I suppose you can say I've always known I'm gay, but as a little girl it's not really that clear. For most of my childhood and while I was growing up, I was confusing how I felt about boys and how I felt about girls. I put off my feelings for girls as just a "friendship type" of love, but deep down I knew it wasn't that simple. Deep down, I knew that what I was feeling for boys was different than what my friends were feeling for boys. I knew I was different, I just didn't know why.
I finally started questioning my feelings when I was about 15. In my gym class, I met this new girl named Hayley, and we were best friends from that day forward. Eventually, I started noticing that the way I felt about Hayley was different than the way I felt about my other friends. Whenever I wasn't around her, I couldn't wait to see her. Whenever I was angry or upset, my mood would instantly rise when she walked in the room. My heart fluttered when she was near, everything she said made me smile; she was more than my best friend.
I remember specifically one day in gym class, I was sitting on the bleachers with another friend of mine while we watched Hayley play basketball with a guest student from Germany. I just remember being so jealous and thinking, "Why is she laughing at everything he says? Why does she want to spend all her time with him? Why is she not with me?" And, that's when I finally questioned everything. I realized that what I was feeling about Hayley in that moment was the same way my friends felt about guys. I finally said to myself, "Could I possibly like Hayley more than a friend?"
In that moment, I had flashbacks of all my previous situations similar to this, and everything suddenly made sense. Back when I was 13 and my friend Sarah and I would hold hands to attract the attention of guys, I suddenly realized that I did that because wanted to be closer to her. Everything suddenly made sense!
That night, I went home and looked up every lesbian advice YouTube channel I could find. All in just a few hours, I had watched all of the videos on LesbianAnswers, LezBeOnTalk, ArielleScarcella, etc. You name it, I watched it. I also downloaded every teen lesbian book I could get on my eReader.
That night, I was able to look myself in the mirror and say, "You like girls, and that's OK."
About a month later, Hayley actually came out to me as bisexual. I didn't know what to say to this, so I simply came out to her as "liking girls." At this point, I was sure that I liked girls, but I was still questioning the extent to which I liked guys. I left out the little detail that she was the girl I liked.
This past school year, I finally confessed that I liked her at Homecoming. I didn't do it to pursue a relationship, just to get it off of my chest. She told me that she was really confused about her sexuality because her parents were VERY religious and conservative and that she wouldn't be able to stand it if they disowned her.
She didn't talk to me for 8 months after that; she even started taking different routes in the hallway just to avoid me. It hurt SO much since she was my best friend, but it also gave me the chance to take a deep breath and just focus on me for a while. The next week, I came out to all my friends at my lunch table. I literally took them to the side one by one over the course of a school day and said, "At Homecoming I told someone I liked them as more that a friend. That person was a girl…" The response EVERYONE gave me was, "Was it Hayley?" Yeah…everyone knew already. They were all SO accepting! It was really one of the best experiences of my life.
Today, I feel comfortable coming out to anyone when it's necessary. I don't tell everyone I meet, "Hi, I'm Lindy and I'm gay." BUT, if it comes up in conversation, I have no problem saying, "Actually, I don't like guys."
I just recently got back in touch with Hayley. We've both changed. We've both grown up. I haven't hung out with her enough to see if she's still the same Hayley that I fell for, but we're working on rebuilding our friendship, and that's all I could ever ask for.