Okay, so technically I’ve never been with a girl. Unless that one drunken toothy tongue fight outside the Jimmy John’s counts. But I’d like to think it doesn’t (yikes). I’m pretty sure I’m bi—I like women. I mean, I remember hiding in my literal closet as a kid ripping open my mom’s JET magazines to see the beauty of the week, every week; a glistening woman, usually someplace tropical, who never wore anything more than a bikini.
I would just sit there under all my clothes and stare at her body. That’s pretty gay.
From what I understand, mostly from standup comedians and comments from fun-loving middle-aged women in sitcoms, college is the time for experimenting. Maybe you make out with your sorority sister in the bathroom at a frat party and discover that everything tastes the same in the dark. Maybe you try boofing MDMA at a concert and experience both nirvana and what it’s like to ride in the back of an ambulance. But, by the time those comedians and middle-aged women graduate, they’ve got it all out of their system. It was fun while it lasted, but now they only reference it to remind people they used to get ‘wild and crazy’ back in the day.
And there’s one of my biggest setbacks. Will it all just be a phase? I’m not trying to blame my lack of female action on some existential crisis alone because the real reason is much more rooted in middle school trauma. But I have to admit, I’m scared to explore this part of myself for fear it’ll only be something I thought I wanted, which would be super lame of me. I don’t want to be a poser.
In seventh grade, I had a girlfriend for a week. She held my hand in the lunch line and smiled when she touched my face and complemented me. I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t look away from the ground when we were together because I knew everyone was looking. The girls in my dance class found out and called me Shell Bi pretty consistently for a month and then again at random intervals throughout the year when it came to their mind. As a result, I found it easier to ignore this part of myself.
A few weeks ago, my best friend told me about her new girlfriend. This is her first relationship with a girl, so she’s been telling me what it’s like. “I never realized how much internalized homophobia I have. We don’t show a lot of PDA yet but one time I kissed her goodbye on the subway and it shocked us both.” And then it all started to make sense.
When I think of being with a girl its easy for me to say “yeah, I’m attracted to women, but I could never be in a relationship with one because they’re too complicated.”
As if my last boyfriend wasn’t a drug addict with anger issues. As if the majority of guys I’ve hooked up with since weren’t too emotionally unavailable to even pretend to have basic human empathy or communication skills. It’s okay for girls to want to f—k each other, we watch that all the time. But for them to want to date each other? I don’t know.
I have no hard feelings against the f—k boys of yesteryear because, as it turns out, I’m a f—k girl too. I’ve ghosted girls I was interested in because our connection started to feel real. One time a girl came to Tallahassee—not just for me, thankfully—but I left her on read the second she arrived. I changed my mind about a girl I’d loved since high school in the middle of a conversation because she doubled texted me. The only time I’ve ever felt truly comfortable with female sexual attention was last month. The girl giving me bedroom eyes, pulling at my clothes and touching me wasn’t even gay, only drunk. Once, my friends told me they thought I was faking bi, sparking said crisis.
When I think of how I’ve held myself back in this way because of what it would look like to other people, I feel like a scared little girl, running to hide in the bathroom because she spilled chocolate milk all over her crotch. It makes me feel so small. I’m glad, at least, to be aware of my internalized homophobia, because now when I watch Doja Cat’s ‘Go to Town’ music video I can decode my discomfort for what it really is: sexual attraction to a woman. Those two SJW-esque buzzwords reworked some neural pathways in my brain or something. I really feel like it’s okay to be whoever the f—k I am. Starting now.
Now, please enjoy my celebrity crush gallery, a collection of hot people that remind me that I definitely like both: