Tag Archives: Female

I’m lucky

I was actually very happy

In the summer I came to the realisation that I was, as I probably should’ve realised sooner, very gay. It was in the middle of the night and I was watching videos of Kate Mckinnon. I wasn’t appealed or afraid. I was actually very happy.

I was confused at first

I was confused at first and didn’t want to come out to my parents and then change my mind. But I felt I had to tell someone, so I told my best friend. I knew that I could change my mind and she wouldn’t bat an eyelid. I told her I was bisexual and she was great about it. I eventually told some of my other friends and they seemed to feel the same. It wasn’t until I started referring to myself in my own mind as gay and not bi that I thought I had told them the wrong thing.

I kept it inside

There were a lot of times that it would’ve been really great to tell my parents but every time the moment passed and I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know why because I was pretty certain they would be fine with it. Instead I kept it inside. It wasn’t until my homophobic uncle asked if I had a boyfriend yet that my mum told me to tell him I wanted a girlfriend that I told her. I was incredibly scared but she was wonderful and we had a ten minute conversation about it. The next day we decided that I would leave the room while she told my dad. Again I don’t know why I didn’t want to tell my dad it just felt awkward to bring it up. I came back into the room and all he said was “as long as you’re happy” then we sat there in silence for what must have been 30 seconds but felt like an hour. Then I got up and left again.

Come out when it’s right for you

I know that my coming out was incredibly easy compared to a lot of people. And I was, and am, so so lucky to have so much support and love around me that it has made me even more aware of the people who don’t have that. But I just want to say. Come out when it’s right for you. You don’t need to. But you don’t need to keep it to yourself either.

Coming Out to My Dad

I stood at the bottom of the attic steps, my fists clenched. Dad had just gotten off the phone with some client for his work, his home office was up there, but not in like a creepy way. The attic office was actually very nice. He fixed it up to look just like a second living room.

I had already backed out of it too many times

I knew I had to do it, I had already backed out of it too many times. What if Dad didn’t want his “precious little girl” to be different than everyone else in this God-forsaken town? Would he find me disgusting and sinful like my mother did? Here it goes…Deep breath in, deep breath out…

The stairs seemed to spin

I turned the doorknob, and slowly opened the door. I walked up the steps, but I swear it was the hardest thing I have done in my life, the stairs seemed to spin and I had to grip the railing so hard that my knuckles turned white.
“Dad?” I called up nervously, trying to keep my voice from cracking.
“Yes, Sweetie?”
“I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t want to talk about it after.” I looked away as he looked up at me from his desk. “Dad, I-I like girls…”

He gave me a big, reassuring smile

I was expecting a big explosion, but the reply was, “Em, you seem so upset, what does it matter? Who you like, I mean… As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters to me,” he gave me a big, reassuring smile. Then he stood up and gave me a hug.
“Well, Mom doesn’t seem to feel the same way about it,” I said, burying my face into his shoulder.

You are always loved

“I will talk to her, but Emily,” he leaned down so that we were eye-level, “You just ignore the people who call you weird or pick on you for it. You are you, and you are perfect. Remember that you are always loved. We love you no matter what. Okay?”
“Okay. Thank you Dad, I love you.”
He hugged me tighter, “I love you too, Sweetheart.”

Love is Love

Diversity should thrill people, yet it doesn’t. Just as love and sex should fill people with happiness and excitement. I am sixteen, I have never properly be in love, I haven’t found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with – so how am I supposed to narrow them down by gender and age?

Gender doesn’t really come into play

For me, falling for people, relies on their character and humour, and when I kiss someone, gender doesn’t really come into play. If someone makes you feel delirious and tingly from head to toe…then go for it.
I am in a place where I would be proud and unashamed to tell anyone if I fell in love with a girl or a guy.

Love is for everyone

No words can quite match how love can make you feel and nobody should have to stop loving anyone because of what other people say. And that’s kind of why I’m writing, not because my story is inspirational or anything – but because love is for everyone, and I’m not willing to negotiate.

Some of them know, it’s not that bad

Around Christmas time 2015, I realised that I liked both genders. I told one friend and she recommended an LGBT account on Instagram. I joined and became an admin. Soon after I told my friends and I looked up different kinds of sexuality. All of my friends accepted me.

