…. yeah, a lot of people weren't surprised. But it's still a big thing for me to admit to myself, let alone share! I am, by no means, expecting everyone to be surprised. My family was probably only 50% surprised when I told them. I have long since caught wind of the rumors and the debate about whether or not I’m gay, or bi, or whatever. I’ll address that later on in this post. Plus, if you follow me on Twitter, you may or may not have noticed that lately, I’ve been careless about saying ““gay things.”” It’s been my way of easing into my identity. I mean, come on. What did you think when I made a whole thread about Korrasami? Pfffft.
This is going to be a long post, so I’m sticking a bunch of gay memes that I’ve accumulated over the past few months to make it more interesting.
This post isn’t going to be a tell-all discussing all of the relationships in which I may or may not have been attracted to someone. That’s far too uncomfortable for me, and despite my openness, there are simply things that have no reason to be made public. I am not going to entertain people’s introspection. So if you know me personally and came here for something to gossip about (and inevitably I’m sure that people are already sharing and/or screenshotting my posts saying “I told you so!” “We totally called this,” or “I knew it!”), I’m afraid you’ll never come across that information. But if it really matters to you, then message me privately, and I’ll still tell you no ❤️
No, this post is about my path through self-discovery and acceptance. Though I may, in the near future, share my experiences about coming out.
There are so many misconceptions about understanding your sexuality that I never knew existed. By sharing my experience, I hope that they provide comfort and affirmation to anyone who is in the same boat as I am. I wish I was told these things before. I’d consider it a win if I help one person make sense of themselves or if one person feels enlightened.
Keep in mind that no two experiences are exactly the same. So if you yourself are on the “path to self discovery,” don’t think that there’s a right or wrong way by comparing your experience to mine.
Side note: I know that the term “queer” is sometimes frowned upon because of historical context, while it’s a reclaimed term for others. For all intents and purposes, I’m going to use that word as an umbrella term so as not to muddle the line between “gay,” “bisexual,” and everything else in between and outside.
Let’s get into it!
It’s not something that I just “knew” right away
I think the assumption is that I’ve always known and have just been holding onto it for my whole life. That’s not true. I mean, I’ve had an inkling, but I never decided to confront it until very recently. For the past year, I’ve actively been making conversation and paying attention to experiences posted online (tv and movies aren’t always reliable, especially in the context of cultural influence). I’d imagine that in some cases, some people do just know. That wasn’t the case for me. Understanding my attraction meant having to unpack every friendly and more-than-friendly relationship I’ve ever had. Did I like this girl? Did I actually like this guy? It’s all very confusing. Especially since it is very possible that I was romantically attracted to a boy and a girl at the same time at one point, yet somehow in different ways.
So if I’m still trying to figure out what being attracted to girls means, how did I know?
I mean...how do you know you’re attracted to guys?
Unfortunately, quarantine and a lack of (motivation for) human interaction made this all very difficult to unpack. At least for me, it’s difficult to truly establish a connection through dating apps, much less an attraction.
There were a lot of forms of media that helped me.
Reddit helped after some time. Initially and unfortunately, some forums just made me even more confused. Sorry, I was going to hyperlink a post on AskReddit where people explained their experiences dating someone who later came out as closeted, but I can't find it anywhere. But a summary: People talked about how they were lesbian but are only attracted to their male partner, or a gay man married to a gay woman, or a man finding out about his wife cheating on him with a woman after years of marriage and multiple kids. It seems as if people have their own personal definitions for their sexuality labels and stories. It just made me way more confused. But I joined a few other subreddits for queer folk and it definitely helped to be able to anonymously join in on queer discourse.
Ironically, online dating was probably the least conducive path. All I learned is that I’m apparently good at flirting in general (apparently it’s a Libra thing), though it did take me some time to understand what flirting with a girl even looked like. I still kind of worry that I sound more like a friend when talking to online matches. Does “playful” flirting translate to “serious” flirting depending on the context? I once saw a tweet about how queer women hit on straight women and the straight woman misinterprets it as friendliness or “female empowerment.” It made me wonder whether or not I’ve unknowingly taken upon the “straight woman” role in that situation. Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking/overconfidence on my end. I always playfully “flirt” with friends in all the time … though looking back at it, I really hope I was never queer baiting anyone. As far as I know, that has never been an issue for me. ...Hopefully.
I found myself more or less leaning towards women when watching shows or when choosing a love interest in video games. According to one of my friends, the “first level” gateway to queerness is being attracted to cartoon characters. Odd, but that was the case for me. Why the hell am I so damn attracted to Asami Sato?! She’s a drawing, for crying out loud.
