I can remember the first time I had Capital F “Feelings” for another woman. I was 16 years old and participating in a weeklong government program at a nearby university. Halfway through the session, we participated in conventions, in which we gathered with the rest of our fictional political party, composed a platform, and, most importantly, danced to pop music during random breaks and acted as though we were actually accomplishing something. One section of the gathering was led by a small group of campers who had arranged our particular convention ““ in short, we were shown a skit in which a girl acted as though she was a superhero and was about to “fight off” the opposing political party. Not the best way to go about teaching the ins and outs of government, I suppose, but it was effective.
Anyway, the camper who dressed up as the superhero was hilarious. You could tell right away that she had no clue why she was doing what she was doing, but she was going to go all the way with it”¦ and I loved it. After the convention, I asked my newfound friends “who that superhero was” and no one knew her name. I eventually spoke with a friend of mine from home and found out the mystery girl’s name (Jenny). My friend also let me know that she had spoken with Jenny once or twice and could introduce us, something that I was totally interested in. At lunch the next day, my friend came up to me and let me know that Jenny was really excited to meet me. She said that we’d go to Jenny’s room, hang out for a bit, and then all head to our evening meetings. After lunch, I went to my room to grab things for the meeting and then looked in the mirror to check my appearance. I felt a bit disappointed at what I saw, so I started messing with my hair, adjusting my clothes, and reaching for my toiletries to throw on some mascara. It was then that I realized this meeting was a bit more than trying to make a friend. I wanted to impress Jenny.
Note: If this were elementary school, this would be where I say, “I LIKE liked her.”
Things didn’t work out with Jenny (at least in a romantic sense), but meeting her introduced me to a confusion that sat with me for, to speak quite literally, years. I didn’t acknowledge what any of my feelings meant until approximately ten months ago. Since meeting Jenny seven years ago, I have had feelings for other women like I did for her, but dismissed them as innocent feelings of friendship. I went so far as to have a physical relationship with a friend from university, only to convince myself that it was “just something everyone does in college!” It took one of my best friends coming out to me as bisexual in January to realize that, “Hey, that’s a thing! And that’s a thing that I am!” And it felt really fantastic to recognize it within myself, have a name for it, and know that it was totally cool.
Pretty quickly after I had claimed the ol’ B in LGBT, I started noticing the ways in which this newfound facet of my identity brought judgment from those I considered extremely close friends. Upon sharing my news with someone I have been close to since middle school, I was met with a response of, “Well, are you sure you’re just not experimental?” (I’m still not sure what that was supposed to mean. I suppose we could grab some lab coats and find out”¦) I’ve also been asked about my interest in threesomes, if I’d be interested in getting with a girl “just so I could watch” – the list goes on and on. Ultimately, it has been an odd road to travel at times and I’m still learning how to navigate it, especially as someone who is out to only a few select people (and now, after all of you have read this, only a few thousand more!). If nothing else, I have learned that I am much happier upon realizing that this part of myself is just that ““ a part. I am not defined by my sexuality, nor will I ever allow someone else to define me by it.
Oh! The time has really gotten away from me. I’m so sorry, but I must be off to my super hot, super experimental threesome now. Thanks so much for reading.