn to T again and she convinced me that it was okay. She vowed to be there every step of the way, to protect me. She was truly the best friend I dreamed of. I’ll fast forward on this predictable story about 30 seconds.
I fell in love with her. Her consistency, her genuineness. Everything felt right with her. She also connected to me as a woman, but maybe that’s what made something in my mind switch. I wanted to be with her, but sometimes I don't. At 12/13, I didn’t know if that was normal or not and I didn’t want to be mean to the girl that helped me understand myself. I wasn’t a faggot around her. I was just D’Zyre.
After we broke up, we were still friends, but I was scared to be myself again. I was able to admit that I like both sexes, but never enough to believe it was okay.. When I got boyfriends I would dread the day they finally asked the question. “Are you gay?” In 9th grade, my boyfriend was so hateful in his words towards me. If I said something that he didn’t like, he would, put in simple terms, violate me. I would get called faggots and other disgusting things all day until he would make me cry. My favorite rebuttal that he gave was that “I didn’t have good enough [redacted] must be.” This was my favorite because I didn’t even know how to spell sec-th! It feels like it’s been ingrained in my head that it’s wrong. Not wrong for anyone else though, just for me. I remember a time where if I was gay I wasn’t allowed to be around certain people’s kids, sing certain songs (like same love), or like both sexes because that meant you were confused. I don’t write this for others to feel sympathetic, but hoping that they feel empathetic. Hoping that after reading this people are wiser with their word selection and how they raise their children to treat other children. Who knows, maybe if it wasn’t for T, I could have very well went through with what my thoughts told me to do one day.
Last semester I was on the phone with one of my childhood friends and she told me she accepted me now even if she doesn’t agree and she apologized to me. It meant so much to me that she said it, that I burst out crying because I have been carrying that hurt since I was a child. Why did I value her opinion so much? Why was it that I couldn’t accept myself? Here I am eight years later without an answer to give and still can’t let myself like a woman anymore than finding her attractive. Who knows, maybe I was scared straight.