July 7, 2011

In seventh grade….

(BAM!!! There I am, 7th grade.)

….I learned these terms and definitions:

Gay: when a boy is attracted to another boy
Lesbian: when a girl is attracted to another girl
Straight: when a boy is attracted to a girl and vice versa
Bisexual: when a person is attracted to both girls and boys

Up until that point I never questioned the social construct that girls get with boys, men marry women, and there is no other path.  But in seventh grade I met my first real-life lesbian.  She was my gym teacher.  And my health teacher.  And the softball coach.  And the basketball coach.  I wasted no time and joined the basketball team and became the manager of the softball team.  I watched and mimicked the way she talked (adapting a southern accent that I had so far been able to avoid with the help of my mom, the speech pathologist), the way she walked (I went pigeon-toed for almost 3 years trying to perfect my lesbian swag), and the way she dressed (basketball shorts, sunglasses tan lines, and sports bras, OH MY).  Her mere existence in my life changed my entire outlook on EVERYTHING.  Things started making sense, first in my brain, I began to remember asking girls to kiss me on the playground, having major crushes on my female teachers, not ever wanting to slow dance with boys at the school dances, and being embarrassed of being called pretty.  I started to question where my attractions lay and that is when my heart and the butterflies in my stomach caught up.  I no longer gave boys the time of day (in fact, I only had one friend, who is still my friend, who is male identified) and was totally and secretly obsessed with being a lesbian.  Things progressed quickly, there was never really a time when I was unsure or questioning or “tryin’ it out” or whatever.  In short my StL phase (straight to lesbian) went as follows: I met Colonel Gym Teacher, little Johnny taught me some new vocab, I researched it on Wikipedia, thought ‘hmm, uh huh, yep that sounds about right’, and within the year I was unwaveringly sure of one thing: I was a big ol’ dykey dyke.

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