I read FosterEema and FosterAbba's coming out stories at their blog, Navigating the Maze: Foster Parenting and Life and that inspired me to write down my coming out story. I'll split it up into a number of posts, since it's been a few years.
When I was a little girl, I was always way more drawn to women than to men. I had crushes on the girls on 'Baywatch' and on real women in my life, even though I didn't realize that that was what it was. I can still remember having a huge crush on my parent's co-worker when I was about 13 or 14. At the time I thought that I wanted to be LIKE her, not be WITH her. I also wanted Chris and Cory on 'Pacific Blue' to date when they moved in together, even though their relationship clearly was only a best friends friendship. In junior high school, aged 10-14, I always felt different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I just knew that I was.
I did have two 'boyfriends', but we were really only best friends. I liked them a lot, but looking back I think it was more about the experience of 'being in love' than actually being in love, if that makes sense. I held hands and cuddled with both of them, but with the first it was clear, at least to me, that that was all that was going to happen. With the second, I felt like I wasn't ready, when in reality, the thought of kissing him made me want to literally throw up. I guess I did really think that that meant that I wasn't ready for kissing, I don't think that I was aware of homosexuality or its existence (Meaning that I might have known about it in abstract terms, but it never crossed my mind).
Things started to make more sense to me when I entered high school and completely fell for a female teacher at 15. I was going through a rough time and didn't have anyone to talk to and she had told us that we could always tell her about our problems so I did. My mother was ill and my friends didn't really understand how I felt and her adult view on things helped me a great deal. The way she treated me was new to me, because she actually listened to what I had to say and she took me seriously. I wasn't used to being treated that way by an adult and so I fell for her, hard. When I came out to my friends later that year, the difficult part wasn't that I was gay but that I was in love with her. It took me a while to tell all of my friends (not that I had that many, but still) and there were times where they did react in a negative way.
I can remember one specific incident that happened in the second or third year of high school. We all went out for Halloween and got drunk. A friend of mine brought a friend that I'd only met once before and I crushed on her. It seems that I flirted with her and played footsies, even though I have no recollection of that because I was drunk and not aware of what I was doing. Two of my friends went back home with me to stay there for the night and one of them freaked out on the bus. She told me that I couldn't just flirt with our friends and that that was different to being in love with a teacher and that she was our friend so she was off-limits. Which I guess was weird because we all only knew her very loosely and had just met her for the second or third time. I guess that that friend of mine wasn't as cool about me being gay than she and I both had thought. After that, we never talked about it again and I wrote it off as her being drunk. She did though, two years later, accuse me of trying to steal her BOYfriend, after she had broken off most contact because of him (We still went to school and dancing lessons together, which is where I apparently flirted with him). Yeah, still not sure if she really understood the concept of me being gay, even though she did think that gay's should have equal rights and shouldn't be treated any different (or so she said).
Throughout the 5 years of high school I always had an unusual relationship with my teacher crush. I adored her and talked to her when I felt I couldn't deal with something on my own. I also followed her around on field trips and was way too much into her for my own good. During my last two years, when I tried really hard to be over her, we were almost friends, as much as teachers and students can be. She told me about a few things in her life which to me meant that she trusted me. When I finally wanted to come out to my parents, I told her first and she helped me a great deal. It was weird talking about being gay and how I had fallen for a women when the women in question was sitting right opposite of me, but I highly doubt that she ever had any clue. She knew that at times, I overstepped certain lines and she firmly reminded me of them. Her 'rejection' hurt a lot, but it also taught me a lot. Having known her had a great impact on me and even though things didn't end the way I wanted them to due to an issue between her and my class, I will always remember her as someone special. Not only was she the first person I was really in love with, but she also taught me a great deal about life and love and forgiveness.