If you missed the first part of this mini series, you can check it out here.
So how did I know? How does anyone know what they like?
The answer is simple: try it.
Looking back, part of me wishes I had just swallowed my pride and the little bit of humility I had left and explored the thoughts of my adolescent mind. Honestly, it would have been so much easier had I come out when I was 13 or 14. Then, everyone would already know when I got to high school. Girls that maybe thought they were gay or thought they were curious would probably talk to me, maybe I’d have a few girlfriends here and there. I would be the girl that I eventually became jealous of; the girl who was confident and fluid in her sexuality.
Then I’d go to college, probably date a few more girls, be asked to do a bunch of threesomes,* and find the love of my life. Simple.
*If you don’t know this already, guys are obsessed with hooking up with two gay girls – we are not your entertainment; we never have been and we never will be.*
But instead, here I was at 23-years-old, straight (lol) out of my college experimental years where I didn’t experiment, trying to find girls to talk to. Do you know how difficult it is to jump into the gay dating scene when you have absolutely no experience and have never even flirted with a girl before?
It goes a little something like, “Hi, I don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing but I think I might like girls and I don’t know if I want to kiss you or just play with you hair but would you like to talk to me for two months before I make up my mind?” In the meantime, they fall in love with you because girls are the most emotional creatures on the planet and then you’re just doomed.
I felt like I was jumping head first into that scene in Shark Boy and Lava Girl where they’re just passing through the Land of Milk and Cookies. The girls were the cookies, I was the ridiculously out of place girl with flames coming out of her head.
If you don’t get this reference, you’re too young to be reading my blog. Or too old.
How I Knew
I had asked a few of my friends who were bi/gay/lesbian/pan, “How did you know?” and they all said the same thing. You’ll just know.
And I’d just respond, “What does that even mean?”
And they’d say, “Just download tinder, find a cute girl and hangout with her and for Christ’s sake Jamie, stop thinking about it.”
So I did. But getting a girls attention is so much harder than getting a guys attention. When I had dating profiles before, I would post cute pictures of me out with my friends, pictures from the gym, pictures of me holding fish.
If there is one thing I have learned from social media, women hate when men post pictures of themselves holding fish. Was it the same with other women?
I wasn’t trying to impress men here so I limited it to one fish picture (which I used as my last picture), a bunch of selfies without other girls because I didn’t want these new girls thinking I was posting pictures with past girls, and a picture of me in the gym because let’s be real, if I was a guy, I’d be a Brad. We all know this.
Honestly, the worst part about this whole dating app experience was coming up with a bio.
“Curious!” You’re on a women’s dating app, obviously you’re curious.
“Hi! Not sure what I’m looking for but maybe you’ll be it ;)” I would throw up if I read something like that in someone else’s bio. No.
“I don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing here.” Genius. Absolutely perfect. This is it. You’re ready.
I was not ready.
The first few girls I matched with immediately asked me to have threesomes with them and their boyfriends. I was warned about this.
A few other girls said they had hotel rooms downtown and I should come over. This terrified me.
One girl invited me to a sex battle and when I asked what that was she told me to google it. Don’t google it.
And then there was her.
Our conversation started simple. Me saying her dog was cute (trying to break the ice), her responding that her dog was dead (the ice was not broken, it was shattered).
We chatted for a few days, exchanged numbers and truth be told, I didn’t think it would go anywhere. Honestly, I didn’t even intend to hangout with her. I was just trying to get into the mindset of talking to a girl as more than a friend because love stories don’t happen when two people meet on tinder. Nothing usually happens when two people meet on tinder. Except maybe herpes.
But our conversations were easy. They flowed. One topic to the next, I started to look forward to the moments I could lose myself in our exchanges. I started to look forward to the moments I could lose myself in her.
A few days later, I invited her over. All I remember from that night was watching Bird Box. The days went on. Talk of my anxiety here, a dab of her depression there, a sprinkle of self-reflection topped with the whopping secret that, holy shit, I like girls.
I invited her over again and this time, she kissed me during Harry Potter. It was like my brain had re-wired in this exact moment. It was like everything I had envisioned a relationship to be was gone. It was like everything that never made sense in my life suddenly blossomed into this gay awakening.
They’re not kidding when they told me I’d just know. That it would just feel right.
The “married to a man with two kids and a dog” scenario had vanished. It was replaced with gentle thoughts of holding her hand before bed, simply admiring her femininity and knowing that I possessed it too, tender kisses on a park bench in the middle of a city, painting our first crappy apartment, walking barefoot across the beach in white dresses.
OK, maybe I was moving too fast. Take a step back, try to get her bra undone or something before you start picturing your romantic, gay future together. You could hate it for all you know.
Although I didn’t know it then, she would redefine love for me and I for her. She would teach me what it felt like to be truly and selflessly loved. She would teach me to be fearless and unapologetic of my feelings. She would help me come out as me. And I would fall in love with her in the process.
But telling my family, sharing this huge secret I had been carrying around for so long, was the scariest and most relieving moment of my life.
(Coming Soon – Part 3: Telling My Family)