When I was wrapping up my seventh grade year, I was on the Track and Field team. Throwing shotput and discus with me was a lovely girl that we shall call Nancy.
Nancy was an eighth grader; pretty, strong, and intelligent. But most of all, friendly to a girl who had never had many friends. As time passed, I convinced myself that she was the most amazing woman in the world. I began developing feelings towards Nancy.
I told my mother and she was calm. She told me it was okay, and all girls have feelings for other girls at some time in their life.
When Nancy moved on to high school, and me to eighth grade, my feelings shifted. I had a friend we'll call Stephanie. Her and I would stay up until the early hours of the morning. She told me all of her secrets and I told her all of mine. One night she told me she thought she was bisexual. I told her that maybe I was the same way. I had feelings toward Nancy and now I thought I was developing them for Steph.
As time went on, I convinced myself that I loved Stephanie. We kissed, we held hands, we talked about everything under the sun. When we broke up because Stephanie was still battling her "demons", my heart was shattered.
I went to my mother for comfort, where I found none. I heard talk of her "pie-eating daughter" and how she would never be able to buy me a REAL wedding dress. How could her story have changed? Where my feelings were once natural, now they were something to be disgusted with?
As I entered high school, I found my solace in volleyball. I threw all of my passion and feelings onto the volleyball court. My mother volunteered to be the score-keeper.
One day my mother called me over and introduced me to the girl sitting next to her, a girl we'll call Courtney. Courtney and I instantly hit it off. A week later we went to the mall together. We had sleepovers and stayed up until the sun came up, laughing until we cried. It was not long before I thought that I loved Courtney.
One day, I told Courtney. Courtney calmly listened to all that I had to say, and then gave me a response that I will probably never forget.
"Katie, I love you, too. It is not in the romantic way, nor will it ever be romantic. But you are my best friend and this changes nothing."
Gradually, as time went on and Courtney and I became closer than ever, I realized that something she had said had struck a chord. I loved Courtney. I truly did. But it wasn't romantic. I simply loved her as a best friend and as a sister of sorts.
But what about Stephanie? And Nancy? The mold was the same. They had both been on their way to being my good, if not best friends before my feelings had thrown me from that path. People I admired had turned into objects of affection. I realized that I truly wasn't homosexual or bisexual, but that I was someone with a big heart who loved very easily. That was the biggest discovery of my teen years.
Since the end of this story, I've never seen Nancy again. Stephanie and I still speak on occasion, but our lives have moved in two different directions. She is happy as a lesbian in a committed relationship, I am comfortable with my life as a heterosexual in a long-term relationship with the man who will be my husband one day. And Courtney? Courtney and I have grown up and apart but she still remains the best friend I've ever had.
The point of this topic isn't to say that all homosexual feelings are misread or misdirected. In fact, some of your first romantic feelings are the truest, rawest passion you will ever feel. The vein of gold running through this post is that confusion is blinding and sometimes painful. When it feels that nothing is right, just keeping taking steps forward. Time, and the right people, will one day show you all that you are meant to know.
Good luck! And goodnight.
Yours in heart, Katiebug
Posts: 2 | From: Home from College | Registered: Jun 2011
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Thanks Katiebug, it's good that you're happy where you are in your sexuality now, as with your old friends and crushes. I also agree that it's good to not have to box yourself in to a label that lasts forever when you're always (not just when you're young) subject to developing new aspects of your sexuality and moving away from older ones.
I really think for me that it's worth challenging a couple of things though. My understanding is that if you feel happy, you are happy, if you feel sad you are sad, if you feel romantically, or sexually attracted to someone then that is what it is.
I agree that this shouldn't impact on what you identify as (straights/gay/none/whateversexual) if you don't want it to, but you also seem to say that your past experiences are invalid because of your current identity. That they weren't "real" or "true"... I think that's a bit of a problem because a lot of the time that is a way to tell young queer people that their feelings don't matter... by their parents and the people round.
Our feelings may change, or they may not, but they remain as real as anything and therefore, if we claim to care about people we need to acknowledge that and not invalidate their feelings. Being subject to change (like from having hetrosexual crushes to queerer relationships) is a neutral point because when we care about young people it doesn't matter who they're attracted to so long they are not put in harms way.
quote:I truly wasn't homosexual or bisexual, but that I was someone with a big heart who loved very easily
That might well be how you best describe yourself. But I don't think to "love easily" is equivalent to 'no love at all'... and if by easily we mean towards any gender then I think it's important to acknowledge that love or sexual feeling towards people more than just men has been a part of your sexuality in the past, even if it is not now... and I think it's much fairer to people who would not be comfortable in the life you describe for yourself, possible-future-husbands and all, to make that acknowledgement.
quote:The point of this topic isn't to say that all homosexual feelings are misread or misdirected.
My point would be that absolutely none of those feelings, even the ones you experienced, are ever misread or misdirected in the way you describe, they're all true, they're there they happened... It's still good that you're happy now, as many people are, to have a clear sexual identity and are no longer need to worry about with the issues you faced with same-sex attraction. But for many that isn't the case and I'm not sure this will be reassuring as much as you hoped.
I think for many people confusion is not about mistaking our own feelings for something they're not, but more what to actually do with those feelings, what to call them, what sexual label to call ourselves, how it may change our lives to approach sexual situations outside of what's assumed normal etc. At least that has been my experience and those of people I know.
I don't mean to completely disapprove of what you say, because I don't. It's a personal story to which I think it's really important for me to add something more. I'm pretty sure I'm never going to settle in to the position of saying I'm not gay, or I'm not straight, or I'm not bisexual ever... and I think that is not confusion, it's just something else that is totally totally ok.
[ 06-26-2011, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]
Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011
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