To a cishet person, being gay probably just seems like fun and games: ‘I wish I liked girls, they’re so much easier than boys.’
Well let me tell you, it isn’t that simple.
For me, being a lesbian is more than just being attracted to women. There’s so much that I have had to deal with, and I know I’m not the only one. I was 13 when i realised that I wasn’t straight and came out as bisexual, and I was the first person to come out to my friends. I had never felt so alone, because I was the only person like me who I knew. There were countless days where I would end up in tears, just wishing that I could be what I perceived to be ‘normal’ (straight), and I tried so hard to force myself to ‘become straight’.
Even worse was when I realised that I wasn’t bisexual, I was a lesbian. I came to the decision that being bi wasn’t so bad, because at least I still had a small piece of ‘normality’ within me to hold on to. I refused to accept that I was a lesbian, and instead determined myself asexual, because in my head, being attracted to nobody at all was better than being attracted to just women. Eventually, I did come out as lesbian to my friends, which I soon regretted as I became even more isolated, many days at lunch I would end up sitting in silence, surrounded by my friends talking about boys. ‘Oh, Sophie, this doesn’t include you, you wouldn’t understand.’ was a phrase I got used to hearing.
I am lucky enough to go to school in an area where nobody is particularly judgemental - I feel comfortable to be myself and I don’t usually have to fear homophobia from others. I am also exceptionally fortunate to have two accepting parents, a privilege which I know not many LGBT+ people have. Three years on, I am still not out to most of my family. It’s terrifying, knowing that one day, if I get married, some of my family members who promised to ‘always love me’ and ‘will always be proud of me’ might not even show up, just because I would be marrying a woman.
So I promise you, you don’t ‘wish you were gay’.
I don’t like being gay, I just like women.