My name is J—, I'm just 16, and I have been interested in girls since I was 14. About six months after first noticing my attraction I went on a skiing holiday with my school, and everybody in my dorm (about three close friends and myself) was talking about who they fancied.
I decided (OH GOD WHY?) to let some of my friends in on how I felt, gauge their reactions, and then go from there. If they reacted badly then they would hopefully keep it among themselves and I would know not to tell other people.
"I'm…not 100% sure that I'm straight," I hedged.
The room went silent. Totally silent. No movement could be heard, no one spoke, dead quiet.
"Who do you fancy? 'Cause I know, if I were a lesbian, I'd go for Angelina Jolie ANY day."
We talked for a bit longer, and I went to sleep with a warm fuzzy feeling inside which I'd never felt before. I thought I was accepted.
Well NO. Anyone who knows anything about private schools in Britain will know that the rumour mill had the whole school notified before I even set foot back home. "Friends" found it hilarious, arseholes openly mocked me in the corridor, my grades dropped, I was constantly on the edge of tears, I was afraid to speak, people yelled "I'M GAY AND I'VE ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY!" at me after it became a trend and I didn't trust anyone anymore.
When I confronted my friends about it, they said that they'd heard giggles and scampering from outside the door after I'd told them.
Anything to shift the blame.
Two years later, it's mostly settled down, but every time a new person starts at school they always have to come up to me and reaffirm what they've heard, generally backed by a pack of girls who told them, waiting to see my reaction.
My mother told me to self-preserve, to lie, to say that it was just a phase, to say that I don't know. It backfired on my younger sister horribly, which is probably what I regret most about the whole thing. People used to come up to her in the changing rooms and ask if she was "a lezza like your sister?"
So I can lie for now, but mostly I'm just waiting until I can leave school and get on with my own life, and love the people I want to.