Submission: Gayness Explained

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Image description: A drawing of two children wearing dresses and white aprons. The shorter of the two stands on tiptoes to kiss the mouth of the taller child. Parts of a broken doll lie on the floor beneath them.

My name is Eve and I am an eighth grader. This article is about my coming out story, homophobia and prejudice in Los Angeles and judgment from straight people. It takes a strong stance on why being lesbian is so much more than a sexuality and all the little things about my sexual orientation that have affected my life. 

Being gay isn’t simply a sexuality. It isn’t just who you are attracted to. Being straight, however –– that can be chalked up to just a sexuality. You don’t lose friends for being straight. Being gay is a complicated mess of a sexual orientation, and there is no way to come out without being hurt.

I live in Los Angeles, California. This should be one of the easiest places in the world to come out. Unfortunately, I would find out that there is no easy place to come out. I announced to my friend, at age eleven, on a bike ride at our tiny sleep away camp in Vermont that I was gay. She said she loved and supported me. Then she asked if I was trans. To this day she is my best friend, but to this day I think about the time she asked if I was trans 5 minutes after I said I was gay. How did her brain go from “oh she wants to marry another girl” to “oh she might be a dude” in a matter of moments. After coming out to the first person I’d ever told, many others would find out, but little did I know what was yet to come.

I’ve had my fair share of outings, one from an anonymous app that turned out to be not so anonymous, one from a friend who wasn’t really a friend, one from an acquaintance who thought that every girl at camp should know I was attracted to girls and one from a friend of a friend who shouldn’t have known.

Every time I’m outed a part of my identity falls away, a part of my trust in people, a part of me breaks. Why do people take it upon themselves to gossip about me after I’ve confided in them? I’ve never understood how others can derive so much pleasure from the simple act of spreading rumors. It’s funny how one girl can decide to tell 50 people about something you’ve only told a few. It’s funny how you can keep telling people and keep choosing to trust people with one of your most personal secrets and the same outcome will happen. But the outing has never been the worst part for me. Sure, it makes me want to lie in bed and never get up, sure, once I cried on the top bunk of my bed at sleep away camp for the better part of two hours. But it is bearable. 

The unbearable part of being gay? The constant explaining. I am so sick of having to tell every girl I come out to that I’m not into them or explain that I never liked “Miles” and that I wasn’t lying just to lie, I was lying to protect myself.

I’m so tired of having to come out to every single person I get to know semi-personally. I officially came out in the summer of 2018 to my family and friends. I still had to come out when I went to a new school, or met new girls from volleyball. And everytime I come out to someone there are questions. Loads and loads of questions. Everyone has a different one and each time there a little worse than the last. ​How long have you known? Who else knows? Does that mean you hate men? Did you get traumatized by a man? Gay or daddy issues? I totally knew you were gay, you seem so gay, why did it take this long to come out? J​ust because I’m gay doesn’t make it my job to educate every fourteen year old who can’t grasp what it means to be lesbian. I like girls. I want to marry another woman. It’s that simple. Why should I spend my life trying to justify, explain, reiterate, repeat, go into detail about that uncomplicated fact?

Being gay is not a sexuality. People don’t out you for being straight. People don’t look at you different for being straight. People don’t question you for being straight. I have mostly democratic friends and I live in a blue state. I am in the perfect position to be gay without judgment. Yet all I ever get is the never ending judgement. All anyone seems to have about me is an opinion of my sexuality that they are more than willing to share. If being gay was just a sexuality, my hands wouldn’t shake every time I told someone. If being gay was just a sexuality I wouldn’t have lost so many friends to the plague of homophobia. If being gay was just a sexuality, I wouldn’t have to write this article, and I wouldn’t have to fight for my voice and experiences to be heard.

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