Unsolicited Advice to Questioning Teenage Girls

When your friends go on about their crushes
do not feign interest in a boy just to blend in
tell them you would rather kiss girls even though that scares you
tell them you’re confused but
do not lie

When your uncle asks if you prefer Gail or Peta
explain to him that you like Katniss
that her female form strikes you more
than any teenage boy could

And when a girl comes up to you and offers to tell you a secret
listen to her
she will become the first love of your life

When a priest tells you that the way you feel is wrong
spit in his face
who you are is not a sin
and his cross is the biggest lie of all

When you start getting feelings for your best friend
do not ignore them
contemplate what it means to feel
and how friendship differs from love

When you can only imagine kissing her every time you see her
do not feel ashamed
your feelings are healthy and valid
and you deserve the same in return

And when you cry so much your eyes swell up
do not cry for her

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My (Unofficial) Coming Out Story

I struggled with my sexuality all throughout high school and partially throughout middle school. The main part of my struggle was the inability to accept myself for who I was, who I am. Of course now I cannot fathom how I ever thought I was straight, but accepting myself and being open about my sexuality gave me a whole new perspective on the matter.

While I was in elementary school, I became overly attached to quite a few of my female friends. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, especially when girls are supposed to think boys are gross at that age. However, I was submersed in a heteronormative culture and I attended a very conservative Catholic school, so I evidently suppressed any thoughts and feelings that had anything to do with liking girls. It wasn’t until I was in sixth or seventh grade that I had my first lesbian awakening. I was watching the ever popular Desperate Housewives with my parents, and two of the female characters on the show kissed. At that moment, it was like something suddenly clicked inside of my brain. I liked girls. I liked the idea of two girls being together. It finally all made sense. But I still could not truly accept that about myself, so I again suppressed any feelings I had and attempted to be a nice heterosexual girl. While it surprisingly didn’t take that much effort, it also didn’t exactly work well for too long. I was still developing feelings for my female friends. They would tell me all about boys they liked, and I would get so jealous but just pretend I was disappointed because I wasn’t receiving any attention from boys.

During my freshman year of high school I kind of fell in love for the first time with my best friend. It was very confusing and very hard to differentiate feelings of close friendship and feelings of romance. I drove myself crazy over it. She began to date a guy who was much older than us, and I was once again disappointed. I was weary about the age difference because perverts are still unfortunately alive and well, but I also selfishly wanted her to myself. Of course, I didn’t say any of this. I didn’t actually voice my sexual confusion to anyone until sophomore year. There was this girl a year behind me that I really began to like. Let’s call her S. She would follow me around everywhere and hold my hand as we walked to class, even if her’s was in another building. I really thought that she liked me, but she would always mention this other girl she had dated so I quickly abandoned any hope. She had perviously told me that she was bisexual and I immediately blurted out that I thought I might be bisexual too. Not knowing what to make of this, I called my gay friend, and that was when I told someone for the first time that I liked a girl. It was so difficult for me to do at first, but I felt so relieved for finally having done it.

Throughout my first semester of sophomore year, I spent many nights crying and watching a mix of lesbian flicks and depressing suicidal films, all courtesy of Netflix. It was too difficult for me to come to terms with who I was, and I honestly had no idea why. I clearly did not have a problem with other gay or bisexual people, but I was afraid of being treated differently again. I was bullied nonstop from second to eighth grade, so when I finally got to high school it was my time to start over and actually make friends and not be called names. Because of this, I just stopped talking to and hanging out with S as much, but I thought about her. I thought about her all the time.

I wasn’t really all that vocal about my sexuality until the beginning of senior year. That was an interesting time in my life. So many of my friends had come out as gay or bisexual as well, so I just jumped on the bandwagon. At first, I came out as bisexual. This felt like the safest option to me at the time because I could like girls but still maintain some heterosexual privilege. But after a couple of weeks, I decided to finally be honest with myself. And for the first time, I told my friends and family that I was gay. It was probably one of the happiest and most relieving moments of my life. I was so lucky to be around so many people who accepted and supported me. At this point, I had resumed talking to S, who had now become M, and we started dating shortly after. And that’s pretty much it. No more struggle. No more shame. Just love and acceptance and a whole lot of gay.

On Feminism

I am a feminist in the truest form. I am relatively independent, and I fully support equality between men and women. Yes, I said equality. Despite the fact that women are superior to men in the sense that they can hold a full-time job, raise kids, clean the house, and cook for their families, I don’t necessarily think it’s right to act in such a way(all the time). I came across a blog post a little while ago in which a self-proclaimed feminist thought it was insulting for a man to hold a door open for her. She was offended because she thought that she was thoroughly capable of holding the door open for herself. This blew my mind. Men do not have to hold the door open for women. They do it out of respect, not to assume their “dominant position” of male authority. Women are perfectly capable of  doing this for themselves, but that is besides the point. This was just one among many other things she was upset about.

I honestly believe so many “feminists” are missing the point. Men are nice to other men, men are nice to women, women are nice to other women, and even sometimes women are nice to men. That’s all it is. People like to be nice to each other sometimes, even if they don’t know each other. We live in such a socially deficient world, you’d think having a man hold the door open for you would be a refreshing surprise. If you think such a simple act is another way to make women feel inferior, then you have already proven yourself to be inferior all on your own.

I’m a feminist, though, right?

Sleeping with a bunch of men and dating with a “men’s mentality” doesn’t make you a feminist. Always acting offended when someone of the opposite sex tries to help you is not being a feminist. Degrading other women for choosing to take their husband’s last names and for choosing to live the domestic lifestyle is not being a feminist. It just makes you a jerk. Sorry. Haven’t you ever heard of being the better example?

The whole point of feminism is to rise above and join the pursuit of equality. However, that does not require you to parade around NYC with your top off and your boobs swaying in the wind. How is that having respect for your body? We live in a world in which breasts are over sexualised. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. And besides, that doesn’t help the cause. Men do not take you seriously that way. And isn’t the point to be taken seriously? We’ve been beating  this around the bush for so long now. Everyone talks about feminism and equality, but nothing actually happens. I’m sure everyone has heard about women being allowed to hold authoritative positions in the military. While that is a great step in the right direction, women are still being raped and molested in the military. In this country. They actually have to fear sexual violation while they are serving their country. That is not okay. Rape is not okay. So while you’re going about your “feminist”ways, worrying about all the evil men, who try to do favors for you, just know that there are women out their who are actually being violated and stripped of their rights to feel safe and secure.

Quote of the Day #30

“If Google Earth were a guy, he probably couldn’t find me if I was dressed up as a ten story building.”- Emma Stone as Olive, “Easy A”