Let’s give space to our stories
I probably had crushes throughout my younger life, but the first big one that I really recognized as a crush was on my best friend when I was 15. At first I just thought that I really wanted to be friends with her, and that was why my heart started racing whenever I saw her and all I wanted to do was be around her. It took months to get to the point where I actually told myself “okay, I want to kiss this girl one day” but even then it felt more like I had a crush on a person, not a girl, and it wasn’t a huge deal.
I would tell my younger self that every step of this realization was important and valid and it’s okay that it took me so long to actually recognize the feelings as queer feelings and not just feelings. It’s really hard when you grow up without any young queer people around you and no one to really talk to about coming out. I would tell myself “just take your time, it will all come together, you don’t need to reach any realizations about yourself anytime soon.”
I’ve learned so much! I go to a traditionally women’s college where I’ve learned and absorbed so much queer culture. It was the place where I finally 100% accepted myself for who I am and being surrounded by so many queer people has helped so much. I think the two most important things I’ve learned are 1) There are SO MANY queer folks out there in the world. Even if you feel totally isolated and like no one can relate to you, I promise they’re there, there are so many communities big and small of queer people of all ages who are ready to welcome you. And 2) I’ve learned to accept that every queer person has a unique coming out story and just because it took you longer or because you didn’t just know from the beginning doesn’t mean that you are any less valid or any less queer.
🦔 Philadelphia, PA, US
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