She accepted me

I was terrified of coming out to my mum, but I shouldn’t have been. It was hard at first, but now I feel like I have a weight lifted off my shoulders. She did say that I’m a bit too young to decide that I was bi, but she still accepted me.

I will tell them when I’m ready

The rest of my family don’t know, but I like it that way. I will tell them when I am ready.

It is not that hard. Just look past the fear you first feel and you will be fine!

Jenny the Worrier Princess

I’d always been a tomboy growing up. My mum often recalls that, for my first birthday, I was brought a doll and pram and my response was to throw the doll out, load the pram with building blocks and pretend it was a car.

Aged six, I asked my mum one day ‘Mummy do you mind if I am a boy type girl?’ and of course being the understanding woman she is she didn’t mind one bit.

I chose to bury my feelings and carry on trying to be like everyone else

As I progressed through school I realized my friends were nearly all boys and my crushes were almost always on girls (and Wonder Woman). At the time the only representations of gay men in popular culture were camp stereotypes and lesbians were nonexistent so I felt very, very different from the norm. Knowing I wasn’t like the other girls around me, I chose to bury my feelings and carry on trying to be like everyone else.

At secondary school the only thing we were taught sexuality wise was reproduction in a very clinical way. In the late 80’s the government, then led by Margaret Thatcher, brought in a law to prevent the promotion of homosexuality (Section 28). This meant that it could not be taught in schools and you couldn’t go to a teacher for help or advice.

I had a series of boyfriends

Ironically quite a lot of my school friends were also gay but we were all deeply in the closet, partly because it was a small town and partly because we didn’t know what people’s reactions would be.

I had a series of boyfriends that were, in fact, friends that had asked me out, as I probably would never have dreamed of thinking of them in that way otherwise. The few boys that I was attracted to were usually quite feminine looking.

Then one day, when I was 18, I got a call from my best friend needing help. Her girlfriend’s parents had found the secret love letters that she had written to her (this was the pre-internet age so emails or text messages were not a possibility) and had banned them from ever seeing each other again. I felt really stupid, having a best friend for all these years and not even realizing she was gay too. As I had a boyfriend at the time I chose to keep quiet about my confusion and help her through her situation the best I could.

I continued to have long term relationships with men, again because they made the first move and it was easier to go along with it. I loved them not for their gender but for them as people. However, throughout these relationships I continued to have secret, painful crushes, on female friends and again I chose to bury them.

I didn’t have much chance to explore my sexuality

On occasion I used to frequent gay bars in Soho, with one of my close gay male friends, but didn’t have much chance to explore my sexuality as there were hardly any places to meet women.

Things started to change once I began studying part-time for a technology qualification in London. I got my first PC and internet connection and looked for an online place to be myself.

I really was very gay and couldn’t go hiding this part of myself

Then one day I had an epiphany. It was 1997 and I saw an advert for a new television channel (at this point in time we only had four TV channels in the UK) Channel 5 was being launched very ceremoniously by The Spice Girls and the channel was showing a promo for a new series called Xena Warrior Princess. I looked at Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle and over to my boyfriend and the penny dropped. I really was very gay and couldn’t go on hiding this part of myself indefinitely or I would never be truly happy. I watched the programme avidly, savouring every subtext reference to their relationship, and I joined a Xena group on AOL. From there I met a straight girl (my first ally I suppose!) who invited me to a regular Xena night in a sci-fi bar in Westminster. I had never been around so many gay girls and my friend even tried to match make me with someone at the group but I was too shy and I still had a boyfriend to contend with.

I plucked up the courage to end my long term relationship

I was still in the closet at the company I worked at but plucked up the courage to end my long term relationship and decided I really needed to explore my sexuality at last. We had a new temp receptionist at work and one day, as we went for lunch, she advised me that if I wanted to come out and didn’t know how to do it, then telling everyone I was bisexual may be the way to go because of my history of long term relationships with men. I was shocked; I couldn’t work out how she had picked up on my sexuality as I had tried to hide it so carefully. She then said that her gay flat mate was moving out and she had a spare room in her flat on Charing Cross Road in Soho If I wanted it. I snapped up the room and finally began to explore my sexuality. It wasn’t easy as there were no real places to meet women (and sadly that is still the case) so the majority of my dating adventures began online. Eventually I began to build up a network of friends and in the end met my current partner Claire. We have been together for thirteen years now, my longest relationship to date.

