Sometimes I get caught up thinking about the past. I think about the person I was before I moved out to start a new life with the woman I love. I think of the girl in high school so awkward and scared of her uniqueness to be her own person rather than another sheep in the flock. I think of the child first exposed to the idea of homosexuality and the fear that overcame her when she began to realize her feelings for people of the same sex. When I was in elementary school, I dreamed of a guy and although I could never make out his face entirely, he would frequent different dreams. And no matter the situation, I had this feeling- this longing for him each time. I had been raised on Disney movies and the idea that the handsome hero would always come to save the woman he loved and they would live happily ever after.
In middle school, one of my sisters found a best friend in a boy down the street who happened to be out and proud. My mother allowed the friendship but would always voice her concerns. I remember an argument they had in the car one day. I can never remember what my mom had said to my sister but my sister’s response was something about how my mother believed that all gay people went to Hell. Something about that argument, that revelation, stuck with me. I began to question whether I had normal feelings and worried about the possibility of being a lesbian. Although, at the time, I had crushes on boys in my grade, I think I knew deep down what I really felt.
In high school, it became harder to ignore what I felt. I developed crushes on one of my good friend’s girlfriends and exes and even had one on my best friend at the time. I had attempted to flirt and engage a relationship with a few but I was turned down again and again. It wasn’t until a few years later, that I actually accepted who I was and finally came out.
Today, some people I meet see coming out as something that isn’t much a big deal anymore. Others ask questions about it and some even ask for advice for themselves or someone close to them. To me, it is still important only because of the society we live in. Why we must feel compelled to have to announce and label our sexuality is beyond me, but we are still being convinced that it is necessary. I find myself more attracted to women than men and labeling myself a lesbian is a simple explanation of my feelings but I don’t think it is right to label attraction. I think we as humans are capable of loving anyone, we are just often led astray by ideas of sexual orientation and finding someone who likes all the same things we do. But love isn’t about all that. It is about being in a relationship, taking care of someone, supporting them, spending time with them, understanding them, and loving regardless of difference or characteristics.
Why does the 25-year-old still feel obligated to label a feeling of love? I am in love with a person and that’s all that really matter.