When I was younger, all my attempts at imagining myself marrying a man felt… off. So naturally I assumed that I just wasn’t someone who wanted to get married.
On my facebook account that I started at the age of 9 (dont arrest me) I had mistaken the sexuality question on the profile description as a question about what friends I would like to make. My facebook profile read “I am interested in girls” for everyone I know to see. I was 9 and had no clue what a lesbian was, but I certainly pretended to know when everyone at school started calling me that.
There were countless times where I would think to myself “the next boy who walks through the door will be my crush” just because I was so tired of my sister asking me if I had any crushes on the boys at school. In reality, I had no interest in them at all. In fact, I didn’t have any crushes on anyone and didn’t even feel attracted to people, which was very confusing and made me feel somehow defective.
Both of my sisters had relationships and crushes on guys and talked about how people were attractive but I just didn’t get it.
The first crush I had was in middle school, and it was my best friend. I still had no idea what was going on at that point, and only realized until it was too late and she had moved away. I put a lot of effort into research after that. By high school, I knew for sure that I was gay. Luckily at the school I attended, almost everyone in my friend group was part of the LGBTQ+ community and I even had the opportunity to join the LGBT club there! For the first time I felt seen by the people around me. There was no stress on coming out because we were all growing up with the same pressures and expectations that we hated. ‘Be normal’ ‘Be straight’ ‘Do what you’re told.’
My research also lead me to the asexuality spectrum. An infinite spectrum of the gray area of sexual libido on which I have come to fully recognize I will never find my exact place. However, knowing that my lack of sexual attraction was not some kind if mutation but instead just the way my brain worked was more than I could have ever asked for.
I felt safe to be who I was at school without the fear of being called names or being bullied for it (not to say I wasn’t bullied for other things, of course).
Coming out to my parents was not hard. For a while I felt bad or somehow inadequate because I didn’t have some tragic story, but then I realized that it was a fact that I should be greatful for.
My parents aren’t the only republicans in the world who are accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is not common to positively associate those two things together.
I came out to my parents as graysexual the week after I did extensive research on it. It was a non-issue. My gayness, however, I kept hidden for four years.
Not because I purposefully hid it, though. Not once did I ever tell my parents “I like boys.” I never in my life wanted to ever have to LIE about who I was to anyone. They simply did not ask about my sexuality.
Except one day when I was 18, while I was sitting outside with my mom, she finally had the thought to ask if I liked boys at all.
I was nervous; caught completely off guard with the question I had never expected her to actually ask (despite the fact that she has previously asked about my gender identity and pronouns). Shakily, but nevertheless determined, I told her the truth.
“No, I’m gay.”
She seemed shocked at first, and asked me if I was serious (because sarcasm is a true commodity in my family). After I told her I was serious, she smiled, shook my hand, and said, “Alexa, play ‘I am Woman’.”
I distinctly remember the corner of my lips trembling anxiously as I tried to fight the smile that wanted to break out across my face. I had never been so open with my mother before about anything, and it was an odd feeling to feel accepted by her.
The rest of my family soon followed. My older sister thought I was joking and wasn’t paying attention the first five times I said it, so I had to grab her by the shoulders and say it directly in her face. She quickly hugged me and congratulated me then.
I told my dad, eldest sister, and her boyfriend all at the same time after hearing my sister’s boyfriend sing “I’m coming out”. I thought, why not? So I told them right then, and my sister said she already knew because she had seen all the gay shit I watch on my netflix account, haha.
I got hugs from all of them, and felt proud to be part of such an accepting family.
I did not know then that coming out was not an isolated experience. It is a constant task. A box that needs to be checked every time you make a friend. By the time I got to my third semester of college, I found I was tired. I wanted to see what it was like to not come out to friends for once.
Really long story short, I didn’t come out to a group of friends that I had incorporated myself into and I ended up accidentally going on a date with one of the guys who probably didn’t believe me when I told him that I’m gay. He then outted me to the entire group, and they proceeded to question if I really was a lesbian or if I just didnt want to date that guy.
It made me feel so inadequate. As if being a lesbian is some kind of last resort to get out of a bad date.
I started to feel very insecure about myself and after that incident I stopped hanging around those people, bought a ton of rainbow-themed clothes, and wore my rainbow bracelet obsessively for nearly a year. After that I never purposefully hid my sexuality again. I had seen the other side and the grass was putrid and yellow.
Due to some amazing friends and supportive family, I have become proud of who I am. I don’t hide anymore. I advocate for who I am and who I want to be. I get angry when things are unfair. I get sad when people are being hurt. I feel happy when I see part of who I am on TV more and more often as the years pass.
Other people have it a lot worse than me. Many of those people are my close friends, and it breaks my heart.
What my experiences have shown me is that I am lucky. Every day, I have people who support me and love me for who I am, and I am so damn grateful. I hope more than anything in the world that I am that person for someone else.