I have now gone from quietly in the closet to a new member of the global leadership team for my current companies LGBTF network. I present and educate on LGBT issues whenever I can and I was also one of the mentors for this application!

Coming out to a Catholic Family

I realised I was gay when I was about eleven. Well, it wasn’t so much that I realised, I already knew – but I finally admitted it to myself around then. I didn’t tell a single person until I left secondary school at the age of 15. School would have been completely unbearable if anyone had found out. It was bad enough as it was. I was also convinced my parents would disown me when they found out. My mum is Catholic and I’d heard her say that being gay was a sin, that it was evil.

I used to self-harm a lot and I smoked a lot of cannabis

I was really, really unhappy as a teenager. It was hard keeping a secret and living in my own head for so many years. I used to self-harm a lot and I smoked a lot of cannabis. I still worked hard at school and eventually I found some good friends who made things easier. I told one of them I was gay when I was 16.

One of them had read my diary

I went to a sixth form college to do my A Levels. Around about then, my sister told me my mum was downstairs crying because she thought I might be gay. Great. It turned out one of them had read my diary and found out I was seeing someone (I’d met and started dating my first girlfriend by this point) and doing God knows what else (Drugs? Smoking? Sex?). It was awful – I knew they knew and we just didn’t talk about it. I moved out as soon as I could, after my last A Level exam. I moved about an hour away from where my girlfriend was studying and I got a series of rubbish jobs that paid enough for rent and eventually for a bit more too. That was when I was 17, and my parents and I didn’t talk about me being gay until I was 21. I brought it up. My parents just didn’t talk about that stuff, I don’t know why. But I had to break the ice. And actually, it was okay. I found it excruciating at first, I still do sometimes. But they didn’t disown me. It turned out my dad really didn’t care and my mum got used to it, I think. She’s met a few girlfriends and liked most of them. I think she’s had to change her mind about what being gay means but we have a great relationship now.

Don’t assume the worst will happen

A few years later I had to come out to my parents again as transgender. It was hard, but I had more resources to talk to them about it. I’ve really had to be the one to push the boundaries and that’s been uncomfortable, but it wasn’t the disaster I always thought it was going to be. So I guess I’d say don’t assume the worst will happen, but make sure you have a plan for if it does. There are loads more organisations that can help now, that you can reach out to. I almost couldn’t imagine being happy when I was a teenager, I was convinced I’d end up killing myself. But actually I am happy – things got so much better, I got through it. I’m doing okay.

“Girlfriend?”

The first time I met China, we were both eleven, at the year seven open day. The first thing I said to her was ‘Oh, cool hairband!’ (as you can tell, I was a complete social butterfly). We quickly became friends, and formed out own little friendship group from there.There were four of us, or seven, depending on who you counted. By the time we finished our first year at secondary school, we were all very close.

But then, in year eight, one of our group left, and the others drifted – and China and I were left alone once again. We had friends, but not so much a ‘group’. We sort of flitted between circles, but this brought us much closer. This was when I first started to like China. In a romantic way.

She kissed me. And I kissed her.

The first time we kissed was at my house, at about half past nine at night, while an episode of Blackadder played in the background. By that time, I was confident in my sexuality – which at that time I called ‘I don’t know, but it’s not straight’. China said she wasn’t sure yet. She was sitting on my lap as we watched the show on my laptop, when she turned around, and rested her forehead against mine.
‘China?’
‘Mmh?’ She responded, eyes closed.
‘You okay there?’
‘Yeah. Just…Can I do something?’
I could feel my heart in my throat. ‘Sure.’
And she kissed me. And I kissed her. And that was the beginning.
The next day, when we hugged to say goodbye, I painfully awkwardly stuttered out; ‘Uhhh, girlfriend?’
She said yes.

My friends were becoming sexually aware but I felt nothing

We were talking about sex. I was telling her how I found the idea of it funny and weird, and was asking her how she felt about it. She nodded along with some of what I said but she clearly still thought that sex sounded great.

It was her who suggested the idea that I might be asexual.  At the time it was like a diagnosis to a problem that I was in denial of. I was completely against the idea; it felt too real and too different.

I noticed my friends becoming sexually aware and have been mildly repulsed hearing them talk about sex. When some came out to me as gay and pansexual I assumed that idea of sex with girls just sounded slightly better than sex with guys.

