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I personally was in denial of being a lesbian until my first year of college. I went from thinking I was hetero, to aromantic asexual, to homoromantic asexual. Then I weened myself off of the antidepressants I had been taking since middle school… and I could no longer pretend I was ace once my sex drive finally kicked into gear lol.

The whole process between straight and lesbian took about 5 years though. I’m not sure if that qualifies as late bloomer status or not. The few lesbians I’ve met said they knew their orientation in middle school, and the bisexuals usually said they knew by high school.

What about you guys?

I personally was in denial of being a lesbian until my first year of college. I went from thinking I was hetero, to aromantic asexual, to homoromantic asexual. Then I weened myself off of the antidepressants I had been taking since middle school… and I could no longer pretend I was ace once my sex drive finally kicked into gear lol. The whole process between straight and lesbian took about 5 years though. I’m not sure if that qualifies as late bloomer status or not. The few lesbians I’ve met said they knew their orientation in middle school, and the bisexuals usually said they knew by high school. What about you guys?

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I grew up a conservative home and attended a religious school. At around 10 years old a classmate explained that gay meant two men who wanted to marry. I went home and cried because I wished there was a option like that for women. 🙃 I have never been very smart.

I didn't start telling other people until high school. .

I knew when I was 11 years old. There was a neighbour who I was smitten with, she was a few years older, and I didn’t know what I wanted but I wanted it.

Then I ignored every feeling I felt until I was 18, had boyfriends I found every excuse not to sleep with, and then when I moved away, I couldn’t anymore, I moved somewhere where I wasn’t dirty, or a failure, or a disappointment, or a dud, and I could be myself.

Same I think part of the reason it so long for me too was because of the hostile environment. The lesbian on my high school basketball team was called a freak and predator behind her back all the time. I internalized lesbian as this shameful thing and convinced myself I couldn’t be one of them. I finally felt safe from judgement in college though.

Oh definitely, I remember two girls in my grade kissed for the entertainment of the boys, and then were horrendously bullied for being ‘lesbians’.

It was just something you weren’t supposed to be, it was something I didn’t want to be, I wanted to be normal.

It took me until university to realise I was normal, and I wasn’t on my own.

I 'came out' as lesbian to my younger brother when I was 12, he said nothing and just stared at the floor. Years later he came out to me himself, so it's just funny now rather than hurtful. I went 'back in' due to religion, homophobic family, danger where I live, etc. until i was about 20. I never officially came out again. I've been asked if I'm asexual by a brother, then my mom asked me "what are you" basically because she couldn't tell anymore if I was bi or lesbian or what lmao. Now everyone just kinda knows, and nobody cares really. In a good way. So when I was 11 I first started thinking I liked girls, came out at 12, went back in, went through trans phase age 17-,19ish but told no one then, and then lesbian at 20.

That's how I kind of "came out" too. I just started dating women without ever making some sort of official announcement

I've had crushes on girls since forever. My parents chalked it up to "hero worship." But by the time I got old enough to recognize the romantic nature of my feelings, I questioned it for a while because it was the height of the whole "guys love lesbians" thing, and there was a lot of backlash against "fake bisexual girls" going around. But when I was 14 I fell madly, undeniably in love with a woman and the rest is history.

Whew, it can be so easy to go into great detail about this because I find these stories/timelines so intriguing that I just want to overshare haha! I also don't want anything super identifying so I'll keep it brief (I hope) for everyone's sake. Definitely had interesting feelings towards female teachers when I was younger, had romantic/emotional/sexual crushes on female teachers around puberty, but that went away and felt practically nothing sexual or romantic around ages 14-15 and pretended to have crushes on specific chosen boys (fellow students) to my friends but at some point I did label myself as bisexual to a couple of friends (not sure how I knew that word at that time because I didn't have much internet access). Met a gal who I really liked when I was almost 17 and she kind of opened my eyes even more to the world of labels, sexuality, and such. Labeled myself as asexual for a couple of years, but I think that's because of my low libido and a couple of other reasons. I don't think I could engage sexually with a male and probably not romantically either. Definitely knew I "like-liked" certain women around ages 6 or 7 but didn't have any words or framework for this. I would probably somewhat accurately fit the box of homosexual, but I can't say for certain that I'd never like a male in the future. I don't want to label myself (yes, I am "that person"), especially since I don't want to say I'm strictly homosexual and then have to go back on that word if something outrageously different than my current prediction happens in the future. I don't want to be one of those girls who say they are gay and then marry a male and people can claim "see, lesbians just need to get the right d*ck". I cannot foresee that actually happening, but that's a worry of mine. I'm super inexperienced with relationships and sexual interactions, and that's also why I say I can't label right now. Some people think of me as lesbian and even refer to me as such, but I try to tell them I'm not. Anyway, these stories are awesome! I love reading everyone's!

I'm very similar, I was obsessed with my 2nd grade teacher Ms. Valtitorni. I had a lot of innocent curshes until middle school... and then it's like I just blocked it all out. I think the antidepressants played a big role but I think I also consciously pushed down my feelings too. I always felt awkward trying to connect with my friends over boys, which is what led me to believe I was ace. I think it's great you're not rushing to label yourself. I fell down that hill and it was a slippery slope with all the labels like demisexual/romantic attraction/etc.

Definitely had a couple of labels over the years, but was apprehensive and still am! Just focusing on being myself right now ♥ And those crushes on teachers sure did make lasting impressions, didn't they?!

