When I first came out of the closet, it didn’t come as much of a shock to my childhood friends, who had known me since age 3 or 4, and therefore ALSO knew that I spent the first 12 years of my life dressing (and acting) like a boy. The first opera I ever went to, at age 9, I showed up wearing a full suit with my hair gelled back. Generally my clothes were baggy and lacked any kind of intentionality — you know, the kind of minimalist effort that guys put forth on a daily basis. God, life was so much easier back then.
I would refuse to wear anything pink and got super pissed off every time someone would point out the fact that I am actually female. Since I didn’t have boobs yet to give me away, I got used to people asking me, “Are you a boy or a girl??” During shirtless (yes, but pre-boob shirtless) He-man style wrestling matches, common catch phrases were “Get up, stop being such a girl!” and “BE A MAN!” We would pound on our chests like cave men and we glorified winning at any cost. This is what the idealization of masculinity teaches people. However, when the person is a girl, it is also a foreshadowing of a future lesbian.
Anyway, it is what it is, whether you like it or not. Homosexuality is an indisputable fact of existence, just like the fact that the grass is green, the sky is blue, the ocean is full of water, etc. If you want to dispute homosexuality, your qualm is with reality, not with the gays who just happen to have a different sexual preference than you. That said, here are some of the most common questions asked by the “curious Cathys” of the world:
1. When did you know???
Well, for me, I had my first crush on a girl when I was five. This was the beginning of the puppy love phase, which lasted until around age 13. When I was in 7th grade, I started having my first full-on, heart-throbbing romantic feelings toward women. I kept it to myself because I THOUGHT I was supposed to be attracted to men! I figured I just hadn’t had a proper crush on a man yet, and my feelings toward certain women were just “strong friendship feelings”. I mean, all the movies and TV shows and books said I was supposed to like men.
The problem is it never happened: I never developed any feelings toward any man. Not once. Patiently, I waited. In the meantime, I pretended to “like” guys at my school. You know, when you go to a sleepover with your girl friends, and they ask you who you have a crush on school because they want to tease you about it. So I’d usually just name a guy who I thought looked handsome from an artistic perspective. A year passed. Two years turned into five years, and by age 19 I still hadn’t had feelings for a man. That’s when I realized that my feelings toward women were probably EXACTLY what I was supposed to be feeling toward men.
2. Did something horrible happen in your childhood to cause your affliction???
My childhood was about as picture perfect as it could have been. In many ways, I was lucky. I had incredibly caring parents, great role models, and access to everything I needed. My father tutored me at home, I played three sports, and was in Girl Scouts for all 13 years.
3. Hmmm. Have you ever dated a guy??
Translation (if coming from a guy): Have you ever had sex with a guy? and if you haven’t, maybe you should try! *wink wink*
Especially among men, there seems to be this ever-present and firmly held belief that lesbians are lesbian simply because they haven’t met the right dick yet. These lovely people, God bless their souls, believe that either 1. you’ve dated a guy and “turned” because the guy was a jerk or bad in bed, or that 2. you HAVEN’T dated a guy and therefore you couldn’t possibly know who you’re attracted to, and therefore innocent, naive little you must be introduced to the many possibilities in the world (i.e. his dick).
The short answer is yes, I have dated a man, and yes, I still prefer women. It took that experience to realize that I can’t spend my entire life pretending to be something I’m not.
4. How do you guys have sex????
The same way you do, dork. Just without the dick. 😉 And no, it’s not like the porn.