I realized that I was not straight at the age of 17. My best friend and I were very close to each other. Sometimes we seemed almost a little too close. When I first met her, I felt this strange attraction to her.
I did not think anything of it at the time. All I knew was that I wanted to be friends with her more than I had ever felt about anyone else.
I invited her to a party I was having at my house and when she agreed to come, I felt beyond overjoyed and excited. Much stronger feelings than I had ever felt about any other friendship.
As our friendship began to bloom and grow, we became closer and closer very quickly. We started hanging out almost constantly. We were completely inseparable.
We spent all of our free time together. We were extremely close, not only emotionally, but physically as well. We held hands, kissed each other on the cheek, cuddled at sleepovers, and the list goes on.
To me, this was all very new and different, but I didn’t really think twice about it. I just thought she was a touchy person. I thought this was how people acted with their true best friends.
We said, “I love you” all the time. We called each other “girlfriend” and joked about getting married. Thinking about this now, it’s all very obvious to me, but at the time I thought nothing of it.
I later learned that everyone around us thought very differently than I did. People began asking me if I had a crush on her, if she was my girlfriend, if I was gay, etc.
I would get very defensive and angry, telling them she was just my best friend. It took me months to realize my true feelings for her.
After that summer, I was finally comfortable identifying as bisexual.
I was extremely nervous to tell anyone at first because I was afraid they would treat me differently. I came out to my closest friends first, via text message.
None of them seemed to be bothered by it, but I was still very nervous. One of my friends invited me over the next day. I was so scared that things would feel weird and different.
Thankfully, she treated me just the same as she always has. I began to get more comfortable telling friends, but did not tell any family or adults.
It took me over two years later to finally tell my mother. I was nervous and scared even though I knew she would be accepting. I had convinced myself it wasn’t worth coming out to my family until I started dating a girl.
Thankfully, my family was accepting and did not treat me any differently. I did not have any negative experiences coming out, but I know of many people who have. I can only hope that everyone finds love and acceptance in someone, even if it’s not their family.