Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Image via gingerseyes.com
I came out as lesbian on my 15th birthday. There was a boat involved, maybe a flip, some confused faces, and a whole lot of splash, and ultimately I’m incredibly happy that I did it. Reaching the conclusion that I am gay, however, was a bit of a journey. First of all, to everyone who needs a crash course on being a lesbian, it is when a woman is attracted to other women and not men. Some lesbians can also be attracted to non-binary people, not because they view them as women, but because sexuality is an ambiguous spectrum and you can’t help who you’re attracted to.
It took me a while to realize that I am gay. I’ve felt different from everyone else since I was about 9 years old. I actually distinctly remember looking at the lesbian couple that lived on my street and thinking, I’m not gay or anything, but I’d totally marry a woman. When I was that age, I thought I might be trans for a while because then it would make sense to like women. In 6th grade when I learned about bisexuality, I immediately thought that being bi was the solution; I actually told my friends right after that I thought I was bi, to which they responded, “We don’t think you are.'' After that interaction, I assumed I was ace — if I couldn’t like everyone, I must just like no one. But that idea was shot down a year later after seeing Zendaya in Spiderman Homecoming. I stuck with bisexual for the next few years until reading the Am I Lesbian masterdoc and promptly having an identity crisis. Now you’re probably thinking, “she’s a trainwreck, she’s clearly unqualified to give advice to other people about figuring out their sexuality,” but I beg to differ. I have identified as so many different sexualities throughout my life, and luckily, now I know the difference between things like being attracted to men and compulsory heterosexuality.
While I would love to dive into my sexuality more, I’m here to help all of you figure out yours — it can be really hard to put a label on your feelings, so here are some signs that might make that process a little bit easier.
You look away every time you pass by a Victoria’s Secret or a Lingerie store.
*Quick disclaimer: I do not condone sexualizing women’s bodies in any way shape or form, this is purely talking about the goddess-like beauty and power that all women hold*
To everyone who is straight, this is pretty weird; you’re probably all thinking, why would people look away, they’re just manikins? They’re just women? Don’t we have the same body parts? Well to answer those questions, think about it from a different perspective. When I was younger and would walk by a store like that and watch all of the beautiful women inside, my heart fluttered — I felt a little embarrassed because I was young and didn’t know how to process my emotions, so I turned my head the other way. As I got older, I continued to look to the other side of the mall in fear that my parents might catch me staring and get the ‘wrong’ idea. This isn’t a telltale sign of being gay, but as I thought about it more and more, I realized that it made a lot of sense. Staring at women that I thought were attractive was weird for me because I felt like no one else felt the same way. Well, buckle up your seatbelts fellow lesbians, because it turns out there are a lot of people who feel this way, and I hope that someday little girls won’t feel weird or different when they think girls are pretty rather than boys.
You feel uncomfortable when asked about having a boyfriend.
Of COURSE, you’d feel uncomfortable when asked this question. It makes you feel kind of sick to your stomach, but you always answer with an “I’m not interested in dating right now,” or “There are no cute boys in my grade.” News flash, you don’t think any of the boys are cute because you don’t want to be in a relationship with boys!
Ever since we were young, relationships have been a huge part of all children’s lives. Our parents, our preschool boyfriends, our kindergarten boyfriends, the list goes on and on. It’s hard to be lesbian living in a society that pushes heterosexual norms and ideals onto children — and before anyone argues this, ask yourself what gendered parents did your favorite childhood cartoon characters have? You only hear about Barbie and Ken kissing, why? In elementary school when you played house, were there ever two mommies? What about two daddies? It is a plain and simple fact that when people in our generation were going through our formative childhood years, heteronormativity was pushed right in our faces.
This is one of the reasons why it’s hard to come out for people; you’ve been asked your whole life about having boyfriends, you were taught in school that a family had a mother and a father, and you’ve probably only known a limited amount of LGBTQ+ couples in your life. As more and more people come out and express who they are, the world will become a more accepting and open-minded place.
You find yourself able to have crushes on men, but the idea of a relationship with one gross you out.
This situation could be a result of many different things, one of them being compulsory heterosexuality, or comp-het. Comp-het is something that I struggled with a lot when figuring out my sexuality, and it’s hard to identify since it comes in so many forms. The actual definition of comp-het is “the idea that heterosexuality is assumed and enforced by a patriarchal and heteronormative society”. In a person, it can be only having crushes on fictional or non-attainable men, picking out your crushes at random, mixing up the feeling of friendship vs. having a crush on a guy because there is no clear difference, and something as simple as being repulsed at the thought of actually having sex with a man. Comp-het comes in many forms and only exists because of the heteronormativity that I talked about in my previous tip. If you feel like you might have comp-het, don’t worry — you don’t need to label yourself just yet. Remember that you can take as much time as you need to figure out who you are before telling someone.
To conclude this article I’m going to attach the Am I Lesbian master.doc, https://www.docdroid.net/N46Ea3o/copy-of-am-i-a-lesbian-masterdoc-pdf
Written by Amelia von Jan