Are you a … lesbian?


Caroline Rodway | Contributor

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay

At 20 years old, asking this question hasn’t gotten easier, and answering is harder than ever.

My public-school dating history follows that of the typical straight girl; a few nerdy boys, all of whom I was head-over-heels in “love” with. But, at 15, I started working at a summer camp where I noticed the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. This began a summer of many questions and very few answers.

Was she interested in me? Was I interested in her? Where did these feelings come from and how was I supposed to deal with them? And, does this make me a lesbian now?

I still ask myself a lot of these questions, and I still don’t have a lot of the answers. I am working on accepting that my coming out will be a lifelong process.

I am blessed to be surrounded by allies and other members of the LGBTQ+ community. So, as I face the daunting question of “What is my sexuality?” I always feel safe. I don’t have to worry about being thrown out of my house or cast aside by my friends because of how I identify.

However, this doesn’t stop me from being afraid. During my summer of sexual awakening, I was terrified to talk to my friends about my feelings; as much as I knew that they wouldn’t hate me, I was afraid of what they might think of me. Most of all, I was afraid that by coming out I could never go back in. In my mind, once I picked a label, I had to stick with it forever — that was and still is a scary thought.

At first, I was labeling myself as bisexual, because I had dated boys in the past, which meant to me that I could never be a lesbian. This label never felt right. Every time the word left my lips, I felt sick, as if the right word was on the tip of my tongue but I couldn’t say it aloud.

Once I entered my first long-term relationship with a woman, I thought that maybe I really was a lesbian. So I started using that to define myself. This label fit for awhile, but after my relationship ended I realized that I still have some interest in men. Even today I feel like an impostor calling myself a lesbian when women aren’t the only people I am interested in dating. Along with both women and men, I would also be open to dating someone of no-gender, or of a gender outside of the binary.

I haven’t yet found a word which fits for me and I am starting to be okay with that. The thing about coming out is that it’s a continuous process of finding what makes you the most comfortable, and it’s okay if you don’t find it right away.

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By Excalibur Publications



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