Dear, The BOOK,
okay, so the first time i noticed i was attracted to a girl was in high school when i was 16 and in year 11. she was in my year and we both were sharing a locker with a mutual friend who had actually been a friend of my sisters but we ended up bonding over a love of buffy the vampire slayer. we ended up having a free period together and would spend all that time talking and laughing and not studying. eventually she became my best friend and i moved to sit with her and her other friends.
this girl...she was gorgeous. i don't really know when i first thought of myself as attracted to her. i guess general admiration became something more. but i still don't know if i thought i liked her because i was misconstruing my want to be her to a want to have her. i ended up being able to kiss her one night, we were at a party, we were drunk and all the girls were going through that stage of kissing each other to get guys attention. someone said to the friend i was crushing on that we should kiss. something must have shown on my face because she said we didn't have to, but i just laughed it off and said i didn't care. so we kissed, kinda chaste, a little tongue and then she pulled back. i don't know about her but i was exhilerated! it was here that i really, really started questioning myself.
in year 12 i ended up getting my first boyfriend. he was really sweet, and SO HOT! and i was really, really attracted to him. we kissed, did some touching, but i was too scared to take it further. i broke up with him a couple of months out of high school because we didn't really have time together.
a year or so after school i started a new job working in a coffee shop (i had worked at mcdonalds for two years). turned out a friend of mitch's worked there who just happened to be gay. we struck up a friendship and he was the first person i admitted out loud to maybe being not so straight. soon i had a small circle of gay friends who i felt very comfortable being around.
so i knew i was attracted to guys, i am attracted to guys, but i also seem to be attracted to girls. not all girls but sometimes a girl will walk past me and i'll notice her just a little bit longer than necessary. i've basically admitted to myself that i'm bisexual, but how do i know if i've never had an experience with a girl (although i'm still a virgin on the guy front as well). i try to watch as much gay tv and movies as i can, i love south of nowhere, watched the willow/tara thing with rabid interest, ordered the l word off the internet, search out femslash fanfiction, and find myself lusting after celebrities like angelina jolie, eliza dushku, lena heady, elisha cuthbert, just to name a few, but also johnny depp, emile hirsch, david beckham and gerard butler.
my friends are very very understanding of our gay friends, but i don't know if they'd feel the same way about lesbians. they have in the past made comments like eew lesbian and i don't know. and i have NO idea how my family would take it, but my aunty did say she understood gays and lesbians but that bisexuals were wrong. i don't know if you can give me any advice but it feels good to vent and go through my feelings.
Dear Femme Fatale,
First I'd like to say well done for being honest with yourself about what you want. It sounds like you've had a lot of the all important experiences people face learning about their sexuality during their teen years. It also sounds like you are ready to explore what your sexuality means to you now, as an adult.
To address your concerns, I'm going to reference what I call "The Book" or "The Big Book of Queer Girl Rules". Coming out at a young age myself, I've managed to accrue a rather scary amount of knowledge and insight regarding the behaviors and lifestyles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning, ie queer people. This book has all the rules, regulations, standards and practices that one needs to know in order to conduct one's homo business. I'm very excited to begin sharing the sacred text of the book with my fellow queers, so here goes!
So what do we know? We know you've had experiences with men and that you enjoyed them enough. We also know that in high school you experienced an intense emotional and physical attraction to another girl. That to me sounds like enough evidence to conclude that you would enjoy being with a woman now. I'd say it's worth investigating!
I'm excited to hear you've found gay male friends to hang out with. This was how I got my gay ol' start as well and it seems pretty standard across the board due to the reality that men generally come out earlier than women. Now that you've got your 'gays', you best use them to your advantage. It's time to go get out their and meet some women. Take your boys to your local gay bar, even small cities have a few! It sounds like you are pretty starved for lesbian culture and might really enjoy sharing your passion for the shows and other lesbian themed things you like with other women who are into them as well.
I think the most important thing is that you seek out other women to bond with over your common interests. The thought of jumping into the lesbian dating pool can be quite overwhelming so remember that you get to take your time. Friends first, dates second. And do not forget that associating with other women who are attracted to women does not mean you have to commit to only ever dating women. All of our sexualities are fluid and we all need different things at different times. Labels like "gay", "lesbian" and "bisexual" end up being too exclusive for many of us. The point is to love who you love when you love them, despite what others think about who you should love. This is your very own personal journey towards finding out what you want and need in life!
What your friends and family needs to know is that being attracted to women is part of who you are and that it's going to be something you explore in your life. That's it. Defining your life and sexuality beyond such is futile at the age of 21. It sounds like you have a family that's worked hard to take car of you all your life so I have a feeling that, after the initial shock, they will learn to accept this part of your identity and continue loving you as they do. No matter how long it takes for them to understand and no matter how long it takes for you to feel completely comfortable with yourself, remember that you are worth taking care of as you are here now. Coming out to family and friends is always scary and you can never really be sure how long it will take to find acceptance but as the Dalai Lama says, "Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk."
I'm closing The Book! Take care!