Originally, I had planned to insert a whole spiel about how the media (specifically The Legend of Korra, if you can't already tell by my choice of memes) has swayed my understanding of sexuality, but I decided that it deserved its own post. So feel free to read that if you’re interested in how that show, in a mere two minutes, changed my life.
Also, I undeniably find pretty women attractive in the same way that I find hot guys attractive. As in it’s more than just admiration when I see pretty actresses or pretty girls on social media (though sometimes I can just look at attractive people without pining after them). Girls are just so pretty, dammit! I also just marvel at the human body in general. Beautiful works of art, all of you!
It was difficult inserting myself into the queer community
Again, this is an experience specific to me. I know many people who naturally feel a part of the gay community. There are a lot of things about gay culture that I simply did not relate to. It’s not necessarily that I feel unwelcome in the gay community. It feels very reminiscent of my first year in college: I tried to rewire my brain to fit into the first clique of friends in my vicinity when I knew in my heart that it just didn’t feel right. I didn’t naturally “vibe” with these people. Not that I have anything against this group, they’re perfectly respectable people, but I just didn’t fit in. I didn’t feel like I did, at least.
When I tried to mentally place myself into the queer community, I felt like one of those children’s toys, trying to fit a circular block into a square hole. Perhaps that’s a byproduct of going to school in San Francisco, where everyone is openly and confidently queer. But after talking to people on Reddit, I realize that I really don’t have to fit in any one “stereotype”; at the end of the day, there’s something we have in common.
I don’t need to have a hard label
I felt like I had to give myself one. It took me a long time to even say that I’m bi, and even now it doesn’t feel completely right, given my current partial animosity. I don’t like to ascribe to labels. It’s just more convenient to say “bi.”
The “rumors” only served to push me further into the closet
My biggest insecurity about finally sharing all of this information is that I would hate to make any of my close female friends uncomfortable. Especially the ones I’ve been “rumored” to be attracted to or to be in a secret relationship with. Rumors and gossip about me in general gives me anxiety. I would also hate to be under scrutiny of all of the “I told you”s and the “I knew it!”s. Inevitably, people will talk about you outside of your presence. I just don’t like to think about it.
Confident as I am, it’s very intimidating for a confused, closeted person.
Personally, I think that it’s okay to like someone and still only ever want to be their friend. So if you were ever a close friend of mine that pondered whether or not I had sexual or romantic attraction towards you, honestly, at most it was likely just a crush. Though certainly there were times where people have gotten the wrong impression altogether. I am a loving person, but I have never been in love.
When I reflected back on my past same-sex friendships, I can’t ever recall a time where I looked at a female friend and pined over the thought of kissing her. I’ve never had a wet dream about a girl. I’ve never been jealous whenever a female friend talked about a guy. Though, in any case, I’m not the jealous type, nor have I ever had possessive tendencies. I can’t remember any of these happenings. To me, these are all scenarios of tells that confirm my romantic attraction to someone. I wouldn’t even consider wanting to cuddle with someone as a tell of attraction. Physical touch is my love language; I always want to cuddle with someone. But perhaps these were all byproducts of my denial. Again, it’s still very confusing! That being said...
I’m still in the process of learning and understanding myself
...if I hadn’t already made that obvious. A friend once told me that coming out isn’t a one time thing, but something that you have to do repeatedly. It’s not a one-and-done situation. Even with yourself.
I have yet to fully distinguish my romantic attraction versus my platonic attraction. There are still a million things I have yet to learn. The only things guaranteed in life are death and change (and taxes, according to Daniel Caesar and Benjamin Franklin, but I don’t think that encompasses the whole world).
I won’t entertain any introspection about whether I'm still in denial or lying about some things. At the same time, I won’t deny them, either. Not because I’m being secretive, but because I’m still figuring myself the hell out. I don’t think it’ll do me any good to try to dissect friendships that ended years ago. Friends come and go; it’s a truth I’ve long since made peace with. Instead, I’m choosing to be more conscious of it in the future and live my damn truth.
If anything that I’ve said here confuses you, that’s alright. Chances are, it confuses me too. Hopefully I’ll have more self-assured updates about my identity in the future.
Until then, gay, straight, or anything in between or outside, I hope this post has enlightened you. Again, keep in mind, my experience is not the same for everybody.
Much love, take care of yourself!
P.S. If you still have the mental capacity for it after this long ass blog post, don’t forget to check out my post about The Legend of Korra!