[–] PaulaAlquist 7 points Edited

I didn't know, but my schoolmates did. I was relentlessly bullied for being lesbian, being a predator (I was absolutely not!), rumors went around that I was a boy. English wasn't the first language, and not the one spoken at home.

I finally admitted it to myself in college. I fell in love for the first time, with a friend, for whom it was also the first time, so I did eventually get a lesbian fairytale.

I came out for the first time at 15, went back in the closet from 17-20 due to family conflict and social isolation and then I wasn't comfortable in accepting that I was only attracted to women, I just said "I definitely don't like men"/called myself "queer" and was celibate from 20-25, though I came out fully as a lesbian when I transferred to college at 24. Been getting outter and prouder every year since then! 🏳️‍🌈✨

Eta: funnily, the woman that made me realize I was a lesbian was actually non-binary. I called myself queer but I knew I was attracted to her because she was female and that really helped me face my lesbianism and accept it.

[–] [Deleted] 6 points Edited

Time for me to overshare!

I was always attracted to women, my first romanticthoughts were about other girls were when I was like 8. I have a really homophobic family, so I internalised their hatred and I didn't even put two and two together about the thoughts I was having about women and the possibility of me being gay. It's hard to explain, I knew I had thoughts about women, but I didn't think that meant anything, being gay and have thoughts about other girls, it NEVER occured to me. Because I had compartmentalised it.

I remember all the propoganda I heard from my sunday school teacher, my primary school teachers and my family. I remember being gay was such a taboo in my family that when I was a kid, one of my friend's older sister asked me what swear words I knew, I proceeded to go through a list and at the end I blushed and whispered 'ᵍᵃʸ'. It was the ultimate taboo in my eyes. I remember the first time I typed up the word 'lesbian' to see what it meant, all I saw was porn. I remember being grossed out by the idea that I was a 'lesbian' because of that. Also my family used 'lesbian' as an insult and a dirty word. Even now when I hear family or friends talking about gay women they always whisper the term lesbian. Literally, I have a friend that does it all the time, she'll be talking about something to do with lesbians but when it comes to actualy saying the word, she will whisper or mouth 'ˡᵉˢᵇᵃᶦⁿ' if we are in a public space. I have considered cutting off the friendship because of this. I still hate the term lesbian because of these experiences.

It caused me so much pain, I thought being gay was gross and I thought gay marriage was wrong and I 100% identified as straight. I remember a teacher telling the class that sexuality is more fluid than we believe it to be, and I remember in my head being like 'nope, not me, i'm 100% not attracted to girls' lol. Once I fully deconverted from christianity, I was able to accept my attraction to women, but I still preferred to keep it private because of how strongly against homosexuality my family was.

I know two others who figured it out after coming off antidepressants so I don't think it's too unusual. Hope you've found a better way to deal with the depression.

There was no discovery, just this sinking feeling whenever I looked at certain girls. + a tendency towards GNC and being called a lesbian and a qu*** at school.

My hometown got their first Pride when I was 17. There were 150 people, mostly allies. It was just normal people taking a stroll, not the kink-filled multi-coloured militant mess of Pride in big cities.

I'm in a big city now and all the upper middle class 'queers' get on my nerves. This year I lost my friend group after accidentally outing myself in the group chat, but I'm over that.

Dang I'm sorry about your friends, it sounds like the weren't worth keeping anyway. I only go to family-friendly prides now because I can't stand the regular ones too.

Thanks, but I think only had acute depression due to some stuff that happened to me. Instead of treating the root problem my psychiatrist thought it would be better to throw pills around. I was worried getting off of them would cause my depression to come back but I've never felt better. My only side effects during weening were headaches. I can't believe I was convinced to stay on them for so many years.

I don’t really know. I guess I was always interested in women as role models, favourite characters, friends, etc more so then men. I didn’t really question it because it made sense for it to be people similar to you. I also freaked out whenever lesbians were in movies/television because I wanted to watch but not look too interested.

At school, there was one girl who I really liked, I just thought I wanted to be her friend so that’s what we became (& still are). I had no idea it was anything different - the unable to recognise/identify feelings of being autistic makes things hard. Over the years, the same sort of thing occurred with other girls in the class, though my feelings towards the first girl never went away. I didn’t think I had a chance with her, there was no way she could be attracted to women too, let alone me when there are so many amazing women out there & I’m not one of them.

There was one teacher, the science teacher, I really liked her & looked up to her greatly. Unlike my other teachers, she wasn’t married, no relationship (that she told us), fairly gnc, very handy, wore loose clothing, so many random skills up until that point I hadn’t seen someone like her before. Fun Home had just started it’s Broadway run & they used Ring of Keys for the Tony Awards performance & I remember thinking that’s me with my science teacher. I got as much Fun Home stuff as I could get my hands on & managed to see the show during its run. I realised I was a lesbian after that though didn’t start telling people a few years later before the end of high school.

Once I got to university, I became more comfortable being a lesbian, which was greatly helped by my dear friend who’s also a lesbian. I realised the girl I liked more than the others at school, was actually a decade long crush. The Prom had just finished its Broadway run & it plus other life events encouraged me to contact her for the first time in years & I told her finally after over a decade & moved on since she now has a girlfriend. Now it’s now.

I’m starting to think I might be bisexual. I never really considered it till my mid thirties.

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