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I’m sure all of those who have gone through the endless years of high school can agree that it changed them and helped them “find themselves.” When put in that social setting, you meet new people, realize how well you relate to some, and create new relationships you thought you would never have. Your interests for new things blossom and your ideas on topics evolve. For some, these occur sooner than expected, and for some, these barely occur. For me, one of this instances occurred the first few months of freshman year.
Starting high school, I really did not have any close friends. Sadly, the close friends I had from middle school were all headed towards different school (or even states). We had learned to love each other’s company so much, and now we had to learn how to grow out of it. It wasn’t hard to strike up conversations with classmates in high school, though. Everyone seemed pretty friendly. I didn’t feel as lost as I expected to feel.
I recall the first moment I realized something had changed with me was during one of my first English classes in high school. We had gone to the library to research a certain author we wanted to do our project on. Trying to make new friends, I sat down next to a short, blonde-haired girl. I sat down, said hi, and logged onto to the computer. The next minute, she tapped on my shoulder for help. I looked up and I swear, I didn’t know what beauty was until I saw her. Her blonde hair wasn’t just blonde hair; it was strawberry, blonde hair caressing the sides of her face gently and perfectly, curving to the shape of her face. Her eyes were a deep brown with sparks of gold and green thrown in to add zest to them. Her lips were so nicely stacked upon each other, folding perfectly with each other. Her voice, very soft and giggly, had to snap me away from my shock of perfection. I helped her with who she wanted to do as an author. I named an author, one who I was reading a novel by, and she immediately thought it was a great idea. We talked about the book I was reading and even got the teacher in to add comments as well. First, seeing how beautiful she is, and next, finding out she enjoys the same novels I do? I felt like freshman year was starting off well.
This little crush I had on her didn’t stop. It was very consistent. She was a cheerleader for the football team. My brother was on the football team. We would hang out together during half time at football games, talking about how our band is great or how the other bands are horrible. We would talk about anything we thought about, letting our thoughts flow through our minds as fast as they were through our mouths. I’d let her borrow my jacket when it was a too cold for a cheerleading outfit. I always brought an extra one in case she got cold. I really cared about her and I could have sworn she cared about me like how I cared about her. Talking to a girl so gorgeous was so new to me, but I felt like I was doing something right.
After football season was done and I didn’t see her every Friday, I started to feel really upset. She had started to become a weekly thing; she had fit into my schedule perfectly. We both started drifting apart. She found new friends as did I. I missed our friendship a little too much that I should, and the thoughts of me really liking her occurred. I had never felt like this before, and I didn’t know what to make of it. Never had I had such strong feelings for a girl. Maybe occasionally I would think one was pretty, but never had I felt such attachment to one. You’d think that this is normal for boys, but I’m a girl.
I’m a girl. I am a normal high school girl who has fallen for another normal high school girl, which isn’t “normal” at all. Never have I ever thought that I would be anything but straight. I still had feelings for guys, too. That never changed. I just discovered these feelings for girls, as well. The label that fit that was bisexual.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. After realizing what I was, I was in denial for so long. I forced myself to not like any girls at all and to only focus on guys. I basically attempted to make myself straight, since living any lifestyle other than the “straight” one was cruel in society. I didn’t believe I could handle being more different than I already was. If people ever brought up the subject of being gay, I tried to stray my thoughts away from it. I was just a normal high school girl who thought she was gay at one point, but has gotten over it. It happens to everyone, right? I convinced myself I was straight and nothing but.
Sadly, after attempting to smother these feelings, they resurfaced quickly. I still liked that girl, and nothing was changing. She was practically all I thought about; I couldn’t help it. I felt lost and confused. I didn’t want to tell people; I was so ashamed of who I was. I wasn’t supposed to be weird; I was supposed to be normal! I felt incredibly guilty and ashamed whenever I caught myself staring at her. She was so gorgeous and so perfect to me, and I didn’t like it one bit.
After a few months went on, I was starting to gain a hold of myself. I thought that maybe if I am bisexual, things wouldn’t be so bad. I talked to more of my friends about others who had come out or who were gay and still in the closet. I could never make a close connection, however. If I were to do that, I would have to admit that I was bisexual, as well, and I knew what it was like to be that terrified. Finally, after all this put up emotion in me, I decided to let it out. I felt like I had to confide in someone for guidance, and I knew the exact person.
I had been friends with Eric for only eight months, but he was my best friend at the time. We talked to each other every day and we were always kept up with each others lives. He was the best friend I had always wanted. He didn’t go to my school, so we always had to go out of our own ways to talk and hang out. The reason why I felt like he would be the best choice to tell first was because he’s openly gay.
One night I called him and we casually talked a little. After gaining so much courage to tell him, I simply beat around the bush and asked, “What would you think if I was bisexual?”
His response was, “Are you?” After that, I just sat there, silently. I was in shock that I was actually going to say this. My throat was tensing up; my stomach hurt; the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. I was terrified to say it; I never knew coming out to someone would be so difficult. I didn’t think I was ready to tell him, but it was really too late now. He repeated himself: “Are you?”
I paused for five seconds. Multiple thoughts rushed through my head. I was yelling at myself to just say it, and I was yelping to keep quiet. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and whispered in a calm tone, “Yes.” More silence followed, and the seconds felt like hours. Thoughts shot through my head like bullets. He wouldn’t mind, right? He’s gay, he would accept me. Why isn’t he saying anything? Should I have not done this? The silence was killing me. With more silence came more regret. I felt like he wouldn’t like it and I felt like I had done something wrong. In my stomach, butterflies turned into elephants, and I was so terrified to hear what was next.
Breaking the silence, he said with a chuckle, “Well this is really surprising!” All those elephants ran away and all the tension was released; I was incredibly relieved. He told me that he was shocked, but he wouldn’t for a second think about not supporting me. I was incredibly joyful and the future looked so promising for me now. We talked more about how I found out, who was the culprit (different word?), and if he was the first for me to tell. His reassurance made me feel like I could tell the world with no worry.
After that long talk on the phone, I finally felt a sense of hope in this whole black abyss. I thought I would be trucking through this wilderness alone, but thankfully I had someone with me. I started to tell more people; they accepted me perfectly, whether they were straight or gay. I figured out that it doesn’t really matter whether you’re gay or straight to your close friends; they’ll still love you for who you are. I was very thankful for that. Now, a year later, I still haven’t come out to a lot of people. I have yet to tell my parents, my sister, my brother, and many of my friends. However, it’s not as scary anymore. Things have gotten much better.
With the little experience I have gained from high school, I’ve realized that you do learn a lot about yourself. After being opened to new people and new ideas and new things, you gain a stronger sense of self, and you begin to label yourself with correct terms. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept who you are, but if you can’t change it, then embrace it. From this whole experience, I’ve learned that high school isn’t just about discovering who you are: it’s also about accepting it, too.