A short answer would be: probably around age 23.
But, I’m not here for any short answers, and short answers definitely lead to more questions. This post isn’t a short answer, and it isn’t a coming out story either. (Although maybe someday I will be comfortable enough to spew that story for all the internet to see?) Actually, this story has nothing to do with coming out, it is just about my own reflection of all the missed signs of gayness in my own life, that were probably intentionally missed (to protect my self from my environment of judgemental family members).
So to start as far back as I can remember, it has always been a running joke that I am only attracted to boys with “baby-faces,” which was adorable to say, but as I got older, seems pretty creepy and I’m able to reason with the fact that I only liked girl faces, or the androgynous look (which I would obviously still agree with!). My room was lined, only with pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, like every other young girl in America. However, I had a hidden “Girl’s Life” Magazine, which was just a cute pre-teen magazine that talked about puberty so parents didn’t have to. In this girl’s life magazine I had the most gorgeous picture of Christina Miliano (and I’m still not sure who she is) that I reassured myself I just wanted to look like her over and over again. I’ve attached this picture for everyone’s enjoyment:
A few years later, I was absolutely in love with a girl on my softball team, that I assured myself I just really really really wanted to be her friend. I remember trying so hard to get her attention, and I even downloaded a song she used to sing all the time and listen to it on repeat.
Then came puberty and the awkward masturbating to the thought of my girl friends who were having sex and talking about it, but never the thought of me having sex, but me being the guys who got to have sex with them. As well as weird encounters where my girlfriends would make out, but I never engaged with them because “I’m not like that,” but at one point I asked if I could film it? It is very entertaining to think how I could miss these types of signs.
But the most interesting avoidance of being gay in high school, had to be the girl on the opposing basketball team, that I can still remember the name of, that I convinced myself was so attractive because she HAD to be a relative of Jonathan Taylor Thomas and I really wanted to be around her so bad, you know, so I could get to meet him. I used to get so excited for the games against that particular team, and would creepishly watch her the entire time, hoping she would notice me.
I think the final signs leading up to the acceptance of being gay were just a series of girls who were my type, which I describe as petite androgynous people, who I became very close with and reminded myself that I just wanted to be friends with them so bad, but would have cuddle parties and spend my entire day trying to plan how I could see them more often. Now they are some of my best friends and laugh at my painful crushes on them.
I hid these things very well, in my mind. Surrounded with the idea of feminism and taking on women’s rights movements, which was obviously why I loved women, right? I also have to admit, my best line of denial was telling everyone I knew that I could “never be gay because vaginas scare me.” Oh, how embarrassing that I thought that line could help to keep my closet door shut. But eventually, when I did come out, to my self and others, all these stories (along with many more, I’m sure), came out in my mind and stood out as things that protected me for the necessary time, but could have helped me find myself, and happiness at a much younger age.
Hope you enjoyed this weird post of embarrassing humor and denial!