Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Coming out to myself - Sarah's story

How did I know I was gay? It’s a strange question, but an Anon recently left us the comment below and it got us pondering......

We have shared our love story before in our Love Story post and we recently did a video interview with Jason Dottley about our Love Story heret: http://sprezzaturaourway.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/its-all-queens-marrying-queens-over-here.html but we've never gone into who we were before we got together so here goes.......

I've never made it a secret that before Laura I was dating men, and for some people that raises real questions about how I could suddenly ‘become gay’ - or perhaps that it makes me bisexual. Or my favourite one – how do I know I won’t go back to guys?

I will try to put the answer to these questions in this post but this is as much of a journey in writing as it will be for anyone reading.

Growing up I was a tomboy, I played football and basketball with boys.  My choice of clothes was trackies and trainers and I never thought much of it. As I got to secondary school age (11) I saw that girls my age were getting interested in boys and dressing to impress. I was still more interested in beating them on the sports field and it attracted the wrong type of attention. I was called a lesbian and told I would never get a boyfriend acting this way.

The bullying got to me - it was never physical but it was always hurtful and when my sister starting using it as an insult I decided to stop playing sports and become more girly. I never questioned whether I was lesbian, I just questioned why I wasn't girly. Why didn't make up come naturally? Why did girls like dresses, when I didn't, and why didn't my hair naturally look good?! 

By the time I was 14 I had joined a new group of girls at school - they were popular, the boys liked them and they were girly. I joined their group because they offered protection from the bullies – I had bonded with one of the girls, Helen, in geography and I will forever be grateful for her friendship.

The group helped me become girlier. They invited me to parties where boys were and I gradually realised I shouldn't be competing with boys I should be competing for boys. The lesbian comments stopped and I did what everyone else did – I got interested in boys.

At 16 the girls and I went to Newquay and stayed at an 18 – 30 caravan site. Every night they dressed me up and every night I got hit on. I loved the attention. I loved being pretty and I loved feeling like everyone else. I was straight and into boys.

When I got back I met my first boyfriend - he was great. But we never got further than being friends. Situations prevented us from ever being ‘alone’ and by 3 months, things hadn't changed so I thought it best to break up. This ended up being the case with all my boyfriends - things were never right - they were always too nice, too helpful, too needy, just not right.

At first I thought it was them. So I would deliberately wait until girls said they fancied a guy before I hit on them or accepted their flirting, I wanted to date the hottest guys, based on what others thought. 

I ended up sleeping with a guy who I never saw again because I thought sex may have been the barrier that was stopping the relationships from feeling 'right' – it wasn't. I liked the guys I dated, I found them attractive but I never found them interesting. Weird because when I was friends with my first boyfriend I found him a lot more interesting! Maybe it's because the pressure was off.

By 18, I was at Uni and out on my own. The pressure was off to be dating guys and I found myself befriending a Christian girl I shared student accommodation with. She started inviting me to church on the offer of a free meal and if you read my ‘moving out on my own' post you’ll know why a free meal was a great offer. I loved church. I didn't believe the bible preaching but I liked the debates and the people - oh and the food, but what I really liked was the girl.

Looking back I have always had ‘that friend’ that I was a little bit too close with. At primary school it was girl called Katie – my Mum said I was obsessed! Growing up it was a neighbour (who is also an out lesbian now) and at Uni it was the church girl.

I loved that fact that she had direction, she challenged me to think for myself, and she always looked out for me. She even let me sleep in to her room when I was locked out. Then one very cold evening I returned soaking to a locked room. That evening she held me so close to warm me up I found myself being really confused. I had never been hugged like that and I wasn't sure why I liked it so much.

The next week I found a boyfriend and put any ‘gay’ thoughts out my head. I liked her but I couldn't ‘like’ her – I was straight.

Over the 3 years we were at Uni together we ended up living together. We were best friends but the church was always her priority, that’s why it REALLY confused me when she kissed me. I had wanted to try it but I was scared what it might mean so I always closed off those feelings. The kiss is still the single most confusing moment of my life. I lost a best friend, I thought I was gay for a moment and yet I was straight.

The kiss didn't ruin the friendship, the feelings did. She never explained what went through her head, she just didn't acknowledge it. I felt jealous whenever she dated someone and I wanted her to stop me dating but she never did. I tried to forget about it and we continued as friends until she found a boyfriend and had no time for me. She married him within 6 months and I haven't seen or heard from her since.

The hurt, the heartbreak, was evident for ages. We had spent 3 years together and I had grown apart from my school friends so losing her was huge.  I threw myself into work and made some great friends. Friends who were all very straight and I started dating again. Online this time, so I could get to know them before committing.

