I was never interested in guys.
Sure, I liked to hang out with them, but as far as dating, I could never understand the appeal.
Teenage boys are. . .well, I don't want to generalize. I've a met a lot of really nice and intelligent teenage boys. But I've also met quite a few stupid and rude ones.
I could never imagine kissing a boy.
They were all taller—what if I couldn't reach? And what would they do? Teenage boys are notoriously horny. What if they did something I was uncomfortable with? I don't think I would've enjoyed it at all.
I grew up in a very Christian environment. The women at our church were always giving lectures on “waiting till marriage,” and “not dating until we're eighteen,” and even “what it means to be a good wife.”
They always made me a little angry, and I never knew why. I guess I thought it was because I was capable of making my own decisions.
What if I wanted to date at sixteen? What if I didn't want to get married? Or, God forbid, what if I didn't want to have children?
I don't think anyone really considered the possibility that I was gay. They mostly thought I was a late bloomer.
I endured endless winks of “you will someday.” You will someday want a husband. You will someday kiss a boy. You will someday want to have children.
The more they pushed, the surer I became.
I don't think I really realized it completely until recently.
I just assumed they were right, that I'd like guys eventually. But I never did. I started thinking of the same things I'd been taught to picture with guys with girls instead. Holding hands. Kissing. Dating. Marriage.
Then I started noticing the differences in how I was attracted to girls. Sure, I could tell when a guy was good looking, but it was a completely different thing with girls. I noticed far more things. Smooth skin. Round lips. Pretty eyes. Curvy hips. It made me nervous.
I kinda always assumed I'd just end up alone. If I didn't like guys, I couldn't like anyone, right? So I pushed all that stuff out of my head.
But I kinda knew I'd have to face it eventually.
I was scared.
I'd heard stories—kids whose parents had kicked them out, people who waited for a failed marriage before facing their sexuality, kids who got beaten up and made fun of.
So I did a sort of test coming out to a group of friends.
They were all very Christian, but they were also all very kind. And I didn't care if they rejected me. So I told them.
There was a moment of short collective silence before one of them kindly asked if there was anyone liked. I replied yes, and they asked if they knew her. They treated it like it wasn't a big deal—as if I'd said I liked dogs better than cats.
I want it to be like that for everyone.
On Christmas day, I stood in front of my entire family and asked for their attention. I started to shake uncontrollably. I could feel my mother's eyes on me.
I choked out it out, and immediately, there was a barrage of comforting comments. “Is that all?” “We don't mind” “You still the same person” “We still love you.”
I was so relieved I started to cry. I was so afraid they'd try to fix me, try to “look past it” or even try to change it. But it just goes to show even Christians can be accepting. I no longer felt so alienated, like they'd hate me if they knew.
I know everyone isn't that lucky. But thank God I was. Someday, I want to live in a world where it's like that for everyone. Where there is no hatred and fear, but only acceptance. I think we're on our way there.