Yeah, you read that completely right.
How?? WTF?? DaFUQ? HOW!???
I’ll tell you. There was once a time- a very long time ago- when I was a total snobby straight-girl homophobe. The kind that wouldn’t even look at anyone who considered themselves gay. In my defense, I was young and brainwashed by an up-tight family, but still… I hate to think of those high school days. Well, karma’s a big bitch and on orientation day of my freshman year of college, I met my soulmate. And she was a girl.
Upon finding the love of my life, I became as rainbowly open-mined as they come. Watched lesbian movies. Told my friends to try going gay if their straight relationships went sour. Protested for gay rights. Listened to a lot of Tatu. Encouraged those who were struggling. Basically, I was 100% and totally ok- even proud- of my newly discovered LGBTQ identity. It made it so much easier that I went to a liberal arts college where, like, 80% of the population identified as LGBTQ, but it was really separating from my semi-religious, super closed-minded and miserable family and joining my soulmate’s extremely laid-back and open-minded one that did it. I went on through life with her, believing that being LGBTQ was totally and completely normal and natural and that anyone who didn’t believe in gay marriage or that LGBTQ people were total sinners was automatically terrible in my mind.
But you grow up a little bit. Me and my soulmate went through a breakup and it devastated my life- emotionally, financially, and even my career. I was in my early 20’s at that point, and we had been together 5 years. She was everything to me, and I had built my entire life around her- naturally, I fell apart. I lost the love of my life, her family which had been closer to me than my own, and a lot of my friends. Later, I fell for another girl who rejected me after months of vicious flirting. I moved back in with my mother and went to church again. I repented my sins to my family. I cried to my parents. I got to hear my Grandma tell me the Lord is proud of me again, and my newly-engaged cousin lecture me on the sanctity of marriage and how I was being punished for dating someone of the same sex.
I regressed a little mentally after that. I went back home to where I grew up as a teenager- a place that holds lonely, dark memories for me, a place where I felt friendless and unloved. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just wanted to please “God” again so my life would be better. I couldn’t eat much, or move, or work. I laid in bed and cried all year long, just looking at all the pictures of college and all of my friends and how much I missed my dear little school. I cried for my old life- it was like high school all over again! Where no one understood me, I was treated like a child, and stuck in a small town with nothing and no one. I became the younger, more spoiled, more bratty version of who I really am. I became ego-centered instead of love-centered. It was traumatizing.
I eventually moved back up to where I had been living during college and grad school. I diligently went to church and confessed my sins. I wanted to be a good person again. I wanted to do the right thing. I wanted “God’s” love. Me- me, who had once been such a determined rebel. Me, who hated anything to do with organized religion. Me, who once wore rainbow sweatpants and made out with my girlfriend in front of Chick-Fil-A just to piss off the homophobes. Me, who fought tirelessly for LGBTQ rights and for being oneself and for tolerance. Me, who valued art and science above conformity and societal bullshit. Me. I became the dreaded “One of Them.” A person who can’t love or feel because I forgot what it felt like. Someone I couldn’t stand.
I’m still in a dark place when it comes to my sexuality. I have dated both genders, and have had strong feelings for both men and women. I’m talking to my ex-girlfriend, the soulmate, and we are trying to work things out. But I notice that I approach the LGBTQ community in a way I never did before. I approach them in an embarrassed, middle-school like, ashamed way. I resent those who “appear” to be gay. I don’t understand how or why it happens, or why it had to happen to me. Sometimes it feels like I’m cursed. But I remember when it was so much happier and healthier to be free. After moving back home and going back into the closet, I feel like I am once again tied up in chains- the chains of a person someone else wants me to be, not who I really am. It hurts a hell of a lot and I struggle everyday. I struggle with self-hatred, self-blame, self-doubt, and self-bullying. I used to have no shame in loving someone else. I used to proud to be bisexual, proud of the fact I loved the soul- the person- and not just the genitals. Now, I’m not so sure.
I am a bisexual woman who struggles with mixed emotions regarding society, what is natural, and with religious ideology. I am in love with a woman, and I always will be. I’m scared to be judged. I’m afraid of myself and how much I can love someone despite all the hardships and family members it has cost me. I’m ashamed at the fact that I could be so immature as to start judging the LGBTQ community. I’m humiliated that I’m a part of it at the same time. I hate myself for being “like the others” and judgmental. No one likes a hypocrite, am I wrong? Either way, deep down I know I believe in being oneself and that society doesn’t matter. At the same time, it’s still a violent, scary world out there.
I’ll just end this post with this: It’s hard to be yourself if you have no idea who you are.