The Lesbian Reevaluates

The Lesbian Reevaluates

Living LGBTQ
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Opening the doors of a closet can be as difficult as opening your chest to a stranger.

The closet. The deeply dark, claustrophobic space at the back of the room. The vault where your truth hangs beside rusty coat hangers and winter coats. The crack between the door and the floorboards let light in for brief and fleeting moments- but your truth deserves to live in the sun.

Sexuality is fluid- that is to say it is malleable and ever-changing. Fully understanding sexuality at a young age is like reading a graphic Steven King novel in the first grade- incredibly daunting and almost impossible to understand. As I head into my sophomore year of college, I can say with clenched fists and slight disappointment that I still do not fully understand the vast complexity of sexuality.

As young adults in the millennial age, we are fortunate to be given more acceptance and tolerance of our sexual orientation than we would have been given in the past. The willingness to tell our stories has become both a blessing and a curse.

I started to come out as a gay woman between the ages of fourteen and sixteen years old. Telling my story set me free of oppression and fear of discrimination. Being a member of the LGBTQ community has saved my life. I have gotten the opportunity to work alongside incredibly prominent organizations and meet wonderfully inspirational people. I have found an international family of tolerance and undying love with strangers who share similar stories. I am proud to identify as being a gay woman.

However, being gay is not my whole identity. When I was younger, I thought it was.

For a long time I thought that being gay was the most important part of me. While I find pride, strength, and incredible love within my sexuality- it is not all that I am. It does not have to define me. It is not everything.

In my freshman year of college, I met a man that changed my perspective. He and I shared an emotional connection that was beyond what I had found with anyone in the past. I found myself developing feelings for him- which frightened me. How could I be myself attracted to a man when I'd built up my entire identity around being gay? What was I? Who was I?

I was terrified of the prospect of coming out "again". What would my friends and family think? Would I be confirming the stereotypes that I was only a lesbian until I "met the right man"?

No. Absolutely not.

This is when I learned the fluidity of sexuality and the importance of freeing yourself from shame. It does you far less good to refuse your own feelings because you THINK you should not have them.

I know that I was born gay. Identifying as a lesbian is the sexual orientation I've chosen to label the way in which I was born. I also know that I was born with an open mind and a deeply powerful spirit that is not always understood. If I meet a woman (or man) who I feel connected to- I will open myself up to the prospect of that love despite the fact that it contradicts the label of my sexual orientation.

Many would say that this would make me bisexual, or sexually fluid. I still choose to identify as a lesbian. However, I refuse to put myself in an inescapable box. While I certainly prefer women, I will allow myself to love whomever comes into my life who loves me back.

I used to define myself by a label. The pride and passion that I have within myself and my sexuality is undying. It is perhaps the strongest part of my spirit.

However, what I've learned along the way, is that identifying yourself solely on a basis of sexuality is just as suffocating as being in the closet.

Be proud of the many aspects of who you are. Be unafraid if something different comes into your life. Allow yourself to be constantly questioning what comes along your path. Allow yourself to be open minded and open hearted. Always choose to love, even if it is not what you expected it to be. Love anyway.

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Inspired by the spoken word poem The Lesbian Reevaluates by Blythe Baird.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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views

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.

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We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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