Sunday, November 14, 2010

wants and needs (and what society dicates vs. what we really are)

I am getting to a point where I feel that I would be more comfortable looking androgynous since I identify so much with both sides of me.I’m not really sure I want to take the plunge just yet and get my hair cut short, but I’m considering it.

I have come along way since I was 9 years old and had my first major crush…on a girl. At the time, i didn’t understand. I felt strange and messed up because even though my mother (being so amazing as she is) did not give me the idea that being attracted to people of the same sex was wrong, society did. Even though my mother was accepting, to me it seemed that the rest of the world did not agree with her. Society taught me that being attracted to the same sex was WRONG. INAPPROPRIATE. It was not okay for me to have feeling for a girl, that was clear. Even in church we learn at a young age that a man and a woman go together, not man and man or woman and woman. To the point where I felt confused because if such feelings were wrong than why was I even having them? I was embarrassed. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I felt like a terrible person and wished those feelings away, day after day.

It is hard to go through elementary school being one of the outcasts, one of the kids getting picked on every day, standing out somehow. Like I had a target painted on my back. I was already different enough that I got pushed away by fellow classmates and became more and more silent as the days went by. More and more of an outcast. To be ridiculed by all but a few classmates who took enough time to get to know me and soon realized that I could be a really cool person.

So imagine how I felt when I realized that there I was, with one more thing to separate myself from everyone else. I was frustrated. All I wanted was for people to accept me and like me and here came feelings that widened the gap. And i hated myself for it. I hated that I had those feelings. I rejected the idea that they could ever prove to be meaningful and wonderful and instead pushed that part of me far away.

This is the first time I have voiced these feelings publicly. In recent years, i mentioned that part of my childhood to a few close friends, very few.

The pain and frustration of my 9-year-old self lasted up into high school. I finally came out and told certain people about my sexuality for the first time when i was 15, to a close friend. But even then, I felt weird and embarrassed about it. It still didn’t feel right.

When I was 16 I began to feel a little bit more comfortable and began to fully understand and realize who I was. I began to acknowledge that those feeling were real and important, that they weren’t going away, and that nothing was really wrong with them. Until that year I told another close friend, finally feeling comfortable with using the term “bi” and she walked away from me right then and there and we haven’t spoken since. My spirits shot down again after that. I was scared to tell anyone ever again.

Then school rolled around the next year. My senior year of high school. I was still struggling to find my little niche with people I knew would really, truly accept me. And I got lucky. There is one friend in particular who really helped me come to terms, finally, with who I was and who I found myself attracted to. Her name is Salena and I love her dearly. I don’t think I ever mentioned to her how much she helped me to finally feel comfortable with that part of myself, but that’s how it is. She had the same kind of feelings towards girls I had been having, so we were able to relate to each other a lot. It really opened my eyes. Here was this cool, awesome, amazing, beautiful, seemingly confident girl who wasn’t afraid to be who she was. And it opened my eyes finally to the idea that there is acceptance out there for people like me. That I shouldn’t be afraid to be myself. That being attracted to girls/women is not wrong at all.

Now here I am, exploring even more my sexuality and gender identity. It was only this year that I began to discover words that went beyond male/female or homo, hetero, and bi. I finally found words that fit who I am.

So here I am, world.

My name is Heather. I am pansexual and genderqueer and I love that I am that way because I love me for who I am, inside and out.

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