Let’s face it: high school can be some of the hardest years of our lives. But I never thought it would turn out as ugly as it did. But, hey, I guess it taught me that it’s better to just be honest about who you are. I started figuring out who I was in like seventh grade, I believe. Anyway, in the beginning, as with many other queer kids, I tried to hide it. Luckily, no one was thinking about dating yet so I didn’t need to have a girlfriend to help hide it. But by the time I was ready and wanting to date, I felt that I was comfortable enough to date whoever I want without having to hide it.
Later on, I found that that wasn’t really the case. At the time, I was in a long-distance relationship, and so a lot of the sexual desires were satisfied through sexting, nudes, etc. Sometimes, I think that this person, who we’ll call Ray, didn’t really have a good sense of when it was a good time to send things like that. Not that I ever objected to getting them; it’s just that certain times are better than others. For instance, while I was at school surrounded by 20 other people, was not the best time to get NSFW messages. In one of my classes in 9th grade, a classmate asked to borrow my tablet to check something, and it was a valid enough reason to need something with a screen and the internet so I went along with it. Coincidentally, Ray decided to send a text that was as NSFW as it gets. The classmate saw this and started asking me questions about it. The fear at the time shoved me so far back into the closet, I started trying to convince myself that I wasn’t gay. Not homophobic at all – I was still proudly supporting the LGBTQ+ community – just not gay. Needless to say, I ended up breaking up with Ray… on Christmas… the time when everyone is supposed to be enjoying themselves. It turns out that I’m not really into him anyway, but I just hate hurting people. It’s not in my nature and if I could go back in time and say no to dating him to save the inevitable pain, I would.
Fast forward a few months. I had recovered from the pain, but I was still too far into the closet to be dating anyone that I wanted. I was scrolling through Facebook, and I don’t remember how it happened – probably through suggested friends – but I found someone (we’ll call her Sarah) who had the same passion for horses as I did, and come to find out, she went to the same school as I did. I was a little surprised because I’d never seen her before. Or maybe I have and just never paid attention. Anyway, I started messaging her and we decided to meet up at school one time. We quickly became really close friends and it felt good, because I’d never been one to be surrounded with friends. I never asked anyone because I hated the off-chance that they’d either say no or say yes only to not hurt my feelings, I’ve always preferred friends to just come naturally. Anyway, back to Sarah. We were really good friends, and I even gave her suggestions as to where is the best places to take riding lessons and things like that.
After a while of us being close together quite often, people started teasing us and saying that we were dating. It slightly annoyed me but I mostly didn’t pay too much attention, I didn’t care. But eventually Sarah got tired of it and asked me if I wanted to start dating her. Part of me was telling me that this wasn’t right, but I gave in, and thought maybe if I actually started dating her, everyone would back off given that their words would no longer have any power. We dated for quite a while, up until early senior year of high school. Honestly speaking though, it never really felt like we were dating. It just felt like just a friendship that we called dating. To her, however, I could tell she really wanted to be with me. Once again, my instinct of not wanting to hurt people kicked in, and I never said anything.
The exact times of when things happened is kinda fuzzy in my memory, but I remember that during one of the years – in the winter – I had Sarah come over to hang out. All was going well, and then we decided to go to my development’s clubhouse. That’s where it happened. The thing is, I don’t think she was realizing that what she was doing was making me uncomfortable. How could she? I never objected, never said anything. It didn’t go far, but she had me sit on her lap, and I did. The next thing I know, she reached around and started rubbing my crotch with her hand. Again, she wasn’t aware that I was feeling uncomfortable and I was partially too surprised to actually say anything. I half-lied to her by just saying that we should stop before there’s a mess.
Come early senior year and I finally have the courage to say that I’ve been pretty much lying to her for 3 and a half years just to protect her but that I was really gay. Obviously we were both hurt. I have such mixed feelings about this because I know that she wasn’t TRYING to make me feel uncomfortable. That’s not who she is either, she genuinely thought that it felt good to me, and I just don’t really have the heart to tell her because since our break-up we’ve gotten a lot closer again. And it’s truly a lot better now that I told her the truth, but it’s just something that’s been in the back of my mind for forever now.
I’m now in an almost 2 year relationship with a man that I know cares about me, and I couldn’t be more grateful to him. He always asks before doing something involving my body.