If you saw our blog yesterday, you'd have read Sarah's reply to an interesting blog request we received the other week on how we went from identifying as straight to lesbian - or as we call it, 'coming out to ourselves'. We thought putting both of our replies into one post would be never-ending and rather tedious, so please find my story below.
I've always had a bit of an interest in women - like Sarah, I had a few 'too intense' female friendships - for example, once in college, against the advice of my best friend, I left to surprise my boyfriend at the time who lived in a different state - the surprise ended up being on me, that he had told all his friends we were broken up, but my friend was betrayed that I'd gone, and we went from being inseparable to never speaking again. Even though I've tracked her down on Facebook twice in the last 6 years and messaged, she still would never reply.
Looking back, there may have been something there, which I took for a normal friendship. Because of this previous experience, when I started spending all my time with Sarah, who made it VERY obvious she didn't like me mentioning my then-boyfriend, I didn't find our relationship strange at all. Instead, I'd just ignore him for the hours upon end that S and I were together. I remember putting my phone on silent while we were cuddling in Sarah's bed, and not thinking it was strange until our mutual friend pointed it out one day at lunch.
|Shortly after we got together in 2009 - we were told to make kissy faces. Only one of us listened.|
Still, as much as we spent every waking moment together, cuddled, kept in constant contact, and I texted that I loved her (first, by the way!) only 6 weeks into our 'best friend-ship', I didn't know if Sarah would take it further. I'd decided I wouldn't, partially because as she'd kissed a woman before I felt she had experience, because she was older, and because I felt like I'd be too awkward.
One of my favourite memories during our in-between best friend and girlfriend stage was once I came over, and she said she had found a song that reminded her of me. I expected it to be upbeat and hip hop-y (after all, so far we'd binge watched a whole season of Paris Hilton's British Best Friend and committed to getting 'Dude' and 'Sweet' tattooed on our bodies, not exactly deep stuff) but then we awkwardly sat in Sarah's room listening to 'Unusual You' by Britney Spears. Possibly the most cringe song in the world. Listen to it, below.
It is cheesy and romantic and wonderful, and so very Sarah. And that is when I knew I really did love her.
For the first 1.5 years of our relationship, we did tell everyone that we were 'straight except each other'. It worked for us, but was definitely confusing for the people around us. I think I struggled to label myself during this time, because we were so loved up I barely noticed anyone around me, male or female. But slowly I realised this label didn't work for us any longer. I noticed women, and hadn't been attracted to a man since Sarah and I got together. In fact, I thought, and continue to think, that all men look the same!
So we tried the term bisexual, but it didn't fit us. Probably part of that is the connotations the term comes with, those that lovely ladies like Steph & Corrine are fighting hard to change, but also because men just were not, and are not, on our radar, so it felt inaccurate. We felt a lot more comfortable in the joint term 'lesbian couple' because it is completely accurate - we are two women in a lesbian relationship, regardless of our personal preferences.
It was thanks to the book Sarah mentioned in her post, Sexual Fluidity, that we were able to accept the term 'lesbian' to describe us individually. In the book, it states that throughout a woman's life (and men, more rarely) her sexuality can change - she can be attracted to men at one point and women another. It gave me a way to explain my relationships with my past boyfriends, without dismissing them, but also a reason I no longer wanted any part of them.
|L&S circa 2009|
I'm sure even in the lesbian world, not all relationships are as all-consuming as ours - this is just my experience with it, but in speaking to others I think we are not alone. Being with Sarah has made me consistently happier than I could have ever imagined - coming from a background of depression and anxiety, I didn't even think it remotely possible to be this content. Take away all the material things we are lucky enough to have in our life, and I'm still the luckiest girl in the world - because I've got someone who makes me better and supports me each day, and who I can spend every one of my days thanking and doing the same.