Monday, July 26, 2010

How did you know you're not straight? (or in my case, "How many times did you have to be hit over the head before it sunk in?")

I've always thought I was a pretty perceptive person. When it comes to others, I can be. When it comes to myself, though, I'm the Queen of Obliviousness. Looking back, it's been obvious since my childhood that I'm not straight. Here are some of the signs I missed:

The Princess Bride. Yes, like many little girls, I loved Westley. Taunting, cliff-climbing, swashbuckling, rescuing the princess, I wanted to do it all. Princess Buttercup was beautiful; I envied her flowing, shiny locks. But I didn't want to be her. I wanted to be Westley.

The brown-eyed girl. I can't even remember her name, but she was in my third grade class. I hung on her every word and stared at her stunning brown eyes and blond hair. I just thought I envied her, though I never did want brown eyes. But in fourth grade, my friend kept harassing me about what boy I liked. After a week of studying the boys in class, I finally settled on Jimmy, even though I really wasn't that attracted to him... except for his warm brown eyes.

The movie star. In seventh grade, I developed a mild obsession with a teen heartthrob. And yet it was the female lead I was really watching and rooting for. When Hunky Male took off his shirt, I was disappointed. But then Samantha Mathis took hers off, and my heart started thumping. I told myself girls just have better-looking back-views than guys (sadly, that's all they showed).

Sarah. In 10th grade math class, she sat diagonally in front of me, and somehow my eyes spent more time looking at her butt and waist in those tight little jeans than at the chalkboard. My conscious thoughts only reached the point of wondering if my body could ever have that shape. Still, forty-five minutes of staring out of envy?

Kissing and other stuff. Even up through high school, I never wanted to kiss a boy. Actually, the thought completely grossed me out. Even the guys I had crushes on. I never thought about kissing girls, either, though, so I just assumed I was a late bloomer. I "went out" with my first boyfriend in high school, and when he broke up with me the first time we met after we started going out, I was relieved I didn't have to kiss him!

Fantasies. In college, I finally started dating. Even kissed a boy or two, which wasn't always terrible. Yet when I started feeling urges and dreamed (or daydreamed), my thoughts were filled with other girls. At first I told myself it was because it was taboo. Then I told myself I was bisexual, because I liked guys too, obviously. Even though I was only attracted to 1 guy for every 10 girls... that was just because girls are more attractive on average. Everyone knows that.

Dating. I found a few guys interesting and tried to date them. But most of them got the cheek when they finally went in for a kiss. We always became friends after that. My longest relationship (where I didn't give him the cheek) lasted a little over a month. We were constantly arguing. He didn't want to let me pay or open the door for him. He didn't like when I tried to "act like a man." And I didn't like it when he didn't like me being me.

Despite all these signs, somehow I was 100% convinced I was straight until I was 18. And even then, I convinced myself I was a "little" bisexual until I was 26. Over the next few years, I admitted it was more than a little. Finally, at 30, I acknowledged that "lesbian" fits better than any other term. Yes, I am attracted to the very rare man, but I have no desire to be with one. And so my journey begins.