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LGBTQ Voices

How I Embrace My Lesbian Identity

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A girl with red hair and lipstick, holding a pride flag.
Storrs, CT

I was 15-year-old when I realized I liked girls. I was in denial in the beginning, but I finally realized my feelings were real when I developed a crush on a student-teacher at my school. Although I considered myself an “ally” prior to this discovery, it was hard for me to accept.

I had to mourn my picture of a “perfect normal life,” and was terrified of rejection. I began getting used to identifying as bisexual, and came out to my three best friends. They were accepting of me, but I still had some ways to go to fully embrace my identity.

By college, I identified as a lesbian and was more open about my sexuality. It was amazing to be in a large school with a lot of queer students. Now at 21, the shame I felt at 15 has been replaced with pride.

I love being a lesbian. I consider it one of the most important aspects of my identity. It feels amazing to be who I am and love women unapologetically!

I’ve been treated differently because I’m a lesbian. No extreme homophobia, but negative reactions.

My biggest challenge has been getting along with my mom. She first found out that I liked girls not long after I came out to my friends. She read my texts and brought it up in an argument to use against me.

It was upsetting because I was still struggling with accepting it myself. She’s slowly gotten used to it, but now we basically just avoid the topic. She’s still passive-aggressive, but she doesn’t actively try to shame me or prevent me from dating girls or anything.

Straight men also treat me differently when they find out I’m a lesbian. They sometimes totally ignore that I don’t like men, and continue to flirt with me. It’s often quite awkward.

It’s easier now to come out because there is more acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. Although, it’s still a struggle for many. There is still homophobia and transphobia ingrained in our society.

A lack of acceptance from family, friends, religious organizations, etc., can make it hard for someone to come out. I love the resilience of my community; we will continue to fight for our right to exist.

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