I have talked about my sexuality a few times on here, but I’m not sure if I have talked about what I have gone through before I came out. If I’m repeating myself, I’m sorry, but hopefully my experience can help others out there.
I grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist home. My mother made sure my brother and I went to church on a regular basis, and that we were part of church activities. I didn’t know anything about homosexuality until I had gotten older. When I was around 9 or ten, some girls my age were becoming interested in boys and talking about who they thought was cute. I could’t relate to thinking guys were cute or that I wanted to date them. I didn’t become aware of my sexual orientation until I was 12. I had developed a crush on a girl I knew, but couldn’t understand why. “I’m supposed to have crushes on boys, not girls!” I told myself. My mom saw I was depressed and asked me to tell her why I was. I remember I started crying and told her I think I should have been born a boy. She asked me why and I told her about my crush on this certain girl. She told me that I was going through puberty so it was probably was just a phase I was going through. I convinced myself of that, but it just didn’t feel right. I hid my true self behind failed heterosexual relationships I had when I was in high school. It was in high school I was exposed to more things about sexuality and how homophobic some people in my school were. I saw one guy constantly get picked on because of being gay. Kids can be so cruel and not realize that their words and actions can have a huge impact on someone’s life. It wasn’t until I graduated that I decided to come out. When I told one of my family members, they said if I was ‘going to be that way’ that they didn’t want to associate with me. When I told my mom, she said she already knew I was because of some behaviors I displayed while I was going up. After that, she took me to an OB/GYN so they could talk to me about the ‘lifestyle’ I wanted to live. That doctor said I needed reparative therapy and gave me the number for a counselor that could help me. After I started to see the counselor, I pretended I was being healed and ready to live a heterosexual life. I went back behind the mask, got married and had a child. I was never in love with my ex-husband. I enjoyed his companionship and just having someone to spend time with away from the tension at home with my parents. In 2008, I fell head over heels in love with a girl I met in a chat room set up for Evanescence fans. She and I had a volatile relationship though that was toxic and drove me to the brink of a mental breakdown in 2011. I would deny being a relationship with her, before things got volatile, but my parents knew better. I was repeatedly told that I was living in sin and that God would punish me for having same sex relationships. It was so hard to hide my identity when I decided to get involved in church again. In 2012, I had enough of living a lie and came out as a lesbian. I still hid it from some of my friends at church, but today I’m coming clean. I am a lesbian and have been all my life. No, I’m not attracted to every woman I see or come in contact with. Within my own spiritual journey, I have gotten to know a God who loves me for who I am and how I treat others, not who I fall in love with. I am finally comfortable with who I am. I know there are people out there who don’t agree with the person I am, but they aren’t going to change me. They can call me all kinds of names, but should they ever try to attack me, they better watch out. I have lived in fear too long, now I’m ready to fight back. I am and always will be a fighter for equal rights and fairness everyone upon this Earth deserves.
If you are reading this and can relate to hiding behind a mask, you aren’t alone. Sometimes you have to stand alone and fight for what you love. If anyone makes you feel like crap because you’re a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, just know that they are doing it out of fear. When some people see something that in their eyes isn’t ‘normal’, they react in fear. That fear comes in different forms and one of them is words. Stand strong and know that I stand with you to face those who tell you that your sexuality is wrong. Nothing is wrong with you. You’re not a freak, damaged person or whatever else some hateful person tells you. You are who you were created to be and you are beautiful. There is no such thing is ‘normal’, that’s just a setting on a washing machine or dishwasher.