I still feel absolutely nothing sexually but  I have sensual attraction, like having a desire to kiss, cuddle, hug or hand hold.  I sometimes wonder if maybe once in a relationship I’ll feel different.

Right now I identify as asexual.  Cuddles and kisses are great, but please, leave the underpants on!

I had only ever heard ‘bisexual’ in a negative context

I realised I wasn’t completely like my other female friends when I was 10, just before starting secondary school. My eyes were always drawn to women, and I was confused.

I had always gone to an all-girls Christian school and although my parents were really accepting of gay people, they didn’t talk about it. So I never fully understood different types of sexuality.

Part of me hated myself for my feelings. I pushed them to the back of my mind and continued life as normal.

It felt better knowing that there were other people like me

When I was 13 I came across a definition of the term lesbian on the internet and read a few personal stories. I decided that I must be a lesbian. I didn’t tell anyone, but part of me felt better knowing that there were other people like me.

I really hated myself

But I still hadn’t got to the heart of it. I was still really confused, because I realised that I still liked boys even though I liked girls better. I had rarely heard the word ‘bisexual’, and only ever with a negative context: ‘bisexuals are sluts”, ‘bisexuals are greedy’ and ‘bisexuals need to make up their mind’.  Hearing these things felt horrible and was eating away at me inside.

Then one day, when I was about 15, I was taking a long bath and thinking. What if bisexuals aren’t horrible, what if I actually am a bisexual, am I okay with that? And I was.

The moment I said to myself out loud, ‘I am a bisexual’, was the happiest I have ever been.

 

Your sexuality doesn’t define you

When I was 17, I was in higher education and I realised that my focus on female
teachers and a few fellow students was indeed infatuation and desire.
All it took was a university club night that was full of lesbians for everything to click into place. My friend who I went there with turned out to be just a clubbing friend and when I came out she lost interest me. But never mind, my world had opened and for a year I had a secret night life agenda where I met some great and carefree lesbians, who gave me the courage to come out.

She would support me through whatever I needed

The most difficult thing to get my head around was telling my mother – we were really close and I didn’t want this to be a problem or affect how close she was to me. She laughed when I told her, as we sat having a coffee. I think she was shocked, but then she took my hand and told me it didn’t matter and that she would support me through whatever I needed.

Luckily, we are still as close as we were and she loves telling people about me, leaving my sexuality as a last detail because, why do you need to describe someone’s sexuality when telling another person about their life, interests and successes? It’s definitely not how I define myself. Yes I have a partner, she is also female, but what about the fact that I’m a teacher, I’ve spent the last ten years travelling, learning languages and doing the things I love. Surely that defines me more?

Around my mid-twenties I hit a hard patch

Maybe it doesn’t and don’t get me wrong, I’m an out and proud lesbian. People ask so I tell them I’ve never dated a guy and I’ve always been attracted to girls. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable saying stuff like that, now that I’m nearly 30 and still having to bring it up in conversation with my employer or a new colleague. In fact, around about my mid-twenties I hit a hard patch where I felt myself going red when it came up in conversation. This was so different from when I was 18. I would just say it when I met people and have a ‘just deal with it’ chip on my shoulder. But now, successful in my life, feeling like being gay has had very little impact on the rest of my life, I see the things I’ve achieved in my life as equally important.

Yes, I have achieved telling my best friends, at the time, a group of 8 popular, very attractive heterosexual 18 year old girls. Luckily, my fears that they would shun me or think I was attracted to them were all proved to be wrong. They are still my best friends. But aside from that I’ve also just led a normal life, the same way a straight person would hope to. I went to university, I’ve travelled and lived abroad for the past 6 years, I have had a few long term relationships, I’ve worked my way up the career ladder, I’ve had fun. It’s all possible.

Your sexuality doesn’t define you

If you’re comfortable with yourself and let others see that your sexuality doesn’t define you, that it’s just an extra bit of information on a need-to-know bases, like if you like sugar in your coffee, then others will relax and see you for a whole person and not just a gay one. If someone is weird with you after you’ve mentioned it, take it as their own personal issues. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are no more intimidating than the mail man who just asked you to sign for a package. Who knows, maybe he was gay too. Who cares! The only person who needs to know about what you do behind closed doors is your significant other half.

I’m two and half years into my relationship and we plan to start a family in 2016. Be strong and true to yourself and you can have the life you always dreamt of.