Still there was something missing-even hooking up with a non-god guy didn't work out. Then when I moved to London I met Dan. Dan is infamous. Dan and I were together when I met Laura. He worked with us but had quite the reputation (not in that way). Every morning he brought me a warm croissant. He’d get me lunch when it rained and he would check on me every hour to make sure I was OK. HE DID MY HEAD IN! He was just TOO nice.

The nicer Dan was the more annoyed I got, and this American girl who started the same day as me heard about it all when she joined me and another girl we worked with at lunch- that girl was Laura. Soon I was having lunch with just L who was also having boy issues.

We bonded over boy issues – how ironic.

On New Years Eve – 3 months later, I broke it off with Dan. Laura and I then had a drunken heart to heart where I told her about the church girl at Uni and how she had broken my heart so I was confused as to what to do. I believe I even said that I could never date a girl as it was way too much work.

By March, that had all changed. In three short months Laura and I had arranged it so we had worked every event together, we’d have movie nights and Paris Hilton New Best Friend nights – we were inseparable. Then there was the hugging – the intense hugging that started off as friends but then started to mean so much more. 

Then came the ‘I love you’s at the bus stop on the way home, like all good friends do right? Then the texting as soon as she left, the desperate wait for the reply, the running to work so I could start my day talking to her, the longer lunches because we couldn't stop talking and the constant skyping just to stay in contact throughout the day. Then there was the realisation that it may not be one-sided.

It took one drunken night at a friend’s party to take things further, but by that time I had no doubt I loved Laura completely. I had no idea what that night meant, whether we were ever speak of it again or if we even wanted anything more.

I was straight but I liked this girl – I liked Laura as more than a friend.

Except it didn't end and by March the 16th we were official and dating no-one else. But we protested that we were two straight girls who just happened to fall in love!

That was my explanation when I came out to my Mum almost a year later- if a man had all the same traits as Laura, I would be with him. Thinking about it, I can see why she still held out hope for me marrying a man. I was coming out, but still saying I was straight.

By the time we returned from a year in Oz it seemed weird saying we were straight but together- people kept saying ‘oh so you’re bi’. I was never bi! The way I can articulate this is at no point have I been attracted to a guy since being attracted to Laura. My feelings aren't for both sexes at the same time. I like vanilla ice-cream and strawberry ice-cream but i'd never eat the at the same time!

Since being with Laura I have noticed a very evident shift from being interested in men to being interested in girls. Its started off just being interested in Laura as a person more than the fact she was a girl but over the last few years I've started to identify as gay. The thought of being with a man in my head now just seems wrong.

On the rare occasions we have said ‘if we broke up would you go back to dating a man or woman’ the answer recently has become ‘a woman’.

The more lesbian friends we have, the more the feelings I have are validated – they feel the similar to how we do. The intensity, the overwhelming all-in-ness that I never had with any guy, they have it with their girlfriends/wives. They could happily spend every minute together, living in each others pockets and the sharing everything. My straight friends find it odd, my gay friends get it.

Maybe I was always gay, I just never let myself think about it or tried it out. Maybe sexuality is fluid and can change over time or maybe I just met someone who is so perfect I went gay for her. I can’t answer that. If anything I think this post proves it has been a journey for me.

But how do I know I will stay gay? – and I better as I am marrying Laura- well, that’s simple - I am marrying my best friend, the most amazing person I know, the one person I have found who challenges, engages and teaches me all at the same time. The person who has made me want to be a better person, try new things and experience the world. I could not be more attracted to her physically or mentally and I would not want to plan my life with anyone else. She is the one person I can spend 24 hours with and still want more. She is literally my everything and the fact that she is a girl, and that makes me gay well so be it.

Laura is busy buying Bridesmaid dresses right now so she has promised to share story later in the week!


  1. thanks for sharing your story! I follow you a little while and Im really happy for you! hope to have a relationship like you one day....!

  2. I understand what you are saying... I know without a doubt that I am straight and I love my David just as I know you love Laura... there is no doubt, you just do... I think it is wonderful that you have found your best friend and that you are in love... I wish you two the best always :)

  3. This is a stupendous post!!! I have totally been meaning to pose this question on my blog. So many blogs that I read, both women have never been with another woman. And I just wonder how, or even if, they identify.

    Thanks for this insight!!

  4. This is so true, and reminds me so much of my own story. Particularly the bit about always having 'that friend' and then going to uni and having a super-intense friendship which verged on something else. (It was actually my version of church-girl who made me realise that actually, I probably was gay.) It's so comforting to read other people's stories and know that although we have all gone through different things, there are lots of similarities and there are other people who understand. Great post! Cx

  5. Great post. I have had a couple (or 3) of those intense friendships like that in the past. I didn't really think anything of it at the time. But in the past few years it has really made me wonder. I haven't been with anybody in a long time now. Sorting things out, I guess,


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