Growing up, I was pretty queer for a straight girl.
When I was in high school, I always had a “gal pal.” At the time, I thought of them in the most innocent way: they were just girls I was unbelievably close with, girls I called my BFF, and girls I would make out with from time to time.
While I was in high school, it never occurred to me that I was queer. Looking back, I can’t believe it took me until my second year in university, until I was 20, to realize that I am.
In high school I wasn’t very open about the fact that I frequently kissed girls. I knew I liked boys, and that boys liked me too, and as far as I was concerned, that was enough for me to be “a straight girl.” This isn’t something I am proud of, but it’s something I’m now comfortable admitting.
I grew up in a pretty progressive household, and I feel infinitely lucky to be able to say that. My parents raised me on the idea that sexuality is fluid, that love is love, and that everyone can look past gender and just see beauty if they choose to do so.
Fast forward to my second year at SFU. I wish there was a moment I could point to that made me aware of my sexuality, but honestly I just woke up one day and knew that I wasn’t straight. Twenty plus woman-crushes are more than just a coincidence.
How does the straightest girl in a friend group tell people she’s not straight at all?
Even after I realized I was super queer, I didn’t talk about it for a year or two. At the time, I was dating a guy. And I told myself I couldn’t tell anyone this new fun fact about myself, but in particular him and his friend group. I didn’t feel comfortable telling them about this. My then-boyfriend and I had been together for well over a year, and his friends had become my friends, but I couldn’t help but feel that none of them would appreciate what I was telling them and the courage it required.
Honestly, I thought they would make jokes about it. And while I’m now in a place where I can joke about my sexuality, back then I was terrified of having people judge me, make fun of me, or worse, not believe me.
A very close friend of mine, who had no clue I was queer, once said in conversation that I was “the straightest person [she] know[s].” My chest got tight and I felt sick. How does the straightest girl in a friend group tell people she’s not straight at all?
In the beginning of third year, that boyfriend and I broke up. And it was honestly one of the most liberating experiences of my life. The breakup coincided with me jet-setting off to France for a year for a foreign exchange. In France, I began to feel more comfortable with myself. I made an awesome group of friends, people whom I knew loved me and would keep loving me if I told them I was queer.
I never quite mustered up the courage to tell them I was bisexual. I was always ambiguous when we talked sexuality, saying things like “everyone is at least a little gay,” and just hoped they would read between the lines. They would see me kiss girls at bars, and I even kissed some of them, so to a certain extent, they knew. But it wasn’t until I returned home from my exchange that I start owning my queerness.
When I got back from France, I looked for a new friend group, and I stopped spending time with anyone who didn’t make me feel good about myself. With my new friends, I remained very ambiguous about my sexuality.
But then I met someone who changed all of that. After months of chasing a girl I met at a bookstore, she finally became my girlfriend. But with this incredible woman came the moment where I had to start being more open about my sexuality.
Slowly, I told my friends, and while they were surprised, they were supportive. Same goes for my family. I even eventually told that group of friends from my first year in university.
There were moments of disbelief from some as I was coming out. And of course there were some awkward moments too.
But being out now, I have never felt more relaxed or more comfortable with myself.